Posts tagged Online
Sometimes things are much easier then you’d expect. If you’re searching for information about all kind of new features for the new SAP BusinessObjects BI4 platform, you can stop searching right away, everything you want to know about it, is available straight from the official source: help.sap.com
Here you’ll find tons of stuff you’re probably interested in. This varies from installation manuals, administrator guides and end-user guides. It’s all nice organized and categorized so that you can find everything very easily. Most documents don’t require a SAP Community Network ID so go check it out.
In the meanwhile, there are some nice alternatives for Xcelsius in the SAP portfolio / eco-system if you’re looking for a mobile dashboarding solution that works seamless on Apple devices. At the moment, I think RoamBI is the best 3rd party alternative in terms of usability, user experience, integration with SAP back-ends, short development time, etcetera.
In the meanwhile, you also see that SAP is investing heavily in the Apple devices. One of the examples is the interview with SAP CIO Oliver Bussman which is a real interesting article. SAP is aware, without a doubt, of the potential impact of Apple products for businesses. That’s just one of the reasons why they deployed 3,500 iPads in less then one year within SAP. With the upcoming release of BI4, not only the SAP BO explorer, but also WebIntelligence will be iPad enabled. These kind of product development choices aren’t made while making your peanut-butter sandwich in the morning before going to work. SAP has a clear mobile strategy for the future which gets empowered even more after the acquisition of Sybase.
So back to one of Ryan’s questions: “Does SAP need to completely change a highly successful dashboard design platform to serve one single device even it is not the best possible approach to dashboards oniOS? ”
My answer, no they don’t. Xcelsius will continue to be the number one dashboarding application within the SAP portfolio for the desktop users. That’s for sure without a doubt. I specifically say “within the SAP portfolio” since Xcelsius (SAP BO Dashboards arrrrgh) isn’t the holy grail. It takes quite some development time before you have a pixel perfect solution and it’s visualizations aren’t always as flexible as you’d hope they’d be. Especially User Experience designers who can make real, real, real, real (you get it?) awesome designs of dashboards without tool limitations in mind, often walk up the Xcelsius wall. Don’t understand me wrong, I’m a great “fan” of Xcelsius, but also Xcelsius has it’s limitations.
If you take a look at BO Exploration Views it comes very close to dashboarding functionality like Xcelsius, and this app is optimized for mobile devices. I dedicated a blog to it earlier and explained some differences and overlap between BO Exploration Views and for example Xcelsius. It’s just an example of SAP focussing on mobile and online platforms for the future with a stronger focus on information consuming than on information designing.
Another important thing is that ”porting” a dashboard from Xcelsius to a mobile app with exactly the same design, layout etcetera is a bad thing in the first place. The presentation of the information must be optimized for the platform and device your consuming it on. Looking at a dashboard on your 17″ monitor which receives input from a mouse and keyboard is completely different than a dashboard that is used on a mobile device like a phone or tablet which gets it’s input from a finger. User Experience wise, porting a dashboard 1-on-1 from desktop to mobile is a bad idea from the beginning. Ryan mentions a solution by Antivia which is being developed to port dashboards to flash enabled devices. This is a good thing, as long as the developers have designed the Xcelsius dashboard with this purpose in mind from the beginning. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a dashboard that looks stunning, but with the touch of your finger, 10 filters will be activated instead of just 1 which was supposed to be activated. Great potential, as long as UX is embedded in the dashboard developers mind. I’d love to play around with a prototype of this tool so if Antivia is willing to give me a test version, give me a sign! I think Antivia is a great 3rd party developer for Xcelsius solutions so I’m convinced they’ll release a nice solution. But beware, it’s not about technology, but about people.
SAP understands this quite well as you can see in the differences in the desktop version of the SAP BO explorer and the iPhone app. The information that is presented is exactly the same, but the way you interact with it, based on UI buttons etcetera is different. As an example, I’ve added two screenshots.
Well I hope this gives a better view of my vision on mobile devices and how you should publish and present BI content on them. SAP is investing in it without a doubt and they are making great steps forward. In the meanwhile, tools like RoamBI are great alternatives and I’m quite curious about their own strategy and future releases and how they’ll manage to integrate with upcoming SAP solutions in the BI4 platform. Time will tell.
Enough for now. Feel free to share your thoughts trough the comments, mail, twitter, etcetera. You’ll know how and where to find me.
Nowadays, we are all used to being online. It doesn’t matter if you’re at work, at home, at a restaurant or any other place. Through your laptop, tablet or smartphone you’ll be almost always online. You use these devices to check your social media apps, bank accounts, agenda, email, tasks, weather forecast, to upload your Angry Birds high score and so on. The possibilities are numerous.
Until now, your car wasn’t one of the online “devices”. Wel this is about to change. Car manufacturers are really busing hooking your car up onto the online experience. Cars will be able to use online services like we’ve never seen before. For example, you’ll be able to look up a restaurant through Google straight from your car and let you navigate towards it through a Google maps streetview interface. Or imagine that you’re in a traffic jam and a car upfront notices this and sends a “traffic jam warning” message. This way you’ll be able to receive real-time information. Next to this it can also be possible to actually connect to the car driving next to you to exchange information like your business card, points of interest, or even to share music or photo’s. Possibilities are really endless. But also for safety measures you could think of sending an alert to the emergency services if you witness a car accident or to track your stolen car.
Of course there is always a battle of the sexes between for example BMW and Audi.
This picture below shows a BMW which notices an older Audi model with technical malfunctions. The BMW calls in for help for the broken car. What a coincidence that this car happens to be an Audi.
Click the image to go to the BMW connected drive website.
At BMW, they also think that a thief would rather pick a BMW instead of a Mercedes or Audi if he could choose. I find it quite funny. With BMW connected drive, you can track your car’s location within seconds.
Audi also launched a website on which they inform you about their vision for online cars.
They still need to work on some nice video footage but the textual content is available for your reading pleasures.
Also check the following link for Google’s self-driving car:
I’d say, go check it!