BI Workspace – Updates and Enhancements in BI 4.3
BI Workspace is an application in BI Launch pad that is augmented with enhanced dashboarding capabilities with Fiori experience. It enables you to create dashboards using Web Intelligence reports, Crystal reports, Lumira documents, and Modules etc. BI Workspaces allow organizations to gain insight from underlying analysis and are used for quick decision making.
In BI 4.2 SP07, we introduced viewing BI Workspace with Fiori experience.
The new BI Workspace comes with many new enhancements and simplifications for a pleasing user experience:
- Fiori experience
- New Workspace page with choices of templates
- Re-open a recently viewed Workspace from New Workspace page
- Preview mode
- Enhanced Text Module
Fiori BI Workspace continues to retain most of the legacy features of BI Workspace, to list a few:
- Content Linking
- Tabs and Subtabs
- View Web Intelligence, Crystal Reports, and Lumira documents
- BI Workspace Templates
- Navigation List and Viewer
You can continue to view and edit BI Workspaces created in previous versions of BI 4.x in new BI Workspace with some limitations.
Creating new BI Workspace
To create new BI Workspace,
- Logon to BI Launch pad.
- Navigate to Applications and click BI Workspace.
You are taken to a New Workspace page.
In the New Workspace page, you can
- Select a template from available choices of templates to create a new Workspace.
- Open a recently viewed/edited workspace from Recent Workspaces.
- Browse through all the available workspaces by navigating to All Workspaces.
Select a preferred template from the available list of templates.
The Workspace Details page appears where you can:
- Preview the selected Workspace template
- Enter a Name for the new Workspace
- Enter the Keywords for the Workspace
- Enter a Description for the Workspace
Click Create to start creating some amazing dashboards.
The BI Workspace designer page opens. You can click Cancel to go back to New Workspace page.
Elements of BI Workspace Designer:
In BI Workspace toolbar, you can see
|Side Navigation Toggle, that enables you to show/hide the Module Library|
|Name of BI Workspace next to the side navigation toggle|
|New Workspace that takes you to New Workspace page|
|Save and Save As to save the BI Workspace|
|Revert Changes to revert the changes to last saved state|
|Content Linking to help you link contents within a sub tab of BI Workspace|
|Templates where you can select between Templates, Column Layout, and Free Form. When Templates is selected, you get the controls to Select Layout. The available layouts are:
When Column Layout is selected, you get the options to Add Column and Delete Column
When Free Form is selected, you can see a blank canvas.
|By default, the BI Workspace opens in Design|
|Switch to View mode to preview your BI Workspace.|
On the left of BI Workspace Designer, you have the Module Library:
In the Module Library, the Search field lets you search and select a desired document in the library.
Module Library has four sections: Templates, Public Folders, My Folders, and BI Workspaces.
Templates has pre-defined templates such as Text Module, Navigation List, and Viewer.
In BI 4.3, BI Workspace offers enriched and simplified Text Module. The new Text Module contains rich text editor that lets you format texts, insert images, and hyperlinks inside Text module without programming.
You do not need to write HTML code to achieve formatting inside Text Module.
Navigation List and Viewer continue to retain the legacy features with Fiori experience.
Public Folders displays the same folder tree structure as in BI Launch pad.
My Folders displays the folder structure as in My Folders in BI Launch pad.
You can drag and drop desired documents from Public Folders or My Folders to BI Workspace canvas.
BI Workspaces lists the available BI Workspaces, its contents are displayed in a tree structure. You can re-use existing modules and reports from existing BI Workspaces.
Below the BI Workspace toolbar, we have the Tab and SubTab bar.
A new BI Workspace has one Tab and SubTab by default. In case, you try to delete the only Tab/SubTab, you will get a toast message “Please keep at least one tab.” Or “Please keep at least one subtab.”.
You can add more Tabs and SubTabs by clicking the + icon in the Tab bar or SubTab bar. In case, you have too many tabs or subtabs in the bar, you can Scroll Forward > or Scroll Back < icon to navigate through the tabs.
You can click the opened Tabs/ SubTabs v icon to get a complete list of available tabs/subtabs.
Below the SubTab bar, you can add required modules and reports to create insightful dashboards in the canvas.
Content linking is the connection between two or more reports using Interportlet Communication Framework. Here the data can be transferred from source report to destination reports.
Note: Only Web Intelligence reports can be source reports. A destination report can be Web Intelligence, Crystal, & Crystal for Enterprise reports.
Content linking pane can be launched by clicking the Content Linking icon in BI Workspace toolbar.
In the below example, content linking is done between two Web Intelligence reports using PROMPT_IN port.
- In BI Workspace designer, add two Web Intelligence reports. The destination Web Intelligence report must have prompts in it to be able to use PROMPT_IN port for content linking.
- Click the Content Linking icon in BI Workspace toolbar. Link Content pane gets displayed.
- In Link Content pane, connect the PARAMETERS_OUT port of source Web Intelligence report to PROMPT_IN port of destination Web Intelligence report.
- Select the connection created above, and we get the option of Parameter Mapping. We need to logically map the source and target parameters. In this example, Country from Source Parameter is mapped to the prompt “Enter values for Country” in Target Parameter.
- Click Close. Contents of source and target Web Intelligence reports are connected now using PROMPT_IN port.
For a value selected in source Web Intelligence report, target Web Intelligence report is updated.
Some of the legacy features of BI Workspace are deprecated now:
- Group Modules
- BI Launch pad Modules (Collaboration Feed, My Alerts, My Applications, My Inbox, My Recently Run Documents, My Recently Viewed Documents, and SAP StreamWork Feed)
- Document Explorer Modules (Corporate lists, Personal lists, Inbox, and Query Panel)
- Web Page Modules
- Compound Modules
All the BI Launch pad Modules are now a part of BI Launch pad now.
The Web page module is integrated in Text Modules, where you can embed links in Text Modules and view.
Note: You cannot use BI Workspace to customize BI Launch pad now. To customize BI Launch pad, you can use Theme Designer application.
Working with legacy BI Workspaces
You can continue to view BI Workspaces created in older versions of BI (BI 4.2 or BI 4.1).
However, while editing BI Workspaces created in older versions of BI, a message is displayed for unsupported modules saying, “Module is not supported”.
On saving a BI Workspace with deprecated module in it, a confirmation message is displayed.
The module is deleted, and BI Workspace gets saved.
If you need to retain the unsupported modules in your BI Workspace, you can use the option Save As and save the modified BI Workspace with new name. With this approach you can continue to view the old BI Workspace with existing set of modules.
With all the above enhanced features, have a delightful experience working with BI Workspaces.
Great insights Subarna. Keep up the good work ?