Hi Everyone,

We all might have seen requirements where a timer functionality is required in our dashboards. We can achieve it using SAP provided SDK timer component or by installing real time package. But, it is not so easy always to install add-ins in server side frequently. Especially in organizations which are having BO systems with huge number of users and applications.

We were in a process of recreating one of our SAP Dashboard applications into SAP Design Studio. In our manufacturing environment, this particular SAP Dashboard application was doing a great job by providing real time data with charts and alerts and a data refreshing frequency of 15 minutes. Our BO admin team is not so interested in SDK or add-ins, because of the reasons mentioned already. I was trying an alternative way to achieve this with codes.

How to do it?


Running loops in background is not so good for the performance of dashboard. But here I am running an if..else loop in background with a condition which is our desired time delay in milliseconds.


getTickCount() and if()…else() loop


Two global variables, starttime and endtime are defined to capture time stamps and interval calculates the difference between both in milliseconds.

starttime captures time just after DS_1 load by keeping the code in “On result set changed”.

End time is captured inside if() where a dummy variable dummy increments by 1 for each iteration and global variable interval calculates endtime – starttime.

Code inside if() runs until interval reaches the time delay which we have given in the if() condition.

Else()  contains the code to be executed periodically, in my case reloading DS_1.

Please make a note that getTIckCount() function is available from SAP Design studio 1.5 onwards.

Short video below shows the dashboard in action. reloads every 10 seconds based on the above code.

Is this a good solution?

Well, this may not be the best solution as there is calculation involved in every single iteration of loop and loop always runs in background.  But we could achieve our expected timer interval of 15 minutes with this solution without installing SDK or real time package.

P.S

SDK is a powerful option in SAP Design studio, but sometimes it is difficult and time consuming to use SDK components in productive use for each and every requirement, also not all BO admins encourage frequent requests to install add-ins in server side. I believe components like timer,  progress bar etc are basic requirement in a dashboard tool.

Can SAP make these basic components readily available like SAP Dashboard Design ( Xcelsius) to everyone ?

I welcome your feedback, suggestions and alternative ideas on this 🙂

Nikhil Joy

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9 Comments

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    1. Nikhil Joy Post author

      Hello Mustafa & Xavier,

      Thank you for the information. I am yet to explore features of 1.6 version.

      Our systems are moving to 1.5 version this month. Server side upgrade to 1.6 version will happen only next year. So until then we need to manage.

      Regards,

      Nikhil Joy

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      1. Mustafa Bensan

        Hi Nikhil,

        Given that you are only just moving to DS 1.5 this month, can I ask why you aren’t moving directly to DS 1.6 instead, to take advantage of the new features rather than waiting until next year?

        Regards,

        Mustafa.

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        1. Nikhil Joy Post author

          Hello Mustafa,

          Thank you for the suggestion.

          As I already mentioned in my blog, procedural delay is there in many organizations before updating versions or installing add-ins. Currently we have tested and approved for 1.5 version, for 1.6 version again few tests and approval required, which will definitely take time. Also frequency of server upgrade activities are also planned in advance and not so flexible to make immediate changes.

          I am really wondering about the way SAP releases versions in Design Studio. I feel 1.6 version looks matured enough to compare the functionalities offered by SAP Dashboard Design, leaving SDK part aside. These components should have added as standard components in the earlier versions itself. Happy that its available at least now.

          Regards,

          Nikhil Joy

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            1. Nikhil Joy Post author

              I think its the same with all big organizations and practically it is right from a BO admin’s point of view. Tasks and precautions required for a server side update increase with complexity and size of BO system , so we face the delay.


              Regards,

              Nikhil Joy

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        2. Sara G Iyer

          I second that, many organisations esp MNC’s test the versions and its takes time to use them, many of the times more than 6 months, this is to get the “stability” feedback from the test ,approvals and the forums Viz. SCN, only when all these are done we get to use the latest version (mostly which is not latest in the market) in the projects.

          Nikhil That’s one great idea, to use timers in the older versions !

          BR,

          Sara

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