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Design Studio – Commentary Solution for Dashboards

    Design Studio is an exciting place to be now. It has come a long way since I used it one and a half years back. From a developer’s nightmare to a developer’s delight and there are no signs of it stopping now. With the release of 1.6 it looks even more promising and it gets better with what there is in the pipeline. Please do take some time out to read what Tom Bruce has to say on 1.6 SAP Design Studio 1.6 – increased analysis and reduced complexity if you want to get updated quickly.

       I will restrict myself to a very unique challenge we face with one of our very prestigious customers. The need of the hour is to have a commentary solution around dashboards and it is
about KPI level dashboards to be more particular. Over the past few months we have been weighing different solutions. Initially, I thought I might have a very challenging job in hand but soon I realized that there are quite a few options. As I researched more on the subject I found more need for such a solution. That is one of the reasons why I am writing this blog to spread the message that yes , not only can it be done but can be done handsomely and effectively.

     There are many options to have a commentary solution going for one’s organization. Each having its merit and demerit. We can build our own SDK or have and RDS solution which is plug and play (I would like to believe this). I will try to present what SAP plans to do with design studio itself,  in the future related to commentary. As most of you know with 4.2 we have a commentary going for WebI reports, SAP now plans to extend it to Design Studio  Applications too. We will have to wait and see if they get released by end of 2016. This will help you in framing a roadmap for dashboards.

  1. Can we have commentary like WebI in Design Studio?
    1. Yes, the future plan, for design studio,  is to have comments like WebI in BI 4.2  release ( BI 4.2 might be available in Q1 2016). SAP would leverage BI 4.2 to save and manage comments on the BI Platform.
  2. Can the comments be available for other tools like a WebI report?
    1. Yes, the comments added in the design studio application can be seen in a WebI reports with the same context.
  3. Can we have workflows in commentary solution?
    1. There are no short term plans for a workflow. We can expect comment conversations using threads. The focus would be to have commentary on collaborative, agile self-service situations.
  4. Can the comments be context based?
    1. The comments should have a data context and the plan is that the application designer can flexibly define which variables, dimensions filters or other user selections form the data context.
    2. The comments can be page-level  and cell/data  point-level.
  5. Is there any restriction on the length of the commentary?
    1. There will be no restriction on the length.
  6. What kind of format will it support?
    1. It will support basic formats for the time being.
  7. In-place commentary
    1. The solution would provide in-place commentary where users will be able to write the comment on the application itself.
    2. You will have the choice to place it in a separate window also.
  8. Can multiple people comment at the same time?
    1. Yes, it should be possible for multiple people to comment at the same time, such as collaborative commenting.
  9. Can it be integrated with Live Office?
    1. Not planned as yet.

I will be discussing various options for commentary using Design Studio in my up-coming blogs. Stay tuned! You may find these links useful

  1. SAP Design Studio 1.6 Release Information
  2. SAP Design Studio Solution Ideas
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