GBN Business Objects User Conference 2008 – Day 2

Today was day 2 of the GBN Business Objects conference at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas. The day began with a general session with Doug Merritt, who discussed “Maximizing Performance in an Under-Performing Market”. His talk focused on the combined entity SAP + Business Objects being able to link strategy to execution. And it might be because this event is a joint conference with ASUG, but although “being open” still gets talking points, vendors such as Oracle/PeopleSoft/JD Edwards, IBM, Microsoft, etc. are never mentioned by name. Clearly, Business Objects is continuing to make strides in the number of supported data sources, but this heterogeneous message may be getting diluted in customer’s minds.

After the keynote, the unstoppable Alan Mayer of Integra Solutions presented “Extreme Reporting”. Noting that this was his first-ever use of the word “Extreme” in a breakout presentation, he proceded to clearly demonstrate how tricky reporting scenarios could be pushed down to the database layer to take advantage of the new stored procedure support in XI 3.x for Business Objects universes. The session was well-attended at one of the Hilton Anatole’s largest rooms.

After lunch, universe ninja Dave Rathbun, also of Integra Solutions, presented “Universe Designer Essentials and Beyond” to a standing-room only crowd. After demonstrating some of the cool new features in XI 3.0 such as mandatory universe conditions, he presented one of the most lucid explanations I’ve heard about aliases, contexts, and the applications for each. He concluded by demonstrating how aliases and contexts could be used to deliver date-range measures directly from the universe, simplifying end users’ creation of reports.

I also attended “Dimensional Modeling Techniques in Universes” by Derric Raggs, a first-time presenter from MCIC Vermont in Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve always known that Business Objects universes can handle (in varying degrees) any relational data source. But Derric, a Kimball University alumni, provided clear direction on modeling of role-playing dimensions and conformed dimensions in a Business Objects universe.

The day concluded with Dwayne Hoffpaurir’s (think HOFF-pow-er) “BusinessObjects XI 3.0 Security for Mere Mortals”. Dwayne, a BOB Member of the Year for 2008, shared some great best practices learned from his organization’s recent migration from Business Objects 6.5 to XI 3.0. I was also curious to see if my presentation, CMC Essentials, was too similar in content to his. But XI 3.0 security is not a trivial matter and there’s LOTS to talk about. Conference attendees would benefit from reviewing both presentations.

I’m now back at the hotel, going through the final rehearsals for my 8:00 AM presentation tomorrow morning. Check back tomorrow for the final installment of news from the GBN Business Objects User Conference 2008.

Author: Dallas Marks

I am a business intelligence architect, author, and trainer. I help organizations harness the power of analytics, primarily with SAP BusinessObjects products. An active blogger, SAP Mentor and co-author of the SAP Press book SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, I prefer piano keyboards over computer keyboards when not blogging or tweeting about business intelligence.

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