I am sure several of you have been in a situation where you simply wanted to do a quick prototype and wanted to show your business user how the dashboard good look like in SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and what is possible from a look and feel and from a user experience point of view…. and then you faced the situation that not all the data that you were looking for was already available in SAP BW or in SAP HANA.
Another familiar situation could be the need to be able to use some data from an existing spreadsheet as part of the overall design because some of the critical information that you need as part of the dashboard is not in SAP BW or SAP HANA but still on people’s computer in form of Excel spreadsheets.
For exactly those reasons we created a custom data source as part of our Visual BI Extensions, that is capable of using Microsoft Excel sheets or Google Sheets as a data source.
It is very easy to use. You start by adding the custom data source to your project.
After you added the custom data source, you can then configure the details in the Additional Properties.
We do support the option to use a Local Spreadsheet, a spreadsheet that is stored on the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform, Google Sheets, or Excel files stored on DropBox.
In my example I am using a very simple Google Sheet.
All I have to do, is to share the URL as part of the custom data source and to specify which of the columns represents the start of the measure columns.
After specifying those details, I can use the data from Google Sheet as part of my overall dashboard and if needed, even share it with my colleagues and not just use it as part of my local dashboard.
Just with a few simple steps you can add Excel or Google Sheet information to your dashboard, be it for a quick prototype or be it for a full production ready dashboard that shows information from spreadsheets as well as SAP BW and SAP HANA.
For the next release of this feature, we will integrate the custom domain option for Google Sheets.