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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

SAP Design Studio Roadmap Webcast Summary #SAPZen

Yesterday Eric Schemer and Jie Deng of SAP provided a roadmap webcast on Design Studio.

Note the usual disclaimer applies, that things are subject to change, especially regarding future plans and roadmaps.


Figure 1: Source: SAP

Figure 1 explains the purpose of product roadmaps.


Figure 2: Source: SAP

SAP Design Studio is built to be premium successor to BEx WAD and BEx Web run time in BW

SAP plans to merge XCelsius /Dashboards into Design Studio mid-term

The value proposition is that Design Studio is a product for designers, content developers and application developers, to centrally build analytical content for desktop/mobile integrated into SAP lifecycle management

One of the benefits is the technology is based on Eclipse plug, rendering based on HTML5 that is device and browser agnostic

At design time it has integration with Eclipse; some of the more recent SAP developer tools in Eclipse include HANA and Predictive.

It is WYSIWYG – work with live data as soon as you build, and you see how presentation will look to end user.

It offers sophisticated scripting via Java Scripting

It offers good integration in BOE/HANA, central supportability and theming.

It was built with mobile-first approach

Its key engines,  HANA & BW, supports the data and capabilities of calculation engines


Figure 3: Source: SAP

2 necessary installs

1) Client for eclipse plug in on desktop – also includes run time – designers to directly communicate with BW and HANA – prototyping – not required for BI platform

    1. Deploy & share application use BI Platform – large numbers of users
    2. BI4, SP4/5

2) Platform install


Figure 4: Source: SAP

Figure 4 shows the ability for rapid prototyping for mobile application

Figure 4 shows you build apps in Design Studio and then do QR scans to the mobile device

As you build application, you can test application on mobile device


Figure 5: Source: SAP

Figure 5 shows the built-in data editor for HANA & BW infoproviders

You can change the data source or view of BEx

You can do this inside Design Studio;  you do not need to go into HANA modeler


Figure 6: Source: SAP

Figure 6 shows the hierarchy feature in Design Studio. Both BW/HANA come with sophisticated on hierarchies

It provides native support for BW/HANA OLAP capabilities, esp. for hierarchies


Figure 7: Source: SAP

Figure 7 is showing the filter panel, available at general availability.  It will have filter and dimension panel that works seamlessly on browser /iPad based apps


Figure 8: Source: SAP

Figure 8 shows the features of WYSIWYG and pixel layout options


Figure 9: Source: SAP

Figure 9 shows the predefined themes and templates to allow customers to build their own themes/templates


Figure 10: Source: SAP

Figure 10 shows the editor gives you calculation capabilities of Zen engine using calc capabilities of Hana and BW


Figure 11: Source: SAP

Figure 11 shows the integration with the BI Platform.  

BI4 SP4 or SP5 will be required for SAP Design Studio – this will be known closer to general availability


Figure 12: Source: SAP

Figure 12 shows planned innovations for version  1.1 – general availability planned for 2Q next year

Design Studio is targeting GA 3rd week of November.

Version 1.1 is planned to have a “BOE free version” for HANA

SAP Design Studio 1.2 planned release in Q4 release next year

Future SAP Design Studio will support BW-IP and PAK support

SAP Design Studio is on client side and server

Subset of Question & Answer

Q: Great stuff. How do you ship the templates and themes?

A: templates and themes are shipped with Design Studio installer

Q: Is the java stack required to use Design Studio?

A: Java stack is required when you want to share the applications with end users. IT’s required for enterprise ready solution.

For designers to build and test and run the applications, java stack/BOE is not required

Q: When will integration with WebI, Crystal Reports, Dashboards etc. provided.

A: analysis views can be defined as datasource. This is planned for the timeframe of 2013/2014

Q: Will RRIs (report-to-report interface) be supported?

A: RRI is planned for 2013

Q: The Server has to installed on top of BOBJ? If so what release of BOBJ

A: It is an add-on to BI (BOE) 4, SP level tbd

Q: Can the client connect to BW directly?

A:  yes

Q:  without BOE just with the client?

A:  it requires BOE for now, a (BOE-free) HANA delpoyment is currently planned for the next release

Q: Is there a property for chart to allow users to change to different type of charts ?

A:  chart properties: yes

Q:  Is there option to change the chart color?

A: chart color: limited features available, more to come with 1.1

Q:  Will there be PDF Export support and Print friendly views available?

A:  PDF/Print: planned for future release

Q:  What is the primary advantage of this over the Xcelsius

A: advantage: supports all engine capabilities of BW/HANA out of the box, no performance limits on big data, out of the box mobile design

Q: Is there any option to save the data offline?

A: offline: not yet

Q:  Support for BO Universes as a data source in late 2013?

A:  universes: planned for Q4 2013

Q: That is huge. Xcelsius has big scalability issues for the enterprise. Am I correct in saying Zen will offer a strong enterprise alternative?

A:  You are right

Q: I joined a bit is also called ZEN?

A: Zen: yes, that’s the project name

Q:  Are BW Variables supported?

A:  at designtime, in 1.1 also at runtime

Q: + Seems as a combination from Xcelsius and BO Explorer, with more developer capabilities

A: Eric Schemer: (11:41) we have plans to add a control for ”facettes”, than you can build your own ”Explorer” with it…

Q: DO Android device supported ?

A:  Android–> HTML5–> so yes

Q: Do I need Java Stack in BW if I have users consume reports via BOE  ??

A: no

Q:  Will OpenDoc be supported? Calling Zen Application from other reports or apps passing parameters

A: yes, it’s on the 1.1 plan

Q: Is the java stack required in BW, or does the java stack in BOBJ sufficient to use Design Studio?

A: no Java stack on NW required

Q: when is the General Release planned for this product

A:  GA planned mid November

Q:  Any timeline for IP/PAK support?

A: planned for 1.2 (Q4 2013)

Q: Will there be any new Service on BOE Side specificto ZEN ??

A:  it’s an add-on and you can manage ZEN content on BOE as nny other BI tool

Q: is the ScriptEditor a language on its own..looks like what we use in BPC but little different

A: it’s a subset of JavaScript; Script Editor is using the sub set of Java script, called xtext

Q:  Since replacement for dashboards is it covered if you are licensed for Xcelsius/Dashboard Builder?

A: you need to check with your account manager

Q: How will this work with Mobile BI?

A: Save design app on server, add MobI tag, then become visible on MobI application

Attend Eric Schemer’s SAP TechEd lecture on SAP BusinessObjects Analysis and Design Studio for SAP NetWeaver BW

next week in Las Vegas.

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      Author's profile photo Éric Ledu
      Éric Ledu

      and another great blog !

      Thx Tammy 🙂


      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      Blog Post Author

      Éric Ledu

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Eric


      Author's profile photo Carlo Van Dooren
      Carlo Van Dooren

      Can we call WebServices or ABAP Function Module from Design Studio ?

      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      Blog Post Author

      Carlo - I am not sure, quite honest!  I will try to ask next week at TechEd.

      Author's profile photo Stéphane Romand
      Stéphane Romand

      Like with the WAD :

      - Is it possible to export in XLS / CSV format?

      - User can he generate et reuse bookmarks?

      - When we use the same data source for a croostab and a chart, can we select a different range of data for each?

      Thank you for your informations.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      > Q:  Any timeline for IP/PAK support?

      > A: planned for 1.2 (Q4 2013)

      Sad, many customers waiting this.  So they can use Design Studio only in  2014.

      Author's profile photo Matej Kocbek
      Matej Kocbek

      Can we expect more analytic component (more chart, maps... components like in Xcelsius) and if when or in which version of ZEN?

      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      Blog Post Author

      Matej Kocbek

      Hello, thank you for reading.  As I am an SAP customer it would be better to post this question in the discussion forum for SAP to read and respond.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Tammy,

      Thanks for this blog.  I attend the ASUG presentation yesterday but forgot to ask this question:

      With WAD/BEx Web Query, there is a restriction where you can only connect the BW Java with only one BW ABAP system.  With Design Studio, will it be possible to connect multple BW ABAP systems to one Design Studio system?  I was thinking that I can connect the BW framework in the backend ECC and CRM ABAP systems as well as the BW ABAP system so that I can do operational reporting using Design Studio.


      Mel Calucin

      Bentley Systems

      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Mel - please post this as a question in the discussion forum - you can connect to what is ever on the SAP logon pad or what is in the BI platform as an OLAP connection.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member