UPDATE 06/27/2013: SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.1 was released to customers (RTC) and into ramp-up last month. STILL doesn’t have currency formatting – could we get some before GA later this year?
UPDATE 11/09/2012: SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 Support Pack 5 (BI4 SP5) was released Friday, November 9, 2012 but STILL doesn’t have currency formatting.
Michael Welter has provided a great write up of the new Information Design Tool (IDT) introduced with SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 (see his Impressions of Information Design Tool). I’ve had my own journey based on its initial release (see my related articles about the Information Design Tool) so I’ve been spending a few spare moments with SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 Feature Pack 3 (BI4 FP3), currently in ramp-up, to see what’s new.
Here is the Object Format panel in the classic Universe Design Tool (UDT) aka Designer.
And here is the corresponding Edit Display Format panel in the Information Design Tool, taken from Feature Pack 3.
Notice anything missing? Go ahead and look closely. I’ll wait for you.
There (still) isn’t built-in formatting for currencies in the new Information Design Tool, only Date-Time and Numeric formats. Instead, semantic layer designers must create a custom display format for each object that needs to apply it, as customized formats are not saved either in the IDT or the universe and therefore cannot be reused across objects.
The last chapter of the Information Design Tool User Guide (available from the SAP Help Portal) is named Format Editor Reference. It states
The Format Editor lets you define the format used to display date-time and numeric values. You can select default formats or define custom formats…
Default formats are available based on Common Locale Data Repository (CLDR) recommendations, managed by the UNICODE consortium.
There are enhancements and fixes in the Information Design Tool 4.0 Feature Pack 3, but I was secretly hoping for some usability improvements to some of its existing features (see related article, Ten Features that Absolutely Must be in Feature Pack 3). There are key features and workflows in the classic Universe Design Tool that users should expect in the new Information Design Tool, even if the UI implements them differently. I think currency formatting is one of them.
What do you think?