Nowadays, many companies deploy software to create graphics that reveal how their data is connected – and consider this an integral part of making better business decisions. Collectively, the term used for such activities is business intelligence, which is abbreviated to BI. SAP offers its BusinessObjects BI OnDemand solution online in three different versions. For small enterprises and individuals, the Personal Edition, which is limited to 2,000 data rows and 10 MB memory, is completely free of charge. The Essential Edition, with a maximum of 2 GB memory and unlimited data rows, and the Advanced Edition, which has up to 5 GB memory, vary in price according to use. To help you decide which version suits you best and for more details about SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand, check out the article On-Demand Software for BI Beginners.
Since the end of last year, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer has also been available as an iPhone app. Read more in the article iPhone with SAP BusinessObjects Explorer. With the recent app update from version 1.0.207 to 1.1.233 (0.5 MB), the functions of SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer fuse together on the iPhone (firmware 3.x required). We tested it out for ourselves. Interested parties can, for example, upload a Microsoft Excel file to the SAP cloud. Individuals and small businesses can access the cloud themselves using the link BI OnDemand and then upload their data.
In the Personal Edition, creating graphics and searching through all the data is completely free of charge and users can produce visually appealing charts with a few swift finger movements (iPhone) or clicks of the mouse (Web browser version on PC or notebook). Above, you can see the same data record displayed on an iPhone and a PC. The SAP BusinessObjects Explorer for iPhone app (link to iTunes) is free and can be obtained exclusively from the iTunes Store. The actual data analysis seems almost like a game and runs very smoothly on our iPhone, while the data uploaded to the cloud can be modified in next to no time. Once the user is happy with the chart, it can be sent to colleagues along with the data – by smartphone, of course.
As a result, BusinessObjects BI OnDemand for smartphones ties in with the IT Business Trends we forecast for 2010. Apps for wireless phones with computer-enabled features combined with a data cloud are set to oust conventional software.
As the picture above shows, you need to sign up to BusinessObjects BI OnDemand before you can upload your own data to the SAP cloud. It is estimated that at least 260,000 people now work with business intelligence functions from the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio. The picture below shows our sample data as a chart with the maximum 38 points in the data record.