Orlando, Florida. At the annual SAPPHIRE NOW conference, company representatives have come together to discuss current and upcoming software implementations. The main topic of the event is the SAP product portfolio, which has taken a completely new direction through the acquisition of companies like Business Objects (2008) and Sybase (later this year).
On “Day Zero,” the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) met in smaller groups to discuss current topics from a customer perspective. Of great interest was the road map for the SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence (BI) platform, which will take the place of tools based on the SAP NetWeaver technology platform in the coming years. SAP is very clearly aligning its BI strategy to the solutions from Business Objects. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that many of the participants’ questions were about running SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions in an existing SAP landscape.
BI Products: Explorer, Crystal Reports, Xcelsius, and Advanced Analysis
The tools and clients presented below are some of the currently available BI products in the Business Objects portfolio.
1. SAP BusinessObjects Explorer software: Used to inspect and query specific records. This tool can now also be used through an app on the iPhone and iPad, and is quite unique in the market. All its potential functionality, however, has yet to be tapped.
2. Crystal Reports software: Established itself in the market as a family of tools for creating all types of business reports. Crystal Reports is available in all applications – from the top-of-the-line industry software SAP Business All-in-One to the powerful Business Suite 7. It accesses all SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW) and ERP data. SAP NetWeaver BW is currently in Version 7.2 – the new Version 7.3 is set to launch near the end of 2010. Crystal Reports can also share data with other clients like SAP BusinessObjects Advanced Analysis software. SAP has stopped development of the older SAP BEx report designer tool.
3. SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence software: SAP users can quickly and easily create instant reports with this well known tool.
4. Xcelsius software: An interactive visualization and control center. This tool is gradually replacing the widely used BEx Web application designer tool.
5. SAP BusinessObjects Advanced Analysis: This tool can be integrated into the core business processes of Business Suite 7 and Business ByDesign. A final version of the software is expected near the end of 2010.