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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 Update and BI4.x Roadmap ASUG Webcast – Part 2

Part 1 of this blog is here.  This session covered other capabilities are not released as the 4.1 suite but you will start to see them throughout the year.  The usual disclaimer applies that things discussed (including the items below) in this ASUG webcast are subject change.


Source: SAP

Please note these are my notes taken during the webcast.


Figure 1: Source: SAP

Figure 1 shows a new tool that is “unique” and “quite exciting” says Ty Miller, SAP.

It is a native, intuitive search & exploration experience on Hana

Hana has an application language called XS allows you to create applications on top of Hana platform

One of those applications is a Data Discovery,  native on hana web-based consumption / mobile experience

Visual Intelligence will also be a will be part of that, allowing you to create data and visualizations

It is native on Hana and you will leverage the speed and also the application layer is on Hana you can leverage the speed.  It is optimized for the web and tablet. 

Visual Intelligence will be used for the creation of content consumed


Figure 2: Source: SAP

First iteration of this data discovery which is native on Hana will be the cloud.  Cloud Analytics powered by Hana is now in beta

This will allow you to synchronize  with Hana Cloud and consume via tablet based experience

It is using Hana native calculation engine & application layer and gives you a new BI focused around data discovery.


Figure 3: Source: SAP

Visual Intelligence is on a 6-8 weeks release cycle.  1.08 of Visual Intelligence release is coming up.

SAP is adding the acquisition of more data sources, more formats, ability to have control over the charts and formatting, create user defined views without scripting coding.

SAP is adding in the future will include annotation in results and share with colleagues – on premise or cloud based


Figure 4: Source: SAP

Figure 4 shows Predictive Analysis

Predictive Analysis is a super-set of Visual Intelligence.

It uses the same code base as Visual Intelligence

It can take advantage of Visual Intelligence connections – a .UNV, .UNX, direct SQL connection, connect Hana, etc.

In the future they are adding a predictive wizard and visualizations and more R algorithms


Figure 5: Source: SAP

Analysis for Office (similar to Visual Intelligence, Predictive Analysis, Design Studio) has its own release schedule and is not part of 4.1

Coming this year is the ability is the ability to broadcast and schedule workbooks

You will see more integration with Design Studio

Also coming this year is the ability to create mobile apps off Excel workbooks

SAP is adding the flexibility around grids and layouts of worksheets


Figure 6: Source: SAP

For Design Studio they are working on universe-based data sources (Analysis Office is as well)

It will have a richer visualization and components

As a premium alternative to BEx Web Application Designer, Design Studio will offer a  deeper integration into the SAP landscape


Figure 7: Source: SAP

For Web Intelligence, a number of API’s are being made available to interface and additional RESTful based API’s at both the UI level and data processing

It will have the ability to connect Web Intelligence along with Crystal for Enterprise, Dashboards directly against Analytic Views (skipping universe requirements)

You will also be able to use query stripping/parallelization for better performance of Web Intelligence against SAP Hana

You will be able to do a preview of a Web Intelligence to see the Mobile BI view in design time experience


Figure 8: Source: SAP

Crystal for Enterprise has new platform support, for example connect to Hana via SAML

Like Web Intelligence will be able to Hana analytic view connection without the universe

For Mobile, today, Crystal in Mobile BI is a native Crystal document


Figure 9: Source: SAP

Figure 9 shows the continued innovation of XCelsius dashboards for Mobile.

SAP Design Studio will take on more data connectivity for consumption in a Mobile BI environment.

For Web Intelligence being able to ranking, charting, and track changes on the mobile device.

BusinessObjects Explorer integrated into single mobile BI client


Figure 10: Source: SAP

Figure 10 shows you have unique ways to visualize data such as tag clouds, heat maps, bubble charts, and geo-spatial capabilities


Figure 11: Source: SAP

Figure 11 shows collaboration with BI

SAP started this with StreamWork, a cloud based collaboration platform.

SAP acquired SuccessFactors, and part of that is a platform called Jam.  Jam is taking over the activity-based collaborationof StreamWork – integration will be with Jam in the future.  You can comment on BI content in the document or the BI Launchpad on a BI object or instance.


Figure 12: Source: SAP

Figure 12 shows improved specifics integration of the BI suite with SAP BW and ERP.

SAP is looking to add back authored universes on a limited set of BEx 7.3 queries for the universe aware tools such as Crystal for Enterprise, Web Intelligence, Dashboards and BusinessObjects Explorer. You must be on BW 730.

It expects to improve performance design time for universe aware tools against BW

SAP will merge prompts into one place for Analysis for OLAP

Variable variants – save prompts for public and private use – consume those with Analysis OLAP and Design Studio

Office-based Analysis against BW will have the ability to broadcast and schedule workbooks.

Please see the recently updated Roadmap for SAP integration with BI here  (Service Market Place logon required)

Key Resources, provided by Ty Miller:

Getting started with SAP BusinessObjects BI Solutions

BI4 Upgrade Resources

How to Select the Right BI Tool

E-learning product tutorials


SAP’s Release Strategy for Major Releases of SAP BusinessObjects BI

SAP Named Worldwide Market Share Leader for Business Intelligence

Also here is the tweetdoc of the the webcast.

Subset of Question & Answer:

Q:  When is general availabilty date of 4.1?

A: GA dates are based on ramp-up and 4.1 is not in rampup yet  


Q:  If you are just starting development of Dashboards, would Design Studio be the better choice for that?

            A:  If BW is the main data source, that is what SAP recommends


Q:  What about Bobj? for Dashboards?

          A:  Here is the SAP statement of direction on dashboards


Q:  What about BICS connection if we wanted to eliminate universes? we are on BI4 and we are having issues with this…has this been enhanced?

          A: Today you still need the universe to connect to BW with Explorer (depending on landscape)


Q:  we are in BI4.0. If we decide to upgrade to BI4.1, what are the key points to consider?

  A:  He covered you could do a new install with 4.1 or an “in place” upgrade  


Q:  WebI – Can Input controls/Filters perform filtering across multiple reports in a document

          A:  Merging Prompts will allow this now   


Q:  you have to be on xir3 sp6 to use deski?  we are on xir3 sp4, so that will not work?

          A:  Please see for details  


Q:  When will Visual Intelligence has a 32-bit client?

          A:  That has been available since November 1.07  


Q:  For mobile BI- Are there plans to support the mobile Win8 OS?  If so, when will the be available?

          A:  Yes this year  


Q:  What is the future of Live Office (Is Analysis Office replacing)?

            A:  Working on how to continue Live Office – as today and more Analysis Office will have those capabilities (e.g. connect to the Universe)   ;  working on a combination of what we have today and extend to Analysis Office.  Office integration roadmap coming in the next few months  


For sure BI4.1 will be covered at ASUG Annual Conference this year and BI 2013 in March in Las Vegas.

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