Securely Speaking

I’ve made this blog more secure with SSL.

In the interest of safety and privacy, I’ve added SSL to the web site. Hopefully this change is transparent. If you type http://www.dallasmarks.com into your browser, you should be automatically redirected to https://www.dallasmarks.com/. If you encounter any problems with the new configuration, would you take a moment to either submit a comment on this post or send me a tweet?

Ten Years of Business Intelligence Blogging

A decade of daring and mundane adventures in business intelligence.

Ten years ago today, on October 29, 2007, I wrote my first blog post. I didn’t have lofty goals back then. At the time, I read an article (that I wish I had bookmarked) that advised that a blog was a good resume booster. I started a free blog with Google Blogger. Some of the articles I wrote were pretty lame. But I started documenting issues that I struggled with, assuming that others in the field were having the same struggles. And as I kept writing, I discovered my own voice.

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We’re so glad you could attend
Come inside, come inside!

A few months later, I started receiving comments. The second comment on my blog was from somebody in Australia. Through the power of Google search, somebody blogging quietly in the midwest United States had connected with the other side of the planet.

Hi Dallas,

Great to see a blog about Business Objects, there isn’t too many around. I watch the feed from your site and a few others, but I stumbled across it again today trying to figure out where to get my Migration training done in Australia.

I’ve just started a BO blog too if you’re interested (igeek2live.blogspot.com).

Kind regards,
Josh Fletcher

Josh became a good friend- one I still haven’t met in person. I kept writing. Over time, the blog would move from Google Blogger to WordPress, from dallasmarks.org to dallasmarks.com.

We would like it to be known the exhibits that were shown
Were exclusively our own, all our own, all our own.

But the most important thing isn’t that this blog has a writer- it’s that it has readers. I’m grateful to each and every one of you. I’ve been able to meet many of you at a conference. Some of you I consider dear friends even though we’ve only met through social media. And many of you I have yet to meet.

I hope this blog inspires each of you. Being qualified to write a blog isn’t about knowing everything. It is instead about being willing to share everything that you know. There’s a big difference between the two. We’re all better off when knowledge is shared, not hoarded, whether that’s with our immediate co-workers or a global audience.

This blog has opened many doors over a decade, for which I am grateful. I’m looking forward to seeing which doors will open during the next decade.

Kind Regards,
Dallas Marks

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, Sherlock 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

Collaboration Leads to a ‘Comprehensive Guide’ on BusinessObjects Web Intelligence

Craig Powers from ASUG News talks about our new Web Intelligence book from SAP Press.

Craig Powers of ASUG News caught up with Jim Brogden, Heather Sinkwitz, and myself to discuss our new SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, Third Edition from SAP Press.

You can check out the interview here on the ASUG News site.