SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is now available for iPhones. At the same time, it is also the first SAP cell phone application designed exclusively for the iPhone. As yet, there are no plans for the BlackBerry. The decision in favor of the iPhone was down to its graphical capabilities, its good performance, and its growing acceptance in the business world. The app (link to iTunes), which is available free of charge, can be obtained exclusively from Apple’s App Store.
This small app takes up a mere 491 KB in the iPhone memory and is currently offered in version 1.0.203. It enables simple and fast searches in data records by setting up access to the database server. In this respect, the app functions just like the “big” SAP BusinessObjects Explorer: Users access a desired data record that is located in the working memory of SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Accelerator (SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator).
What users get is a high-performance analysis tool for business intelligence (BI), which can provide answers to business questions and uncover correlations in company data. As our initial tests with the two demo data records show, the results displayed on the iPhone look highly promising. With a few swift finger movements, users can navigate within a data record and create a diagram. On the currently available smartphones, the picture quality remains exceptionally good.
The mobile version of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is suitable for employees at companies that use SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator in combination with average-size and large data records. Other SAP components are not essential. SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator is offered as an integrated system/blade server (based on Intel Xeon processors) by companies such as Fujitsu and HP. Depending on the size of the database, there’s the starter version with 24 GB working memory (two blades, each with 12 GB). The maximum size is 480 GB working memory (in-memory database)
Analyzing business data on the move
The volume of business data has grown dramatically over the past few years. Nevertheless, many employees in user departments don’t have an insight into the relevant company data to make the right decisions using the existing information. Previously, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer was only available as a Web-based analysis tool, which was also aimed at employees with limited technical expertise. The mobile app is designed for sales and marketing staff who want to calculate margins and make forecasts.
With help of the two test data records (statistics from Formula One and figures from a fashion company), we gained a pretty good impression of how data analysis and graphical display work in practice. At the touch of a finger, the diagram can be displayed differently or additional selections can be made in the data record. Once the analysis is complete, users can send the selected diagram as well as the related data series by e-mail with just a few flicks.
The search function on the iPhone greatly resembles the “big” SAP BusinessObjects Explorer in the Web version: After keying in a search term – we used “BMW” in our example with the Formula One statistics – the relevant hits are shown in context.
Database connection and SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator
With the help of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, users can analyze databases with up to a billion entries. In theory, users can access such large volumes of data using an iPhone and the installed app. To analyze the data, InfoCubes must be defined.