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November 2015 Meeting of Washington DC Business Objects User Group

Posts Sep 24, 2015 No Comments

WDCBOUG-User Group-Square-317x160

The November 2015 meeting of the Washington DC Business Objects User Group (WDCBOUG) is scheduled for November 16, 2015 at Pepco Holdings in Washington DC.

This meeting has no fee but you must register to attend. Register Now


Date: Monday, November 16, 2015
Time:  8:30 am – 2:00 pm
Pepco Holdings, Inc.
701 9th Street. NW
Washington, DC 20068

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Crystal Reports 2011 / Crystal Reports for Enterprise

Business Intelligence, Posts Apr 30, 2012 No Comments

With the release of SAP Business Objects 4.0 in 2011, there now exist two distinct current versions of Crystal Reports (Crystal Reports 2011 and Crystal Reports for Enterprise).  In building the latest release of Crystal Reports, the goal was to create an enhanced developer interface and the best possible connectivity with the new semantic / universe layer in SAP Business Objects 4.0.  But the new release needed to also have zero disruption in the use of legacy and existing Crystal Reports.  Subsequently, SAP Business Objects has released a new version of the product that is similar to the existing product (i.e. Crystal Reports 2011) and a next-generation product that has a completely been redeveloped and includes a new user interface and new underlying architecture (i.e. Crystal Reports for Enterprise).

Crystal Reports 2011
•  Incremental update to CR 2008 with a few new features
•  Focused on serving the needs of legacy customers
•  Delivers existing functionality with no regressions
•  Seamless upgrades from legacy releases of Crystal Reports
Crystal Reports for Enterprise
•  Major update & re-design of the Crystal Reports Designer
•  Connectivity with new unx universe / semantic layer
•  Enhanced report design tool (smart formatting)
•  Many new features and functions
•  Some regression of functionality
•  Limitation to universe as a data source
SAP Business Objects has determined the Crystal Reports for Enterprise is the future of the Crystal Reports product line and subsequently it provides the foundation for all future releases of Crystal Reports.  To this end, there are a number of completely new features in Crystal Reports for Enterprise including:
•  Smart Formatting of Reports
•  Streamlined Tab Control User Interface
•  New Charting Engine
•  New Multilingual Support
•  New Alerting Mechanism
•  Enhanced Connectivity with Universes
•  Enhanced Connectivity with SAP BW

Of the many features in Crystal Reports for Enterprise, there exists one that will fundamentally change how developers interact with reports. This new feature is called Smart Formatting and it will greatly enhance report developer efficiency.  With smart formatting, the Crystal Reports Designer automatically detects patterns in report formatting. And upon changes to the report, the designer will rapidly adjust the design of the report.

Crystal Reports for Enterprise - Smart Formatting

Crystal Reports for Enterprise - Smart Formatting

Features of Smart Formatting in Crystal Reports for Enterprise include:
•  Automatic Resizing Of Colum Upon Object And Column Insertion
•  Automatic Column Shifting Upon Object And Column Insertion
•  Guidelines For Easy Column Resizing
•  Ability To Drag And Drop To Reorder Columns
There are also number of features that have not been incorporated within the initial release of Crystal Reports for Enterprise.  These regressed features that are not included in Crystal Reports for Enterprise v4.0 include:
•  No Native Connections to Database
•  No Support for Database Connectivity (ODBC, JDBC)
•  No Support for OLAP as a Data Source (except BEx Queries)
•  No Support for Live Office
•  No Support for Enterprise Search
•  Gaps within API and SDK




Operational, Tactical, & Strategic Dashboards

Business Intelligence, Posts Sep 02, 2011 No Comments

Xcelsius DashboardAs your organization seeks to better understand its customer and manage a diverse line of services and products, operational, tactical and strategic dashboards should become a critical addition to your planning and decision-making toolbox. Whether the dashboard provides your Executive Director a 30,000-foot view of the organization as a whole, or the product line manager an interactive interface which allows exploration into the details of a particular product’s performance, your organization can benefit a well-built dashboard.

Achieving accuracy and consistency for all dashboards within an organization can be both a challenging and expensive task. To this end, TMA Resources delivers three categories of dashboards to its customers to ensure that the right type of presentation is delivered to your organization’s decision–makers …

• Operational Dashboards: Continuously monitor core business processes with real-time transactional data. Alert your managers upon thresholds being exceeded or upon an exception in the data.

• Tactical Dashboards: Provide the department manager with a quick view into how his or her department is performing and highlight areas of concern—so the manager can take action to forestall less-than-optimal performance.

• Strategic Dashboards: Provide senior managers and executives with a glance of the organization’s performance in relation to strategic goals. These dashboards are typically based upon data residing in one of the organizations data warehouses or data marts and contain time-stamped snapshots of data.

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Key Benefits of a Data Warehouse

Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, Front Page, Posts Jul 28, 2011 No Comments

Cool Data Warehouse

Data Warehouses are centralized data repositories that integrate data from various transactional, legacy, or external systems, applications, and sources. The data warehouse provides an environment separate from the operational systems and is completely designed for decision-support, analytical-reporting, ad-hoc queries, and data mining. This isolation and optimization enables queries to be performed without any impact on the systems that support the business’ primary transactions (i.e transactional and operational systems). Read more »


BI Market: Data Mining & Predictive Analytics (Vendors and Products) – 2011

Business Intelligence, Posts Jul 22, 2011 1 Comment

Data Mining & Predictive Analytic solutions provide the capabilities of analyzing large data sets in order to find patterns that can help to isolate key variables to build predictive models for management decision making.  In addition, data mining applications help discover hidden patterns and relationships in data in order to effectively project and predict future results. In order to accomplish this goal, data mining application utilize statistics, algorithms, advanced mathematical techniques, and sophisticated data search capabilities.  Moreover, these sophisticated tools provide answers to questions that may never have been asked and they are effectively able to determine relative amounts of correlation between data elements. Further, the predictive features of these data mining tools enable organizations to exploit useful patterns in data that may have otherwise been difficult to determine.

In 2011, the market leading vendors for data mining systems include: IBM SPSS, SAS, SAP Business Objects, Oracle, MicroStrategy, ThinkAnalytics, Pentaho, & Angoss.

BI Vendor Products - Data Mining (2011)

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BI Market: OLAP (Vendors and Products) – 2011

Business Intelligence, Posts Jul 20, 2011 2 Comments

On-line analytical processing (OLAP) solutions provide advanced techniques for rapidly visualizing and analyzing business metrics across different points of view. OLAP is a term used to generically refer to software and applications that provide users with the ability to store and access data in OLAP cubes (also called a ‘multidimensional cube’ or a hypercube) with this “cube” being made up of numeric facts, called measures, and text values, called dimensions.

Moreover, OLAP systems provide users with insight into past performance and they enable a deep understanding of the reasons behind why previous events have occurred. Fundamentally, OLAP systems allow users to rapidly view and analyze data from many perspectives or dimensions and allows the users to conduct sophisticated “What-If” analysis.

In 2011, the market leading vendors for OLAP systems include: SAP Business Objects, Oracle, IBM Cognos, MicroStrategy, Microsoft, SAS, Pentaho, & Jaspersoft.

BI Vendor Products - OLAP (2011)

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BI Market: Dashboard Management (Vendors and Products) – 2011

Business Intelligence, Posts Jul 20, 2011 No Comments

Dashboard management systems are intended to facilitate and support the information and decision-making needs of management by providing easy access to key business information in a highly graphical and intuitive format. Fundamentally, a dashboard is a graphical business tool that displays a set of KPIs (key performance indicators), metrics, and any other relevant information to a business user, manager, or key decision-maker in a single consolidated view and allows for organizational performance to be easily measured and monitored.  Dashboard data is often displayed as aggregate information and contains data that consolidated from multiple data sources scattered throughout an organization. Dashboards are commonly interactive and provide users users the ability to drill into particular aspects of the display and/or rapidly switch between views of the data.

In 2011, the market leading vendors for dashboard management systems include: SAP Business Objects, Oracle, IBM Cognos, MicroStrategy, Microsoft, SAS, QlikTech, LogiXML, Corda, Dundas, iDashboards, Pentaho, & Jaspersoft.

BI Vendor Products - Dashboard Management (2011)

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BI Market: Ad-Hoc Query & Analysis (Vendors and Products) – 2011

Business Intelligence, Posts Jul 19, 2011 No Comments

Query and analysis solutions enable business users and analysts to rapidly generate business queries and reports from enterprise data based upon business question of the data.  Also known as “ad-hoc” querying, these tools typically provide intuitive, graphical interfaces that shields users from technical complexities and allows users to leverage business terminology instead of the more technical database names. The business focus of these tools allows nontechnical professionals to be comfortable with their data and allows them to quickly and efficiently satisfy their own information needsin real time with minimal assistance from system developers. Commonly, query and analysis environments include a middleware layer that converts database conventions into business nomenclature that is more intuitive and understanding to end-users. Moreover, query & analysis environments give users the capability to access and analyze data in a unique and personal manner. Utilized primarily by business users, query and analysis solutions provide an environment that enables interactive methods to query data, present data in an ad-hoc manner, and find information on an as-needed basis.

In 2011, the market leading vendors for ad-hoc query and analysis include: SAP Business Objects, Oracle, IBM Cognos, MicroStrategy, Microsoft, Information Builders (IBI), Pentaho, Jaspersoft, & SAS.

BI Vendor Products - AdHoc Query & Analysis (2011)

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New Product Names within SAP BusinessObjects Version 4.0

Business Intelligence, Business Objects, Posts Jul 14, 2011 1 Comment


The latest version of SAP Business Objects, released in 2011, has been officially named SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 with the title “XI” being removed from the release number. Many of the client tools in the SAP Business Objects application suite will also have a new name in the new version.


Business Objects Application Names for BOBJ XI 3.x vs. BOBJ 4.0

Business Objects (BOBJ) 4.0 - New Application Names



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BI Market: Operational Reporting (Vendors and Products) – 2011

Business Intelligence, Posts Jul 12, 2011 No Comments

Operational reports are pre-designed business reports that focus on listings of data at the detailed level with data presented within a highly-structured format. Also known as “canned reports”, operational reports enable organizations to present data in a logical format and are designed to support the day-to-day activities of an organization at the transaction level. They are typically developed by information technology (IT) departments and/or advanced report users that have a good understanding of reporting tools, business rules, and database concepts. In addition, operational reports can be scheduled, refreshed, and distributed on a regular basis. Fundamentally operational reports are used by people with the responsibility for improving their organization’s operations.

In 2011, the market leading vendors for operational reporting include: SAP Business Objects, Oracle, IBM, MicroStrategy, Microsoft, Information Builders (IBI), Pentaho, JasperSoft, Actuate, and LogiXML.

BI Vendor Products - Operational Reporting (2011)

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