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Product Reviews
Rated 3.6 out of 5 by 17reviewers.
Rated 4 out of 5 by Review about SAP Business Objects BI 4.2 SAP just announced the release of thelatest update of its BusinessObjects BI suite, namely BI 4.2 SP03, followingthe first release BI 4.2 SP02 back in MarchIn both announcements, Web Intelligencereally stood out in terms of new features and overall significance compared toall the other tools in the suite. On the one hand this should not be a surprisesince it is the most popular and widely-used of all the SAP BusinessObjectsAnalytics tools but, on the other hand over the last few years SAP has focusedfar more attention on its newer analytics tools.Web Intelligence is and has always been aBusiness Intelligence Query, Analysis and Reporting tool. The latestfunctionality additions emphasize that and to call it just a reporting tool issimply a miss-classification and lack of understanding of its capabilities. WebIntelligence allows you to perform ad-hoc queries against both relational andOLAP data sources, slice and dice, drill-down, drill through, perform datadiscovery, create dashboard and scorecard visualizations and format amazinglooking reports. It can be used on-line, off-line, on mobile (HTML5) and bepublished or exported to the most popular commodity formats. Many organizationsuse only Web Intelligence for all their BI needs or a combination of WebIntelligence and SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius).So in Web Intelligence 4.2, we have seena ton of new functionality ranging from Shared Elements to allow you to saveand reuse charts, tables and different parts of your reports (with the metadata) to Linked Elementsallowing you to integrate all types of third party charts and components. Thisincluded a series of integrated geo-maps which have been further enhanced inSP03 enabling you to use latitude and longitude as data points on the map andadd custom locations.Another great Webi feature released with 4.2was the commentary feature allowing you to collaborate around documents withcontext sensitive comments that are associated with just the document andstored in the audit logs or location of your choice. The commentary has been furtherenhanced in SP03 allowing you now to apply comments at the block level (chartsor tables) and individual cell level in a table within the Webi report.Input Controls have become popular inWebi documents for providing an easy way to interact with a document that hasbeen options and variables. Now with Webi 4.2 SP03, cascading input controlsare supported with dynamic filtering of the list of values for nested selections.The Dynamic HTML (DHTML) client option ofWebi has been enhanced adding features that were previously only available withthe Java client including conditional formatting and support of XLS as a dataprovider, Query Panel support for UNX and support of complex filters in theQuery Panel.Other new Webi 4.2 SP03 features includeMerged Variables (combine a data provider and variable into a singleobject), References (new object for avariable that returns the value of a specified cell in the document), choosing the image density when exporting adocument to PDF or Excel and further user interface enhancements for customizing look and feel of charts,graphs and more.I am already seeing interactive WebIntelligence reports and dashboards that I would never have guessed werecreated in Webi because the customization capabilities are so vast.These are just a few of the highlightsand there is even more being promised with future service packs. All-in-all,Web Intelligence has evolved into a one-stop shop for BI reporting, ad-hocquery and analysis that just keeps getting better.On the minus side, there is still a lot to be done on the mobile side to make Web Intelligence truly seamless between the desktop and mobile versions and I would like to see SAP pay a lot more attention to this.Also, while performance has improved with parallel query execution now being the default, there is still room for further improvement.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. October 23, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by I use the SAP Business Objects as an analytics platform useful for investigations of data in enterprises databases. Valuable Features:In my position, it's very important to define data models in order to develop a solution that provide end users with the ability to freely analyze data. That's why the Information Design tool of Business Objects is the most valuable feature. But I also use the Web Intelligence feature for testing my personal data models.Improvements to My Organization:For a recent project, I used the BI Workspace module of Business Objects. I found it to be very helpful in providing specific home pages for different user groups. Thanks to this module, I can define a home page for a particular audience.Room for Improvement:I encountered an issue with security. When I promoted the association between the CMC security profile and the Security Universe profile as I took our application from dev to test to production, I noticed that the associations were lost. This forced me to newly associate all over again.Use of Solution:I've used Business Objects for four years for various projects.Deployment Issues:I've had no issues with deployment.Stability Issues:Yes, sometimes the services didn't work well, generating a decreasing of performance.Scalability Issues:I've had no issues with scalability.Customer Service:In my experience, customer service it good.Technical Support:In my experience, technical support is good.Previous Solutions:Yes, I used other solutions, but I chose Business Objects because it's easy to use.Initial Setup:I wasn't involved in the initial setup.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. October 1, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by New features and more efficient install add value Valuable Features:Semantic Layer (Universes), ease of useNew Undelete of Public objects..New Dashboard of overall environmentRoom for Improvement:Java Applet still relying on the quirkiness of Java VM, and potential version mis-matches.Use of Solution:10+ YearsDeployment Issues:With proper planning and understanding of the application landscape the deployment is fairly straight forward. Better to do a new install if you have multiple updates and patches...better to build from scratch vs remodelScalability Issues:Highly scalable, new configuration wizard with 4.1 version assists in scaling correctly.Customer Service:FairTechnical Support:Fair to Poor..Business Objects sometimes gets lost in the quagmire of SAPPrevious Solutions:NoInitial Setup:Depends on the deployment. Can be very complex in a 100% fail over/fault tolerant/load balanced scenario.Implementation Team:I deploy for clients.Other Solutions Considered:NoOther Advice:Use a consulting firm with expertise in deployment.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. June 7, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by Issues with versions 4.0 and 4.1 Specifically for versions 4.0 and 4.1 using BICSconnection you will find a lot of problems:* Performance gets worst asWEBI reports increase the number of sheets and/or fields* Need to inserta lot of context into WEBI table cells for summarized or calculated onthe fly Key figures (this is by design says SAP)* Group/ungroupfunctionality doesn't work if you set "query stripping" (also by design!!??)* The order of objects (dimensions) appears on BO side stops tocorrespond with the one defined at "Default Values" at qBEx side andtakes the order for "Free Characteristics" (this happens only on version4.1)I'm not familiar with Microsoft BI but SAP BO 4.X within BICS connectivity is not going well.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. May 30, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by I can perform reliable satisfactory work for my clients with minimal errors. Valuable Features:The features that I think are valuable in SAP Business Objects - BOBJ (WEBi, BI Launch Pad, Rich Client) are the drill down capabilities to the nitty gritty lowest level, and perform an in depth analysis from different angles. Other products may also have this, but I believe with BOBJ, it is a lot better.Improvements to My Organization:By giving more options of looking at the same scenario, in various forms, I can perform reliable satisfactory work for my clients with minimal errors. I believe this product has gained the market share well enough to call itself, the market leader.Room for Improvement:SAP should work on performing the deployment and-post implementation support, a bit easier . I believe that would be a grounds for this product to gain more pieces of the pie in the market. Also, they need to have more "Step-By-Step" documentation available for consultants, similar to what others have e,g. IBM.Deployment Issues:Deployment could be made easier.Stability Issues:There are no issues with the stability.Scalability Issues:There have been no issues scaling it for our needs.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. May 1, 2016
Rated 3 out of 5 by License price is prohibitive and it should go back to CPU based. Connectivity with databases is good. Valuable Features:* Universal concept* Connectivity with databases* Good visualizationImprovements to My Organization:It's improved decision making process.Room for Improvement:* Better visualization* Better portal* License price is prohibitive should go back to CPU based* Improve customer service.Use of Solution:I've used it for five years.Deployment Issues:There were no issues with the deployment.Stability Issues:We had no issues with the stability.Scalability Issues:I've had no issues scaling it.Technical Support:Not good. SAP does resolve issues in time.Previous Solutions:We are retiring SAP Business Object Webi and Xcelsius, they will be replaced by IBI Web Focus.Initial Setup:The security set up is complex, and there are compatibility issues with Internet Explorer.Implementation Team:We built some dashboards and an application brought some reports out of the box.ROI:It is too expensive, charging by user and if you have hundreds of them you won’t be able to get ROI not even in many years.Cost and Licensing Advice:Be careful with the license model. If you want to promote personal BI or ability to run your reports in disconnect/passive mode this is not the product.#Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. April 26, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by The ad hoc capabilities using Web intelligence over universe is very productive. Valuable Features:I would say universe designer as I have used or looked at other vendor tools and they don't even come close. Semantic layer is their main heart of SAP Business Objects.Improvements to My Organization:Not one tool can satisfy everyone, and this tool is no different but in my opinion the ad hoc capabilities using Web intelligence over universe is very productive as users can self serve themselvesRoom for Improvement:The Dashboard tool Current Xcelsius is not so user and developer friendly and is very bad compared to other vendor products. It has been wonderful but they have to integrate it with the Big Data economy system to sustain it.Use of Solution:This particular version six years, but I have been using Business Objects before SAP acquired for over 16 years ago.Deployment Issues:We had no issues with the deployment.Stability Issues:There have been no stability issues.Scalability Issues:We have had no issues scaling it for our needs.Customer Service:8/10Technical Support:8/10Previous Solutions:It has been wonderful but they have to integrate it with the Big Data economy system to sustain it.Initial Setup:It's straightforward.Implementation Team:In house with a little help from professional services.Cost and Licensing Advice:Pricing and licensing is competitive with other solutions.Other Advice:Keep an eye upgrade and converting cost especially with deprecated tools like desk and it's reports, make consolidation of reports and universes and other objects early on .advise you to do user inbox,personal doc spring and fall clean up to make future upgrades easierDisclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. April 26, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by It provides easy administration of content using web based CMC application. Valuable Features:* It provides centralized access for business users to all enterprise reporting content. This includes SSO access, reports with content personalization and tools for ad hock data access (Web Intelligence, Lumira)* Customers highly benefit from Semantic Layer applications – they successfully hide the complexity of the databases and provide possibility to build queries using business vocabulary* It provides easy administration of content using web based CMC application* It provides scheduling, publishing capabilities of Business Objects reportsImprovements to My Organization:My company creates SAP Business Objects based solutions for many customers in the Middle East. The benefit customers have is easy access to their company’s information, simple ad hoc reporting ( http://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/reporting-tools ) tools, and the possibility to share created reports by using the portal.Stability Issues:There are a lot of stability related issues with all SAP BI products, especially compared with similar Oracle, Cognos or QlickView tools. This has a huge impact to BI implementation projects and overall customer satisfaction. Especially big issues are coming in SAP BW/BO integration project. Though SAP had acquired BusinessObjects quite long time ago still they did not manage to integrate their older SAP Business Warehouse with Front end BusinessObjects tools.Technical Support:SAP Support is next to useless in many cases. Out of more than 100 tickets created by a project team in one of my projects, only less than a third was resolved by SAP support personnel. The resolution of tickets usually takes a long time. SAP engineers are mostly working from India, in a different time zone, and seem to be more interested in demonstrating proactivity by asking customers to perform various tests or activities which don't seem to be related with the original issue the customer has. Some of the questions they ask demonstrate that they have little knowledge about the products they are trying to support. In my biggest SAP BI/BW implementation project at British American Tobacco, SAP support asked me to demonstrate issues we were having with the Analysis For OLAP product, however after a call in a meeting, the minutes he had written said that we were having Web Intelligence session issues.Other Advice:It is definitely useful as an integrated platform for medium or large enterprises which require a modern information management solution. It is definitely not without issues, but looks like SAP has a clear vision about where they want to get and that vision is supported by the customers.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. April 24, 2016
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