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Last week SAP’s Viswanathan Ramakrishnan provided an ASUG Webcast on SAP Mobile BI for Android version 4.1, expected to be released this month.  As always, when speaking about future releases, things are subject to change. The usual disclaimer applies, that things are subject to change, especially concerning planned innovations and future direction.

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Figure 1: Source: SAP

Figure 1 shows a packed agenda.

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Figure 2: Source: SAP

As Figure 2 shows, Viswanathan said it was easy to take advantage of existing assets – Crystal Reports, WebI, platform security and content.

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Figure 3: Source: SAP

Figure 3 shows existing content offered in release 4.1

You can download content if admin allowed

Themes include day and night, black and white

You can navigate within the document and report

It will support flexible layout

You can access the latest report version via refreshing via the platform

You can take advantage of instance and schedule – to access latest instance available

This version includes capabilities to build scorecard components – trend

You are able to link between open doc

Filtering is supported.

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Figure 4: Source: SAP

Figure 4 shows on the right side the MobI client.

You have 3 different deployment options – the middle is the direct communication part

If you have SUP, you want to take advantage of it for securing communications between client and server

Alternatively, use reverse proxy to support to connect to BI infrastructure

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Figure 5: Source: SAP

Figure 5 shows section support; access WebI with sections

This application will support most of section properties, including nested sections

If you have multiple sections you can access the data with multiple sections

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Figure 6: Source: SAP

Figure 6 shows report element linking, including Horizontal table, vertical table or cross tabs.

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Figure 7: Source: SAP

Figure 7 shows that you can take advantage of color palettes that come with Web Intelligence BI4 SP04 & color assignment capabilities.

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Figure 8: Source: SAP

Figure 8 shows more enhancements.

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Figure 8: Source: SAP

Figure 8 shows platform support, including 4.1 support for Jelly Bean OS.

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The download from GooglePlay has  predefined sample content; you can open a sample document.  Viswanathan demonstrated the above from a Nexus 7 device.

Question & Answer

Mobile SDK – wait for 10/3 roadmap webcast – dial in and log on information are here http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-31175

Q: Do most or all of the capabilities you talk about for Android apply to iOS?

A: Yes, they do. In fact, we had a webinar like this for the next version of Mobile for iOS last week.

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Q: when are you releasing the new version App for android?

A: We’re targeting a release to the Google Play store in October

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Q: Does this require installation of SUP?

A: No, SUP is not a requirement for the BusinessObjects apps. SUP can be leveraged, especially in those cases where a custom app development is a requirement.

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Q: if the Administrator allows, can you download the content to the device (android and iPad) and do the “Drill Down”

A: Yes, the user can download the document to the device (all encrypted, of course) and then view the document offline. Currently, the drill workflow requires connectivity to the Web Intelligence server.

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Q: Question – If we double click on this mobile enabled WebI on the iPad – it takes to the last saved webi and not the latest – they are treated as separate objects.

A: That’s right – the app allows users to still access the parent report, even if there is an instance (which I assume you were looking for).

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Q: Does the mobile interface require additional SAP licenses?

A: There are two types of licensing for BI – the BI Package license (Mobile is part of that) and the licensing by tool/application. In this case, Mobile is a separate license. Contact your SAP account rep for more details.

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Q: can we control how the charts, tables (mainly the size) of a WebI report will be displayed on the android / ios device

A: Yes, there is a layout option that closely follows the page layout of the underlying WebI report. The document has to be added to the Mobile category AND to the Mobile Designed category to switch to that layout mode.

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Q: What kind of customization would necessitate the use of SUP?

A: SUP allows you to create your own mobile apps – that what I mean by custom.

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Q: So, what we are looking at right now is a non-SUP implementation?

A: That’s right – the apps (iOS or Android) cannot be customized by SUP. These are out-of-the-box apps.  However, you could use SUP to connect the app on the device to the BI 4 backend. This is mostly of interest to customers who standardize on SUP as their MEAP.

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Q: Do you foresee these WebI capabilities to be available for Windows 8?

A: Most certainly. We have yet to define a launch date for Mobile on Win8, but we’re working on that. Are you planning to deploy Win8 devices?

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Q: Completely accessible offline? Do you mean there is an ultra-lite database on the device or is it a snapshot of the screen?

A: the app downloads the data, not just the screen content.

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Q: can we change the thumbnail of the report, similar to the demos comes with the app?

A: Yes, that will be described in the documentation for this version.

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I thank Viswanathan for this webcast and SAP’s Karsten Ruf for answering a busy Q&A stream.

What are the use cases for Mobile BI?   Find out tomorrow in this SCN webcast “How to Select the Right BI Tool” – Oct. 2nd – Register here

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