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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

Are You Ready to Migrate from SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards to SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio?

This was an ASUG webcast earlier this month.


Figure 1: Source: ASUG/Visual BI


Figure 2: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

Design Studio is becoming an important part of the strategy moving forward


Figure 3: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

What is the difference between Dashboards and Design Studio?

Why SAP had to move to a different environment – limited support for mobile devices, HTML5; SAP did create a way for dashboards to export to HTML5 but it is limited

Dashboards did not have a true eventing framework; catch if someone clicked on a chart or a filter

Design Studio is only HTML5.  It doesn’t matter which device.

Support for JavaScript and CSS; some customers may be hesitant but this is a huge benefit as you have more capabilities

A shortcoming for Design Studio is a lack for non-SAP data sources

With the latest announcement that Lumira Desktop and Studio moving closer, this problem will get addressed soon.  Design Studio will get the same connectivities that Lumira has today and leverage those.


Figure 4: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

Figure 4 is something to look for when you want to move to Design Studio

Both tools talk to BW, HANA

Design Studio can connect to HANA directly ( a benefit) – less of a hassle

Dashboards has some interesting connectivity options – a web service, a Web Intelligence/Excel as a data source.  Some can be closed using a partner extensions such as APOS (Web Intelligence)


Figure 5: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

Why should you move to Design Studio?

Design Studio provides control over how you treat data; you can trigger when to refresh and load data.  You can do background processing, parallel queries, and more.

In Dashboards, you could not decide to load which data.


Figure 6: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

Figure 6 shows where present options

Both are capable of showing in the portals, BI launchpad, and Mobile BI

If you are interested in moving to Fiori landscape, Design Studio can be integrated with Fiori Launchpad, but not with Dashboards

Dashboards has offline dashboards; if offline dashboards is very important for you in the next several months then keep looking at Dashboards.  This is part of Design Studio’s roadmap


Figure 7: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

Dashboards was designed for particular screen resolution

In Design Studio, dashboards are resizing, ability to add responsiveness

Data sources – there is still a gap for Design Studio – has strong support for BW/HANA; limited for non-SAP datasource; SAP improves each release


Figure 8: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

There is no automatic migration

Old presentations show a tool was once considered; no longer on the roadmap

The reason is from a technology point of view it would be difficult

Migration is manual effort; you should take this as an opportunity to reconsider design decisions made.  Technology has moved on; you are not designing for a specific screen resolution and mobile is more important.  Design Studio gives you the opportunity to change approach.


Figure 9: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

You see a comparison of visual aspects including Lumira, Dashboards, Design Studio

You could be looking for a certain visualization or map

Most of the chart types Design Studio can deliver

Some are still outstanding in Design Studio – High-Low stock chart, candlestick charts

There are chart types Design Studio provides – column % stacked, for example


Figure 10: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

More differences


Figure 11: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

Design Studio does not provide gauges out of the box; partner solutions are available.


Figure 12: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

Range sliders for charts is available for Dashboards, but not out of box Design Studio

Drill down is not possible out of the box for Design Studio


Figure 13: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

Filter components for Dashboards – select a region, country, timeframe – this was huge for dashboards

Not possible yet in Design Studio such as List View and List Builder


Figure 14: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

Design Studio does not provide standard maps out of the box; means like a world map with all the countries without you having to create definition

Design Studio uses GeoJSON syntax; you have to define this first


Figure 15: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

More component comparison – such as a what if scenario or trend icon are not out of the box in Design Studio

Offline dashboards, export to MS Office – are not out of the box in Design Studio


Figure 16: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

Common questions – no automatic migration process; need to migrate manually.  This gives you the chance to rethink design and use new technologies

Licensing is shown in Figure 16

Design Studio provides a data discovery template for business users to create their own applications


Figure 17: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

Some components are not available in Design Studio

If you are using an extension in Dashboards, is it available in Design Studio

SAP has not announced end of life for Dashboards; remember technology has moved on with browsers, mobile operating systems


Figure 18: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

Why should you move? Design Studio gives you the enterprise readiness.  Dashboard never reached the scalability required.

Design Studio is the future as part of the overall portfolio


Figure 19: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

There may be times to continue to use Dashboards

If offline is a must-have in the next 6-7 months, if go-live is 2016, look at Dashboards or some other alternative.  Design Studio does not have offline capabilities.  Planned for Q1 2017 release (announced at SAPPHIRE)


Figure 20: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

Do an inventory of dashboards you have, look at the data sources, look at your current add-ons

Is platform configured for Design Studio?  Have you sized it for Design Studio?

Rethink your design; if you design dashboard today the same

Do not forget about training your team


Figure 21: Source: ASUG/Visual BI

Figure 21 is a summary of key points.

Question & Answer

Q: We have Design Studio currently but are not using it because we are told Lumira and Webi will cover all our needs and are more geared toward end users. I believe that Design Studio has advantages over Webi and Lumira. Is there a differnece?

A: Yes, huge difference; look at use case; Web Intelligence (reporting) / Lumira (data discovery) designed for self-service; have to sacrifice some capabilities to build a full dashboards. Data connectivity – do not have best integration with BW and HANA which Design Studio supports – creating hierarchies is an example.

Q: Have many customers successfully made the migration to Design Studio?

A: SAP does not share out; SAP not give out concrete numbers. Look at Design Studio sessions at conference, customers downloaded in the thousands – close 100 customers increase each month

Q: From the training my understanding is there is no separate cost for the design studio licence and some features are easier to use it dashboard vs some in the Design studio. Hence we should use either of the tool based on the features we need in report?

A: May still be a scenario for Dashboards (e.g. offline) but that is not a feature you require you should look at Design Studio


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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Tammy - Thanks for sharing. As someone who is just starting to learn DS. What would you say would be good material to read. I am thinking of getting the DS comprehensive guide by SAP Press. Worth it?

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

      Hi Matthew - thank you for reading.

      I have not had a chance to read the SAP Press book. 

      I recommend reading and following the SAP Help at and there is good online training at through SAP's Learning Hub.