I have noticed an interesting trend amongst SAP folks in the last few months that they are starting to call SAP BO Dashboards by its original name of Xcelsius again. While the name Xcelsius never really went away, I wondered if this new trend is due to the fact that SAP has multiple “BO dashboard” tools (Explorer, Lumira, Visual Design Studio and even now Web Intelligence) so it would be easier to differentiate it.
Xcelsius actually differentiates itself pretty well, whatever you call it, and continues to be the first choice for developing BI dashboard applications amongst thousands of organizations worldwide.
The fact that it is Flash based has not held it back and now with its built-in capability to generate HTML5 output it can continue to compete with the newer BI dashboard tools on the market. At the same time its Flash support only enhances its integration capabilities with existing applications and products.
The fact that it uses an Excel spreadsheet for a data model has also not hindered its adoption since the release of the QueryBrowser connector in BI 4.1 allows for direct dashboard development through a BusinessObjects universe and third party add-ons like InfoSol’s InfoBurst XML Data Cache (XDC) provide amazing capabilities for handling large amounts of data and large numbers of connected users with excellent response times. Again, the Excel spreadsheet model is a great plus enabling end-users to quickly create dashboards and visualize their Excel spreadsheets on their own.
InfoSol has now just released a further new enhancement for Xcelsius called dCode which provides a way to take the HTML5 output generated from Xcelsius and enhance it so that your Xcelsius HTML5 dashboards can be deployed on mobile and desktop and, if you use the InfoBurst XDC, you can significantly enhance and speed them up in both a connected and off-line deployment.
dCode also provides the capability to deploy your Xcelsius HTML5 dashboards in iBooks publications and as a widget on the Mac OSX. The iBooks publication is particularly cool since you can publish an on-line newsletter or industry publication with interactive Xcelsius dashboards embedded in it.
The new dCode utility was developed by InfoSol UK Labs who are working on a bunch more HTML5 enhancements to Xcelsius that you will see in the coming months. Other third party component vendors have also released HTML5 versions of their components (Centigon, VisualBI) and you will see a lot more soon.
Update: dCode is now available for purchase!
The most important validation of the new Xcelsius HTML5 trend is the number of organizations now deploying Xcelsius HTML5 dashboards. Not only are we seeing existing Xcelsius customers moving their dashboards to HTML5 and mobile but we are seeing just as many deploying Xcelsius for the first time. Even more fascinating is that some organizations are converting existing BI dashboards built in tools like MicroStrategies, Qlikview and Spotfire to Xcelsius.
The future is definitely very bright for Xcelsius and getting brighter by the day.