Compare the Features of Design Studio to Those of BEx Web AD

  • by Scott Wallask, Managing Editor
  • March 7, 2013
Get a glimpse at some of the prominent differences between SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and BEx Web Application Designer as noted by Tammy Powlas, an SAP Mentor and ASUG volunteer.

SAP Mentor and ASUG volunteer Tammy Powlas likes SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio. It’s intuitive and simple to work with — traits she would not necessarily apply to SAP BEx Web Application Designer (BEx Web AD). Design Studio is a new alternative to BEx Web AD.

“To me, it’s a lot easier to use than the BEx Web Application Designer,” Powlas told me during a recent interview.

Design Studio works with HTML5 to render dashboards for desktops and mobile devices. Design Studio 1.0 is in general release now and focuses on SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP HANA as data sources.  

Eventually, SAP plans to morph Design Studio and SAP BusinessObjects into a combined design environment, which will go beyond just NetWeaver and HANA sources.

Contrast Web AD and Design Studio

Powlas points to the following differences between Design Studio and BEx Web AD:

  • Design Studio does not require programming to use. On the other hand, when she previously used BEx Web AD, she had to keep a reference book by her side to help her and sometimes had to perform ABAP coding to complete simple tasks, such as making the common green-yellow-red light combination show up on screen.
  • If you are a programmer, however, Design Studio offers flexibility by using a subset of Java Script.
  • Design Studio integrates well with SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office. “With a few clicks from Analysis Office, you can go straight to Design Studio, and you have your Analysis Office cross-tab on a mobile device,” she said. “That’s a really, really nice feature. I don’t think you could do that before with BEx Web Application Designer.”
  • Design Studio runs on Internet Explorer 9 because it’s a 64-bit application, which is a pitfall if your company isn’t on that version of the browser.

Click here to hear my full interview with Powlas, during which she also discusses end-user fears about letting go of BEx Web AD and what it was like to participate in beta testing for Design Studio.

Scott Wallask

Scott Wallask was the managing editor for the BI, BusinessObjects, and HANA content of SAPexperts. He has covered SAP for WIS since May 2010, with a focus on SAP NetWeaver BW, HANA, BusinessObjects, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and human resources. He has spent 19 years as a writer and editor, including stints as a reporter at several newspapers in the Boston area. For 12 years starting in 1998, he created in-depth content about fire safety and OSHA regulations in hospitals while working at HCPro, a healthcare publishing company. In 2005, he won a first place award for best instructional reporting from the Specialized Information Publishers Association for his series on fire protection efforts in nursing homes. He graduated magna cum laude from Northeastern University in 1994 with a BA degree in print journalism.

See more by this author

You may contact the author at


If you have comments about this article or publication, or would like to submit an article idea, please contact the editor.


No comments have been submitted on this article. 

Please log in to post a comment.

To learn more about subscription access to premium content, click here.