Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Embedding SAP Analytics into SalesForce, Sharepoint or any cloud application

January 28th, 2016

I cannot believe that my rant on Embedded BI from the BOB forum never made it to my blog.  So here it is…
When it comes to integrating BusinessObjects into there are 3 areas of connection to address

1) the integration of the data for ETL and reporting using system accounts – Using the various drivers available for both SAP Data Services and the Information Design Tool (IDT Universe) it is straightforward to install a driver using a system account to query the data in Some drivers are better than others when it comes to providing the metadata needed to represent the tables and columns needed for the Universe design so test out the latest from Samba, Data Direct, and RSS Bus. at our company we have licensed Relational Junction from Sesame Software to be part of our products as it also provides some key advantages that we label as data caching which is more efficient then bulk data loads between cloud and on premise data sources. BOE 4.2 and Crystal Reports now will share the same driver which is a more stable driver providing a more consistent view of data

2) The Integration of the logged in user – in order to get the data using the account of the user that is logged in using the security rules that have been implemented in a query services needs to use the session of the user in real time. To address this need we developed a self service query tool called Touch that can pickup the session using the appropriate API’s so that the data returned via the web services has only the data the user is supposed to see but in a format that can be used in various tools including Webi, Dashboards and Design Studio. If you have a team of developers familiar with the SFDC API’s this can be developed internally. Note these API’s change often so don’t underestimate the effort to keep them working.

3) The integration of the reports themselves into the user interface of completes the picture so that users only need a single interface to do their jobs. The goal is a user can login to from any device and have an effortless view of reports, graphs , dashboards and they don’t have to jockey between and their LaunchPad. If the user is only logging on to through their desktop while on a SSO enabled network (i.e. Windows AD) there is some linking that can be done through a SSO enabled link to opendoc for meeting some basic needs. If users want access to a complete report list in a Tab or screen, report parts integrated into pages, SSO across devices and without VPN or want to see both reports and Webi reports in the same report list then go to for the LaunchWorks SalesForce Integration Kit for SAP BusinessObjects aka Report Launch.

If you have other ideas, solutions or needs please post them here or contact us @ We live and breath BOE Integration with and want to know what people want and need to make it happen.

BI 2014 Nice May 21-22

May 16th, 2014

Come see us at the LaunchWorks Q&A session on Embedded Analytics and our presentation on best practices on your move to BOE 4.1.


Some references


BOE Migration Process Flow 3-11-14

Quality First

August 1st, 2013

The ASUG BusinessObjects Strategic SIG would like your feedback for a Business Intelligence Quality survey. This survey will allow us to gain insight into the current BI ecosystem and in return help us to provide you with more tailored content to suit your needs. Please take a moment to fill out the brief survey, we look forward to hearing from you. The survey closes Friday, August 2, 2013, at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Survey Link –>

Where are the vegetables? – Innovation via the SAP App Store

April 6th, 2013

The IT groups of each company I see being are driven to innovate and deliver at a faster pace for businesses to stay competitive. IT based products and services that generate real revenue are outpacing the cost savings initiatives. The momentum of these demands is colliding into IT services that have been stripped down to bare minimum operation levels with the majority of its operations outsourced via master service agreements that wrap the simplest service into forms and week long turn-arounds [rant]. That does not put IT in a great position to innovate a design into a solution let along deliver it. If your company has a surviving R&D department go pat the CIO on the pack for having some long term vision past the IT as a cost center mentality.

Ironically what I see on the flip side of this demand for innovation is vendors that are innovating great things with hopes of finding customers that need the solution to validate them. The challenge for IT is not finding staffing partners that can help IT innovate as any company will take an idea and develop it from scratch learning along the way. Its connecting the partners that have already innovated the solution they are looking for. These partners don’t show up with staff . they come to the table with a shard vision and pure passion to see the idea succeed a sit has their name on it as well as the customer funding it.
There in lies the value of the App Store. Launchworks has always been about taking ideas from concept to reality. The days we get a customer to find us on the web via SEO, Facebook, linked in or email initiatives and have a need we can demonstrate are some of the very best. How do we better connect with the customers that are looking for turnkey solutions at the time of the demand vs 9 months later after a frustrating POC or failed internally staffed project?

App Stores can be the grocery store of innovation aligning leading or even bleeding edge solutions solutions with the companies that need them. There are several keys to an App Store being effective

1) Having enough apps in the beginning so that a customers first trip is not a turn off. Even if they don’t find what they are looking for the first time they are now connected to a community that has as pure purpose of connecting them with the solutions they need. On the first day of a cry cleaners business notice how there are already clothes on the racks? This takes a proactive search for innovation by the App Stores manager to provide new and relevant content as easy to find as the vegetable aisle in the store

2) Solutions need to have the same ability to be found regardless of the employee size or revenue of the development team. Let the customer decide if they care if the bits and bytes were delivered by a staff across 3 continents over a ear or on a single night on the developer’s kitchen table. Customers can rank it later if its really that bad of a solution. Cluttering the store with multiple SKU’s of the same tool or ranking the results based on size of the developers marketing budget will ensure an early death of the App Store’s relevancy for an innovation connector.

3) Apps need to be easy to find based on what the customer needs. This is where the challenge is for the developers of these apps. Categories, tags, and key words only work well if they match the terms the searcher thinks of at the time they are searching. As a long time Ecohub partner I know a customer looking for a “reporting plugin for their Tibco portal” will not find our solution for an “embedded BI portal framework”. This is where innovations from the Apple, Google and Netflix and my local grocery store should provide ample methods of connecting the searcher using standard methods followed up by proactive communications.
a) Dynamic categories that can be updated based on common search terms not necessarily what the App Stores manager things users search on.

b) Proactive recommendations based on data captured during search and evaluation steps.

c) followup to customers post  search to remind them of the resource and alerts on new sources of innovation available since their last visit.

With Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Netflix all investing on these technologies like never before my hope is that the SAP App Store located in the near future at takes what works already in the area of consumer and mobile and allows for the innovation of their diverse community to be connected with the customers that need it for the enterprise.


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.

ASUG BOBJ Strategic SIG survey for Roadmap

August 17th, 2012

Please help us all and fill out the ASUG  BOBJ Strategic SIG survey for Roadmaps…its a quick one

2012 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference

August 17th, 2012

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

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

ASUG Texas Central Meetup March 30th

March 23rd, 2012

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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Difference between BusinessObjects Mobile and LaunchWorks Mobile

February 4th, 2012

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