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Update: The 2014 version of this article can be found at SAP BI SDKs: Developing the Next Generation of BI Applications


By Terry Penner, April 2013

There are only 10 kinds of people in this world: those who know binary and those who don’t.

If you’re still reading, congratulations!  You must be a developer, and this blog posting is for you.

In this post, I’ll share with you some of our key developer priorities in the next wave of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence product releases, focusing on SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence, SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, SAP Visual Intelligence, SAP BusinessObjects Mobile, CVOM visualizations, and SAP BusinessObjects Semantic Layer Universes.

Developer integrations have been critical to SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) product success since the earliest days of SAP Crystal Reports integrations into Visual Basic. Currently, SAP BusinessObjects BI products are linked with more than 7,000 major independent software vendors, OEMs, resellers, and consulting partners, and are deployed in 80% of the Fortune 500.

Key Developer Activities – Design and Enrich

Developers create solutions for end users. When we talk with developers, core activities can usually be divided into two main areas: Design and Enrich.


Typically, the higher the business value of the solution, the more control developers require over the entire user experience.   The design control can be accomplished visually through a graphical user interface, or it can be accomplished through code. 

Developers often want to include externally created visual assets such as specialized charts or 3-D models.  Developers usually need to link to external security or directory services, such as LDAP or Sybase Unwired Platform.  In today’s mobile and cloud-enabled world, developers also require core BI technologies to work with many different development platforms, often through RESTful Web Services and JavaScript APIs.

SAP BusinessObjects BI Developer Priorities

Each of our developer priorities for the next wave of SAP BusinessObjects BI releases reflects these key scenarios.

SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence (WebI) is planning to release an enhanced REST API in 4.0 SP6 to allow full customization and embedding of WebI documents in nearly any development environment.   The Product team is also working on allowing developers to simplify and customize the WebI User Interface in an upcoming release. You can check out some early demos on our SAP SDN site.

CVOM is SAP’s HTML5 common visualization library used in our Analytics products and throughout SAP via SAP UI5.  The planned CVOM extensions SDK will allow anyone to integrate exciting new visualizations into SAP Visual Intelligence, and in the near future, SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and nearly any other SAP product that supports CVOM. SAP Visual Intelligence support for CVOM extensions is planned for an upcoming release in Q2 2013.

SAP BusinessObjects Mobile (Mobi) is planning to release a customization SDK very soon so developers can customize the Mobile User Interface. In a later update, Mobi is planning to support extensions allowing integration with Third Party mobile apps.

SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio is planning to support third party add-ins in the 1.2 release later this year (subject to change), allowing exciting technologies like 3D modeling and advanced HTML5 controls to integrate into the SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio experience.

The SAP Crystal Reports product family continues to enhance already deep SDK support for Visual Studio, Eclipse and RESTful Web Services.

The Semantic Layer team is planning to open up Universe connectivity to partners in an upcoming service pack (exact time frame still to be determined).  This Universe Consumption SDK is planned to allow client applications to connect directly to universes via Web Service.  The Semantic Layer Authoring SDK for creating and modifying universes will also continue to be expanded and enhanced. 

2013 will be an exciting year for developers working with the SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions.  We look forward to shared success as we build great customer solutions together.


Terry Penner is responsible for driving developer, visualization and geospatial strategy across the SAP BusinessObjects
BI product suite.  During the past 12 years, Terry has held roles as product owner, developer and solution manager in the SAP BusinessObjects product team.

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    1. Terry Penner Post author

      Hello Atul,

      The charting in sap.viz.ui5 is indeed provided by the CVOM library.  CVOM is also used in many different SAP products, including Visual Intelligence and Design Studio.

      – Terry

  1. Lars Schubert

    Hi Terry,

    we are developing a charting library in HTML5 for Design Studio and are very interested in further informations on the SDK for CVOM.

    I remember a tweet from Thierry Audas:

    “indeed 1st version of HTML5 CVOM SDK planned for #SAPVisi 1.0.10 late April. Feedback will be very welcome.”

    But I do not find any documentation or infos on this. Could you help us?

    Thanks, Lars

        1. Terry Penner Post author

          Hi Lars and Tammy,

          The CVOM Charting Extensions SDK is rapidly iterating.  We are planning several SDK improvements in the upcoming SAP Visi 1.0.11 (better PNG image support, easier databinding, more flexible SVG container options, improved documentation and samples).   You should see more documentation and samples included with that release. 

          As Tammy says, your comments and suggestions are very welcome in the Lumira discussion space.

          – Terry

  2. Teuku Faruq

    Do you have any case study where the SDK become important and critical? I always feel like the standard already enough to cover the client’s need. Thank you..

  3. Former Member

    We are looking for consuming BO Universe content from outside BO tool for a long, very long time… What can we do to be part of the Universe Consumption SDK definition, exploration et testing (beta) ???

      1. Former Member

        Hi Terry,

        Thanks for the quick reply – looking forward for the documentation to see what will be available in this first release. Also, do you know if it is plan to be also made available in an SP of BI 4.0 ?

  4. Former Member

    Hi Terry,

    We are looking to expose BW data with RESTful Web Services. We are using BW 3.5 (with BWA).

    What are the version requirements for BW to connect to it from Universe Consumption SDK in the BO 4.1 SP2 release?



      1. Former Member

        Hi Terry,

        Thank you for your reply.

        We’ve considered use of SAP Netweaver Gateway as well other options like ICF. But then it will result in different ways to expose Data Services for BW vs. BO Universe data sources. ODATA as well generate some payload overhead, which should be minimized for mobile applications.

        We are planning to move next year to the new version of BW. I’d like to make sure that we will move to the one, which will satisfy Universe Consumption SDK in the BO 4.1 SP2 requirements.


    1. Terry Penner Post author

      Product Team is still investigating this, but there are some technical challenges due to the way WebI and the HTML5 version of CVOM are architected and we can’t commit to it.


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