Year to Date selection in SAP BI4

In a previous post  I explained how to display Year To Date values. In that particular example a WebI user was prompted a month and based on that input the YTD (*) values are calculated in the WebI document. This approach has two big disadvantages:

  1. When dealing with large data volumes, the performance can be compromised.
  2. The solution is not reusable over WebI reports without manually recreating the logic.

One of my colleagues, Frits Nagtegaal, recently pointed me to a different and more elegant approach for calculating To Date values. In this post I will explain how to implement a YTD value that is calculated in the DB layer.

Continue reading

Test-Driven Data Warehouse Development

This comment in our bug tracking system reminded me to write a new post on the testing process that I recently applied at NewFrontiers. In the previous post I talked about the book “Agile Analytics: A Value-Driven Approach to Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing” by Ken Collier. In this post I will show what I’ve done to make our development process more agile.

JIRA comment




Continue reading

SAP BusinessObjects Information Design Tool review

Since BI4 has been released a new tool for the semantic layer has been introduced; the Information Design Tool (IDT). This tool is likely to replace the Universe Design Tool (UDT) in the future. In version 4 Explorer (Polestar) will only work on Universes created with the IDT and the Query Browser of Dashboard Design (Xcelsius) will also only work on Universes created with the IDT.

I’ve spent a few days on the tutorials and the tool itself, in this post my findings.

Continue reading

How to display a gauge in WebI

Warning, this solution is very low tech!!!

WebI XI 3.1 is not capable of displaying gauges. It should somehow be possible by embedding Xcelsius objects but I have never tried that and don’t like such solution. The solution described below came from David Gilbertson, in this post I will share the process of how to work this out in WebI XI3.1 Rich Client.

Continue reading

Failing Adaptive Processing Server

Lately I’ve been working with the new version of BusinessObjects, BI4. In a previous post I already covered a bit on the migration process from XI 3.1 to the BI4 platform. From there, most of my attention has gone to working with Web Intelligence. Soon I encountered a problem with charts not showing up, or displaying red crosses. After some research I found it had something to do with a failing Adaptive Processing Server. I installed patch 8 which did not solve the problem, and then patch 9 which also did not solve the problem.

Ultimately I removed some services from the AdaptiveProcessingServer which solved my problem. In this post I’ll explain what I did en how to do it.

Continue reading

Universes in SAP BusinessObjects

The BusinessObjects universe is a business representation of organization’s data that helps end users access data autonomously using common business terms and it isolates business users from the technical details of the databases where source data is stored. Universes are made up of objects and classes that are mapped to the source data in the database and accessed through queries and reports.

Users retrieve data using descriptive terms used in the business environment with the company’s business terminology.

Universe is a semantic layer that maps complex data into descriptive business terms used across the organization, such as product, customer, region, revenue, margin or costs.

Continue reading

Upgrading from XI 3.1 to SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence platform 4.0

I’ve been working on a test-upgrade from BO XI 3.1 to SAP BO4. Here’s what I did, and my findings so far. I haven’t tested the outcomes thoroughly yet, so I might miss some flaws, and I might accuse some errors to the upgrade process while they might be caused by some other factor(s).

Continue reading

Personal Information Management

I have been auditing my own information management and time management recently. I felt the need for a more structured approach. Symptoms that triggered me into investigating more efficient ways of information/time management were:

  • Overload of to-do flags in Outlook
  • Lost documents
  • Not knowing where or on what to start
  • Poor search ability through documents

In this post I will briefly describe my current way of organizing information and or time.

Continue reading