Jul 28 2010

Change Management Strategies For Universe Developers

Categories: 2010 SBOUC Dave Rathbun @ 8:13 am

Yesterday I mentioned my first talk that I will be giving at the fall BusinessObjects conference this year. Brian Durning and I are going to compare and contrast Crystal and Web Intelligence. But that’s not all. In the session immediately following that one I will be giving a talk about change management for BusinessObjects universes.

Session Code: 804
Title: Don’t Lose Control: Change Management Strategies for Universe Designers
Day and Time: Tuesday, October 05, 2010, 2:45PM – 3:45PM

My final material is subject to change as I see how long each section gets, but here’s a brief overview of the areas I am considering covering.

  • Impact of database changes
    What happens to my universe when my database changes? How can I address those issues in a way that causes the least impact on my reporting team?
  • Impact of universe changes
    What happens to reports when I change my universe?
  • How can I compare two versions of a universe to see what is changing?
    This is the big one… several years ago I started a script that allows me to check two different versions of a universe and see what is different. I have been using the script for a while now and it does most of what I need, but it isn’t complete. I plan to (hope to) get the code finished by October so I can distribute it at the conference, and of course here on my blog. The code will be released under the GNU GPL (open source license). Details of that license and what someone can (or cannot) do are found on the GNU GPL home page. I will demonstrate the code and how it works under various change scenarios during my presentation… assuming I get it all working the way I want it to, of course.
  • These were the ideas I had in mind when I submitted the abstract. Time will tell which of them make it into the final presentation. Anything that doesn’t make it will very likely show up here as blog posts.

    At some point, anyway. I mean I only started working on my universe change script in 2007… ;)


Jul 27 2010

iPad Keyboard … Feature?

Categories: Rants Dave Rathbun @ 11:16 pm

I had to laugh today as I noticed a particular feature on my iPad. :lol: I was getting ready to log in to BOB. Here’s the screen shot. If you examine it closely you might see what amused me…

BOB Login Screen

I will give you a few moments to look over the screen shot. Pay careful attention to the keyboard… when you are ready for the answer, click …. Continue reading “iPad Keyboard … Feature?”


Jul 26 2010

Dueling Reporting Tools

Categories: 2010 SBOUC Dave Rathbun @ 9:53 am

I submitted several abstracts for consideration for the fall conference this year. The one I was the most excited about got accepted into the Webi/Deski track, and is called, “Discovery Versus Delivery: A Comparison of Client Reporting Tools.” Here is the formal track designation information.

Session Code: 603
Title: Discovery Versus Delivery: A Comparison of Client Reporting Tools
Day and Time: Tuesday, October 05, 2010, 1:30PM – 2:30PM

What is this talk about? A while back I wrote a post about a very short (single page) slide from SAP that shows how to pick which tool for a particular problem. For this presentation, Brian Durning and I will be doing a demonstration of strengths of two of the most important tools from BusinessObjects: Crystal and Web Intelligence. We plan to cover (and demonstrate!) several scenarios that should help show where the strengths of each tool lie. I will be covering Web Intelligence, and Brian Durning will be covering the Crystal side of the house.

It should be fun. 8-)

Related Links


Jul 23 2010

October Conference Season Heats Up

Categories: 2010 SBOUC Dave Rathbun @ 2:09 pm

A few weeks back I got an acceptance notice for an abstract I had submitted to TechEd this year. TechEd is in Las Vegas and I will be speaking about universe design to SAP folks that want to learn more about how to use BusinessObjects tools outside of their ERP/BW environment. It should be fun.

Earlier today I got notified that I have also been accepted to speak at the ASUG fall conference in Orlando. This is the conference that replace the Insight conferences put on by BusinessObjects these past few years, which were then followed by the two GBN conferences in Dallas. Since GBN has been folded into ASUG now our fall conference is now under their umbrella. If you are a “classic” BusinessObjects customer who wants to continue to see new and exciting things that you can do with your tools, this is the conference to attend. There will be some great stuff coming from SAP employees about XI 4 that you won’t want to miss, as well as (I am sure) a number of “can’t miss” sessions related to XI 3.x (and perhaps even earlier versions) that will help you make the most of your current environment while we all wait for XI 4 to be generally available.

In a few days I will post more details about my abstracts. I look forward to seeing everyone in Las Vegas or Orlando or perhaps even Both. :)


Jul 07 2010

Want To Remove Drill Indicators? Use A Variable…

Categories: Report Techniques, Variables! Dave Rathbun @ 7:38 am

In some cases I have created reports that were in drill mode that were not really drillable. For example, I showed a technique a few years back that would let a report developer swap measures out on a chart using a drill filter. It has been working great for quite a few years now. However, as a side effect any dimension on the report blocks that participates in a hierarchy becomes drillable. Sometimes I don’t want that, and there is an easy fix. Continue reading “Want To Remove Drill Indicators? Use A Variable…”


Jul 02 2010

Universe Models For Recursive Data Part III: Alias Versus Flattened

This is the third of several posts that will review my presentation “Universe Models For Recursive Data” which was originally presented at the 2009 GBN conference, then at the North Texas / Oklahoma ASUG chapter meeting, and finally at the Mastering BusinessObjects conference in Melbourne. As with my other presentations there is a PDF file that can be downloaded from my conference presentations page. The first post introduced the concepts of recursive (as opposed to hierarchical) data and provided a couple of examples. The second post reviewed some of the different design challenges that I have seen in working with recursive data models. In this post I will introduce four different possible solutions and present a scorecard for each, showing how well it solves the issues presented in the prior post in this series. Links to both prior posts are presented at the end of this entry. I have also included Oracle SQL scripts that can be used to create and populate the tables used in this post.

This post will cover slides 22 through 30 from the presentation and will describe the first two solutions (one with two variations) outlined in the presentation. Continue reading “Universe Models For Recursive Data Part III: Alias Versus Flattened”