Smarter Scheduling: Delivery Rules:
Delivery Rules have now been added for scheduling reports. Before 4.2 sp05 there wasn’t an easy way to know whether a scheduled report either retrieved no data or if there were partial results. The report would always get a Successful indication when either of these 2 conditions were met. This ultimately could cause user confusion when opening a document from a scheduled instance with no data, or using the incomplete data from a report with partial results. Both instances could cause user confidence in the Business Objects environment to falter.
The instance in the reports history will show the status that you picked.
With the new delivery rules, you can now set your scheduled instance to have a status of ‘Warning’ or ‘Failed’ when there is either Partial Results or No Data. You can set the Delivery Rules for both conditions at the same time or independent of each other.
Clicking on the status shows the Status Details where you can see why the report instance received its designation. Whether you set the instance to Warning or Failed, the status detail wording remains the same.
Going one step further, you could then add a Notification to the scheduled instance letting you know that the report wasn’t delivered. This now allows you to pro-actively notify the reports users of the issue as well as to start investigating the cause. This functionality has also been added to Fiori Launchpad as well, as you can see below.
Smarter Export: Export to CSV Archive & HTML
SAP BusinessObjects 4.2 SP05 now also allows scheduled instances to be exported to CSV Archive as the data appears on the report and HTML. This is a feature many of our customers have been crying out for.
When using CSV Archive, a .zip folder is creating containing a .csv file for each report (tab) in the document. This should come in very handy when exporting data that was compiled using multiple queries or when different layouts of the data are needed.
Smarter Query Panel: Custom SQL Source Change
Custom SQL changes are now preserved, on some conditions, after the source of the query has been changed. This feature can be useful when converting .unv universes to .unx. Reports with custom SQL in them should not be affected now when switching the source of the report.
Another feature is that the Query Panel now keeps its size and the number of sections open, Query Filters, Data Preview Pane, Scope of Analysis, etc, from the last time the query panel was opened/altered. You no longer have to resize the panel each time you update or view the query, this improves the user experience.
A warning is also now generated if you add an object to a report that has custom SQL in it. The alert lets you know that the custom script has been reset. You can then make the decision to save the report or start over. It seems that this feature only works when removing an object from the query. I wasn’t able to trigger the warning when adding an object.
Parity between WebI, DeskI & Interactive Viewer:
For all you DeskI lovers out there…hello? SAP has taken further steps to reduce the difference between DeskI and WebI.
WebI now allows you to create Same Level Breaks, the ability to combine multiple dimensions into a single break, as well as Value Based Breaks, defining breaks based on values within the document. Other changes include the ability export to HTML, Class names to be Exported to Excel, if the objects have the same name within the Universe, and to automatically ‘Delete trailing blanks’ from objects within the query. The option for deleting trailing blanks from objects within the report can be found in the Properties of the Query Panel.
As for Interactive Viewer (from Fiori Launchpad), you now have the ability to enable folding actions on Sections, Blocks, and Table Breaks. Other new Interactive Viewer features include: adding, editing and deleting Comments on a document; the addition of Undo and Redo buttons in the document toolbar and First and Last page buttons. There are now advanced “Save As” options for the Document and Categories as well as exporting individual Reports (tabs) to Excel, PDF, and HTML. All of these additions make the new HTML5 viewer a very compelling option, particularly for new users who don’t need to create or edit reports.
There is improved Chart Interactivity for Tooltips, Element Linking, Drill and Drill Focus. Expanding/Collapsing hierarchies has also been added.
The charts themselves now render in HTML5, making them clearer and presenting some interesting options for customization.
I’m glad to see SAP investing in Web Intelligence and bringing some of the modern look and feel of Fiori UI to the BI Platform. It’s a welcome refresh and certainly is being well received by nearly everyone I’ve shown it to.
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