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Author's profile photo Catherine DE LARMINAT

SAP Web Intelligence 4.2: Custom Elements Sample

This article describes how you can support new charts in Web Intelligence using the custom elements capability.

The code relies on charting libraries provided by Highsoft AS (

To follow along, you need:

  • A Highcharts License for all visualizations except the Candlestick Chart
  • A Highstock License (that contains also Highcharts License) for all visualizations, including the Candlestick Chart
  • Node.js open source runtime to run the service.
  • An SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 SP3 system (or later version)

These new charts are provided in a ZIP sample. This ZIP contains the corresponding code to generate these charts as HTML or as pictures for printing, PDF generation and other exports.

Use this link to access the sample code and installation procedure :

In this article, we will go over the chart descriptions and what custom elements are.

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Charts Description


Sparklines are small, intense, word-sized graphics with typographic resolution. You can place them anywhere words, numbers or graphics can be placed: sentences, maps, graphics, tables and so on.

Sparklines provided in this sample can display up to 3 KPIs.

Specific settings:

  • Sparkline types: Line (regular or with markers), Column, Area, Trend
  • Formatting options: Display average, Min/Max, First/Last, Wins & Losses
  • Axis synchronization
  • Ability to generate columns with significant values: First, Last, Sum, AVG, Max, Min


A Sunburst displays hierarchical data. Each a level in the hierarchy is represented by a circle. The feeding supports hierarchical data as well as relational data. The center represents the root node of the tree.

The expansion level of the hierarchical data can be modified by turning the visualization into a table


A Histogram chart is a graphical representation of the data distribution. Histograms create intervals, known as bins, and count how many values fall into each bin.

Specific settings:

  • Bin calculation can be based on the required bin size or number of bins; by default, it is automatically calculated based on Scott’s normal reference rule


A Sankey diagram is a flow diagram, in which the width of the link between two nodes is shown in proportion to the flow quantity.

The Sankey chart has two types of feeding:

  • Dimensional breakdown of a measure – fully compatible with the standard Web Intelligence Data Model
  • Flow Analysis (like energy balances), expecting Flow Source, Flow Target and Flow Size

Specific settings:

  • Show / hide Total node for Dimensional Breakdown Sankey

Funnel and Pyramid

Funnel charts are often used to represent the different stages of a sales process and show the amount of potential revenue for each stage. Funnel charts can also help with identifying potential problem areas in an organization’s sales processes. A funnel chart is like a stacked percent bar chart and displays values as progressive decreasing proportions. The size of the area is determined by the series value as a percentage of the total of all values.

Pyramid charts help you visualize both the hierarchical structure and quantity of the data in a pyramid-like structure.

Column Range and Area Range

Range Area Charts are same as Area Charts with the only difference that they display one or several areas bound by lower and upper values. This chart type is useful in depicting ranges, differences, and spreads. This chart type is useful in depicting ranges, differences, and spreads.

Range Column charts are same as Column charts except that there are two y values (low and high) because of which columns are floating instead of being attached to a base like in case of regular column charts. These charts are mainly useful in cases where we want to show change in value within a range like high and low temperature in a day, etc.

Both chart types can plot also a line representing for instance an average value


Candlesticks are mostly used to present the open, high, low and close price over a time period. A candlestick is composed of a body and upper and lower wicks. The body represents the opening and closing prices. The body is filled when the opening price is higher than the closing price. If the closing price is higher than the opening price, the body is unfilled. The upper wick represents the highest price over a time period and the lower wick represents the lowest price that same time period.

Specific settings:

  • Coloring based on price trend
  • Series name to be displayed in the tooltip


Web Intelligence Custom Elements

One of the great features introduced in Web Intelligence 4.2 is the “Custom Elements” feature. Custom Elements are visualizations that you or third-parties define. You can use them in your documents almost like any standard table or chart.

A Custom Element can be a new type of chart, table, or any other kind of visualization as long as it complies with the following rules:

  • Supports at least one media type output – text/HTML is the preferred media type. We also recommend the bitmap format to be able to export the Custom Element to PDF or Excel files.
  • Supports the Web Intelligence metadata and data feeding model
  • Supports the Web Intelligence settings model

Multiple Custom Elements can be delivered by a same service.  This service is accessed through a simple HTTP URL, managed from the BOE Central Management Console and is hosted by a third-party server.

Public APIs have been defined to support the communication between the Web Intelligence clients and the Custom Elements service.

For more details on Custom Elements, refer to the SAP BusinessObjects BI Developer’s Guide for Web Intelligence and the BI Semantic Layer on SAP Help Portal.



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      Author's profile photo AMIT KUMAR

      Hi Catherine

      It's look like very interesting.I have tried to get into the sample folder but i could not find any file there.




      Author's profile photo Sateesh Kumar Bukkisham
      Sateesh Kumar Bukkisham

      Hi Catherine ,


      Very interesting feature and detailed explanation .Excited to learn about this.

      As Amit mentioned ,we do not see any content in the Samples folder .Can you please check .


      Thank you

      Sateesh B

      Author's profile photo Catherine DE LARMINAT
      Catherine DE LARMINAT
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Amit and Satish,

      To provide the code in a secure way, we have decided to attach it to a KBA article that will be published shortly ; I will update the link as soon as the article is available

      Thanks for your patience



      Author's profile photo Catherine DE LARMINAT
      Catherine DE LARMINAT
      Blog Post Author


      The link to the sample code and installation procedure has been updated. You should be able to proceed now.


      Author's profile photo Shilpi Srivastava
      Shilpi Srivastava


      Hi Catherine,


      Could you please provide link to sample code and also want to whether Highsoft charts are free.




      Author's profile photo Catherine DE LARMINAT
      Catherine DE LARMINAT
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Shilpi,

      Have you tried the link to the sample code and installation procedure referenced in the post (before the disclaimer ) ?

      Highsoft licence is not free but the purchase price is very reasonable ; the link to their site is included in the installation procedure