SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise 4.0 Ramp-up and Analysis!

As an SAP BusinessObjects Channel Partner, we have been given the privilege and opportunity to engage in a pre-release version of the SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise 4.0 product stack for evaluation purposes. This is a very exciting time for us here at Altek Solutions as our Center of Excellence has already installed the software and is in the process of analyzing and evaluating the new features that 4.0 has to offer. Be sure to come back often to view any news that we put out regarding the 4.0 release, but to start here are a few things that stick out from what we have found thus far!

Crystal Dashboard Design (Xcelsius 2008): Tips and Tricks ep5: Parent and Child Dashboards from InfoView using Doc Download!

Sharing information from parent dashboards to child dashboards is a topic that has been gaining steam over the past 6 months and is a great way of increasing performance and enhancing your end users experience. What we are going to cover in this post is how to incorporate child dashboards in parent by accessing the child from InfoView using built in functionality called document download. Unfortunately there is not a whole lot of documentation of what document download is and how it is used so here is how I understand it to work. Document download works along the same lines as OpenDocument but the difference lies in that OpenDocument will pull in a resource that is inside the OpenDocument frame. Document download on the other hand will only pull the resource itself. This post will give you the basics on how to implement this functionality into Xcelsius.

Crystal Dashboard Design (Xcelsius 2008): Tips and Tricks ep4: Navigation using Label Based Menus and Push Buttons

There seems to be a theme with all the blog series that I have created over the past year and it is something that I would love to fix but really can’t control. I am not trying to make excuses but over the past month and a half I have been swamped with multiple projects and have not been able to add any more entries into our CDD Tips and Tricks series. But over the next 2 months, I am going to try and make a conscious effort to wrap up our first season of the CDD and move on towards a new one starting the spring of next year that will hopefully include some vlogs! If anyone has any ideas they would like to throw at me, feel free to reach out and I will look into getting it put on our list of tips for an upcoming episode. Lets get started on the topic at hand though and look at how to create custom navigation using label based menus and push buttons.

Xcelsius 2008 SP 3 Fix Pack 3 Now Available!

Over the weekend SAP BusinessObjects released the newest Fix Pack for Xcelsius 2008 aka Crystal Dashboard Design, SAP Dashboard Design or even SAP Dashboards. The help documentation is not out on help.sap.com as of yet but it was available in the info for the download so I will attach them to the bottom of the post. One of the big things that I noticed that was fixed but not really stated in the documentation was the Windows 7 export to enterprise issue. Every time you tried to export the dashboard out to InfoView, the save dialog box would be missing text box to name the file as well as the save and cancel buttons. The only way to push the dashboard out was to use a non Windows 7 machine. No longer do I have to fire up my laptop with XP on it to accomplish this feat. Hooray for efficiency! Check out all the fixes below!

Crystal Dashboard Design (Xcelsius 2008): Tips and Tricks ep3: Automatically Moving your Tab Set

Sorry we missed our normal Tuesday blog post. I have been really busy finishing off a project and getting ready for a 3 week engagement that starts next Tuesday. So I figured that a short post was better than no post at all.

Another question was put up on the BOB Forum asking if it was possible to automatically move from tab to tab on an interval. A couple options were thrown out there before mine (all valid options) and I decided that I wanted to go the route and try to keep the functionality all inside of Xcelsius instead of trying to constantly pull data in from a data source. After about 30 minutes I was able to do this with 2 history components and a tab set.

Crystal Dashboard Design (Xcelsius 2008) Tips and Tricks ep2: Automatically Closing Your Calendar Control

Welcome to episode 2 of our Tips and Tricks for Crystal Dashboard Design (Xcelsius 2008). This post is going to be a short one but should help in making your dashboard stand out among the rest. Ever since I started working with Xcelsius 4.5, I had clients wanting functionality built into their dashboards that just wasn’t feasible with the standard out of the box components. One of the biggest request was to take the calendar control and to make it so that they didn’t have to click the toggle button to open the calendar, click the date and then click the toggle button to close the calendar. Too many clicks in the end users eyes. So with every new fix pack / service pack for Xcelsius, I have tried to build the functionality that will allow the end user to click a date and have the calendar disappear. With the addition of the push button, we are now able to do this.

Crystal Dashboard Design (Xcelsius 2008) Tips and Tricks ep1: Adding a Select All to your Selector

I build and design dashboards pretty much on a daily basis whether it be for a client, POC, or as demo material. One of the biggest things that I dread to hear, is my boss saying either one of these phrases: “How hard would it be….” or “You know what would be cool?” This usually means that I will have to put on my thinking cap and figure out how to pull something off in Crystal Dashboard Design (Xcelsius). TANGENT: Before I go any further, I am going to say that the renaming of Xcelsius to Crystal Dashboard Design has not really sunk in with me, so I apologize for switching back and forth in advance. Anyways, as I was saying, I have to pull off some pretty interesting things relatively often so I thought why not share these Tips and Tricks with everyone who follows our blog. This will be the first entry in a line of many that will pick out a little pieces of functionality that I have built using standard components inside Crystal Dashboard Design and using QaaWS or Live Office. Topic number one is allowing your dashboard to select All of the entries in a selector.

Underwhelm Your Users with a Well-designed Dashboard

Dashboard and visualizations are a hot topic right now. You can’t go to an SAP BusinessObjects event or a user group meeting without seeing over half of the presentations focusing on dashboards and visualizations. And, like with any cutting-edge technology, it seems everyone is trying to get in on the action. While that’s a good thing, sometimes people lack the basic knowledge and skills to utilize those tools to deliver effective analysis.