Development Tips for Creating Mobile Apps with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform

  • by Xavier Hacking, SAP BI Consultant, Interdobs B.V.
  • February 28, 2017
Learn how to design, create, and deploy mobile applications with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article, you will learn:

  • How to set up the BI platform for mobile applications
  • How to use the SAP BusinessObjects Mobile app
  • Constraints to consider when developing mobile Design Studio apps
  • How to set up a Design Studio template for mobile applications
  • Best practices for designing mobile applications
Key Concept
The SAP BusinessObjects Mobile application provides mobile access to Design Studio applications. As mobile usage differs from desktop usage, a different development approach is required when creating applications for mobile usage.

Today’s business users expect their data, reports, and dashboards to be available everywhere, all the time. Not just when they are behind their desks, but also on mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets. Design Studio and the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform can support this request. However, the way a user interacts with a mobile dashboard differs a lot from using a dashboard on a laptop or desktop computer—the smaller mobile screen means less space for visualizations, filters, buttons, and other components.

Thus, developing mobile applications requires a different approach than developing dashboards for normal desktop usage. This article demonstrates practical best practices on how to achieve this with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform.

The Basics: Setting Up the BI Platform and Mobile Applications

You can use the SAP BusinessObjects Mobile app to run Design Studio applications on a mobile device. This is the preferred option, as the app provides a secure and easy way to connect to the BI platform and run Design Studio applications, as well as other BI documents such as Web Intelligence, Crystal Reports, and SAP Lumira documents.

The alternative would be to use a web browser like Safari or Google Chrome on the mobile device to access the BI applications. A big disadvantage to this alternative is that the BI Launchpad interface isn’t responsive to the decreased screen size and appears and functions in the same way as on a desktop browser. This means that users must log on using tiny log-in screens, and must browse to specific documents using the folder structure in the BI Launchpad, which is optimized for use on a big screen with a mouse—in other words, not ideal for mobile phone use with their smaller screens. (I go into more detail about the SAP BusinessObjects Mobile app later in this article, in the “Features of SAP BusinessObjects Mobile Applications” section.)

Xavier Hacking

Xavier Hacking is a SAP BI specialist from Eindhoven, The Netherlands, working as a consultant for Interdobs. He has a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Science from the Eindhoven University of Technology. He has worked with a wide range of products from the current SAP BW and SAP BusinessObjects toolset, with a focus on dashboard and application development within SAP environments. Xavier is the co-author of four SAP BI-related books, including SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio – The Comprehensive Guide and SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.1 Cookbook. He blogs on all sorts of BI-related topics at HackingSAP.com and you can follow him on Twitter at @xjhacking.

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