ASUG Volunteer Spotlight

Look mom, I’m in the ASUG Annual Report!

Sometimes the best things that happen to your career are serendipitous accidents, or at least they seem that way at the time. We find ourselves in an opportunity to push ourselves outside of our normal comfort zone. Due to a career change, a long-serving volunteer normally in charge of the annual ASUG Developer Tools Day was no longer able to be part of ASUG. Nature abhors a vacuum, so last year I was able to step into the role of event organizer with the help of my peers in the Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio leadership teams. In December 2016, we hosted what we learned would be the 10th annual ASUG Developer Tools Day. We’re all looking forward to continuing the tradition in 2017.

Ina Felsheim introduces SAP Lumira 2.0 at ASUG Developer Tools Day 2016

Dallas Marks is a member of the Kentucky Chapter. Dallas has found his niche in the chapter by managing the social media accounts for the Kentucky Chapter, with a special emphasis on Twitter. Building on this, Dallas writes blogs in his spare time to help promote the meetings. In addition to his duties in the chapter, Dallas manages Developer Tools Day. His positive disposition allows him to be innovative, charismatic, and a pleasure to work with.

From the 2016 ASUG Annual Report

Tom Jung shares HANA programming knowledge at ASUG Developer Tools Day 2016

I’ve been a part of the ASUG Kentucky Chapter since 2011 and have served in several volunteer roles since 2014. Being a member of a local ASUG chapter has provided me with a core group of trusted professionals. Some share my immediate interest area of analytics. But I benefit just as much from knowing people in other parts of the SAP ecosystem, broadening my understanding of what it takes to power an organization with SAP software. I’m proud to serve with the current chapter leadership of Eric Stephan-Neill, Vince Barber, Ashley Lowe, Theresa Westlund; previous chapter leadership Suresh AdhikariDamean Chen, and Darren Hites; and our ASUG community coordinator Paige Riegen.

Storm Archer introduces SAP BW/4HANA at ASUG Developer Tools Day 2016

I won’t be able to join you this year at the 2017 ASUG Annual Meeting, but I’m extremely grateful for the recognition from the ASUG volunteer community as well as the continued opportunity to stretch my limits.

Volunteer Spotlight in 2016 ASUG Annual Report

Much thanks,
Dallas Marks

SAP Paris

In May 2015, I accompanied Eric Vallo to SAP’s offices in Paris.

In May 2015, I went to SAP’s office in Paris with Eric Vallo, EV Technologies’ Chief Architect. While our antics were pretty lame when compared to Harold and Kumar, Bill and Ted, or even Jamie and Clint, we had both a productive and poetic visit to one of the great European cities. SAP is a global software company, which I saw first hand. Paris is the original home of BusinessObjects prior to its acquisition by SAP in 2008. It’s presently the current home for the Web Intelligence and semantic layer teams but the BI platform, Crystal Reports, Design Studio, Lumira, and other BI tools are developed elsewhere.

Christian Ah-Soon was our gracious host and we got to see Saurabh Abhyankar, Olivier Duvelleroy, Timo Elliott, Ian Mayor, and so many other great SAP employees in their native habit. They had all just recently relocated from multiple locations around Paris into SAP’s new office building, the Tour SAP.

Tour SAP

EV Technologies’ core product, the Sherlock Inspector Suite for the BI platform, relies on many SDK’s including those for Web Intelligence and the semantic layer, so it’s great to have a face-to-face dialog about what is coming next. We learned about SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 Support Pack 6, which was released on June 15, 2015. And (shhh!) we learned about SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 and its groundbreaking features like [censored] and [censored]. I’d like to share more about [censored] but most of the visit was covered by non-disclosure agreements.

Below is the view from the Tour SAP’s 19th floor. How can you not do your best work with a view like that?

The View

Here’s the Tour Eiffel up close and personal, although not nearly as breathtaking as the photos Timo Elliott takes for his Instagram feed.

Tour Eiffel

The highlight of the trip wasn’t Web Intelligence 4.2. Instead, it was getting to meet my Twitter mate Andrew Fox in person for the first time. In Paris. Below, you can see The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls along with the man himself, The Man Who Could Board a London Train for Paris.

Andrew Fox, the man who could walk through walls

We enjoyed some obligatory pâté and l’escargot before cutting into a fantastic Côte de Boeuf and pomme de terre Lyonnaise. And a nice bottle of Burgundy.

Bons Amis (Good Friends)

 

It was a great trip- my first to anywhere besides the United States or Canada. You can check out some of my other photos on Flickr.

The SAP team is excited about the new Web Intelligence and semantic layer features now available in BI 4.1 SP6 and coming soon in BI 4.2. And I am too.

I’m a SAP Mentor!

I’ve been accepted into the SAP Mentor program.

Then this happened…

Thanks for those who nominated me to be part of the SAP Community in a very special way! Very grateful and excited to see what the future holds.

2014 Year In Review

A personal reflection on the past year.

2014 is now history. I worked with several customers on XI 3.1 to BI 4.1 upgrades, helped write the third edition of SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide (see related article) and moved from Market Leader to Program Chair as a volunteer for the ASUG Kentucky chapter.

Thanks for reading my blog this year and I look forward writing more in the year ahead.

2014 Travel Destinations (courtesy TripIt)

  • Dallas, Texas (BI 4.1 upgrade)
  • Fort Worth, Texas (ASUG volunteer meeting and SABOUC conference)
  • Houston, Texas (XI 3.1 architecture assessment and Live Office consulting)
  • Los Angeles, California (Information Design Tool and Web Intelligence 4.1 training)
  • Orlando, Florida (BI 4.1 upgrade)

Most Popular Articles of 2014 (courtesy Google Analytics)

  1. Customizing SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1
  2. Customizing SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0
  3. Using Variable Functions in the Universe
  4. Sizing the Adaptive Processing Server in BI 4.1
  5. Sizing the Adaptive Processing Server in BI 4.0
  6. SAP BusinessObjects BI 4 is (Mostly) 64-bit
  7. Displaying Web Intelligence Date Prompts Using Built-In Functions
  8. Displaying Images on Web Intelligence Reports
  9. SAP BusinessObjects Query Builder 4.0
  10. Don’t Fluster the Cluster

Books Read and Reviewed

Top Visiting Countries (courtesy Google Analytics)

  1. United States
  2. India
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Germany
  5. France
  6. Canada
  7. Australia
  8. Netherlands
  9. Italy
  10. Brazil
  11. Turkey
  12. Spain
  13. Switzerland
  14. Belgium
  15. Singapore
  16. Mexico
  17. Russia
  18. Japan
  19. China
  20. Poland

Speaking Events

Analytic Storytelling with Web Intelligence
EV Technologies Webcast
February 26, 2014 US/March 5, 2014 ANZ

Agile Business Intelligence with SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 4.1
EV Technologies Webcast
May 21, 2014 US/May 28, 2014 ANZ

ASUG Kentucky Chapter Meeting
Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY
August 8, 2014
Agile Business Intelligence with SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 4.1

ASUG SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects User Conference
Omni Hotel
Fort Worth, Texas
September 22-24, 2014a
Secrets from a Business Intelligence Barista
Taking SAP BusinessObjects from Stock to Custom
Agile Business Intelligence with SAP Lumira (panel discussion)
“Cost Saving” Cuts Your Project Can’t Afford (Diversified Semantic Layer panel discussion)

Other Significant Events

ASUG Volunteer Meeting
Fort Worth, Texas
January 25, 2014

SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence, Third Edition

Announcing SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, Third Edition

SAP Press Web Intelligence 3rd Edition

My blogging activity has been extremely light for the past three months, but I can finally reveal the reason.

Just over a year ago, I wrote that there would not be a 4.1 edition of the SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence book from SAP Press (see related article, SAP Press Book for Web Intelligence 4.1?). But earlier this year, the inventory of second edition books dipped to a critical level. It didn’t make sense to reprint a two-year-old book based on Web Intelligence 4.0, so Jim Brogden, Heather Sinkwitz, Gabriel Orthous and I began the process of updating the book using Web Intelligence 4.1 Support Pack 3. The book has been refreshed from cover-to-cover. We have thoroughly updated the book to include the new features in Web Intelligence 4.1, but we’ve written quite a bit of new material as well. The book is currently in pre-production and should be in print for the upcoming ASUG SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects Conference in September 2014 (and be sure to read this related ASUG News article, ASUG Partners with Galileo Press to Offer Member Discounts).

You can pre-order SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, Third Edition from SAP Press

You can also pre-order SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, Third Edition from Amazon.com

My 100th BusinessObjects Board Post

My small contribution to a great support site.

I started my first BusinessObjects project in February 2003 with “classic” version 5.1, prior to the acquisition of Crystal Reports (Crystal Decisions) and the acquisition by SAP. I became a member of the BusinessObjects Board, or BOB, shortly thereafter on April 16, 2003, at the suggestion of my friend Eileen King. At the time, the BusinessObjects support site wasn’t terribly useful. Just as important as the information one could read on BOB were the friends you could make by using it.

Dallas-Marks-Post-099

I recently made my 100th post, which earned me the designation of Principal Member instead of a Senior Member. An average of 9 posts a year isn’t much of a contribution, but I’ll sleep better knowing the principal’s icon includes the detail object’s green pyramid.

Dallas-Marks-Post-100

Times have changed. In 2003 I first turned to BOB looking for the way out of a problem. In 2014 I now turn to the SAP Support Portal. Either SAP’s support portal usability has improved, I have simply mastered its confusion, or a combination of both. The SAP Support Portal seemed daunting in the post-acquisition fog of 2008. And who can forget SAP’s abrupt unplugging of the old BusinessObjects support and ESD sites (see related articles, Got Support? and Business Objects ESD, R.I.P.)? Good times.

Business Intelligence has clearly left the niche for the mainstream. Now there’s an abundance of books, blogs, and alternative media outlets beyond just what the vendor offers.

Choice is good.

Diversified Semantic Layer Interview

My Unstructured Geek Analysis interview

SAP Mentor and Diversified Semantic Layer contributor Jamie Oswald interviews me as part of the Unstructured Geek Analysis series. We talk about how I got started with my career in business intelligence, how I started blogging, my new role as an ASUG Volunteer, and what I do in my spare time.