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Good-Bye DESKI and Good-Bye SAP BO
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Wolfgang Bidner
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:12 am 
Post subject: Re: Good-Bye DESKI and Good-Bye SAP BO

ah, no wonder I was confused in reading BI 4.0 news and I renamed inside my head all the old or not so old but again old because no longer valid names..
so information design tool is not replacing the designer but a new additional tool - and the old designer -whose name was pretty perfect - is now universe design tool and these two are not to be mixed up... right .. I'll do my best, but the whole thing seems very silly to me cryin.gif

Wobi

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:22 am 
Post subject: Re: Good-Bye DESKI and Good-Bye SAP BO

That's correct. We will now have two tools for creating universes. Universe Design Tool will build the traditional .unv universes, and the Information Design Tool will produce the new .unx universes, with a wealth of new functionality.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:13 pm 
Post subject: Re: Good-Bye DESKI and Good-Bye SAP BO

I wonder why old universes are not upgraded automatically to the new *.UNX format instead, this way there would be no need to have the "old" universe designer tool still around...
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substring
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:19 pm 
Post subject: Re: Good-Bye DESKI and Good-Bye SAP BO

One of the four focus areas of the ASUG BusinessObjects Strategic SIG is to demystify product roadmap so that customers have a clear picture of their upgrade path. Kevin McManus is leading this focus area and has been doing a fantastic job. We are working closely with SAP Points of Contact on this initiative. They are very helpful and very receptive to our suggestion. More information will be disseminated later.

Personally, I think the brand new Information Design Tool (IDT for short) is a great improvement. You no longer have to mess with Linked Universes which I really hate. You can now share objects and you can access OLAP cubes.

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substring
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:25 pm 
Post subject: Re: Good-Bye DESKI and Good-Bye SAP BO

Andreas wrote:
I wonder why old universes are not upgraded automatically to the new *.UNX format instead, this way there would be no need to have the "old" universe designer tool still around...
It is because the tool is not really "backward compatible" per se. You can use IDT to open an .unv file and save it as .unx. But then you cannot really take advantage of the new features. And the file can no longer be accessed by the Universe Designer.

The best solution is to rebuild the universe. This is really no different than upgrading from XIR2 to XI3.1 where you have to rebuild the security from the ground up because of the change in architecture.

In my humble opinion, universes tend to "collect junks" over time. It is really not a bad idea to "clean house" every now and then. icon_smile.gif

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:26 pm 
Post subject: Re: Good-Bye DESKI and Good-Bye SAP BO

Andreas wrote:
I wonder why old universes are not upgraded automatically to the new *.UNX format instead, this way there would be no need to have the "old" universe designer tool still around...

I think there are several good reasons for this.

Information Design Tool is a completely new tool, so users will have to learn the new tool before using it. By including the old tool, users won't be forced to learn the new tool immediately. They can take their time and learn as time permits.

Information Design Tool has a feature that will convert .unv files to .unx files. Once converted, the universes will need to go through a period of testing, and tweaking, before being put into production. Until then, the .unv files can be used.

I think SAP is wise to keep the old tool, so people won't see the conversion to .unx files as a barrier to upgrading.

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Andreas
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:27 pm 
Post subject: Re: Good-Bye DESKI and Good-Bye SAP BO

substring wrote:
It is because the tool is not really "backward compatible" per se. You can use IDT to open an .unv file and save it as .unx. But then you cannot really take advantage of the new features. And the file can no longer be accessed by the Universe Designer...

You are kidding, right???

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:22 pm 
Post subject: Re: Good-Bye DESKI and Good-Bye SAP BO

Andreas wrote:
substring wrote:
It is because the tool is not really "backward compatible" per se. You can use IDT to open an .unv file and save it as .unx. But then you cannot really take advantage of the new features. And the file can no longer be accessed by the Universe Designer...

You are kidding, right???
No. I was not kidding.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:17 pm 
Post subject: Re: Good-Bye DESKI and Good-Bye SAP BO

I think people need to separate the vendor from the product here.

Business Objects XI, Data Services and Data Federator 3.x are, in my opinion, all great products and I enjoy working with them on a daily basis.

Yes there are stupid bugs and yes they aren't perfect products but this is software we're talking about - there is no such thing as a perfect software solution.

Overall, I'm not unhappy about the level of support either, there are frequent patches and updates so the vendor obviously cares to support its products. And yes, dealing with the helpdesk can be extremely annoying but I haven't seen a perfect helpdesk either. (You think SAP support is bad? Ever tried calling my local power company's call centre??)

And having played with BO 4.0, I am quite impressed with some of the new toys and features and definitely believe it's the way forward. I really don't see how SAP is "going to kill BO" - yes there is more emphasis on the integration with SAP BW and .. thank heavens for that. For many of my business users, it is great to finally be able to create nicely formatted Web Intelligence reports over their BW Cubes and for many Infoview is a breath of fresh air compared to SAP portal.

As a company - well yes, SAP is SAP and Business Objects surely wasn't perfect either. You will find arrogant people in all companies; I certainly knew a few at Business Objects that I avoided like the plague. Bear in mind that SAP people are usually focussed on very large ERP sales - a completely different sales approach of course.

But do keep this mind as a customer - you don't have to deal with SAP if you don't want to. There are plenty of Business Objects partner firms around and some of which are very good BI consultancy companies that focus on helping their clients create value adding BI solutions - instead of pushing a bundle of licenses.

I have dealt with many vendors and none are perfect - the grass certainly isn't greener on the other side. Switching BI tools - either front-end reporting tools or back-end ETL tools - can be a very expensive affair. Not just license costs but the effort involved in migrating (read: redo everything) in a new tool and having to support two different products during the transition period.. it all adds up to a staggering amount of money.

Such an investment should only be considered if a new technology is going to add real value to the business and the move is widely supported among your business users. Doing this purely because of vendor relationship issues is just incredibly short sighted. In fact, this could be incredibly damaging to the credibility of the BI effort in your company - let alone be the death of it.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:56 am 
Post subject: Re: Good-Bye DESKI and Good-Bye SAP BO

Seeing as this thread seems to have a 'SAP ear', here is my one issue..

Quote:
3. It is about 9 years now we've been working to make the DeskI to WebI transition. So this is long planned, thought out and researched. We, however, remain open to feedback on how to make that switch easier, and what is missing to make it a success.


One thing holds us back, and that is the availablity of a proper freehand SQL data provider in Webi.

Deski was marketed as an agile adhoc query tool, and we use it as such. The ability to quickly format/aggregate/analyse a freehand sql query for investigative purposes is key to the success of our team. We don't want to have to build a universe for every little thing we do.

We could make the switch to Webi tomorrow if this functionality existed, but it doesn't appear on the horizon any time soon, and yet I can't imagine it would take too much to make it work (as there is already a poor workaround)


On a positive note, our only interaction with SAP has been through an audit, which I guessed we passed ok. Otherwise we deal with an original (pre-SAP) BO partner and have nothing but good service, support and advice for a number of years.

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Last edited by norty303 on Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total
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Andreas
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:58 am 
Post subject: Re: Good-Bye DESKI and Good-Bye SAP BO

So why not use Crystal instead for Freehand SQL?
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norty303
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:03 am 
Post subject: Re: Good-Bye DESKI and Good-Bye SAP BO

Quote:
So why not use Crystal instead for Freehand SQL?


Why should we have to install, manage and learn a new tool for something so simple? And just how quick and agile would Crystal be in comparison to Webi/Deski? Or were you being ironic?

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Nick Daniels
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:11 am 
Post subject: Re: Good-Bye DESKI and Good-Bye SAP BO

If you are writing sql for quick investigative purposes, then isn't sql itself good enough? TOAD, SQL*PLUS etc...
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norty303
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:16 am 
Post subject: Re: Good-Bye DESKI and Good-Bye SAP BO

Please re-read my post. We use PL-SQL Developer for our SQL writing, but doing the investigative analysis work like agreggations, sorting, filtering, crosstabs, visual data checking, etc is much easier achieved (and quicker) in Deski.

I get the sense that the product is now so focussed at report delivery to an end user, its losing the handy 'everyday' functionality it used to have.


I guess my feeling is that for something so (seemingly) simple to include, it would be better to have it in the feature set than argue why it isn't/shouldn't be there, or that some other tool is more appropriate.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:46 am 
Post subject: Re: Good-Bye DESKI and Good-Bye SAP BO

norty303 wrote:
Please re-read my post. We use PL-SQL Developer for our SQL writing, but doing the investigative analysis work like agreggations, sorting, filtering, crosstabs, visual data checking, etc is much easier achieved (and quicker) in Deski.

I get the sense that the product is now so focussed at report delivery to an end user, its losing the handy 'everyday' functionality it used to have.


I guess my feeling is that for something so (seemingly) simple to include, it would be better to have it in the feature set than argue why it isn't/shouldn't be there, or that some other tool is more appropriate.


I completely agree. If I've got a choice between learning Crystal and IDT, I know which won't get touched.

As you say, it's a seemingly minor enhancement, but one well worth doing, especially when you consider it can deliver so many quick wins.

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