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Author's profile photo David Stocker

The Future of Design Studio Platform Development

As part of our post Design Studio 1.6 roadmap rollout, was something that many people have noticed; that future platform development will be concentrated on the BI Platform.

What this means

  • New development is focused on the BI Platform.  This concentration of development resources means that the vast majority of our customers, who are on the BIP, will see accelerated functionality development.
  • The other platforms are still maintained; they just don’t get new features.   There has been some confusion on this point, so let me be clear; If a customer is live with a NW scenario now, we’re not pulling the plug on them.  They’ll just have to use the BIP if they want to add a new scenario (e.g. Scheduling or Smart Object) in the future.
  • Existing Netweaver and Hana XS server packages will continue to be maintained as per our standard maintenance policy.  E.g. Scheduling, which is currently planned as one of the major 2016 topics,, will also only ever come to the BIP.

  • Connectivity to Hana views is unaffected!  Hana is and will remain a flagship data source and we even added the ability to consume attribute views in 1.6.  Only the location where the .biapp file is stored and served from is affected.

Why we made this decision

It is no accident that we actively seek customer feedback on our roadmaps, so that we can prioritize the functionality most desired by our customers.  The choice of a server platform, or multiple server platforms is one of these cases.  Let’s step back in time a few years, to the early days of Design Studio.  One of Design Studio’s earliest roles was to be a “better BEx”.  If one were to survey our customer landscape then, they would see no clear consensus as to which platform was preferred.  A majority of our customers used the BIP then, but a plurality of customers were using pure Netweaver environments.

Now, three years later, we are looking at a changed customer landscape.  Most Design Studio customers who were running pure Netweaver landscapes now use the BIP for a variety of reasons. At least 90% of our customers worldwide use the BIP.  Having such a clear a platform consensus means that we can feel comfortable concentrating development on that one platform.  We have a responsibility to our customers, to build a better Design Studio for the largest possible number of customers and rather than slowly develop functionality on multiple platforms, we can maximize progress where the customers are.

Concentrating new functionality development on the BIP means that the 90% will see accelerated functionality development.  The rest can continue with their existing scenarios.  We’re confident that the improved functionality will also entice them to make the switch.

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      Author's profile photo Michael Howles
      Michael Howles

      Hey Dave,

      I appreciate the post sharing the rationale behind narrowing focus down to the majority customer base.  I'm excited that this means that there will be a quicker development cycle as a result.  This is a mixture of good and bad news.  I assume the decision was a tough one.

      However I can't help but empathize/sympathize with customers and partners (whether that be 10%, 5% or 25%) who made the decision to deploy on HANA or NetWeaver.  I suppose we'll see these options complete their lifecycle and die of natural maintenance causes.  (R.I.P.)

      Speaking of ceasing work on HANA deployment, I couldn't help but also note the similarity of a post about the same here for Lumira Server:

      Hello SAP Lumira Server for BI Platform. Goodbye SAP Lumira Server for HANA and SAP Lumira Cloud.

      So again, I'm very happy that we fall in the 90% but I'm sure this will be an adjustment for those who went HANA-only.  🙁

      Author's profile photo Daniel Klein
      Daniel Klein

      ...or like to go S4/HANA-only.

      I feels like Microsoft saying "Outlook will only get new functions on XP. Win7 and Win10 development is discontinued"...

      Author's profile photo Alfons Gonzalez Comas
      Alfons Gonzalez Comas

      Hi Dave,

      To focus SAP Design Studio development efforts in the BusinessObjects (BI) Platform sounds as a smart and natural choice for us (as we are old BO users with no other SAP tools in our IT-ecosystem) but after this point our concerns about future of DS comes regards to support to non-SAP BW users.

      I mean: DS is a good tool that was primarily developed to replace Bex Web. This goal seems that was clearly achieved.

      On the other hand SAP also stated that DS was the replacement of Xcelsius/Dashboard Design as the SAP Dashboard flagship tool. That's the point. I am quite sure that BW users will agree with this statement but non-BW users (e.g: UNX queries) clearly won't.

      I mean: currently Design Studio is a tool with 2 faces/targets: SAP BW users enjoys a set of capabilities/features that are out of scope of SAP-agnostic sources users (e.g: relational databases). I could give you several samples (bookmarking, conditional formatting,.....).

      This situation was supposed to be mitigated as well as tool evolved (1.0 -> 1.6) but after 2 years after DS launch we are not yet able to do with DS sample things (e.g: a table with condirtional formatting) what we were able to do with Xcelsius.

      Obviously we could try to maintain Xcelsius but sounds frustrating to invest time and efforts on a tool that all we know will disappear and not being able to replace them with DS only because we are not using BW data sources.

      Any hope that situation was to improve?