The 2010 ASUG BusinessObjects User Conference provided a lot of interest not just for the 1,100 registered attendees but also for the additional 600 attendees of the SAP Fall Focus who shared the same venue. Judging by the number of attendees in the various sessions, it appeared a large number of SAP Fall Focus attendees decided to attend the BusinessObjects tracks. The same was true in the exhibit area as many of the BusinessObjects sponsors were swamped with excited and interested customers.
This year Xcelsius dashboards shared the limelight with Mobile Business Intelligence in terms of the most popular topics being discussed amongst attendees.
There was also some buzz around the new BusinessObjects XI 4.0 release promising to be the first truly integrated business intelligence platform. While there were a few small demonstrations of some of the new XI 4.0 products in the general session, most of the other sessions stuck to slides and pre-recorded Camtasia demonstrations. With the release moving to “ramp up” stage in November, the kimono was only half opened on some of the new features and functions. These included the new Data Services that will now incorporate Text Analytics in addition to Data Integrator and Data Quality in a single engine solution. Also, there is the new Universal Metadata Layer that not only combines Business Views and Universes but also now provides direct access to Multidimensional OLAP data sources.
Part of the integration approach with XI 4.0 is to provide common services across all the main content provider tools like Crystal Reports, Web Intelligence, Xcelsius, Explorer. These include a common query panel for accessing data through a universe so in the new Xcelsius Enterprise 4.0 developers would have access to universe objects while building the dashboard.
An updated Web Intelligence brings new charting libraries from the Explorer product and an update Crystal Reports delivers a new grid view with drag and drop on graphics capability.
Common platform services like Auditing and Life Cycle Manager now extend across all the content provider tools including Xcelsius.
SAP’s new solution for in-memory analytics, known as HANA (High performance ANalytical Appliance), was also discussed.
Once the ramp up period gets underway, we will have a better chance to more thoroughly explore the new features and functions but based on this sneak preview, there appears to be some promising new functionality in XI 4.