Oct 05 2011
Earlier this year I got to see Web Intelligence 4.0 documents on an iPad. It was one of my few tweet-worthy nuggets that I shared from the BI 4.0 launch event. A few weeks ago I started building out some reports for a co-worker so we could experiment with MOBI and see just how well it worked in our environment. Along the way I picked up a copy of the “known limitations” document from SAP. Some of them are big, perhaps even show-stoppers for many folks.
- Table Format
- I have to include a header. If a table does not have a header, it doesn’t work. I could live with this, I guess.
- Tables cannot include breaks. I think this qualifies as a “what were they thinking” moment. Seriously, no breaks? We also found out that sections are not supported.
- Merged cells are not supported.
- Only basic chart types are supported. This is a real bummer, given that part of what is improved in BI 4.0 is the charting engine for Web Intelligence.
- Formatting on chart elements such as axis lables is not supported.
- Document Interactivity
- Drilling is not supported. See also limitations on the OpenDocument() function below.
- Folding / unfolding is not supported.
- Input controls are not supported. Another “wwtt” moment when I read that one.
- The only conditional formatting that works are font colors. I have not tested this, but I assume that means no font sizes, no color changes (background / foreground colors), and no altering the cell content. I use that last feature quite a bit with Alerters to allow me to dynamically swap a new value into a block based on the data.
- URL components like sDocName, sPath, and sType are not supported. Some of these make sense, since Crystal reports are not yet supported on the iPad. But I’m not sure why the document name and path are not allowed.
- Persitent prompts (retaining prior prompt values) is not supported.
- Nested prompts are not supported.
- Multi-column LOVs are not supported.
What does this mean? It means that even though I can distribute Web Intelligence reports to the iPad, there are quite a few important features that are not supported or don’t translate to the mobile platform. So while I did, in fact, see some Web Intelligence reports on an iPad, they did not include many of the features that I believe are essential for wide-spread use. I believe that Crystal is supposed to be next on the list for iPad support, but I hope they get some of these Web Intelligence gaps corrected soon as well.