8 Add-Ons for Better Dashboards

  • by Xavier Hacking, SAP BI Consultant, Interdobs B.V.
  • January 10, 2013
Get the details behind eight add-ons to SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards that can help you with printing dashboards, importing data from CSV files, integrating dashboards with Google Maps, and other functions.
Key Concept

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards add-ons are plugins that extend the functionality of the standard toolset. Add-ons can be additional components or connectivity options. 

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (formerly known as Xcelsius) features dozens of components to create charts, filters, tabs, sliders, buttons and interactive components. The connectivity options let you fill a dashboard with data via SAP NetWeaver BW Business Explorer queries, XML Web services, and SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 universes, and through Live Office connections to Crystal Reports and Web Intelligence reports.

However, all these built-in options might not fulfill your needs in dashboard development. What if you need a specific chart type that is not included in the standard set of components? Or you want to use maps with advanced custom layers that give users more detail than the standard maps, like Google Maps does? You might want to load your data from a text or CSV file instead of using a live connection to a database environment. And what if you need to include a huge amount of records in your dashboard and enable a user to interact with them without getting into performance issues?

With the SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards Software Development Kit, Adobe Flex developers can create their own custom components — for example, new data connections, data visualizations, navigational controls, and functions and formulas that are not supported by SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards.

I introduce you to what I think are the most interesting add-ons for SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards available on the market.

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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