SAP Business Objects Consultant
SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards Enthusiast
Author of web blog http://www.davidlai101.com/blog and coauthor of
Co-author of SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 Cookbook.
Rebranding of Xcelsius
Xcelsius in its original conception was a way to build visualizations and
dashboards using Excel data.
As Xcelsius evolved, the name no longer became relevant in the SAP product
Thus SAP felt it would be better for customers if Xcelsius was to be
rebranded as SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards
Common issues that dashboard designers are faced with
External 3rd party addons
Query Browser (New BI4 feature)
Common Dashboard Issues
Deciding on what type of data connection to use
Aggregation of data within Xcelsius
Drilling up and down hierarchies
SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards can
connect to 12 different types of data
12 Connectivity Options
Query as a Web Service
SAP Netweaver BW
Crystal Report Data
Web Service Connection
LCDS Connection (Adobe)
Excel XML Maps
BO EnterpriseNon-BO Enterprise
Live Office and QaaWS @ Design Time
Live Office and QaaWS @ Runtime
When to use Live Office – Complex Formatting
Crosstabs with a dynamic amount of columns or formulas in the cells that require
complex formulas that can be done in the WEBI report.
With QaaWS we can use ETL but that would require extra data maintenance and
universes/universe objects which some organizations are not okay with.
Great for rapid development as we don’t have to wait for ETL resources to
complete the ETL work
When to use Live Office
We can make use of WEBI report scheduling on queries that take long to
The dataset needs to be small enough (less than 500 rows) so that we can
just grab the entire set without having to query.
Crystal Reports can be utilized when there is no Universe
When to use Query as a Web Service
Query as a Web Service does not have to build a WEBI report and queries
Good for large data sets that need to be broken down with prompt parameters
Can perform row level security querying
Data Logic / Maintainability
Keeps Data Logic in the data layer so that database handles all the
number crunching through the ETL
Don’t have to maintain Live Office connections on the Excel spreadsheet
Less overhead on the dashboard source file
Thoughts on Live Office and QaaWS
Is it strict where Data Logic should reside in your
Is it necessary to invest in the ETL work? Are ETL resources
Is performance a major factor?
Real time or Delayed data?
Is the organization comfortable with managing both LO and
QaaWS to get the best out of both worlds?
BI Web Services
• Available for SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1 SP2 and up
• Hybrid of Live Office and Query as a Web Service
• Allows you to create web service objects from Web Intelligence blocks (Complex
formatting without the need for ETL)
• Can used scheduled reports
• Can use Web Intelligence drill down feature which is extremely useful
• No more Live Office management required on Excel spreadsheet
BI Web Services - Continued
• On SAP Business Objects XI 3.1, you can only use Web Intelligence rich client to
generate BI Web Services
• On SAP Business Objects BI 4, you can generate BI Web Services from Interactive
Analysis (Web Intelligence web client)
• In SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards and Life Cycle Manager, the BI Web Service
objects are treated as Query as a Web Service objects
Some quick dashboard performance tips
• When using Live Office, use as little live office connections as possible. They take
up a lot of overhead
• Re-use dashboard components such as charts and selectors as much as possible
• Keep dataset sizes to a minimum. When you are going over 1500 rows, it takes a
significant amount of overhead.
• Try to use formulas such as VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, SUMIFs, etc sparingly. For
VLOOKUPs you can use Filtered Rows instead.
• Use “&” instead of “Concatenate”
• A powerful 3rd party addon that allows a designer to create standard or
hierarchical tree structures and present numerous data visualizations in a compact
• Fills SAP BusinessObjects Dashboard’s tree explorer gap
• Each column can represent a different chart type
• Huge amount of control options to customize table functionality
• Allows designers to build visualizations that are in line with Stephen Few’s
Filtered Summary Component
• Straight forward approach to summarize groups of data
• Inject summarization, searching and filtering capabilities for end users
• Shorten development time and improve dashboard maintenance
• Don’t have to run another query in order to get aggregated calculations
• Navigate geographic information within a familiar Google Maps interface
• Visualize performance at any level from worldwide to a street-level picture
• Retrieve detailed information on map properties
• Powerful new feature in SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4 that allows designers
to connect directly to Universe objects
• Don’t have to manage separate WEBI or QaaWS objects
• Allows designers to bind output data directly to object selectors and vice versa to
Build your query
Bind directly to
Query Browser - Continued
• Multi Select without having to use the real estate hogging List Builder!
Multi Select from
list of values!
Query Browser – Need to know
• Must be on SAP BusinessObjects BI4
• You must use Information Design Tool to convert existing Universes into UNX
format for the Universes to be visible on Query Browser
• Query selection is the same as Query as a web service (no complex formatting)
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