Google Chromageddon

June 5, 2019 is a day that will live in infamy for SAP BusinessObjects administrators. It was the date that Google released version 75 of its Chrome browser to the public. And in an instant, nearly every version of SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence stopped working.

Experienced SAP BusinessObjects administrators will remember the Javageddon crisis of 2013 (see my related article, Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste). In some ways, Google Chromageddon was even worse. With Javageddon, something bad was going to happen in the future so there was time to plan around it. Chromageddon happened without warning and the help desk calls from users started pouring in.

Kudos to SAP for their response. The issue was documented in SAP KB 2801734 (Web Intelligence document hangs or displays no data when opened from Google Chrome version) and a workaround appeared shortly after. And SAP KB 2801625 (Web Intelligence document hangs or displays no data when opened from Google Chrome version 75.0.3770.80) charted the progress of fixes for SAP BI 4.2 SP5, SP6, and SP7, all of which have all been released.

The problem was apparently a pain for more than just Web Intelligence users, as Google halted the rollout of Chrome 75 (see related Chrome Unboxed article, Google Halts Rollout of Chrome 75). Some Web Intelligence customers were going through frantic patch cycles when Google released Chrome 76, which magically resolved Web Intelligence problems without patching. So life goes on and Google intends to release Chrome 77 on September 10 (see Google Chrome Platform Status page).

I’m not entirely sure what we’ve learned from this episode, other than the success of our BI platforms does not rest with SAP alone. The other lesson we’re learning is that we used to live in a world where Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) was the preferred browser for the corporate desktop. We now live in a world where Google Chrome is currently the best browser for SAP analytics customers, with Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox gunning for second place (see my related article, Which browser is best for SAP Analytics?). And this week, Microsoft put their Google Chromium revision of the Edge browser into beta (see Microsoft’s Edge Insider site). If your users still rely on IE, it’s definitely time to work with your organization’s desktop support team to insure better and modern browsers are available to your users.

Resources

What was your organization’s response to Google Chromageddon? Share a comment below.

Which Browser Is Best for SAP Analytics?

For many years, Internet Explorer (IE) was the only browser most organizations cared about. Not anymore.

It seems like it was just yesterday that we were all waiting for SAP to support Internet Explorer 9, but alas that was an eternity ago in 2011 (see related ASUG News article, Waiting on SAP, User Communities Fix SAP BusinessObjects Browser Woes).

Last week, Microsoft published a blog entitled “The perils of using Internet Explorer as your default browser” which among other things states that

 Internet Explorer is a compatibility solution. We’re not supporting new web standards for it and, while many sites work fine, developers by and large just aren’t testing for Internet Explorer these days.

Chris Jackson, The perils of using Internet Explorer as your default browser

In my latest article for the SAP Community Network, Which Browser Is Best for SAP Analytics?, I discuss what the current browser options are for SAP analytics customers.

Which browser or browsers currently reign supreme in your enterprise?

Resources

Zombie Web Assistant in Fiori BI Launch Pad

Starting with SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.2 SP5, SAP began shipping a new BI Launch Pad built using Fiori design principals. Currently, the new launch pad only provides document viewing capabilities. A new Fiori-fied Web Intelligence editor won’t make its debut until SAP BI 4.3 next year. But if you’re rolling out analytics to new users, especially casual users, it makes sense to make their first experience the Fiori experience.

However, at the moment, there’s one modest setback. The helpful Web Assistant that pops up is a zombie. Meaning that even if you turn it off, it will be there to greet you the next time you log in.

You can access the new Fiorified launch pad at http://[servername]:[port number]/BOE/BILaunchpad.

SAP BI 4.2 SP6 Fiori Launch Pad

The Web Assistant pops up as a collection of green circles. Click on a circle and a pop-up box appears to explain the feature. There’s also a ribbon at the bottom of the screen that also provides help text. In the example below, I clicked the green circle over the Folders link.

SAP BI 4.2 SP6 Fiori Launch Pad

Clicking directly on one of the ribbon’s description boxes will highlight where the feature is on the screen. In the example below, I clicked on the Recycle Bin description.

SAP BI 4.2 SP6 Fiori Launch Pad

To turn off the Web Assistant, click its icon, which is located in the top right corner of the BI Launch Pad.

SAP BI 4.2 SP6 Fiori Launch Pad

You can now navigate around the new BI Launch Pad. Experienced users will recognize familiar features such as the Inbox, their folders, and the Recycle Bin.

SAP BI 4.2 SP6 Fiori Launch Pad

To exit the new BI Launch Pad, click on the “person” icon in the top left corner (will we be able to add our photo in future versions?).

SAP BI 4.2 SP6 Fiori Launch Pad

Click the Log Out button to exit the BI Launch Pad and return to the Log On screen.

SAP BI 4.2 SP6 Fiori Launch Pad

Depending on which patch level you are using, you may experience a zombie Web Assistant that returns each and every time that you log into the Fiorified BI Launch Pad. According to SAP Note 2723208, the issue has been corrected in SAP BI 4.2 SP5 Patch 800 and the forthcoming SAP BI 4.2 SP7 (currently planned for the week of February 25, 2019). However, the note does not indicate that the issue has been corrected in any of the four released patches for SAP BI 4.2 SP6.

Since I have multiple customers using various patch levels of SAP BI 4.2 SP6, I’ve marked this note as a favorite so I’ll be notified about any updates.

SAP Note 2723208

SAP Note 2723208 – ‘Web Assistant’ is by default enabled for all users in Fiorified BI Launchpad for each login

SAP Lumira, Designer Edition: The Comprehensive Guide

A solid guide for new and experienced SAP Lumira Designer professionals.

SAP Lumira, Designer Edition: The Comprehensive Guide (ISBN 978-1-4932-1616-1) is a thoroughly revised book about the software formerly known as SAP Design Studio. After writing two editions of the SAP Design Studio book, authors Dwain Chang, Xavier Hacking, and Jeroen van der A have delivered a solid third update for Lumira 2.0.

SAP Lumira 2_0 Designer Splash Screen

SAP Lumira Designer is currently the preferred dashboarding and web applications tool in the SAP analytics portfolio, superceding both SAP Dashboards and SAP BEx Web Application Designer. SAP plans to continue to enhance the tool in the short term, as SAP Analytics Cloud will be introducing its own application design capabilities in 2019.

The book is both a reference guide to the product but also includes several step-by-step examples (which can also be downloaded from the SAP Press web site). It assumes no previous knowledge of SAP Lumira Designer or its predecessor, SAP Design Studio, so it’s a great resource for people like me who’s previous dashboard design experience is with SAP Dashboards (Xcelsius). While the CSS and JavaScript used by SAP Lumira Designer may be unfamiliar to SAP Dashboard developers, they’ll be very familiar to anyone with a traditional web design background. Those folks will no doubt appreciate the chapters on using the SDK to extend the product functionality.

Whether your organization has been using SAP Design Studio for several years or just started looking at SAP Lumira in 2018, this solid and comprehensive guide will help your organization be successful with SAP Lumira Designer.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Fender Play Provides Guitar Lessons Using Amazon AWS Serverless Technologies

Is your favorite internet hangout powered by Amazon AWS?

In a previous blog, I indicated that I had a personal goal of learning to play guitar using Fender Play and a professional goal of becoming an Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect (see related article, Old Dogs, New Tricks). As part of my AWS studies, I stumbled across a YouTube video showing how Fender uses AWS serverless technologies to power Fender Play.

Learn how Fender uses AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon CloudFront and Amazon S3 by watching the video below.

OUT: Air guitar

IN: Cloud guitar

How cool is that?

New Quarterly Release Schedule for SAP Analytics Cloud

With SAP Analytics Cloud’s new release schedule, you can slow down and speed up at the same time.

Since its inception in 2015 as SAP Cloud for Analytics, one of the features of SAP Analytics Cloud has been its rapid release strategy, with new versions of the product being released about every two weeks. An agile release strategy has many benefits for a new product coming into the marketplace. And certainly a cloud-based product can be updated more easily if the vendor is doing most of the heavy lifting.

But a hectic release schedule also has drawbacks, which I wrote about earlier in a piece entitled What we learned from 31 releases of SAP Lumira. In that article, I advocated that SAP should take a two-track approach to cloud releases, much as Microsoft does with Office and its Office Insider early adopter program.

Starting with version 2018.19 of SAP Analytics Cloud released last month, SAP is moving to a quarterly release schedule to “align with SAP’s global strategy for cloud application releases.” And to continue to satisfy early adopters, SAP is offering a Fast-Track subscription for organizations that continue to want to receive bi-weekly updates.

There’s more details and an FAQ on the SAP Analytics Cloud web site. You’ll also want to check out the video that I’ve embedded above. This new release schedule is great news for SAP Analytics Cloud users.

What are your experiences so far with SAP Analytics Cloud? And what do you think about the new quarterly release schedule? Leave a comment in the section below.

Support my blog with your holiday shopping!

One click can make a difference.

Hi, folks!

Just a quick reminder that you can do all of your holiday shopping at Amazon and support this blog at the same time. Just click here or on the banner ad below.

Now would also be a good time to line your bookshelf with some of the books I’ve reviewed.

Thanks for your support!
Dallas Marks

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Old dogs, new tricks

My fellow SAP analytics professionals and I are reacting to an altered career landscape.

Editors Note: As luck would have it, today is the 11th anniversary of this blog. Thank you to all of my readers who have stuck with me through such humble beginnings.

As an IT professional, it has always been necessary to keep learning and growing. As an SAP analytics professional, that’s become even more clear as SAP is pivoting away from the classic SAP BusinessObjects platform. SAP customers must augment their analytics toolkits (see related article, Everything Must Change). To be fair, the SAP BusinessObjects platform isn’t going to disappear overnight, playing an important role in SAP’s “hybrid” analytics strategy. But just like the new and unfamiliar Crystal Enterprise/BusinessObjects XI platform had to be learned and embraced back in 2005 (what? No more Supervisor?), it’s time for me and many of my BusinessObjects peers to expand our horizons.

On a personal level, I’ve finally done something that I’ve put off for years. I bought a beautiful sea foam green Fender Stratocaster and signed up for Fender Play, Fender’s cloud-based self-service training platform. As an accomplished pianist, I’m amazed and just a little frustrated how a guitar uses completely different muscles than a piano keyboard.

On a professional level, I’m branching out my skills by studying for Amazon AWS certification as my employer became an AWS partner this year. I wasn’t one of the lucky consultants to get certified first, but I do not intend to be the last. Amazon offers three different certification paths (see illustration below) and I plan to become an AWS Certified Solutions Architect with a Big Data specialty.

Amazon AWS Certification Roadmap

I’m not alone. Several of my long-time BusinessObjects friends are moving on. My friend Eileen King just became a certified Looker professional.

And Michael Welter now works for Tableau as a solution architect.

Fellow Web Intelligence co-author Jim Brogden is now a certified Tableau specialist.

And Jay Riddle is hanging out with the cool Tableau kids, too.

I’ve heard of more than one SAP customer that intends to drop their maintenance for SAP BI to save their budgets for new priorities. Perhaps your organization is one of them?

I’ll leave you with one of the masters of the Fender Stratocaster, Mark Knopfler, singing one of his Dire Straits songs as a duet with Emmylou Harris.

Why worry?
There should be laughter after pain
There should be sunshine after rain
These things have always been the same
So why worry now?

Why Worry, from Dire Straights’ fantastic album Brothers In Arms

What new skills have you added to your personal goals? How is your organization adopting to SAP’s new analytics road map? I’d love to hear what’s going on in the world via your comments.

Twitter Purge, Part Two

Looks like I spoke too soon about being unaffected by Twitter’s purge.

Last month I wrote that I was virtually unaffected by the Twitter purge that hit United States Presidents Trump and Obama (see related article, Thankful for real Twitter followers). This month, I looked at my follower statistics and noticed a sharp decline on Wednesday, August 15, 2018.

On Tuesday, August 14, 2018, I had 4,416 followers.
Twitter Purge 4416 followers on 20180814

But on Wednesday, August 15, I had only 4,344 followers – a loss of 72 followers or 1.63%.

Twitter Purge 4344 followers on 20180815

Is Twitter continuing to purge inactive/fake accounts? Or did some of my followers take offense to me writing about SAP Analytics Hub?

Have you noticed a dramatic change in the number of your Twitter followers?

Looking for SAP Lumira 2.2?

SAP Lumira fans are going to have to wait a bit longer for version 2.2.

SAP Lumira 2.2 was supposed to arrive this week (calendar week 34) but according to SAP Note 2465894, updated yesterday, the release is now being “re-planned”.

SAP Mentor Tammy Powlas shared “What’s new in SAP Lumira 2.2” on the SAP Community site from a ASUG preview webcast last July.

UPDATE 08/27/2018: SAP Note 2465894 was updated on August 25, 2018 indicating that Lumira 2.2 is planned for August 31, 2018.

UPDATE 08/29/2018: SAP Lumira 2.2 is now available for download from the SAP Support Portal. Refer to SAP Note 2587459 for SAP Lumira 2.2 release notes and several other helpful links about the new release.

SAP Lumira 2.2 Now Available 20180829