BusinessObjects, Web Intelligence , Crystal Reports

2012 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference

August 17th, 2012 by Kevin McManus No comments »

Join us at the  2012 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference 


The 2012 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference is coming to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort this September 10-13, 2012.   There will be many presentations from the SIG team and SAP with roadmap updates and valuable information on how to use best practices.
Kevin McManus
Don Collins – Crystal

So you are thinking about a mobile web app

March 31st, 2012 by Kevin McManus No comments »

When delivering a mobile experience for web based information there are three different options, each with their own pros and cons.

Below we mention a few of them and note the relative price of each option signified by the number of dollar signs.

Option A – Native iPhone/Android App – $$$$
• Native performance
• Little to no requirement for data connection for most functionality
• Excellent performance and response time
• May be fairly static and require separate updates of web and mobile content
• Will require updates to core code to push changes
• Longer and more costly time to market

Option B – Hybrid native and web optimized app – $$$
• Re-purpose most existing website content
• Still have “downloadable” app
• Less development time to market

• Requires a data connection for most content
• Performance dependent somewhat on data connection speed
• Still some level of separate maintenance of app and website

Option C – Re-purpose all content into a mobile enabled website – $$
• Re-purpose almost all existing web content
• Very fast time to market
• All changes on website reflected on mobile app
• 100% requirement on data connection
• No “downloadable” app

This last risk related to “downloadability” (ooh a new word) may actually be a positive. Especially if the thrill of going to the AppStore is not part of your user experience goals.

Any way you you go its most important that the goals of the application and a great user experience are captured otherwise just like a bad web site its a waste of everyone’s time.

There is one other type of application we see at LaunchApps that I call a Template App.

I will talk about those the next time

When deciding how to handle your next upgrade to BOE ( i.e. v3.1 vs. 4.0 ) here are a few discussion points

March 27th, 2012 by Kevin McManus No comments »

a) Most of the known issues with the 4.0 release have been addressed with the fix packs that have followed since its release almost a year ago.
b) There are several configuration changes that are different from past versions and these are relatively well documented.
c) There is higher level support for the JRE that Webi uses which can be good or bad based on what your organization’s hold on this ending updated by users to their desktops
d) While the Information Design tool and Crystal for Enterprise lay the foundation for multi-data source semantic layers these new parts of the platform still require training and done necessarily have all the features of their universe and Crystal 2011 counterparts, respectively.

There is a significant set of new features and additional improvements coming out in the Feature Pack being released this spring. This new set of features along with the overall stability should be the tipping point to which the upgrade makes sense.

Combining people and processes into the plan is just as important as the technology portion of the upgrade. Therefore as with all upgrades is most important to
1) create a migration plan , based on best practices, for each way reporting is used in your organization (e.g. batch, bursted, on-demand, portals, etc.)
2) set user and management expectations early on testing and training expectations
3) use experience whenever possible

I hope this is helpful in our planning on which version to upgrade to.

ASUG Texas Central Meetup March 30th

March 23rd, 2012 by Kevin McManus No comments »

Join the ASUG Texas-Central Chapter for its next chapter meeting on Friday, March 30, 2012 at the Texas Computer Education Association, 9am and take advantage of this face-to-face educational and networking opportunity.

Meeting Highlights: – Working Smarter, Not Harder – SAP Reporting Leveraging the Ease of Excel, Excel 4 Apps – Jumpstart Your SAP Solution Manager Project Using SAP Solution Documentation Assistant, IBIS America, LLC – Workflow Approval Through Mobile Devices, Configurable Management

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Get instances by submission date

February 12th, 2012 by Kevin McManus No comments »

One of LaunchWorks‘ lead engineers , Don Collins was asked by a BusinessObjects customer to get a list of the latest failed instances filtered by submission date of the scheduled job. The Instance Manager in the CMC only allows filtering on the completion date.

Here is the final cms query that should make things easier. It grabs all recently failed queries and returns the id, name and scheduleinfo (error) of the instance.

There was an odd filter issue when certain dates were used. Not exactly sure what that was about, but the query returned the most recent first.


Difference between BusinessObjects Mobile and LaunchWorks Mobile

February 4th, 2012 by Kevin McManus No comments »

I get asked quite a bit on the differences between the BusinessObjects Mobile (BI4 Mobile) and LaunchWorks Mobile (LWM). Technologically they are miles apart in different directions. In fact LaunchWorks Mobile is just another of our interfaces on the LaunchWorks platform so customers get it with their upgrades.

BI Mobile Content Supports Webi and Crystal
LWM support Webi, Crystal, Xcelsius (ipad support coming soon)

BOE 4 Mobile requires an application download
LWM does not require any mobile app download and uses the same security as your desktop login.

To show reports they need to be categorized and modified with instructions so the client can present them
LWM does not require any changes to the reports

BO Mobile only runs on tomcat web servers
LWM runs on any web application server that supports Java

BO Mobile app cannot be customized
LWM is fully customizable.

Other helpful links.. .

You can download the BI$ Mobile app form itunes as well as it has a few sample reports

Lessons Learned BOBJ 4.0 (WIP)

December 19th, 2011 by Kevin McManus No comments »

I am going to keep editing this post till I am satisfied I have recorded all I have experienced

Good things

  • Server Installation seems to not have any issues
  • The web application seems to run much faster
  • A good hardware or VM environment makes all the difference
  • Windows AD Kerberos SSO sign-on documentation works perfectly if you follow it EXACTLY !
  • History Screen Auto-Refreshes in CMC and launchpad

  • Not so good things

  • Tomcat has had trouble stopping
  • There are more warning messages in the event viewer that are not necessarily things you can fix
  • RAS server can have issues that cause it to restart
  • Connection server uses 64 bit ODBC
  • Migrated Crystal 2011 Reports use 32 bit ODBC
  • Client installation works on Vista 64 (did take 3 different times to get it working and then my MS Office 2007 got wacked)
  • Error messages are not any better

  • Migration specific issues

  • If a user set their Web Intelligence settings to the Webi (Interactive ) Viewer for their default “modify” option then when migrated in 4,0 it shows “Interactive Analysis” and they can only view reports as the query builder does not seem available in the “Interactive Analysis” viewer. They need to change it to the Rich Client (i.e. Java viewer)
  • Upgrade Manager doesn’t act the way you would expect around importing groups and changing the dependency menu once you have expanded the users and groups screen can crash it
  • View Webi reports & Xcelsius dashboard in Java web portal

    October 18th, 2011 by Kevin McManus No comments »

    We get questions from lots of people on how to integrate the users that are accessing externall BI portals with the users on the internal BI system. Here is the link to the ROI with your BI SaaS presentation I gave at the ASUG BOUC conference talking about options on how how to deliver secure external reporting portal for BusinessObjects (aka Outward Facing)

    It goes over the concepts involved on how to provide the simplified view of reports and dashboards to external users that most people want and also how LaunchWorks software specifically can help when you don’t want to start from scratch with the SDK development needed.

    Specifically there are three ways to handle the security including

    1) using a Windows AD/LDAP centric user account
    2) Enterprise based account (which can be automatically setup upon first signon).
    3) You can technically use a system account , however ….

    a) you will loose auditing
    b) may have issues with incorrect caching between sessions
    c) probably be out of compliance unless you have CPU based licensing.

    Would love your questions and comments


    Kevin McManus

    Lessons Learned from the 2011 BusinessObjects User Conference

    October 16th, 2011 by Kevin McManus No comments »

    Just a few of the things that I learned at the User Conference

  • ASUG is actively creating great content in all areas of BI
  • The free access to ASUG fro BOBJ/GBN members is extended through 2012
  • The content delivered by experienced speakers is getting richer as 4.0 gets rolled out.
  • Make appointments with everyone you know is going to be there (I hit 5 out of 6 by scheduling times in advance)
  • There is an increasing desire in the user community to be heard, participate, and influence (See ASUG Strategic SIG for how)
  • Most companies still do not have a clear strategy for mobile BI
  • There are some very different ways to create enterprise BI systems that can scale globally
  • Tweeting consistently is hard work
  • I need an ASUG shirt
  • Lastly…
    The interest in the SDK is alive and well. For Non ASUG users that dont have access to our presentations our link is below.

    Kevin McManus

  • Speaking at the BusinessObjects User Conference 2011

    October 4th, 2011 by Kevin McManus No comments »

    Excited to present next week at the following sessions

    • SDK Best Practices session 0109
    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
    Room Number : Australia 3

    • How to use BOE as a BI SaaS solution with the Launch Platform session 4003
    Monday, October 10, 2011 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
    Room Number : Northern Hemisphere A-1

    Please also look for our team at the LaunchWorks booth where we have some great give aways that will keep on giving throughout the year