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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

Book Report: Master SAP BusinessObjects BI4 Feature Pack 3

This is the third edition of Cindi Howson’s BusinessObjects book and it has been updated for BI4 Feature Pack 3 (published by McGraw-Hill).  It is available today on Amazon and in the Kindle format.


In this book she covers what is new in BI4, with special focus on the Information Design Tool in detail, describing the differences in the BI4 Information Design Tool (IDT) and the Universe Designer available in XI 3.1.  This is very in-depth on universe design, with 12 chapters on this topic.  She covers in detail one of the key new features of BI4, the multi-source universe.

She explains concepts such as aggregate awareness, chasm traps, and fan traps.  For those like me who do not come from a classic BusinessObjects background this book is useful for understanding the Information Design Tool. For those who do have a BusinessObjects background she does review the differences between the BI4 FP3 IDT and the deprecated features. 

Using the familiar eFashion database and Island Resorts the reader can try the steps listed in the book and follow along.  She also covers OLAP universes for MSAS, she has a chapter on security, and explains the Lifecycle Management process in –depth.  I particularly like the chapter on universe documentation, integrity and how to do quality assurance on universes.

As someone one famously said (can you guess who) that  ”Web Intelligence is in a relationship with the universe” she also covers 7 chapters on Web Intelligence.   For someone like me who does not use Web Intelligence these chapters were useful.  She has a detailed chart showing a comparison from DeskI, all versions of Web Intelligence up to BI4.

There is also a chapter on the BI Launchpad that includes BI Workspaces, “a departmental or personal scorecard”.   The book has 4 chapters on BI4 dashboards and the latest new features with connecting to a BEx query. 

In most chapters there are pros and cons of options provided, so you can decide which option fits best for you.  I learned a great deal about the Universe and Web Intelligence in this book, and it includes the latest features in BI4.

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