Archive for the ‘BusinessObjects’ Category

The End is Near! Planning Your SAP BusinessObjects 4.2 Upgrade

Unsupported technology is everyone’s nightmare scenario. But, it’s inevitable that every good software program will evolve and will ultimately reach end-of-life, requiring upgrades. Both SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 and 3.1 are winding through their respective final months of tech support, with 4.0 ending Priority One Support in December, 2017 and 3.1 following just 12 short months later.


Highlighting New Features

I recently co-moderated a webinar outlining all the reasons why BusinessObjects 4.0 and 3.1 users should be planning now to make the switch to BI 4.2 SP4. The list of features is impressive, as BusinessObjects 4.2 SP4 is focused on strengthening how you engage your business users with better features and tools. Those features are highlighted by a new, interacted Web Intelligence (WEBI) interface with new charts that will help explain and provide better insight. There is also a geo-coding feature, displaying information on interactive maps. Additionally, with the new version of BI 4.2, your team can leverage SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 Discovery and Designer. Lumira storyboards can consume personal data, universe content, SAP HANA® and more to present data with amazing insight and design. SAP is the only visualization tool that allows you to start with an engaging end-user interface and then enhance the developed content into corporate dashboard standard – it’s easy and saves time and effort.

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About Bob Zenker
Bob Zenker is a long-time member of Protiviti’s Data Management & Analytics team, and brings extensive experience in data management and visual insight to his current role as a Director. He has worked with more than 600 U.S. and international companies of varying sizes, providing integrated solutions that reduce complexity and focus on the “elegant interaction” of business needs and technology. His areas of specialization include: SAP BusinessObjects, SAP Lumira, SAP Cloud Analytics, AWS, Tableau, data modeling, server architecture, BusinessObjects SDK, portal integration, dashboard and report design.


Categories: BusinessObjects

Thinking of upgrading to SAP BusinessObjects 4.2 SP4? – Not so fast!


SAP BusinessObjects 4.2 SP4 offers numerous new features and many of these features have been anticipated for years. Below is just a sampling of all the great new enhancements found in SAP BusinessObjects 4.2 SP4.

  1. The Web Intelligence DHTML designer can realistically now replace the Java Applet Designer. You can again create WebI reports with Google chrome and without the need to deploy an Oracle JRE.
  2. There is a new optional HTML 5 (Fiori Style) BI LaunchPad and Web Intelligence viewer.
  3. There is a new CMS Database Driver for metadata reporting against the CMS database. I always thought it was odd that you could not generate reports based on metadata generated by a BI reporting platform.
  4. You can create Run-Time Server groups and they can be assigned to folders, users and security groups. This allows you to setup dedicated “server nodes” to process workloads.
  5. New Virus Scan integrated support with…

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Categories: BusinessObjects

Bring the Power of SAP Analytics to

When standard Salesforce reporting just isn’t enough, leverage the power of your SAP Analytics Suite. Protiviti’s Salesforce ® Connect for SAP® Analytics solution is an automated integration that brings the full potential of the SAP BusinessObjects platform to users.

Sales reps, marketing professionals and customer service personnel can leverage the robust scalability and security of their SAP BusinessObjects content from within, anywhere and at any time, increasing productivity, reducing training, and providing the team with a true 360 degree view of their customers.

Protiviti Salesforce Connect expert Patrick Nesmith will review how Salesforce Connect lets you mash-up, merge and view data from SAP Lumira®, SAP Crystal Reports®, SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, SAP® BusinessObjects™ Web Intelligence® and more.

Join us for this 45 minute session to learn how to:

  • Access, view, update and refresh SAP BusinessObjects developed content within including Salesforce and non-Salesforce data – eliminating the need to move data
  • Integrate specific report / visualization content into existing Salesforce tabs or pages
  • Deliver visibility via KPIs that drive your Sales and Marketing activities

About Patrick Nesmith 

Patrick Nesmith is a director in Protiviti’s Data Management and Advanced Analytics practice. He is a recognized expert in the field of Business Intelligence, with significant experience advising clients on their BI strategy and managing large scale BI projects. Patrick joined Protiviti in November 2015, when Decision First Technologies (DFT) was acquired by the global consulting firm. He had been with DFT for more than a decade, as director of presales and director of client development. Prior to joining DFT, Patrick was co-owner of Capricorn Consulting. He is a graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology.

Categories: BusinessObjects

First Impressions of the New SAP BI Launchpad

Experienced users of Web Intelligence, whom might have become fatigued with the interface of Web Intelligence and other applications using the BI Launchpad, will be excited to see the brand new iteration of the Launchpad in BI 4.2 SP4. This new, yet familiar interface will be sure to please both current and future users alike.

New, Yet Familiar Design

The entire look of the BI Launchpad has been given a major facelift, with the most prominent change being a shift to a tiled icon interface, more consistent with other SAP applications like Fiori 2.0. Upon login, users are directed to the My Home  page, pictured below.

In my opinion, this layout can be a tad bit overwhelming at first glance. Files are listed alphabetically with seemingly no options for grouping by file type, whether the file be a Webi or a Crystal Report. A drop down menu in the top left hand corner does allow you, however, to navigate to your recent and favorite documents for a more consolidated view.

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Austin Graham
Sr. Consultant 2
Data & Analytics

SAP BI Running Embedded Into SalesForce

I come across a lot of situations where customers run SalesForce and ask me whether they can combine their SalesForce data with other corporate data. A most recent request was to combine SAP BW Copa data (profitability analysis) with SalesForce data on clients with payment risks. Today this can be easily be done using data blending techniques of the SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite. More in particular, I used the SAP Lumira salesforce IDBC connector to connect to the customer’s SalesForce data and blend it with their SAP BW data.

But customers these days require more than just combining their SalesForce data with other data. They require to have the full SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite running embedded into their SalesForce environment. With the use of Protiviti SalesForce Connect for SAP Analytics, this can be done.

Read the rest of Iver van de Zand’s article here!

Categories: BusinessObjects

2016 Security Webinar Series

End-to-End Security for Your SAP Environment

From designing and configuring your SAP application security to implementing SAP BI and HANA security, our Webinar Series gives you tips, tricks and best practices from our top SAP experts.

Join us on Thursdays @ 2:00 pm Eastern beginning April 21st. This series gives you real life examples on how to properly secure and manage your SAP landscape.

Register for one or all three!

Securing Your SAP Application 
Speaker: Michele Makuch
Thursday, April 21 @ 11:00 Pacific | 1:00 Central | 2:00 pm Eastern

Designing and maintaining a best in class SAP security environment is a challenging endeavor given the complexity of parameters and general IT controls that need to be properly configured and monitored.

Join Michelle Makuch, SAP security expert, to understand the key steps to design and maintain an optimized SAP security environment helping you avoid the need for a redesign later.

Key Learning Points 

  • Improve your SAP role design strategy
  • Learn key general IT controls to implement and monitor
  • See how to establish an adequate SoD management framework
  • Understand how to institute a comprehensive SAP security program, including cyber-security risks



Implementing SAP BI Security Best Practices
Speaker: Bob Zenker
Thursday, April 28 @ 11:00 Pacific | 1:00 Central | 2:00 pm Eastern

BI has become pervasive for decision-making at all levels. With that pervasiveness come risks due to a centralized architecture that houses potentially sensitive data in one place that can be used by many people.

Join Bob Zenker, BI expert, to learn how to properly implement SAP BI security based on practical experiences and real-world use case studies. This session will provide detailed tips and tricks for participants on implementing security for adhoc users and discuss challenges of security data and BI content.

Key Learning Points

  • Learn best practices on implementing 3rd party security applications like SAP, Windows AD and LDAP
  • Gain an overview on data security in Universes, Crystal Reports and SSO to databases
  • Review deploying mobile access to BI content utilizing SSL or VPN
  • Examine mobile application security setup on devices within the BI4.1 architecture



Securing Your SAP HANA Environment
Speaker: Jonathan Haun
Thursday, May 5 @ 11:00 Pacific | 1:00 Central | 2:00 pm Eastern

Although all systems have to deal with authentication, authorization and user provisioning, SAP HANA deviates from typical database platforms in the amount of security configuration that is done inside the database.

Join Jonathan Haun, co-author of “Implementing SAP HANA”, for expert recommendations on configuring SAP HANA and setting up the proper security models for your SAP HANA system.

Key Learning Points

  • Get best practice strategies to properly provision users, manage repository roles, and implement a manageable security model in SAP HANA
  • Gain an overview of the 4 different types of privileges in SAP HANA
  • Explore how third-party authentication can integrate with SAP HANA
  • Find out how to provide selective access to data using analytic privileges in SAP HANA



Categories: BusinessObjects, Events, HANA

What’s new in SAP BusinessObjects 4.2 SP2


It has been some time since I last posted a blog about SAP BusinessObjects. In part that was due to a lack of major changes in the SAP BusinessObject platform. A few Support Pack were released but there were only a handful of changes or enhancement that caught my attention. In addition to this, I am also excited to now be a part of the Protiviti family. In November of 2015, the assets of Decision First Technologies were mutually acquired by Protiviti. I am now acting as a Director within the Protiviti Data and Analytics practice. I look forward to all the benefits we can now offer our customers but unfortunately the acquisition transition required some of my time. Now let’s get to the good parts…

With the release of SAP BusinessObjects 4.2 SP2, SAP has introduced a treasure trove of new enhancements. It contains a proverbial wish list of…

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Categories: BusinessObjects

Connecting to Salesforce Data Through SAP BusinessObjects

I recently found myself needing to connect my Salesforce® data to SAP® BusinessObjects™. My project required meshing data from multiple sources and BusinessObjects is the best way to do that. Although Salesforce has a native reporting component, it’s not as robust as BusinessObjects, which allows me to run powerful analysis, and generate highly formatted, interactive reports and dashboards with extensive visibility, alignment and insight across my entire enterprise.

When I started looking at the best way to accomplish this, I knew I had to do one of two things: extract the data out of Salesforce, or find an ODBC driver to connect to it. Extracting the data required keeping it in a staging area in my database, but I knew that wouldn’t produce real-time updates. So I decided an ODBC driver was the path of least resistance.

With several driver options available, I decided to experiment to find the best one. My focus was on the usability and functionality of each without taking cost into consideration.

I searched the internet for Salesforce ODBC drivers and downloaded each from its respective vendor. I installed them on my BusinessObjects server and began my experiment.

Below is a list of the drivers I tested:

  • Native SAP Salesforce ODBC installed with BusinessObjects Server and Client tools
  • Progress DataDirect Salesforce
  • Easysoft Salesforce ODBC Driver
  • CDATA ODBC Driver for Salesforce
  • Simba Salesforce ODBC Driver

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Mitesh About Mitesh Shah

Mitesh is a senior Business Intelligence consultant for Decision First Technologies  specializing in data services, web services, front-end reporting and analysis,  dashboards and Information Governance for numerous enterprise customers across  the country. Specifically he works with SAP® Data Services, Information Steward,  BusinessObjects Tool Suite and HANA.


Categories: BusinessObjects

A Q&A with Dashboards in SAP BI

After returning from the SAPInsider BI2015 event in Las Vegas, I wrote a blog on my personal experiences from the perspective of a presenter, sponsor and exhibitor.  That blog, hopefully, will be posted very soon.  The two days that I was there were certainly intense.  During the course of my time at BI2015, I gave a session on building Executive Level Dashboards using SAP Dashboards.  We had some very interesting questions about name clarification, tool selection and longevity of the tool.  I wanted to give some interesting questions posed by the attendees of my sessions and give my thoughts on them.

Question: SAP Dashboards means Xcelsius and not Design Studio?

My Response: When the SAP BI Platform 4.0 was released, SAP renamed a few of their tools.  The InfoView portal from prior versions of SAP BusinessObjects was renamed to LaunchPad.  SAP attempted to rename Web Intelligence as Interactive Analysis and even went as far as updating the support site and documentation as Interactive Analysis or IA.  After some rebellion, SAP kept the original Web Intelligence name (but didn’t change the support site or document references!).

The professionally authored dashboarding product Xcelsius was renamed to SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards.  Colloquially, Dashboards is still referred to as Xcelsius.  So when we mention Dashboards (which can also refer to the generic dashboarding term), we mean the former Xcelsius application.  When we say Xcelsius, we mean SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards.

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Hickman sm About Chris Hickman

Chris is a certified SAP BusinessObjects consultant. His specific areas of expertise include reporting,  analysis, dashboard development and visualization techniques. Chris’ software development  background has enabled him to achieve proven effectiveness in architecting, developing, testing and  supporting both desktop and web-based applications for many customer engagements representing various industries. Chris also speaks globally at SAP and ASUG events.


Categories: BusinessObjects

My favorite “What’s New” feature of SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 SP5


This posting is a little “late to the press” but I thought I would follow tradition and post a what’s new for SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 SP5. Most of the important details are listed in the What’s New Guide on However I did find that a major enhancement had been implemented in the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 4.1 SP5 plugin. From what I can tell, this enhancement was not listed in the “What’s New” guide. I was actually notified of the enhancement through

So what is the major enhancement? Drumroll please……you now have a few formatting options when defining calculated measures within an SAP Explorer Information Space.

You can now format calculated measures defined in your SAP Explorer Information Space. You can now format calculated measures defined in your SAP Explorer Information Space.

Explorer Formatting Numbers This includes the ability to define the number of decimal places and Currency Symbol

Previously you only had formatting options when your information space was based on a Universe. The Information Space…

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Categories: BusinessObjects