May 24 2010

Delivery Versus Discovery

Categories: General, Products Dave Rathbun @ 7:16 am

Not too long ago I got (yet another) flowchart from SAP that attempts to help me decide when to use a particular tool. SAP has the rather unenviable position of having to complete the integration process started a few years back when BusinessObjects purchased Crystal, and then to also figure out how to integrate / update all of the legacy SAP tools as well. For customers the situation can be even worse, as they may or may not have access to all of these options based on what they’ve purchased over the years. Fellow SAP Mentor Ingo Hilgefort delivered a presentation to ASUG members last month that covered this same subject. Ingo’s presentation – like many I have seen – started by covering each of the primary products, discussing their major features, and talked about how they were suited for various business cases. It’s a good presentation, and if you’re an ASUG member I’ve included a link so you can download it. (He’s also doing it at the 2010 Annual Conference coming up in a few weeks.)

What I liked about slide I got was that it was based more on use rather than function. In other words, it didn’t focus on the features of the products but instead asked what was going to be done with the products. The first decision point in the flowchart was simple: is the user request for delivery or discovery?

What does that mean, and what products ended up on either side? Continue reading “Delivery Versus Discovery”

May 10 2010

Exploring with Part II

Categories: Explorer Dave Rathbun @ 9:15 am

A few days ago I posted about my initial experiences with, the software-as-a-service offering from SAP BusinessObjects. One of my frustrations was I was not able to compare year-to-year performance with the data set that I uploaded. I made the assumption that I could upload two data sets (one from each year) and merge them to obtain the desired result. The answer, I am happy to say, is yes. I made a few stupid mistakes along the way, but the end result is much closer to what I was trying to accomplish with my first attempt. Not only that, but I found out that I can merge data in two different directions. Continue reading “Exploring with Part II”

May 04 2010

Exploring with

Categories: Explorer Dave Rathbun @ 11:23 am

Last week I signed up with an account at, a “software-as-a-service” offering from SAP BusinessObjects. I wanted to play around with Explorer for a bit, and we don’t yet have that product installed in house. It seemed like a good time to take advantage of their free demo account. I have no idea what is required to set up Explorer, or what sort of data issues I might encounter along the way. I am going into this experiment completely devoid of any knowledge of the product other than what I have seen in demonstrations. One of the selling points of the tool is that there are no training classes for this product; it’s supposed to be just that intuitive. It will be interesting to see how I do.

I first looked all over the site to find out what the restrictions are. Since I was going to be using a free trial account, I didn’t expect to be able to upload my entire two billion row fact table, nor would I want to. :) However, I did want to stretch the system to show of what Explorer can do. I could not find anything, anywhere, that detailed the specific limits of the free account. I even tried to find out what pricing would be in the event that I decided to host more data, and I could not find that anywhere either. If anyone finds that information online, please post a link.

Other than these site issues, how did my initial exploration go? Continue reading “Exploring with”

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