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Overview.

The aim of this document is to provide you with an overview of the main functional differences that exist between all the Web Intelligence clients, based on the latest release:  SAP BusinessObjects BI4.2 SP03.

The list is not complete: some other minor differences exist.

It concerns following: 

– Web Intelligence HTML client (web);

– Web Intelligence Applet interface (Rich Internet Application);

– Web Intelligence Rich Client (desktop);

 

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Content.

1 – Setting up and using Web Intelligence.

2 – Creating and working with documents.

3 – Building queries.

4 – Creating reports.

5 – Publishng, formatting and sharing reports.

 

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1 – Setting up and using Web Intelligence

Feature HTML interface Applet interface Rich Client
Use Web Intelligence locally and offline Yes (*)
Use RTL alignment based on the Preferred viewing locale setting Yes Yes

(*) You can install “Web Intelligence Rich Client” from a BusinessObjects BI Client 4.1 CD.

2 – Creating and working with documents

Feature HTML interface Applet interface Rich Client
Select a folder in which local documents and universes are stored by default on your local machine Yes Yes
Edit and refresh a document using a universe Yes Yes Yes
Refresh a document using a BEx query Yes Yes Yes
Edit a document using a BEx query Yes Yes Yes
Refresh a document using an Advanced Analysis View Yes Yes Yes
Edit a document using an Advanced Analysis View Yes Yes
Refresh a document using a text source Yes (*) Yes (*) Yes
Edit a document using a text source Yes
Refresh a document using a web service data source Yes Yes
Edit a document using a web service data source Yes
Send a Web Intelligence document to another user in the CMS Yes Yes
Send a Web Intelligence document by FTP Yes Yes
Export a document as a CSV file Yes Yes Yes
Export a document as a CSV archive file Yes
Save a document as a CSV archive file Yes Yes
Export a document as a PDF, text, Excel or Excel 2007 file Yes
Save a document as a PDF, text, Excel or Excel 2007 file Yes Yes
Print documents to My Favorites folder Export to PDF first Yes Yes
Save a document to the corporate repository Yes Yes Yes
Autosave documents to My Favorites folder Yes Yes

(*) If the Text file has previously been copied into the BusinessObjects Enterprise Platform.

3 – Building queries

Feature HTML interface Applet interface Rich Client
Work with hierarchies Yes Yes Yes
Build queries on universes Yes Yes Yes
Select all the members at a level in a hierarchy that is organized into levels Yes Yes Yes
Build queries on Advanced Analysis Views Yes Yes
Build queries on Excel files saved locally Yes
Build queries on Excel files saved to the CMS (*) Yes Yes Yes (**)
Build queries on BEx queries Yes Yes Yes
Build queries on text files Yes
Access Data mode Yes Yes
Access the Change Source options in the Data Access table Yes Yes Yes
Change the data source of queries based on text and Excel files. Yes Yes
For OLAP .unx universes, when filtering on measures, you can only type a constant. Yes Yes

(*) New in BI4.1 SP02 : “MS Excel” files have to be exported first into the “BI LaunchPad” for Life Cycle management.

(**) New in BI4.1 SP02 : the “WebI Rich Client” can perform a Change Data Source for the MS Excel files from “Stored Locally” to “Stored in CMS”.

4 – Creating reports

Feature HTML interface Applet interface Rich Client
Access a “Highlight All” button in the “Find” box to highlight all occurrences of a text string in a report page. Yes Yes
Apply custom formats to numbers in tables Yes Yes Yes
Create and edit conditional formatting Yes  Yes Yes

5 – Publishing, formatting and sharing reports

Feature HTML interface Applet interface Rich Client
Set a hyperlink to another document in the CMS Yes, with a wizard Yes, no wizard Yes, no wizard
Publish content as a web service Yes Yes

 

 

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29 Comments

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  1. Mark Prosser

    Interesting. I would imagine that conditional formatting and custom number formats are the big blockers for not using the html version. They’re certainly the most prohibitive basedon my current set of reports that I’m working with and barring non-standard data access techniques, I can’t see any other major issues. Hopefully they’ll be seen as priority tweaks in the next release.

    (0) 
  2. Mikhail Budilov

    Hi Gregory.

    Is there any plans to add

    Access Data mode, Access the Change Source options in the Data Access table

    to Webi webi (HTML interface)?HTML interface)

    (0) 
  3. Carol Rouse

    Hi Gregory,

    I discovered another difference between Web and Rich Internet Application today.

    I have built derived tables which depend on a date prompt and I did not add separate LOV for these fields.

    In Rich Internet application ,  when I choose Values for selecting Store Number

    • Webi defaults to the date prompt first in the list on the left ‘Prompts Summary’.
    • and I have to choose the Storeno In Listfor LOV on the left ‘Prompts Summary’ list.
    • Then the list of store numbers auto refreshes
    • and I can key in searches of choose from any number from the LOV.

    My business user preference is Web (No download required)  because it loads faster.

    When building the same query  and trying the same LOV search,

    • Webi defaults to the Storeno In List in the ‘Prompts Summary’ (this is still second in the list)   with a Red Arrow to the left of the wording pointing to it.
    • Webi  first gives message in LOV ‘List of Values for current prompt requires values for following prompts: 
    • When you click refresh Values ,  then Webi returns ‘Undefined’.

    Any ideas on how to make a prompted derived file allow search on LOV in Web Intelligence preference?

    (0) 
  4. Michael Welter

    Very useful information. Thanks. I have a question. What is meant by the footnote:

    New in BI4.1 SP02 : “MS Excel” files have to be exported first into the “BI LaunchPad” for Life Cycle management.

    (0) 
    1. Gregory BOTTICCHIO Post author

      Hi.

      With now the ability to create a WebI doc on an Excel file with the “Webi Rich Internet Application” (Webi Java Applet), we have enhanced the life cycle for such Excel files.

      To do this, 1st/ They have to be uploaded into the BILaunchPad, 2nd/ We have a new option which is “REPLACE FILE” that will keep the CUID of the Excel file, and so ,keep the link WebI<>Excel file.

      Hope it is clear … 

      Gregory

      (0) 
  5. Stephane Lo Pinto

    Hi

    Saving a document as a WID file granted with Rich Client is not supported neither with HTML interface nor Applet interface

    This very important feature should be allowed in BI LaunchPad !

    Best regards

    (0) 
  6. Wayne Lambert

    Why doesn’t SAP just update the HTML version so that is can do everything that the Java and Rich Client versions can? The HTML version is cleaner to use since it is an integrated web interface and isn’t temperamental like the Java version which requires the correct version of Java, etc. It can sometimes be a challenge to get hte most up-to-date version in a corporate environment where they seem to be six months or so behind the most recent market release.

    It would be great if BusinessObjects enabled the management of a spreadsheet style grid within the software itself without having to upload or reupload spreadsheets in place.

    Conditioning formatting, custom number formats, migration of queries between different universes, saving as rather than exporting are all regular features that I use in the Java version that I wouldn’t use the Java version for if it were built into the HTML version.

    (0) 
    1. Merlijn Ekkel

      Hi Wayne,

      This is high on our priority list for the next minor releaseThe plan for parity between JAVA and HTML is in the pipeline for a Support Pack in BI4.2 (starting with SP02 for BI4.2).

      Please bear with us for some more months to drive the development into the direction of HTML first.

      regards

      Merlijn

      (0) 
      1. Wayne Lambert

        Can’t wait Merlijn, the HTML version is so much more stable. In my opinion, if the HTML version did everything the Java one did, then you could get rid of the Java version completely. My guess is that SAP could reduce the number of support tickets they get considerably by moving to HTML. You would also be able to develop the product much faster since you wouldn’t have to worry about developing different versions of the product and keeping them in parity.

        Do SAP have a roadmap which gives estimated delivery dates for each of the forthcoming versions and support packs?

        (0) 
          1. Kashif Ansari

            Hi Merlijn Ekkel,

            It has been more than 3 months since your comment. Wondering if you have any new updates to share? The JRE update is a big pain.

            Any designated Service pack which will resolve the parity issue completely?

            Regards,

            Kashif

            (0) 
            1. Merlijn Ekkel

              Hi Kashif,

              Parity of tof HTML with JAVA is currently planned for the first Support Pack after the 4.2 GA release..

              this is however subject to change, but as mentioned.. high on our list to be completed.

              (0) 

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