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Author's profile photo Ingo Hilgefort

SAP BusinessObjects Explorer … Quo vadis ?

I would hope that most of the people here have heard the term “Quo vadis” before, but in case this is the first time you hearing this – it mean “where are you going” in classic Latin. So now you know something more about me : did grow up in Germany and have learned classic Latin for 8 years as probably lots of my former colleagues in Walldorf.

Lots of you are probably aware that SAP BusinessObjects Explorer doesn’t really have a “bright future” as part of the BI portfolio simplification.


Source: SAP

As you can see above, Explorer is not a strategic investment anymore and SAP expects customers to move to either Lumira Desktop or Design Studio.

So that’s all great,… but

…Explorer was a web based scenario, so Lumira Desktop would mean to switch to a desktop based application and that might not necessarily what you are looking for.

…. so that leaves Design Studio, but it doesn’t deliver the necessary components (for example a facet navigation) and there is no out of the box template or application delivered, so you would have to build it yourself.

That is why we thought that this is a good opportunity to create a pre-built application that is providing customers the experience that SAP BusinessObjects Explorer did provide before.

… and Visual BI Explorer is born.


So what is the functionality the application provides ?

  • Users can switch between different data sources on the fly
  • a Facet navigation provides out of the box cascading filtering
  • The facet navigation provides access to the list of measures and allows to switch between different measures
  • Chart Type can be changed
  • Dimension and Measure assignment for the chart can be changed
  • The display at the bottom can be based on the Chart, Table, or both
  • We integrated the Online composition capabilities to provide similar functionalities to the former Exploration Views
  • We integrate export to PDF, PPT, and eMail

This pre-built application does require our Visual BI Extensions for SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio as it uses several components to provide the functionality.

In case you are interested, feel free to register for our Extensions Trial and we will make sure you receive access to the application.

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      Author's profile photo Vincent Dechandon
      Vincent Dechandon

      Ingo, I have to admit that building ready-to-use apps in Design Studio is a way to go to make it "popular", at least making it more user/developer-friendly and appealing. And that's a good thing because the product has great potential, and I think, is still under-exploited. That growing popularity will benefit for us all.



      Author's profile photo Tony Tony
      Tony Tony


        I Like your articles on SDN ,but I still struggle to see what real "wow" factor we get from explorer type tools that we cant get  from  a combo of Design Studio/Lumira  or Tableau ?



      Author's profile photo Ingo Hilgefort
      Ingo Hilgefort
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Tony,

      when you read the beginning of the article I explain that the app is there to provide a solution to customers that use Explorer today because Explorer is not moving forward on the SAP side.

      This is meant for customers that look for the Explorer style workflow. not saying that this is there to replace Lumira or Tableau.


      Ingo Hilgefort, Visual BI

      Author's profile photo Adam Rench
      Adam Rench

      Hi Ingo,

      Can you link a guide on how to implement this (or other) Visual BI pre-built application(s)?