SAP HANA Platform – Technical Overview

Sep 21, 2012 No Comments

At the Sapphire conference in May, 2010, SAP announced the release of its new data warehouse appliance called HANA or High-Performance Analytic Appliance. SAP HANA is a combination of hardware, storage, operating system, management software, and in-memory data query engine that is characterized by data being held in RAM rather than being read from disks or flash storage. Additionally, HANA has been built to split up queries to run in parallel on multiple processors—a fundamentally different architecture from SAP’s existing applications.  This in-memory and parallel processing architecture of HANA allows for extremely fast performance of queries and analytics on very large amounts of data.

The SAP HANA platform implements a new approach to business data processing. In fact, it is much more than the traditional definition of a database. And the in-memory attribute of HANA is much more than simple caching of disk data structures in the server’s main memory.  SAP HANA incorporates a full database management system (DBMS) with a standard SQL interface, transactional isolation and recovery (ACID [atomicity, consistency, isolation, durability] properties), high availability, and massive parallel processing (MPP).  SAP HANA supports most entry-level SQL92. SAP applications that use Open SQL can run on the SAP HANA platform without changes. SQL is the standard interface to SAP HANA. SAP HANA is fully adaptable to the dramatic advances of hardware storage technology, on premise and in the cloud. Hana supports multicore CPUs and 64-bit systems offer a new reality in scalability.

Traditional database management systems (dbms) are designed for optimizing performance on hardware with constraints on main memory. Disk I/O is typically the main bottleneck. The focus was on optimizing disk access, for example, by minimizing the number of disk pages to be read into main memory during processing. However, the SAP HANA database component is designed from the ground up around the idea that memory is available  in abundance.  Built within the design of HANA is the consideration that roughly 18 billion gigabytes or 18 exabytes are the theoretical limits of memory capacity for 64-bit systems, and that I/O access to the hard disk is not a constraint. Instead of optimizing I/O hard disk access, SAP HANA optimizes memory access between the CPU cache and main memory. Additionally SAP HANA is a massively parallel (distributed) data management system that runs completely in main memory, allows for row and column based storage options, and includes a sophisticated calculation engine.


SAP HANA - Combination of Technologies


The HANA database takes advantage of the low cost of main memory (RAM), data processing abilities of multi-core processors, and the fast data access of solid-state drives relative to traditional hard drives to deliver better performance of analytical and transactional applications. It offers a multi-engine query processing environment which allows it to support both relational data (with both row- and column-oriented physical representations in a hybrid engine) as well as graph and text processing for semi- and unstructured data management within the same system.

HANA Blade ServerThe SAP HANA solution has been introduced on Hewlett Packard x86 servers (HP ProLiant DL580 G7 and DL980 G7 servers) and is built upon Intel’s multi-core servers. Moreover, a single server blade can contain up to 4TB of main memory and up to 64 processor cores.  With this total solution, SAP claims that they beat the current performance benchmark by factor of 20, on hardware that was several dozens of times cheaper for a 200X price performance improvement. SAP also claims that HANA either reduces or out-right eliminates the need for the development and deployments of complex and expensive datamarts.

The SAP HANA database manages data in a multi-core architecture for data distribution across all cores to maximize memory RAM locality using scale-out (horizontally) and scale-up (vertically) functionality.  The HANA database scales beyond a single server by allowing multiple servers in one cluster. Large tables can be distributed across multiple servers using round-robin, hash, or range partitioning, either alone or in combination. HANA has the functionality to execute queries and maintain distributed transaction safety across multiple servers.

Utilizing column-based data storage, SAP HANA can achieve major compression rates unheard of in traditional row-based databases. On one example, the analysis of SAP customers’ systems showed that only 10% of attributes in a single financial database table was used in an SQL statement.  Shrinking the actual size of data volume to be accessed from 35 GB in traditional relational database management system (RDBMS) storage to 800 MB in a column-store design, just over 2% of the volume in the traditional storage.

One of the major contentions and the reason for slow performance in traditional DBMS is locking data when data updates or inserts are being performed. SAP HANA avoids this issue and enables high levels of parallelization using insert-only data records. Instead of creating new records in a database table, deltas are inserted as net-new entries in existing records stored in columns.

The table summarizes the benefits offered by specific features of the SAP HANA database:

Database Feature Benefit
Multi-Core Architecture Significant Computation Power over Mutiple Processors (CPUs)
In-Memory Processing Performance Faster Than Reading From Disk
Support of Row and Column Based Storage Enables Both Transactional and Analytical Databases
Column Based Storage Fast Select Query Performance
High Data Compression Rates Efficient Use of of Disk Storage
Data Partitioning Efficient and Fast Analysis of Very Large Data Sets
Insert Only On Deltas Fast Data Loads


One of the differentiating attributes of SAP HANA is having both row-based and column-based stores within the same database engine. Conceptually, a database table is a two-dimensional data structure with cells organized in rows and columns. However, computer memory is organized as a linear sequence. For storing a table in linear memory, two options can be chosen (row storage or column storage). Row storage stores a sequence of records that contain the fields of one row in the table. In column storage, the entries of a column are stored in contiguous memory locations.

Row-based storage is recommended for transactional systems or when:
•  The table has a small number of rows, such as configuration tables.
•  The application needs to conducts updates of single records.
•  The application typically needs to access the complete record.
•  The columns contain mainly distinct values so the compression rate would be low.
•  Aggregations and fast searching are not required.

Column-based storage is recommended for analytical systems or when:
•  Calculations are executed on a single column or a few columns only.
•  The table is searched based on the values of a few columns.
•  The table has a large number of columns.
•  The table has a large number of records.
•  Aggregations and fast searching on large tables are required.
•  Columns contain only a few distinct values, resulting in higher compression rates.




Components of a Business Objects Universe

Nov 29, 2011 No Comments

Also known as a “semantic layer”, the Business Objects Universe is an intermediary layer between a database or data source and dependent reports, queries, or dashboards. Fundamentally, the universe enables the end-user of Business Objects to interact with data without having to understand the complexities of database logic or be familiar with where the physical data is stored. Moreover, the universe is built around common business terminology that describes the business environment and provides the end-user the ability to intuitively query and retrieve exactly the data that they need.

Fundamentally a Business Objects Universe is a file that contains:
•  Connection information to a database
•  Components that map to structures in the database
•  A structure and layout of classes, objects, tables, views, joins, and contexts.


Universe Component:  Class

Groupings or categories of objects within a universe are called classes.  The primary function of classes is to provide structure to the layout of universe. Typically, the general strategy is to group related dimension and detail fields into a class and place measure objects into a different class. This strategy can be extended through introducing sub-classes to break down objects into more granular subsets.

Three categories of classes exist …
• Dimension Classes:  Objects which are shared across transaction types to describe the transaction and provide summarization levels.
• Measure Classes:  Primary reporting objects for displaying numeric results (also known as facts).
• Application Classes:  Objects that support the reporting application, including customized lists of values, prompts, and condition objects.

BOBJ Universe Component - Classes


Universe Component:  Object

Objects refer to fields or columns within database tables or views. Properties of an object include a name, data-type, select statement, and sometimes a where statement. Objects can refer to a single database field or can be an expression of one or multiple database fields.

Three type of objects exist within a Business Objects universe …
• Dimension:  Text based or date values that are the primary describing values of a query.
• Detail:  Text based values that provides detailed information of a dimension. A detail is always attached to a dimension.
• Measure:  Numerical values that are the results of  a query and by which dimensions are compared.

BOBJ Universe Component - Objects


Universe Component:  Table

Tables refer to individual physical tables, views, or synonyms within a database that provide data to the universe.  Further, a universe represents a set of underlying tables.  Universe tables in Business Objects do not actually replicate any data from the underlying database tables and no data is stored in the universe itself..  Rather universe tables are pointers to fields in the database and universe tables let Business Objects know where to find the data in the underlying database.

In a data warehouse or data mart environment, primarily used for reporting and analytics, there exists two types of tables:  1) dimension tables and  2) fact tables.  Dimension tables can descriptive values such as customer, product, date, or location.  While fact tables contains numeric information that will be calculated in a query.

BOBJ Universe Component - Tables


Universe Component:  Join

Joins specify the characteristics of how tables, views, synonyms, or aliases relate to one another. In addition, joins allow the universe to combine information from multiple tables. A join is a condition that restricts the result set of a multi-table query.

There are four types of joins available in a universe …

• Equi-join (also known as inner join): A join based on column values in a column between two tables.
• Outer join (also known as right and left joins): A join that links two tables, one of which has rows that do not match those in the common column of the other table.
• Theta join: A join that links tables based on the relationship other than equality between two columns. Typically used to select records between a set of values.
• Self-Restricting join – A method used to set a restriction on a table in the universe structure. In essence it is a where condition created by a join property.

BOBJ Universe Component - Joins


Universe Component:  Context

A context is a group of tables and joins that define a specific path for a query and resolve loops that may occur within queries. Contexts are used to specify alternative routes and ensure that a single select statement only includes reference to columns from tables in one of those routes. In essence, a context is a rule by which the the report user can decide which path to choose when more than one join path exists in query from one table to another table. Without contexts, queries could contain multiple paths (also known as loops). And loops generally result in incorrect queries with fewer rows returned than expected. However, contexts make sure that there are clearly defined paths between tables and that no loops exist within a universe.

BOBJ Universe Component - Contexts


Universe Component:  Alias

An alias is an exact duplicate of a universe table but with a different name. The data in the table is exactly the same as the original table, but the different name allows the universe to accept the same table into its structure and identify the referenced instance of the table. A common use of alias is when a lookup table needs to be referenced several times in a query and when different join rules exist for the lookup table. The alias allows for the lookup table to be included multiple times in a universe and allows for the correct join rules to be associated with the lookup table.

BOBJ Universe Component - Aliases


Universe Component:  List of Values

A list of values is a data list with a universe object that contains the data values associated with that particular object. A list of values can contain data from two types of data sources: 1) database tables 2) external file sources. List of values contain a number of values that define how the data is presented in the list and define restrictions on the amount and type of data returned to the list.

BOBJ Universe Component - List Of Values


Universe Component:  Hierarchy

Hierarchy is an ordered sequence of dimensions which allow the users of Web Intelligence and Desktop Intelligence to perform multidimensional analysis on the data. In addition, hierarchies allow the user to observe data from various perspectives and hierarchies are critical in spotting trends or exceptions in the data. By default hierarchies are set based upon the order in which dimensions are placed in a class. However, universes also allow creation of custom hierarchies in which the sequence of dimensions is defined by developer based upon the business need. In essence, hierarchies allow for drilling of data.

There are four types of drilling capabilities available in Business Objects …

• Drill-Down: Displaying data at progressively more detailed level.
• Drill-Up: Displaying data at a less detailed level or a higher summery level.
• Drill-Through: Provides the ability to query the database directly and get the data at lower level than the lowest level in the hierarchy.
• Drill-By: Displaying data at a particular level in the hierarchy without having to visit each level in turn.

BOBJ Universe Component - Hierarchies




BI Market: Vendors and Products (2011)

Jul 20, 2011 No Comments
Business Intelligence (BI) systems are software applications that enable better understanding of organizational data and provide the information organizations need to make enlightened decisions. Fundamentally, there are five market segments of entire business intelligence market space…
• Operational Reports
• Query & Analysis
• Dashboard Management
• On-line Analytic Processing (OLAP)
• Data Mining & Predictive Analytics


BI Market Segment:  Operational Reports

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)


BI Market Segment:  Ad-Hoc Query & Analysis

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)


BI Market Segment: Dashboard Management Systems

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)


BI Market Segment: OLAP

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)


BI Market Segment: Data Mining and Predictive Analytics

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)




Components of Oracle BI Enterprise Edition (OBIEE)

Jun 23, 2011 No Comments
Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) is a comprehensive business intelligence platform produced by Oracle, Inc. that delivers a full range of analytic and reporting capabilities. Additionally OBIEE incorporates a suite of advanced business intelligence tools that are built upon a unified architecture.  The components delivered within the OBIEE suite include:
Oracle BI Logo
•  Oracle Interactive Dashboards
•  Oracle Answers
•  Oracle Publisher
•  Oracle Delivers
•  Oracle Disconnected Analytics
•  Oracle BI Server

Component of OBIEE – Oracle Interactive Dashboards

Oracle Interactive Dashboards provides versatile, web-based dashboards that displays information in a highly-intuitive format to help end-users’ decision making.  The user interface is completely graphical while access to the information is interactive and based on the individual’s role and identity. Further, the user has full capability for modifying and interacting with data utilizing the following controls …
•  Live reports
•  Charts
•  Tables
•  Prompts
•  Pivot tables

Additionally, the Oracle Interactive Dashboards provides the user with full capability of drilling, navigating, modifying, and interacting with data sets. This concept is commonly referred to as “guided analysis“.  Oracle Interactive Dashboards can retrieve and aggregate content from a wide variety of sources, including the traditional databases, data warehouses and data marts, shared file servers, and document repositories.

OracleBI - Dashboards

Oracle Interactive Dashboards provide personalized views of corporate and external information. A dashboard consists of one or more pages, which appear as tabs across the top of the dashboard. Pages can display anything that you can access or open with your Web browser, such as saved queries and request, alerts from Oracle BI Delivers, images, charts, tables, text, and links to web sites and documents.


Component of OBIEE – Oracle Answers

Oracle Answers provides ad-hoc query and analysis capabilities to end-users.  Users can processes data from multiple data sources in a pure web environment. In addition, users are isolated from underlying data structures as they view and work with a logical view of the information.  This logical view of the information is presented to the user in business terms.  The interface of Oracle Answers is highly-intuitive and enables end-users to create:
•  Queries
•  Data tables
•  Interactive charts and graphs
•  Pivot tables
•  Reports
•  Prompts

Oracle Answers provides a point-and-click interface that allows end-user to develop robust ad-hoc queries and reports. Users simply drag-n-drop fields to create layouts with reports, queries, and charts on the right-hand side of the application.  Data fields are subsequently on listed on the left-hand side.

Oracle BI Answers

In addition, Oracle Answers is tightly integrated Oracle Interactive Dashboards. Reports, prompts, tables, charts, & graphs created in Oracle Answers can be easily saved, shared, modified, formatted, or integrated within dashboards of the Oracle Interactive Dashboards application.


Component of OBIEE – Oracle Publisher

Oracle Publisher (formerly XML Publisher) is an enterprise-level operational reporting tool that separates the data from the presentation. This means that developers from the information technology department can define the data sources, and business users can specify the report layout. The same data source can be used by multiple report templates.  By separating the task of finding the data from the task of deciding how to present them, the business user can define a report template with exactly the format he or she wishes.

Oracle BI Publisher

Rather then having an independent report design environment, Oracle Publisher leverages both MS Word and Adobe Acrobat as a user interface for the creation of richly-formatted operational reports.

Oracle BI Publisher


Component of OBIEE – Oracle Delivers

Oracle Delivers provides activity monitoring and alerting that can reach users via multiple channels:
•  Email
•  Dashboards
•  Mobile devices

Oracle Delivers includes a web-based self-service alert creation and subscription portal, and a workflow engine that allows for initiation and passing of contextual information to other alerts.  Furthermore, it can dynamically determine recipients and personalized content to reach the right users at the right time with the right information.

Oracle BI Delivers

In a nutshell, Oracle Delivers notifies business users with relevant reports and data when events occur. Notifications can be sent and received utilizing most common communication channels.


Component of OBIEE – Oracle Disconnected Analytics

Oracle Disconnected Analytics provides all of the features of Oracle Interactive Dashboards and Oracle Answers (i.e. dashboards and ad hoc analysis) while off-line and disconnected from a corporate network. Moreover, the same user interface is utilized whether the user is working in a connected or disconnected mode. Oracle Disconnected Analytics leverages advanced data synchronization capabilities and allows for full and incremental synchronization of data with enterprise data sources. Data can be personalized for each user, maintaining all role-based security and visibility, and is compressed during synchronization, resulting in minimal data set size and fast sync times.

Features of Oracle Disconnected Analytics:
• Off-line and mobile business intelligence
• Full capabilities of Oracle Dashboards and Oracle Answers
• Intelligent synchronization of data


Component of OBIEE – Oracle BI Server

The foundation of the OBIEE platform is a  server that supports a full complement of access, analysis, and information delivery options, all in one fully integrated environment.  The Oracle BI server provides a common engine that retrieves date from its source, converts the data to a common format, and presents intelligence to all of the OBIEE applications that consume information, including Interactive Dashboards, Answers, Publisher, and Delivers.  All of these applications require rich access to broad sets of data across the enterprise, and they all require a sophisticated calculation and aggregation infrastructure that the platform provides to deliver value.

Capabilities of Oracle BI Server:
• Powerful middleware engine
• Presents intelligence back to other OBIEE components
• Integrates disparate data sources
• Sources data from multiple data sources




Oracle BI Platform vs Oracle BI Analytical Applications

Jun 08, 2011 1 Comment

Oracle BI LogoThe business intelligence market is rapidly maturing and Oracle is leading the way with its delivery of Oracle Business Intelligence.  Initially Oracle just provided the Oracle BI Platform which provided businesses with the tools for developing custom business intelligence solutions. However, Oracle is now providing an option to its customers with Oracle BI Analytical Applications, a complete business intelligence and data warehousing solution that is built upon their own robust and feature-rich platform. Now businesses have the option of either custom building a BI solution from scratch or configuring a pre-packaged BI solution.


Oracle BI Platform

The Oracle Business Intelligence Platform is a set of functions and tools that incorporate a number of advanced business intelligence products.  In addition to providing a broad set of functions and tools, the Oracle BI Platform is built upon a proven, modern web services-oriented architecture that provides the foundation of the construction of complete business intelligence solutions.  In addition, the platform delivers a full range of capabilities related to business intelligence capabilities including…
•  Dashboards
•  Ad-hoc queries
•  Alerts and notifications
•  Operational reports
•  Predictive intelligence
•  Disconnected analytics
•  Microsoft Office integration

Fundamentally, the Oracle BI Platform comes with the tools and functions for developing sophisticated custom business intelligence environments like the one pictured here …

Oracle BI - Dashboards

At its core, the Oracle BI Platform is an innovative next-generation business intelligence environment that offers the software tools for building enterprise BI solutions from data spanning both Oracle and non-Oracle data sources and applications. The Oracle BI Platform has been meticulously designed to allow for pervasive use within an organization.  This sophisticated environment includes a full range of easy-to-use and intuitive end-user tools such as interactive dashboards, advanced reporting and publishing, full ad-hoc analysis over the web, proactive detection and alerts, mobile analytics, Microsoft Office integration, web services and business process integration.

The Oracle BI platform provides transparent and seamless access to numerous heterogeneous data sources.  This highly developed platform also allows for development of custom business intelligence implementations that access data from traditional relational databases, OLTP & ODS systems, data warehouses and data marts, flat files, and web services. Further in 2008, Oracle released the Oracle BI Enterprise Edition Plus Platform, which provides direct connections to Hyperion data sources including Essbase and its related financial performance management applications.

Oracle BI - Platform

The Oracle BI Platform has been developed over several years and includes the most advanced features from the former NQuire and Siebel Analytics products recently acquired by Oracle Corporation.


Oracle BI Analytical Applications

Rather than just being a platform or development environment, Oracle Business Intelligence Analytical Applications are fully inclusive business intelligence solutions that incorporate all of the key metrics, workflows, and business processes for a particular business function.  Bundled within theses solutions are numerous pre-built components including:
•  Dashboards
•  Metrics
•  Reports
•  Drill-down paths
•  Dimensional models
•  Naming standards
•  Database objects
•  ETL routines
•  Metadata
•  Security
In addition, Oracle BI Analytical Applications contain universal adapters that allow for rapid integration and direct connections with leading commercial-off-the shelf (COTS) packages including SAP, Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, and Siebel applications systems.

Oracle BI Analytical Applications come bundled with best practices and industry standards built-in. Additionally, they include all of the functionality required to conduct business intelligence for many common business functions including financials, human resources, sales, service, contact centers, marketing, supply chains, order management and fulfillment business areas.

Oracle BI Analytical Application Modules

Fundamentally, Oracle BI Analytical Applications are built upon the Oracle BI Platform and provide complete end-to-end, prebuilt business intelligence solutions that deliver intuitive, role-based intelligence to all members of an organization including senior executives, mid-level managers, and front-line employees.  So rather than developing custom business intelligence solutions for each business area and function, the use of Oracle BI Analytical Applications allows an organization the ability to rapidly configure a ready-built solution utilizing the complete Oracle BI Platform.

Oracle BI Analytical Applications

Oracle BI Analytical Applications come bundled with two main additional pre-built back-end repositories:
•  Business Analytics Warehouse
•  ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) Repository

The Business Analytics Warehouse (BAW) is a completely pre-built data warehouse that physically contains all of necessary dimension and fact table needed for the business intelligence applications. The BAW is fully-compliant with the dimensional modeling methodology developed by Ralph Kimball and supports many advanced techniques including slowly changing dimensions, conformed dimensions, aggregate tables, hierarchy tables, and surrogate keys.

The ETL repository includes all of the routines for extracting of data to a staging area, transforming the data into a common format, the loading of date into data warehouse tables, changed data capture, and seeding data for common dimensions. In addition, the powerful ETL repository consist of two main components, Informatica which is the ETL engine that contains the data integration routines, and the DAC (Data Warehouse Application Console) which is the “ETL orchestration tool” that controls application configuration, execution & recovery, and monitoring.


Differences Between Oracle BI Platform vs. Oracle BI Analytical Applications

A key way to understand the differences between the Oracle BI Platform and Oracle BI Analytical Applications is to identify that the platform contains the environment and tools for custom building business intelligence solutions, while the analytical applications contain complete, pre-built solutions that can be rapidly configured. Oracle BI Analytical Applications utilize all of the tools within the Oracle BI Platform as well as several additional tools, and all of the components of the Oracle BI Platform are bundled within Oracle BI Analytical Applications. Moreover, within the Analytical Applications, Oracle has leveraged its experience in providing industry-specific business solutions to deliver comprehensive and fully-inclusive business intelligence solutions for numerous common business functions.

Oracle BI Platform / Analytical Applications Components

Another important concept in the differentiation of the Oracle BI Platform and Oracle BI Analytical Applications is the amount of content delivered in the metadata or middleware layer. In a nutshell, the metadata layer within Oracle BI creates a semantic model over an organization’s entire data set, consists of the information that characterizes data, and describes how the organizational data should be presented by the user interface of the business intelligence environment.

The Oracle BI Platform is delivered without any pre-existing metadata as it only contains the tools for developing metadata.

Oracle BI Platform Metadata

However, Oracle BI Analytical Applications come delivered with a rich set of metadata elements at all three layers (physical, logical, and presentation) and come delivered with the mappings between the levels already being developed and configured as well as physical connections already being defined.

Oracle BI Analytical Applications Metadata



Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI) is a suite of technology and solutions that provide an integrated, feature-rich reporting and analytics environment that can be deployed at an enterprise level to organizations seeking to understand their data in more detail. Traditionally, Oracle provided a platform with all of the tools for organizations to custom build a solution. However recently Oracle has developed pre-built analytical applications that provide oganizations with complete business intelligence and data warehousing solutions. Now organizations have an option of how they want to deploy Oracle Business Intelligence to solve the analytical and reporting requirements. Businesses can now conduct either customization with the Oracle BI Platform or configuration with the Oracle BI Analytical Applications.




Components of SAP BusinessObjects Product Suite

Apr 01, 2011 4 Comments
Rather than being one independent tool, SAP BusinessObjects delivers a comprehensive suite of products that provide business intelligence functionality to empower users to make effective, informed decisions based on solid data and analysis. All users, from the high-end analyst to the casual business user, are enabled with access to the information they need.  Capabilities within the SAP BusinessObjects product suite include operational reporting, ad-hoc query and analysis, exploration, visualization, dashboards, and related middleware. Moreover, the main way that data is sourced from a database is through a middleware or semantic layer known as a universe and dashboards access data from the universe through either QAAWS or BI Web Services integration devices.
Components of SAP BusinessObjects Product Suite
•  Operational Reporting:  Crystal Reports
•  Ad Hoc Query and Analysis:  Web Intelligence (WebI)
•  Data Exploration:  Explorer
•  Dashboards:  Xcelsius
•  Database Middleware:  Universes
•  Dashboard Integration:  QAAWS, BI Web Services
Components of SAP BusinessObjects Product Suite


BusinessObjects Component: Crystal Reports

Crystal Reports is an operational reporting environment and is a tool that enables report authors to easily design interactive reports and connect them to virtually any data source. It is the ideal solution for canned or published reports as it allows for the creation of high-fidelity, pixel-perfect reports. Additionally, end-users benefit from on-report sorting and filtering – giving them the power to execute decisions instantly.

Crystal Reports - Sample Report in Designer Tool

With Crystal Reports, report authors and end-users can leverage an intuitive interface, access data spread across multiple systems, design reports with guided interactivity, and embed reports within both client-server and web applications. Crystal Reports can be used for report design, application development, and web report delivery.


BusinessObjects Component: Web Intelligence (WebI)

Web Intelligence (WebI) is an ad-hoc query and reporting environment within the SAP BusinessObjects suite of products. Fundamentally, it is an environment that provides self-service access to data. Web Intelligence contains reporting, querying, and information analysis in one integrated product, helping your users turn business insights into effective decisions. With just a few clicks of the mouse, WebI users can quickly access and format information as well as easily analyze information to understand underlying trends and root causes.

Web Intelligence contains a highly-interactive data interface that allows the report user a great deal of flexibility to view data from different perspectives. Although many report users may only need to build their reports from scratch, it is often necessary for the users to adjust reports to answer current business questions. With Web Intelligence, users can easily edit queries and reports to reflect their latest information needs.

WebInteligence (WebI) - Sample Report

WebInteligence (WebI) – Sample Report

The following options can be taken advantage by user of Web Intelligence …
•  View, edit, remove report, section, or block filters
•  Format and re-size cells, tables, and charts
•  Set breaks and sorts
•  Insert calculations
•  Add rows and columns to tables
•  Create and duplicate tables and charts
•  Turn a grid into a chart or a chart into a grid
•  Create formulas and variables
•  Edit cell formulas in place
•  Recombine report objects within tables and charts
Web Intelligence (WebI) - Query Designer

Web Intelligence (WebI) – Query Designer

Web Intelligence empowers users with self-service information retrieval and interactivity, while providing:
•  Ability to generate answers to business questions
•  Thorough business and data analysis
•  An environment that utilizes business terminology rather than cryptic technical jargon
•  Intuitive drag & drop interface for document creation



BusinessObjects Component: Explorer

BusinessObjects Explorer is a relatively new component of the SAP BusinessObjects product suite that provides a more advanced and intuitive data exploration interface for business intelligence end-users, both casual and power users. Explorer encompasses the simplicity and speed of web-search technologies with the trust and analytical power of conventional business intelligence technologies to provide deep understanding and immediate answers to both simple and sophisticated business questions. BusinessObjects Explorer provides end-users with the capability of quickly exploring and visualizing large data sets. Features includes searching and sorting, interactive drilldowns, and various types of dynamic graphical visualizations while navigating through corporate data.

SAP BusinessObjects Explorer

Features and Functions of BusinessObjects Explorer:
•  Search Experience Similar to Google or Yahoo – Users enter keywords to find instant business information with return results ranked by relevance.
•  Search Concurrent Data Sources – Reach data across an entire SAP BusinessObjects landscape and any data source that it accesses.
•  Self-Service Access – Pervasive searches with queries directly to data without the need for a predefined report or query.
•  Guided Data Exploration – The most relevant keyword search results are presented first, allowing end-users to access additional contextually relevant details as they explore.
•  Intuitive Visualization – The system automatically generates charts and grapchs that best represents the information being queries – no cryptic data model or data knowledge is required by any end-user.
•  Team Collaboration – Share information easily via e-mail, embedded URL, and other popular communication formats.
•  Leverage Existing BusinessObjects Infrastructure – Reuses existing universes, security, and administration services already deployed within the BusinessObjects platform.
•  Limited End-User Training Required – Intuitive end-user interface and functionality allows first-time users to get started with next-to-no formal training.
•  Rapid Implementation Schedule – Add search, exploration, and visualization functionality to an existing BusinessObjects deployment in as little as a few days.


BusinessObjects Component: Xcelsius

At its heart, Xcelsius is a dynamic and customizable data visualization software package that enables development of both insightful and engaging dashboards from various data sources throughout a typical organization. Moreover, Xcelsius includes graphical interfaces and real-time methods that provide guided analysis and for dynamic monitorring of organizational metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs).

Sample Xcelsius Dashboard

Sample Xcelsius Dashboard

At its heart, Xcelsius is a dynamic and customizable data visualization software package that enables development of both insightful and engaging dashboards from various data sources throughout a typical organization. Moreover, Xcelsius includes graphical interfaces and real-time methods that provide guided analysis and for dynamic monitoring of organizational metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs).

Key Features of Xcelsius Dashboards Include:
•  Building of intuitive graphical visualizations of data.
•  Customization of dashboards to meet unique business needs.
•  Connection of dashboards to any type of data source.
•  Maximization of the value of a business intelligence solution with rich user interface.
•  Deployment of dashboards within Microsoft Office, Adobe PDF, Portals, or on the Web.
•  Empowerment of decision-makers to view and understand key organizational metrics.
•  Improved user adoption of BI tools because of business-friendly visualizations.


BusinessObjects Component: Universes

A BusinessObjects Universe is a middleware device that contains a business representation of a data warehouse, data marts, or other reporting database. Fundamentally, the universe enables the end-user of BusinessObjects to interact with data without having to understand the complexities of database logic or be familiar with where the physical data is stored. Moreover, the universe is built around common business terminology that describes the business environment and provides the end-user the ability to intuitively query and retrieve exactly the data that they need.

Also known as a “semantic layer”, the universe is an intermediary layer between a database or data source and dependent reports, queries, or dashboards. The universe is a requirement as a data source for WebIntelligence and Xcelsius dashboards, while being optional as a data source for Crystal Reports.  Additionally a universe is developed using the BusinessObjects Designer tool.

Universe within BusinessObjects Designer

Components of a Universe Include:
•  Classes – Logical groupings of fields and objects
•  Tables – Mappings to database tables and views
•  Objects – Structures that map to database fields
•  Joins – SQL specifications on how tables relate (contains both inner and outer join information)
•  Contexts – Groups of related tables with their related joins


BusinessObjects Component: QAAWS

Query as a Web Service (QAAWS) is a technique within the SAP Business Objects suite that allows for creation and publishing of web services. Subsequently web services are utilized to integrate data between a Business Objects Universe and an Xcelsius Dashboard. The QAAWS client tool provides the dashboard developer an intuitive wizard that to create universe queries and publish these queries as web services. Once a web service is published, an Xcelsuis Dashboard can utilize and present that data. Fundamentally, QAAWS is an integration device between a Business Objects Universe and an Xcelsius Dashboard.

Role of Query as a Web Service (QAAWS)




Crystal Reports: Operational Reporting Environment

Feb 25, 2011 No Comments

Crystal Reports is an operational reporting system that enables report authors to easily design interactive reports and connect them to virtually any data source. It is the ideal solution for canned or published reports as it allows for the creation of high-fidelity, pixel-perfect reports. Additionally, end-users benefit from numerous advanced viewing and interaction features – giving them the power to make insightful and well-informed decisions.

The product was originally created by Crystal Services Inc. as Quik Reports when the company couldn’t find a suitable commercial report writer for their accounting software. After producing versions 1.0 through 3.0, the company was acquired in 1994 by Seagate Technology. Crystal Services was then combined with Holistic Systems to form the Information Management Group of Seagate Software, which was later re-branded as Crystal Decisions. Subsequently versions 4.0 through 9.0 were produced. Crystal Decisions was then acquired in December 2003 by Business Objects, which has so far produced versions 10, 11 (XI) and the current version 12 (2008). Business Objects was then acquired by SAP in October 2007.

With Crystal Reports, report authors and end-users can leverage an intuitive interface, access data spread across multiple sources, design reports with guided interactivity, and integrate reports within both client-server and web applications.


Crystal Reports:  Powerful and Highly-Intuitive Reports

Crystal Reports offers a high degree of flexibility and control over how data is presented and formatted. Additionally, Crystal Reports allows for raw data to be transformed into highly formatted, professional-looking reports with a superb presentation quality.

Sample Crystal Report

Sample Crystal Report

* Any Report Type: Virtually any report type can be developed including cross-tab, conditional, top N/bottom N, summary/drill-down, form, mailing label, OLAP, and subreport.
* Charting and Mapping: The graphical impact of your reports can be enhanced by choosing from a wide variety of map and chart types including bar/3D bar, pie/doughnut, line, Gantt, gauge, funnel, XY scatter, ranged map, dot density map, and more.
* Customizable Report Viewers: Available are a variety of server-side and thin-client report viewer controls, including DHTML page (WebForms) viewer, .NET WinForms viewer, Java viewer, ActiveX, and Report Part viewer (mobile viewer), that render reports into various output formats without additional coding. End user report interactivity options—including page forward/back, drill up/down, export, and print—are automatically included and can be easily customized.


Crystal Reports:  Advanced Report Design Environment

Report developers benefit from a complete set of layout and design controls to create highly formatted, interactive, and professional looking reports. This powerful report development environment includes …

* Visual Report Designer: An intuitive, drag-and-drop interface and object-oriented explorer that allows for rapid development of reports.
* Experts and Wizards:  Highly-intuitive tools and commands that automate common reporting tasks such as connecting to a data source, selecting, grouping, sorting, and summarizing data.

Crystal Reports Designer

Crystal Reports Designer

* Grouping Data: Bundles like data with customizable breaks and into group sections. The sections can then manipulated independently of the data by defining colors, spacing, page-breaking and other options to showcase the raw data and produce a more professional-looking report.
* Reusable Report Objects: Expedites the report design process by storing key report objects—including text objects, SQL commands, bitmaps, and custom functions (formulas)—in a central managed library (provided in Crystal Enterprise) for sharing, reuse, and single-point updating across multiple reports.
* Customizable Templates: Specifies and controls formatting and logic standards—including data access operations—to ensure design consistency across reports.
* Asymmetric Reporting: Provides a customized view of OLAP grids.
* MS Access and MS Excel Add-ins: Intuitive wizards and tools that allow report authors to easily design a Crystal Report right within Microsoft Access or Excel.


Crystal Reports:  Data Access To Most Common Data Sources

Crystal Reports provides broad data connectivity options to access almost any enterprise data sources including…

Crystal Reports - Set Data Source

Crystal Reports - Set Data Source

* Relational databases (Oracle, IBM DB2, Sybase, MS SQL Server, MS Access, MySQL, and Informix.)
* Common Business Applications (ACT!,
* Spreadsheets (MS Excel, Lotus 1-2-3)
* Groupware / Email
* Business Objects Universes and Repositories
* Text files, XML files, and OS Event Logs
* Application systems (CRM, ERP, etc.)
* ODBC, OLE DB, and JDBC sources
* Web Services

In addition developers can write their own SQL commands or use the Crystal Reports proven query generation capabilities for flexible control over database connectivity.


Crystal Reports:  Numerous Methods for Report Viewing and User-Interaction

Crystal Reports provides flexible options that let end-users view and interact with information in familiar formats with methods and controls that are easily understood.

Crystal Reports - Export Function

Crystal Reports - Export Function

* Multiple Export Formats: Provides end users with reports in the format they prefer and allows reports to export to popular formats, including Excel, PDF, XML, HTML, RTF, and more.
* Parameters: Lets users view the same data in different ways without creating multiple reports. End users can select predefined parameters in a single report to receive a subset of customized data.
* Alerting: Highlights specific information for end users with report alerts—user-defined messages that appear when certain conditions are met by the data in a report.
* Guided Navigation: Defines specific navigation paths between report objects within the same or different reports for easier end user navigation.
* Sorting Controls: Allows users to sort data fields and columns in either ascending or descending order.
* Hyperlinks: Converts reports into interactive web documents that connect to related information, including web sites and other reports.
* Drill-Down: Without formulas or programmatic coding, reports can be setup to allow end-users to drill down on relational and OLAP data to uncover details that might otherwise go unnoticed.
* Report Parts: Allows existing reports for use with wireless devices and corporate portals. Provides end users with access to charts, summary tables, specific records, and other key report information via portals, WML phones, RIM Blackberry, and Compaq iPAQ devices.


Crystal Reports:  Sophisticated Formula Editor

Crystal Reports comes with a powerful set of tools that let report authors build sophisticated formulas within a report.  Utilizing program code, report authors can perform tasks such as conditional formatting, specialized calculations, selecting records and report alerts.  Additionally, formulas can be written in either Crystal or Basic syntax (very similar to Visual Basic).

Crystal Reports - Formula Editor

Crystal Reports - Formula Editor

* Powerful Formula Language: Extensive coding language that can control many advance features of the report. Includes over 240 built-in and user-defined functions and operators that can tightly control report formatting, complex logic, and data selection.
* Custom Functions: Create and store programmatic functions and calculations to share with other report authors.  Eliminates redundant formula creation and allows code to be utilized across multiple reports.
* Formula Expert: Wizard that creates Crystal code based on an existing functions or manually developed code.


Crystal Reports:  Integration of Reporting with Applications and Portals

Crystal Reports supports both Java and .NET platforms and provides a wide-range of proven Java, .NET, and COM components that help reduce the complexity of developing and integrating reporting functionality into portals, web, windows, client-server, web services, and/or mobile applications.

Crystal Reports - Visual C# SDK

Visual C# SDK - Custom Web Application

* Interface Solution Deployment Kits (SDKs): The Crystal Reports comprehensive interface SDKs are designed for J2EE, .NET, and COM applications and provide flexible control over how end users interact with reports. These SDKs include a variety of report viewing, creation, and modification APIs that allow for the implementation of a range of interactivity capabilities—from static report processing/viewing to complex run-time report creation/modification.

* Reporting Components: Crystal Reports Java, .NET, and COM reporting components can be embedded directly into custom applications.
* Custom Tag Library: Utilizing custom JSP tags, develops can add a customized viewer to web applications and reduce the amount of coding required to embed report templates into JSP web pages.
* Customizable Report Viewers: A variety of server-side and thin-client report viewer controls exist, including a Java viewer, DHTML (WebForms) Viewer, WinForms Viewer, ActiveX, and Report Part Viewer (mobile viewer) that render reports into various output formats without additional coding. End user report interactivity options—including page forward/back, drill up/down, export, and print are automatically included.
* IDE Integration: Allows report integration to be developed within a common integrated development environment (IDE) including Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, BEA WebLogic Workshop, Borland JBuilder, and Borland C# Builder.
* Royalty-Free Runtime: Allows for hundreds of royalty-free run-time properties, methods, and events to be integrated into thick-client applications for deployment at no additional cost.




Features of SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 (Aurora)

Jan 06, 2011 7 Comments

SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 (codenamed Aurora) is the next major release of the SAP BusinessObjects product suite. It follows three major SAP BusinessObjects XI releases and will be generally available (GA) in 2011. During the release, some modules will change names. XI will be dropped from the Business Objects name to avoid the confusion with other naming conventions within the SAP Portfolio (see post: New Product Names of SAP BusinessObjects Version 4.0).

Many of the enhancements have been long-awaited, in particular data federation at the “universe” level (renamed business layer in 4.0). Xcelsius customers will love direct connectivity to a universe, no longer having to design dashboards in Excel or deal with Query as a Web Service. (source: BIScorecard Blog: SAP BusinessObjects Launches 4.0 at ASUG )

SAP Business Objects Logo


Important Notes About SAP BusinessObjects 4.0

•  SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 has been made available in the SAP Marketplace starting in early 2011.
•  Desktop Intelligence (DESKI) will not be included in SAP BusinessObjects 4.0.
The only way to get Desktop Intelligence reports onto SAP BOBJ 4.0, will be to first convert them to Web Intelligence (WEBI) in XI 3.1 or use the Report Conversion Tool.
•  SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 will only be a 64-bit release.
•  SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 will support Tomcat 6 with Java 1.6.
•  A single WAR file for InfoView and CMC.
•  Timeout settings will now be accessible in one place and will include a timeout warning.
•  Existing connections to the following datasources will continue to work but administrators will not be able to create new connections to them:
– MS SQL Server 7.x / 2000
– MySQL 4
– Oracle 9
– Informix Dynamic Server 7.3 / 2000
– Sybase Adaptive Server 12
– Teradata V2 R6


New Features in Installation and Web Deployment of SAP BOBJ 4.0

* Improvements to the programs that install with the base package
• Integration for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and portals
• Bundled language packs
• SAP integration
• Automatic version control
* Improvements to the deployments of web applications to a web application server
• WDeploy GUI
• Web application consolidation


New Applications Introduced in SAP BOBJ 4.0

* Upgrade Management Tool (New Application)
Upgrade Management tool is new software component that allows administrators to upgrade the content of the BI repository from a previous version of SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise.
* Monitoring (New Application)
Monitoring is a new application in SAP BusinessObjects XI 4.0. This application provides the ability to capture the runtime and historical metrics of SAP BusinessObjects XI 4.0 servers and applications, for reporting and notification. The monitoring application is an important tool for the system administrators. It helps them identify if an application is functioning normally and if the response times are as expected.
* Information Design Tool (New Application)
Information Design Tool is new metadata design environment that enables designers to extract, define, and manipulate metadata from relational and OLAP sources to create and deploy SAP BusinessObjects universes. It replaces the universe designer in previous versions of BusinessObjects. The information design tool will allow designers to create multisource universes with connections to multiple relational data sources. Some of the important features of the Information Design Tool include …
Multi-Source Universes: A new feature that will let designers create a data foundation (metadata) based upon multiple relational data sources.
Query Panel: A new feature to build and test the queries that the end users can use to create reports.
Member Selector: A new feature to select members of OLAP universe hierarchies.


New and Modified Features Within Existing SAP BusinessObjects Products

* Administration Console – New Features
•  Auditing: A new auditing dashboard allowing central administration is now available, while new consistent events and new auditing database schema allowing easier creation of auditing reports are also now available.
•  Data Access: Support now exists for 64-bit operating systems. New properties are now available in the CMC. New ODBC / JDBC connectivities have been created.
•  Data Security: Now includes a FIPS-140 compliant mode of operation and a new two-key encryption system.
•  Data Federation: The data federation query engine is now integrated within the SAP BusinessObjects platform.
•  Integration for ERP Solutions: The add-on solutions for integration with SAP, Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and Siebel are now part of the standard SAP BusinessObjects package.


* LifeCycle Tool – New Features
•  Change Transport System(CTS): CTS is a new tool that helps organize development projects in the ABAP Workbench.
•  Command Line Input Option: The command Line option of the Lifecycle Management Console enables promotion of objects through command line input from one SAP BusinessObjects system to another SAP BusinessObjects system.
•  Override Settings: The override settings option enables promotion of overrides through a job promotion or through the use of BIAR files.
•  Visual Difference: Visual Difference enables the differences between two versions of the same file to be viewed.
•  Platform Search: Platform Search has been completely re-architected with advanced management features such as cluster aware indexing and search. It is now exposed using OpenSearch API, BI launch pad portal, Live Office, BI Widgets and BI Workspace.
•  Server Management & Configuration: New server metrics. Improvement of node management workflows. BusinessObjects servers now generate log files that describe the networking resources that are being used. Server configuration settings for the entire cluster can now be backed up and restored through the Central Configuration Manager (CCM).


* End User Experience – New Features

•  Advanced Analysis, Web Edition: SAP BusinessObjects Advanced Analysis, Web edition, merges the former SAP BusinessObjects Voyager and SAP BEx Analyzer, and contains new features and enhancements that are focused on improving productivity and depth of analysis. These new features and enhancements include a new layout panel, tabbed toolbar, workspace sheets, updated data presentation and analysis features, improved exporting capabilities, server maintenance and support features, and new interoperability with Crystal Reports and Web Intelligence.
•  BI Launch Pad: BI Launch Pad (formerly known as InfoView) features an improved user interface and additional options for interface customization.
•  BI Workspaces: BI Workspaces (formerly known as Dashboard Builder) now includes simplified workflows, enhanced designer interface, improved end-user experience, improved monitoring, management and deployment of dashboards, and seamless connectivity to reports through advanced content linking.
•  Dashboard Design: Dashboard Design (formerly called Xcelsius) contains new features and enhancements that are focused on improving productivity and direct enterprise data connectivity. Dashboard Design now includes direct access to universes, caching and processing servers, a new query panel, a new query browser panel, direct data binding of charts and selectors, universe connectivity components, text translation, new dashboard design objects, and lifecycle management of dashboard design objects.
•  Life Office: Live Office now includes a live office panel for MS Outlook, enhanced performance in MS Excel, auditing events included in SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise, and the ability to explore data in MS Excel.
•  Universe Design Tool: Universe Design now includes universe design tool api and connection folder management.
•  Report Conversion Tool: Report Conversion Tool now supports fit to n page, fold or unfold, show hide/unhide, and query on query.
•  SAP BusinessObjects Mobile: BusinessObjects Mobile now supports mobile documents on “home” page, searching BI documents, mobile server configuration tool, mobile installation package, sending a link of the BI document by email, mobile rights for users and groups, embedding multiple local actions in a particular cell in the report, single-click support for touch-based smart phones, new local actions: elookup and plookup, managing mobile servers in Central Configuration Manager (CCM), enhanced pre-configuration support, and enhanced platform support.
•  Personal Data Provider: Personal Data Provider now provides support for MS Excel 2007, refreshing WEBI documents on all UNIX platforms, and configuration and deployment changes for CDP framework plug-ins.
Widgets for SAP BusinessObjects: The Widgets for SAP BusinessObjects component now provides new functionality for Widgets with SAP BusinessObjects WebIntelligence content and Widgets with SAP Web Dynpro content.


* SAP Crystal Reports – Enhancements and New Features
•  SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise: SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise is a newly designed version of the Crystal Reports design client. The objectives of the SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise solution are to streamline the report creation process, provide significantly better support for the SAP BusinessObjects semantic layer, and to take advantage of better connectivity to SAP BW. In addition, there are a few other new features including a new streamlined interface, a new common semantic layer, and multiple improvements to the platform and associated enterprise servers.
•  SAP Crystal Reports 2011: SAP Crystal Reports 2011 continues to build on the powerful reporting features and success of Crystal Reports 2008 while also providing new features of specific interest to standalone report designers and application developers. New features in SAP Crystal Reports 2011 include an integration with Visual Studio 2010, a new read-only format, exporting reports to an MS Excel 2007 workbook, and a separation of the Crystal Reports integration with Visual Studio into a separate product from the core Crystal Reports product.
•  SAP Crystal Reports Viewer 2011: The SAP Crystal Reports Viewer has been updated to ensure that it has the necessary features to display and interact with content created by both SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise and SAP Crystal Reports 2011.



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