Challenge: Convert SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards files to HTML5 with Adobe Wallaby
This is were it started… I saw a tweet (in Dutch) about a new Adobe tool which could convert Flash files to HTML5.
Well this might be quite interesting I thought. Probably this makes it possible to convert SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius) files with a SWF file extension into HTML5 and run it onto mobile devices, like the iPhone, without any trouble. Sounds good so far. In the past more people have tried to run Xcelsius files on Apple devices and they managed to get it working after doing quite some magic in Apple’s Xcode studio. This sounded like a much easier solution. Just open the flash file and convert it into HTML5. How hard can it be?
Step 1: Download Adobe Wallaby
I downloaded the Adobe Wallaby product on the Adobe site. The installer instructions also mentioned Windows 7 requires the ”Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86)” which can be downloaded here.
Step 2: Download a SWF > FLA converter
I quickly found out that Wallaby can convert FLA files into HTML5 and not SWF files into HTML5. Okay, that can’t be too hard. Just download a SWF > FLA converter. Fire up google and you come up some free or trial solutions. I used a 30-day free trial of the Sothink SWF Decompiler.
Step 3: Convert a SWF file into FLA
Just pick a random Xcelsius dashboard file (SWF) and convert it into FLA. Here the first issue comes around. The trial edition doesn’t convert Action Script. That’s a bummer. The good news is that it look as if these kind of tools “understand” Xcelsius SWF files as you can see in the right part of the screen where it decomposes the dashboard file into all individual objects. Also look at the “Action” folder. This probably is where all the Action script logic is stored. This (crucial) set of objects won’t be converted in the trial edition.
Step 4: Convert FLA file into HTML5
Now fire up Adobe Wallaby and select your FLA file you want to convert. It will generate a HTML file which can be launched in your internet browser. That’s about it.
Make sure to check out the release notes of Adobe Wallaby. Here you can see that Action Script functionality is not yet supported. If this is supported in the future, it just might be an easy way to convert SWF files into FLA and into HTML5 within minutes. If anyone has a license for Sothink SWF that makes it possible to convert Action Script code, please give me a sign so we can test it further.
Of course, this isn’t an enterprise solution but as long as SAP doesn’t provide Apple iOS compatible Xcelsius export formats it is interesting to experiment with it yourself in a lab setting. Personally I think that SAP will release some kind of iOS compatible export format for Xcelsius in the future since SAP widely adopts the Apple iOS platform with official SAP apps like the SBO explorer and the recently anounced iPad support for WebIntelligence.
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