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SAP BusinessObjects SDKs: The Next Wave

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

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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.

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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.

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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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