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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

Dashboard Migrator to Design Studio – Recent Webcast

SAP’s Ian Mayor was part of this APOS webcast.  He said the usual disclaimer applies that things are subject to change. I won’t repeat what was already covered Design Studio Overview Roadmap EMEA Webcast – Includes Design Studio 1.3 Details and BI2014 Design Studio 1.3 Planned Updates

Ian said that Design Studio 1.3 is planned to be released at the end of May (roughly)

Dashboard Migrator


Figure 1: Source: APOS

APOS Dashboard Migration was released recently

Another release this past week, a new version.

It enables XCelsius content in Design Studio

The reasons to develop are because many organizations have assets in XCelsius and want to find a way to use that content as they transition to Design Studio


Figure 2: Source: APOS

In this webcast APOS reviewed use case scenarios

This supports HTML5 and SWF dashboards

Will you support dashboards on an iOS device?  Yes

You can pass parameters from Design Studio to an XCelsius dashboard

Phase 2 has expanded – HTML5, and bring SWF – SWF will not display on iOS

HTML5 is supported

Phase 2 (in Figure 2) allows bi-directional parameters and enhanced data transfer is supported


Figure 3: Source: APOS

Figure 3 shows how the migrator looks in a Design Studio design.


Figure 4: Source: APOS

Figure 4 shows Design Studio run-time with an embedded dashboard.


Figure 5: Source: APOS

Figure 5 shows how the Dashboard Migrator works and handles the view control in the Design Studio application

It communicates with Java bridge which communicates to BI using the SDK

Use Scenarios


Figure 6: Source: APOS

Figure 6 use cases “removes need to recreate this content”

Different skill sets are required

They want to leverage the skill sets

You can use components in XCelsius model

Ian said he is asked when will Design Studio have all components that XCelsius has?  With over 100 components, they are working to close the gap


Figure 7: Source: APOS

With Design Studio, move away from spreadsheet model and data at runtime


Figure 8: Source: APOS

XCelsius works with smaller datasets

Design Studio works likely large datasets from HANA/BW.  You can pass filters to Design Studio


Figure 9: Source: APOS

Figure 9 use case covers legacy data source connections.  The example provided was Qwaas; they said several have invested into Qwaas


Figure 10: Source: APOS

Figure 10 is a demo of the migrator.


Figure 11: Source: APOS

Figure 11 is another sample demo.


Figure 12: Source: APOS

Figure 12 is another use case to use third party XCelsius components.

Here is a video


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      Author's profile photo Mustafa Bensan
      Mustafa Bensan

      Hi Tammy,

      Thanks for the informative post.  It's certainly an interesting concept, which reminds me of Flash Islands for embedding Xcelsius objects into Web Dynpro and Visual Composer applications in the past.

      I'm going to play devil's advocate with the following questions and comments related to the various use cases:

      Use Case 1:  Use of analytic components from pre-existing Xcelsius dashboards to eliminate the need to build them in Design Studio

      This seems to offer an alternative to developing components with the Design Studio SDK.  While this approach may require less effort in the short-term compared to developing Design Studio SDK components, ultimately I think it generates more rework because these embedded Xcelsius components will eventually need to be replaced anyway with either standard or custom SDK components.  Embedding Xcelsius components in Design Studio simply perpetuates the reliance on Xcelsius as a legacy product rather facilitating a true migration away from Xcelsius to Design Studio;

      Use Case 2:  The ability to allow 'what-if' analysis currently not available in Design Studio

      One of Xcelsius' advantages has been the sophisticated, yet easy to implement 'what-if' analysis capability based on an Excel calculation engine.  Considering SAP's communications so far, it seems unlikely that a comparable calculation engine will be introduced in Design Studio.   Such what-if analysis would need to be developed via scripting in Design Studio.  Even if the scripting capabilities are enhanced in Design Studio, replicating the more sophisticated what-if scenarios are likely to be much more complex and not always possible in Design Studio.  So again, as in Use Case 1, I think there is the risk that reliance on Xcelsius is actually perpetuated instead of moving away from it;

      Use Case 3:  Using an Xcelsius analytic as a filter against Design Studio

      Admittedly, Design Studio does have the capability to handle larger data sets compared to Xcelsius.  If the existing filter components in Design Studio are not sufficient, then I would think a more effective approach would be to develop them with the Design Studio SDK, or wait for new enhanced standard components to be developed, rather than risking the inevitable rework that will be necessary when the time comes for a complete transition to Design Studio;

      Use Case 4:  Ability to utilize legacy data source connections from Xcelsius

      As in the given example, Qwaas has been a popular and effective data connectivity method applied in Xcelsius.  Many of the important connectivity methods are already covered by Design Studio.  However, I think if SAP were to give greater priority to new connectivity methods, such as BI Services, this would address the requirements of Qwaas users and also facilitate a more direct transition to Design Studio;

      Use Case 5:  Ability to continue use of 3rd-party or in-house custom Xcelsius components

      While it may require more effort to begin with, I would say that in the long-term it would make more sense for developers to simply port these custom components to the Design Studio SDK, again to facilitate a more direct transition to Design Studio rather than simply deferring the issue and risking inevitable rework in future.  I think the Design Studio SDK has great potential for innovation.  If SAP is able to accelerate ironing out some of the kinks in this SDK and enhance it's features, this would certainly aid in a quicker transition from Xcelsius to Design Studio.


      The above are my own opinions for the purposes of feedback and discussion.  In my view, creating hybrid Design Studio applications with embedded Xcelsius dashboards merely delays the transition and actually creates a risk of additional work down the track.

      Furthermore, such hybrid applications may detract from the user experience because the mixed styling and interactivity may result in an inconsistent look and feel.

      Also, given SAP's promotion of the APOS Dashboard Migrator, I'd be interested to know if SAP still intends to provide their own conversion utility to migrate Xcelsius dashboards to Design Studio?  Considering the complexity involved in the Xcelsius Excel engine and the likely heavy reliance of most dashboards on this, it seems that it would not be feasible (or at the very least extremely difficult) to develop a meaningful direct conversion utility, and that ultimately legacy Xcelsius dashboards will simply need to be manually recreated in Design Studio.

      I'll leave it at that as food for thought.



      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Mustafa,

      Thank you for your thoughtful reply.  That reply should be a blog in itself. 🙂

      I haven't used XCelsius in a while and I totally forgot about "Flash Islands".

      I don't have answers to any of the above.  I think this one:

      Mustafa Bensan wrote:

      Also, given SAP's promotion of the APOS Dashboard Migrator, I'd be interested to know if SAP still intends to provide their own conversion utility to migrate Xcelsius dashboards to Design Studio?

      I'll try to ask SAP at the ASUG May 6 Design Studio webcast What's New in Design Studio 1.3


      Author's profile photo Mustafa Bensan
      Mustafa Bensan

      Thanks Tammy.  I guess I can get a bit passionate about some topics 😀