Archive for the ‘BO 4’ category

The New SAP BusinessObjects RESTful SDK: What It Means to You

October 21st, 2013


Meet the LWLabs Team!

We here at LaunchWorksLabs are busy getting into all kinds of mischief. Most notably, the ins and outs of the new SAP BusinessObjects RESTful SDK.

If you are familiar with SAP BusinessObjects, then you know it is the leading global technology in the area of business analytics and business intelligence. This includes Crystal Reports, Web Intelligence, SAP Dashboards (formerly Xcelsius) and many others.

And if you are a Java or .Net developer, then you also know that SAP BusinessObjects has allowed developers to create custom applications solutions using their classic Java and .Net SDKs for years. We at LaunchWorks have been right there alongside you.

But there is a new kid in town: The BusinessObjects RESTful SDK.

Designed for Crystal, Web Intelligence and the BI Platform, the RESTful SDK (RSDK) is the next-generation application programming interface (API) for manipulating and interacting with Web Intelligence reporting residing on your BusinessObjects server.

So what does it mean to me?

For starters, it means no more jar files. Or, if you are a .Net developer, merge modules and or .dll files. The RSDK is based on a lightweight, refreshing platform that literally requires no installation. All it requires is knowledge of a handful of URLs and configuring your BOE server for web services (which is already configured by default). And you are in business.

And since interacting with the SDK amounts to http calls, it is als platform agnostic, meaning, it no longer matters whether you are using Java, .Net, PHP, Python, or even Javascript: The SDK is supported. And universal. That is: Gone are the days when there were differences between what the .Net version and the Java version of the SDKs could do (good news for .Net developers who suffered a dire lack of SDK support in the past few years). For these reasons, the RSDK is destined to replace classic Java and .Net SDKs in the coming months and years.

But this unleashed version has a bit of a catch. In classic Java/.Net SDK programming, as a programmer you would interactive with an object model. But with the RSDK consisting of no more than a vast array of URL calls, guess what? Your are the object model! Now this is good news on one hand, since your deployments will be as lightweight as you want them to be. On the other hand, building a scalable, maintainable, and robust enterprise application will require careful planning.

And that is where we come in :) Our flagship offering, the RESTful SDK Bootcamp, is designed not only to equip you with what you need to know in order to take full advantage of the SAP BusinessObjects RESTful SDK, but also to kickstart your custom RSDK project with coverage of best practices and proven enterprise development design patterns around the new RSDK. Basically, we have already done the hard part for you.

And we will continue to do so daily as we get into even greater mischief testing and exploring the capabilities of the new RESTful SDK.


Author: Don Collins


Coming in 2013

December 3rd, 2012

This first post is a high level overview of the things on our horizon.  In upcoming posts I will be doing a deep dive into the new platforms, features and plans coming out form our development team, partnerships and customer projects.


Part of the plan at LaunchWorks has always been to create a better way to train our SDK specialists for our customer’s through our products and services.  We have been working on improving our use of  best practices, as well as, the use of the latest in web and mobile development technologies along with every version of BusinessObjects released.  One of the outputs of this years efforts will the larger availability of our internal BusinessObjects SDK training out to our customers.  With the release of the 4.0 platform and the needs for Customer Facing Reporting making it to the mainstream,  there are lots of things to share with customers that need the best understanding on how to deliver BI outside their firewall.


Last month we released the first in several new areas of our platform in the form of LaunchForms, our digital form creator for the enterprise.  2013 will see a major upgrade to the LaunchForms capabilities.


We are also releasing a new release of the LaunchWorks platform that will make customer facing reporting portal all the more attainable as a turn key system, whether its embedded or white labeled.  There are several new LaunchPortal modules, more integration with our LaunchApp mobile tools and the release of several new apps we have been developing for our customers.

We are excited about what is coming and look forward to meeting the needs of our leading edge customers and partners.  My next post will dive more deeply into the features and benefits each of the new platform additions bring. See you next year.

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

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.

Get instances by submission date

February 12th, 2012

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.


SAP Crystal Reports Roadmap History

February 24th, 2011

When Crystal Decisions was purchased by BusinessObjects the Crystal Report designer tool was a Windows executable and had just integrated a full semantic layer that would allow multiple reports to access multiple connections and include multi-level business logic definitions in the form of a Business View.  BusinessObjects already had a mature Universe semantic layer as part of its platform and was already moving to a Java based report editor accessible over the web as well as on the desktop.

While the BusinessObjects reporting tools becaome integrated into the existing Crystal Enterprise based server engines, the semantic layers remained independent.  Each tool’s implementation of semantic layer management was quite different and each had its strengths.  In the XI version Crystal could access both the Business View as well as limited support to connect to the same Universe but the integration stopped there.

In the upcoming SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise release there is a new semantic  layer that begins to bring the best of the Universe and the Business View into a single Information Management tool.  SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise will be able to take advantage of the new semantic layer in a consistent interface as it’s Web Intelligence and Dashboard Design (previously Xcelsius ) cousins.

For connecting to other data connection types the SAP Crystal  Reports 2011 product will be released to replace its 2008 predecessor.  Later on these two versions will be combined into a single release.   Te get access to either you buy a single license…meaning by one and you get the other.

Both  Crystal Reports for Enterprise and Crystal Reports 2011 are now also available as a Java application  that allows installation on Windows and Linux based desktop machines.