May 19 2008

SAPPHIRE Day 1 Part 2 (Wrap-up)

Categories: 2008 SAPPHIRE (Europe), Conferences Dave Rathbun @ 10:49 am

This is my second post of the day from Berlin, Germany, where I am attending the SAPPHIRE conference. This is the first merged conference since SAP acquired Business Objects, and it has been interesting to see what is the same… as well as what’s different.

I just got out of a presentation on the product roadmap by Frank Prabel. I always enjoy hearing him speak, and the content he has to share is always interesting because of his position in the company. Frank is the Senior Director of Product Management, so you would expect him to know what’s going on. His talk focused primarily on what is coming out in 2008, including XI 3.1 which supports the .NET framework as well as other *nix platforms.

Frank reiterated that there is not a lot being invested in the desktop client. He said there were a few new features for Deski in 3.0 (better auditing and publishing, smalling install footprint) but that this would most likely be the last release with anything new in that area. In talking to some of the other senior product folks they also commented that they use the offline Webi aka the “rich client” to do all of their work now.

One of the other exciting parts of Frank’s talk was about something called Lifecycle Manager which I had not heard about before. I haven’t gone to look on the Business Objects site to see if there is anything there yet, but if my understanding is correct this will also (at least potentially) be a part of the 3.1 release later this year. This product sounds like it will eliminate the migration wizard and add a whole bunch of new features that can be used to manage code movements. I am going to try to find out more and see what I am allowed to post.

I attended a talk by Roxane Edjlali earlier today. She is the product manager for the Semantic Layer (aka the “universe”) and I wanted to hear what was in store in that area. Working on universes is probably my favorite part of the toolset so anytime I get to find out what’s going on in that area I always make the time to do so. Roxane reconfirmed that the universe is the technology of choice going forward, and backed that up by talking about improved OLAP universe support, stored procedure support, and a number of other enhancements. The universe is going to continue to be the center of a Business Objects BI implementation.

I like that. :)

So much for the technical report, what about the conference itself? The weather is great… last year Berlin was unseasonably warm, and not very comfortable. If I wanted to be warm I could have stayed home. :-P It’s quite cool and very comfortable today.

I don’t know if it’s the SAP influence but there are a lot more people here wearing suits than I remembered from the conference last year (which was also in Berlin). There are some casual dressed folks, but they’re the minority. I am dressed casual but am wearing a tie so I guess that’s a compromise. :)

Oh, and the food… the food never stops. At prior conferences there were set times for eating. If you didn’t get your lunch on schedule, you didn’t eat. This year they’ve kept food out on the tables all day long. The food is quite good; I am learning a lot and eating a lot. What’s not to like? :)

So if you will excuse me, there is some ice cream with my name on it. More details tomorrow. 8-)

6 Responses to “SAPPHIRE Day 1 Part 2 (Wrap-up)”

  1. Comment by Nick

    Thanks for the info, I like the sound of the Designer improvements. I wonder what they’re doing with stored procedures…

  2. Comment by Dave Rathbun

    Nick, you can insert a stored procedure directly into a universe and then build classes and objects from it. It appeared to be quite simple.

  3. Comment by Sebastien

    Interesting info! I will also try to find more info on Lifecycle Manager. Maybe I should drectly ask this to Frank.

  4. Comment by Dave Rathbun

    Frank gave me the name of the product manager, and I hope to talk to him tomorrow (Wednesday) and will see what I can share. :)

  5. Comment by Andreas

    Sounds like you are having a good time :)
    Have you seen SAP Strategy Management software yet?

    If you like chocolate look at, they have a special store in Berlin, the sweets and the little restaurant are definately worth a trip.

  6. Comment by Dave Rathbun

    Hi, Andreas, and yes, I am having a good time here. The advantage for me, personally, is that since I am only speaking one time I get to do / see / enjoy more of the conference. At the US conferences recently I have spent more time speaking or preparing to speak and don’t get to “do” the conference as well.

    I will try to check out the link you provided, thanks!

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