New Features of SAP Business Objects 4.1

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SAP Business Objects Business Intelligence Suite 4.1 means that new tools are available for development!  This release includes SAP Business Objects BI Platform 4.1 (which contains BI Platform 4.1 Server, SAP BI platform 4.1 Live Office, SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise 4.1, and the SAP BI Platform Client Tools), SAP Dashboards 4.1, SAP Crystal Reports 2013, and Explorer 4.1.  With each of these tools comes with new features and helpful additions, which I’ll review below.

SAP BO BI Server 4.1

First let’s look at the SAP Business Objects BI Platform Server 4.1.  New features that are included in the Server are the System Configuration Wizard, SAP JAM, SAP HANA Business Layer Wizard, and support for right-to-left display.

System Configuration Wizard (in the Central Management Console) is a tool that is used by administrators to help configure the system after installation has taken place.  This is used to split the Adaptive Processing Server based on various parameters, such as available RAM and expected usage.

The SAP JAM application is a collaboration tool to connect users while in the office or mobile. For those that are using HANA, the Business Layer Wizard will build a data foundation and business layer based off of HANA views.

Dashboards 4.1

Dashboard changes include enhanced support for using dashboards on mobile devices, improved functionality of the objects / components browser, and support for accessibility.  Dashboards can now be viewed on mobile devices running Android or iOS firmware. However, certain features, components and mouse over capabilities are unsupported due to the smaller screens.  Those that are not supported will be displayed in a Mobile Compatibility panel.  Two extra preview modes have been added, mobile fit to screen and mobile original size.  Components can also be searched for in the object browser by name and filtered by mobile support which is a big plus.  For accessibility, certain components can be navigated with the use of the keyboard, and there is now support for assistive technology.

Crystal Reports

Crystal reports contain enhancements for streamlined report design, improved data sources and mobile viewer support.   These tools now allow for freehand SQL command objects and the ability to verify database to see if a query has changed from what it used to be inside the database(s).  For data sources, if one is using a BEx query, there is better performance and reliability. There is also enhanced support for those using SAP HANA and OLAP data structures.  There is also right-to-left reporting, bi-directional text support, setting of the default view action within the BI Launch pad, and the ability to break up a list of values within the HTML viewer.

 SAP Explorer 4.1

The biggest and most important change to SAP Explorer 4.1 is the ability to support UNV universes.  In the 4.0 platform, one had to convert to the new format in order to use Explorer, but this can now be delayed a bit longer with UNV support.  Single Sign-On (SSO) support has also been added to the Explorer tool with the ability to use SSO Kerberos and Security Access Markup Language (SAML) SSO as well.  Finally, the Help files have improved with Explorer and keyboard accessibility.