User Specific Options in BusinessObjects and more

by Bree-Anna Mustad on March 29, 2018 No comments

Let’s Speak BO’s fantastic BusinessObjects Administrative expert, Amy O’Neel, joined the community again in an in-depth and information session focused on User Specific Options in BusinessObjects.

Diving into user roles, group roles and maintenance, Amy took the audience through live demonstrations enhanced with step by step ‘how to’s’ while discussing the comparative features native to BusinessObjects Administration. This webinar highlighted the differences between Native and Business filter options as well as personalizing variables with BOUSER and other system variables.

For administrators, this was a fantastic webinar to take notes on; our SpeakBO listeners were able to learn about how to structure and maintain customized user and group options in BusinessObjects to best cater to their security rights and data access within their organization.

| View Webinar Recording

User Specific Options in BusinessObjects is a region in BusinessObjects Administration that can also rely upon task-assisting third party solutions. Some of the solutions mentioned in this webinar were InfoBurst Publish; a report distribution and delivery platform that can automate and refresh the reporting content in a manner that exceeds the native BusinessObjects publisher, as well as 360Suite.

For more information on the third party solutions that can assist with BusinessObjects Administration visit us here.

Bree-Anna MustadUser Specific Options in BusinessObjects and more

Developing SAP Dashboards in Half the Time with Better Performance

by Bree-Anna Mustad on February 23, 2018 No comments

If I were to ask an SAP BusinessObjects Dashboard developer what the most time consuming aspect of a dashboard project is, I would most likely get one of three answers: organizing the data for it, the design and aesthetics of it, or the time spent building it due to the difficulty in having multiple developers on a single project.

More often than not, a dashboard project tends to be a group effort; those who have a say in the look and feel of it, those who want to be hands-on in the development process and those who dictate the changes and enhancements for end user consumption. However, anyone who has worked within SAP BO Dashboards may attest to the fact that sharing an .xlf (dashboard file format) is not easy. In most cases, when we attempt to share dashboards with one another, in order to have multiple developers on the project, we risk original file corruption, component failure, and performance issues.

Why does this happen? SAP Dashboards just does not like to be opened on many different machines, within different versions, or many times throughout the day. It was not until recently a solution well worth looking into appeared in the components gallery as a third party add-on to our favorite data visualization tool. This component, appearing similar to a multi-tab selector, is Advanced iFrame.

Runali Ghosh, a long time InfoSol Dashboard developer, consultant, and expert on data visualization projects, hosted a fantastic webinar on February 20th 2018 on this exact solution: How to develop a dashboard in half the amount of time by allowing multiple developers to work on it while improving the performance of the dashboard immensely.

View the Recording

Advanced iFrame is a third party solution which allows multiple developers to integrate a dashboard designed from their individual desktops and bring it together into a single Dashboard model. The concept of how this works stems from a Parent > Child relationship between models so each model can communicate as well as pass parameters to and from one another, regardless if the pieces are developed separately. Because of this, a developer is able to split the development of a complex dashboard project into individual models and then use Advanced iFrame to essentially “stich” them back together into a cohesive, seamless dashboard.

I believe, the best third party solutions out there which integrate with SAP BusinessObjects are the solutions that enable developers to use the fantastic SAP toolset productively and efficiently. These time-saving solutions not only help us develop reports and dashboards in these tools to the maximum of their capabilities but also inspire us to develop creatively. I look forward to seeing more dashboard use cases leveraging Advanced iFrame.

For a list of some of these add-on components and to learn more about Advanced iFrame, visit this page that provides an overview of getdVeloping, Inovista, Centigon and Data Savvy components.

Bree-Anna MustadDeveloping SAP Dashboards in Half the Time with Better Performance

HTML5 - The Future of SAP Dashboards

by Bree-Anna Mustad on February 2, 2018 No comments

This demonstration-based webinar hosted a wealth of information for you SAP Dashboard designers when it comes to the latest features in Dashboards 4.2 SP5. Mel Sheppard, an experienced and innovative Dashboard Developer, showcased a variety of new features as well as limitations in the latest version of our favorite Dashboarding tool, previously known as Xcelsius.

This webinar is well worth listening to for those of you who are considering upgrading to 4.2 SP5 for future Dashboard projects. The primary reason being, the newly added HTML output option is substantially different than the standard mobile option for developing, previewing, and publishing Dashboards using native SAP components.

Mel’s in-depth explanation and demonstrations on the precise differences between the two outputs answers the common question between the differences of publishing for mobile verses HTML.

You can view the webinar by following this link

Developing for mobile in the SAP Dashboard Designer tool has been around since the beginning of SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0. However, with the recent release of 4.2 Service Pack 5, a new option of previewing in HTML has swept the designer tool promoting a new way of approaching the planning stages for Dashboard projects.

SAP Dashboards continues to thrive in the world of data visualization due to the product’s immeasurable, custom-like features. Perhaps this latest release will continue to move us in a direction of HTML5 and mobile-friendly application development which in turn will someday leave its opponent, Flash, behind.

Bree-Anna MustadHTML5 - The Future of SAP Dashboards

Streamlining Sales with Business Intelligence – A Case Study webinar

by Bree-Anna Mustad on January 12, 2018 No comments

Kicking off our New Year Speak BO webinar series, Tyler Koitka, Senior Consultant with InfoSol shared a fascinating customer case study on the implementation of this organization’s first Business Intelligence solution.

The solution took shape in the collaboration of Web Intelligence and InfoBurst; InfoSol’s report distribution and delivery platform that provides enhanced customization options to BusinessObjects report distribution needs.

This case study shared the resolve of an organizations need to push data outputs filtered by sales person, region and time zone, containing only that sales person Sales Force data, and automatically display the results in the output of a report (Web Intelligence), but embedded as HTML into individual emails.

The “push-method” solution required updated data on a daily bases. However, as Tyler shared with the webinar audience, the organization contained sales people in different regions around the world. This proposed a bit of a challenge when trying to work with SAP BusinessObjects native scheduling options – seeing that organization required these reports to be delivered to each sales person regardless of regional location, first thing in the morning in order to update them on the latest leads from Sales Force. InfoBurst came into play nicely at this stage of the implementation, allowing custom scheduling options and a robust macro builder that enabled them to push data to multiple regions (in the morning), filtered by sales rep, and formatted in HTML so that the report was embedded automatically into the individual email accounts. The emphasis also being that none of the end users actually had to log into the BO Launchpad in order to view their morning reports.

From Sales Force through Web Intelligence to embedded emails, this case study was a nice example of an organizations first Business Intelligence implementation where only two tools allowed them to streamline what was prior, a very manual and time-consuming process.

I look forward to hearing more of these customer case studies at IBIS 2018, a conference that hosts dedicated case study in our Limitless BI Track, hosting stories of how others leveraged BusinessObjects for the first time in order to implement their first Business Intelligence solution.

Bree-Anna MustadStreamlining Sales with Business Intelligence – A Case Study webinar

The World of HTML5 Dashboards

by Bree-Anna Mustad on December 28, 2017 No comments

Although it was a quiet webinar the day after Christmas, our Speak BO viewers had a lot to say about Taylor Packwood’s in-depth look at what it takes to develop HTML5 Dashboards.

Taylor, having years of custom-coding experience as well as being one of InfoSol’s top SAP Dashboards (formally Xcelsius) developers, shared everything from dashboard design tips to developing challenges and solutions when diving into dashboards project.

In a world slowly moving away from Flash, Taylor showcased the differences in Dashboard display per browser type  and discussed some of the key things to consider when deploying HTML5 Dashboards. He provided an example of this by demoing what a single component looked like housed in Chrome, Firefox, IE, and mobile – and how the same component from SAP Dashboards can actually appear differently depending on which browser is used for the Dashboard output. The important piece to take away from this that Taylor pointed out is that you never know what the end user will see unless you test the display of a dashboard in different modes.

Taylor then dove into what it takes to plan an efficient HTML5 Dashboard project by highlighting the importance of being proactive in your planning; planning ahead regardless of any foreseen (and more importantly, unforeseen) usage of the production dashboard. He explained that one of the things a lot of organizations today do not do, but should consider, is always begin dashboard projects by developing in HTML5 first (rather than Flash first). When doing so an organization would preemptively be ahead of any unforeseen end-user consumption, which in turn will save time. From first-hand experience, Taylor brought up this valuable project-planning suggestion based upon his own personal experience; having spent months assisting an organizations development for Flash to later realize that their customers actually had mobile requirements. Needless to say, the organization then scratched the original flash-based dashboard to begin the process again, this time in HTML5 in order to fit the demand of every end user, rather than the few that were originally planned for.

A design suggestion that was also demonstrated in this fascinating webinar was the use of 3rd party components and the ability to use HTML5-engineered components in order to ensure the display of a dashboard regardless of the end users browser. Taylor noted that most 3rd party components developed in HTML5 seem to be more reliable and display the same while sizing appropriately, regardless of the end users browser or mobile device.

Stream Taylor's webinar here

I personally enjoyed learning in this webinar how to become more efficient in the process of developing a dashboard by some of the project planning tips Taylor provided to the audience based upon his experience. One of the challenges that Taylor discussed in the webinar was the challenge of security and how one can plan ahead when developing the dashboard to consider all security options for their end users. One of the tips Taylor suggested in the webinar was that of designing "single sign-on" within the Dashboard itself. He demonstrated an example by showcasing a "sign in” Dashboard where the end user is prompted to supply credentials in order to access the next tab of the Dashboard. This example got great responses from the audience as Taylor demonstrated the development of this fairly easily using native SAP Dashboards (Xceslius) components.

In conclusion, 2017 was a great year of Speak BO webinars showcasing a lineup of experts and customers sharing stories and educational sessions on how to improve your work within the BusinessObjects space. We have been blessed with experienced developers like Taylor Packwood, who continue to leverage their expertise by sharing tips and tricks, challenges and solutions on developing in SAP Dashboards. This webinar was yet another informative training tool for those looking to expand their developing skills in SAP Dashboards.

Bree-Anna MustadThe World of HTML5 Dashboards

Security Lessons in BusinessObjects

by Bree-Anna Mustad on December 13, 2017 No comments

BusinessObjects Security Feature Image

Amy O’Neel hosted an interesting session yesterday during our Let’s Speak BO webinar series on Security Lessons in BusinessObjects. The session focused on Explicit Settings based upon User Inheritance; an important and overlooked feature available in BusinessObjects, demonstrating customizable options for user restrictions in the BI Launchpad.

You can stream Amy's webinar right here.

This feature sparked a lot of interest throughout the webinar, seeing that it enables the administrator to set up an automatic retrieval of secondary access rights per user in order to bypass a “declined notification” to the user based upon individual access restrictions. Amy O’Neel, BusinessObjects Administration expert, did a nice job of explaining this important BusinessObjects security concept by demonstrating and discussing the permissions by hierarchy, and how one rule can be overwritten by another rule due to the permission settings.

Attendees also seemed to be intrigued by the differences in features that have been enhanced and/or removed due to version upgrades. Because of these version-based questions during the webinar, Amy took the audience through a deeper look at the BO security options by version from XI 3.1 to BI 4.x and some of the significant changes made by BusinessObjects to the BI Launchpad. Amy discussed how higher versions had removed certain features all together; features like “drill mode” for the administrator when viewing user access rights and the interactive feature of hiding or showing toolbars.

Some of the good changes in 4.x that Amy also touched on were some of the enhancements to the administrators experience by the renaming of certain settings that enable better navigation for custom security set up in the BO environment.

Amy will be hosting a part two to this webinar presentation on BusinessObjects security at IBIS 2018 where she will take the Top 10 Case Studies based upon customer experiences, how the security issues or requirements were resolved, and more importantly the valuable lessons learned in each security scenario.

Bree-Anna MustadSecurity Lessons in BusinessObjects

Mobile Business Intelligence with Web Intelligence

by Rajesh Ponnurangam on May 8, 2017 No comments

Couple of weeks ago I presented a topic, “Going Mobile with Web Intelligence”, as a part of our Let’s Speak BO webinar series. During the session we asked the attendees whether they are using Web Intelligence on the Mobile BI app. There were about 60 attendees and only 10% of the attendees were currently using WebI on mobile while 50% of them did not have any plans to use Mobile BI and 40% of them had plans to use WebI on Mobile within the next 12 months.  Although web Intelligence on Mobile BI is less popular, I strongly believe that mobile BI app support for Web Intelligence, which has come a long way since it’s inception, is better than any other BI tool rendering on the Mobile BI app. It is also an easier solution for any organization to start with Mobile BI. In this blog I have outlined 5 major topics discussed during my presentation.

  1. Difference in Visuals - The look and feel for native charts and report parts of Web Intelligence is completely different from what is seen on the BI Launch Pad. I see that as a cool feature since the navigation on an iPad is completely different from the navigation on the BI Launch Pad. Business users can’t use a mouse here and there’s no right click on an iPad. With very minimal effort we can have a visually appealing dashboard just by displaying data on native Web Intelligence charts. In the example below, I have illustrated how an iPad renders a webI report with 8 different charts into 4 charts on 2 pages that can be swiped. Another big advantage we get with the Mobile app is the Card layout structure (placing a report in the Mobile Category), where the reports are automatically adjusted to the screen size.

  2. Intuitive Chart Codes – With the usage of chart codes and conditional formatting, we can transform a normal/boring tabular form of data into a cool score card. These score card options are not a part of native BI Launch Pad, but by using the Format Table options, we can create visual score cards that can be used by analysts to quickly diagnose positive or negative performances


  1. Working Offline - In order to view the reports offline, the BI server needs to be enabled with a “true” value for Offline Storage. To enable offline storage, navigate to BI Server - Central Management Console -> Applications -> SAP BusinessObjectsMobile -> Properties -> Client Settings

For a report to work offline, the report will need to be downloaded to the device while there’s an active internet connection


Only a few features are supported in the offline version. Before you decide on offline viewing, analyze the report features which are supported offline and then design the report accordingly.

What’s Supported in Offline Mode? - Sections, Chart & report navigations

What’s Not supported in Offline Mode ? - Drill down, Filters, Input Controls, Parameters, Element Linking and Open Doc

  1. Delivering Mobile BI Connection to Users - A large number of organizations adopt remote work strategies and it is extremely difficult and time consuming for the BI admin to set up a connection individually on every user’s iPad. To set up a connection you need the information such as Tomcat URL and CMS Name. Not every user might be aware of this information. The easiest solution is to create a hyperlink with the server information and email the link to users. When the link below is configured with server & CMS names and opened from an email on the ipad, the app opens up with the BI details and the users need to fill in only their BI credentials


There are sophisticated Mobile Device Management tools from SAP and a lot of other vendors such as Airwatch, MobileIron and Mass360 who do a much better job of pushing updates, controlling, and remotely managing a user’s device. Organizations have to come up with a solid strategy for managing Mobile Devices and to answer questions such as “What if a user’s device is lost?”, “How can the device be wiped remotely?” et al

  1. Skillsets required for implementing Mobile BI - In terms of the report development skills, the report writers need to get familiar with certain chart codes and organizing the reports under categories. The display of various report elements is a trial and error exercise because there is no mobile preview option within Web Intelligence. The BO Admins have to get familiar with Mobile Server settings and Client Settings. To access the BI Server from an outside network, the network and BO admins have to work together in troubleshooting Mobile BI connections as well as building a strategy for BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices).

Mobile BI with Web Intelligence is an evolving topic and everything that I have discussed in this blog might take a different turn with the next release of BI 4.2 which is SP04. I am eagerly waiting for SP04’s FIORI based navigation with HTML5 based Web Intelligence reports. Once it is on GA, I will work on a webinar specific to Web Intelligence SP04. Feel free to comment, email or Tweet your questions, feedback and suggestions to me. For more exciting webinar content, register yourself at if you aren't already!

Rajesh PonnurangamMobile Business Intelligence with Web Intelligence

What’s New in BI 4.2 System Administration - Five Key Takeaways

by Minith Patel on May 5, 2017 No comments

Did you miss Minith's What’s New in BI 4.2 System Administration webinar? If so we had him highlight five key takeaways from the webinar below. If you would like to view the full webinar recording you can do so right here: View this webinar

BusinessObjects 4.2 SP3 has plethora of new enhanced features, some of them were discussed today are:

  1. Recycle Bin feature works great, even for objects from personal folder
  2. BI Administrators Cockpit now shows user sessions by License type
  3. Notification can be made on Launchpad and also they can be e-mailed to users
  4. BI Commentary can be secured with new security rights
  5. Overrides in Promotion Management is now very easy to use
Minith PatelWhat’s New in BI 4.2 System Administration - Five Key Takeaways

Upcoming Let's Speak BO Webinar: Creating Interactive Dashboards in Web Intelligence

by John Shields on April 5, 2017 No comments

Let's Speak BO Webinar: Creating Interactive Dashboards in Web Intelligence April 18, 2017

Join us in a fantastic presentation where you will learn how to use the functionality in Web Intelligence to create dynamic and interactive reports/dashboards. Jared Hansen will demonstrate how the City of Mesa used dashboard developing techniques in Web Intelligence to create a more cohesive and guided analytical solution.

Register below:

John ShieldsUpcoming Let's Speak BO Webinar: Creating Interactive Dashboards in Web Intelligence

Upcoming Let's Speak BO Webinar: Going Mobile – Design and Deployment using SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.2

by John Shields on March 27, 2017 No comments

Let’s Speak BO Webinar: Going Mobile – Design and Deployment using SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.2 April 4, 2017

Don't miss next week's webinar, Going Mobile – Design and Deployment using SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.2, running on Tuesday, April 4th at 10AM PT/1PM ET!

Webinar description: More often than not, users would like to consume their SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence content on their mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. This presentation will offer attendees looking to display their SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.2 content on mobile devices the opportunity to explore design considerations to enhance the display of both existing and new documents on mobile devices using the SAP BusinessObjects Mobile Client application. Join BusinessObjects Expert, Rajesh Ponnurangam, as he presents Going Mobile with Design and Deployment considerations for Webi.

Register below:

And a little bit of information on your presenter for this webinar, Rajesh:

Rajesh Ponnurangam is a Senior Business Intelligence Consultant with Infosol. He is a SAP certified associate with extensive experience in design and development of Business Intelligence applications for apparel, retail, consumer goods and manufacturing industries. He specializes in Business Objects solutions, SAP HANA and BW data modeling. He has a proven track record in designing strategies for ETL, BI application development, implementation, rollout and support.

If you are not yet a member of the Speak BO community you can register for the webinar and get access to the site via the form above. See you on the webinar - Let's Speak BO!

John ShieldsUpcoming Let's Speak BO Webinar: Going Mobile – Design and Deployment using SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.2