The Information Design Tool or IDT is the new universe authoring tool for SAP BusinessObjects BI 4. This tool allows you to create the new UNX format universes that are required by some of the new BusinessObjects tools. However, if you want to do this using your Windows Active Directory login, there’s an extra step […]
SAP Visual Intelligence is a new product from SAP AG introduced earlier this year as a standalone installed application which produces crisp, detailed visualizations using charts. The specific goal is to provide business owners and business-centric users the ability to create and deliver visualizations, enabling them to present their business information quickly.
Visual Intelligence users can by-pass traditional IT using full client reporting tools like SAP BusinessObjects, Web Intelligence or SAP Crystal Reports and reduce the time of the development cycle.
The Information Design Tool is the brand new metadata modeling application used for creating universes in SAP BusinessObjects 4.0. The universe layer has been completely reworked for the 4.0 release and the Information Design Tool (IDT) is the front-end for those changes. The new model takes the traditional universe and breaks it down into three components: the Connection, the Data Foundation, and the Business Layer. These components all existed in some form in previous versions, but now they each get their own editor and a host of new features and options. Let’s review these in a bit more detail.
I recently published the post 5 Reasons Why You Should Use an SAP BusinessObjects Universe to highlight some of the core benefits you’ll see when implementing the semantic layer for you organization. The post was derived from speaking with organizations new to the Business Objects world about the benefits of leveraging the semantic layer. Throughout those talks, I also get to hear a lot of misconceptions about SAP BusinessObjects Universes. Sometimes they are born out of a simple lack of understanding of the SAP BusinessObjects architecture, while other times they are propagated by competing business intelligence vendors. (Shocking, I know.)
In meeting with organizations who are new to SAP BusinessObjects or who are legacy Crystal Reports users, we are often asked the question “Why should I use a Business Objects Universe?”. To organizations who have worked with universes for a period of time, the advantages and value proposition are clear. But for organizations who are new to universes, it can often be a challenge to quantify the value of the semantic layer.
In this post I hope to outline a few of the reasons why we recommend implementing universes, even if you’re not using an SAP BusinessObjects tool that specifically requires them.