SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition: The Comprehensive Guide

SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition: The Comprehensive Guide from SAP Press will help get you creating engaging data stories quickly, whether you are a first-time Lumira user or upgrading from a previous version.

SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition: The Comprehensive Guide by Xavier Hacking and Martijn van Foeken (ISBN 978-1-4932-1613-0) is an exceptionally upgraded book for a substantially upgraded product. SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition received a major UI redesign and tighter integration with SAP Lumira, Designer Edition (formerly known as SAP Design Studio). Whether you’re new to SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition or have experience with its predecessor SAP Lumira 1.x, this book is a helpful companion. The authors have provided multiple sample data sets in Microsoft Excel that can be downloaded from SAP Press, making it easy to follow along with its examples.

Because SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition was created for business users, not technical users, authors Xavier Hacking and Martijn van Foeken have written in a clear and easily understood style. It works equally well as both an inductive tutorial or a reference guide.

The book also addresses integration with SAP Lumira, Designer Edition, which will have its own SAP Press book in a few more weeks. Whether you’re upgrading from prior versions of SAP Lumira 1.x or taking a first look at SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition, there’s lots of material to like (nearly 500 pages) and lots of hours to save creating data stories by following a useful companion to the product.

SAP Press provided me with a digital copy to review and I must say how impressive the color illustrations look on my iPad as compared to the black-and-white illustrations of the hardcover edition. The digital copy can only be obtained by ordering directly from SAP Press, either with or without the hardcover edition. It comes in three editions (Adobe PDF, epub, and mobi) so you’ll be able to read regardless of whether your favorite reading device is a PC, an iPad with iBooks, or a Kindle device. Having the PDF copy on your workstation is indispensable, as you can make Adobe Reader do all the work looking up a desired keyword.

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.”

SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, Fourth Edition

The best book on SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence is now even better.

Today is an important day for SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence users. I’m proud to announce that the fourth edition of SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide is now available in both hardcover and electronic formats from SAP Press.

The book has been significantly updated to include features from SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.2 Support Pack 4, the latest release. You can learn more and order from my book page.

Talk Like a Web Intelligence Pirate

Ahoy there, mates! It’s September 19, time to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day with the Web Intelligence iRate PieRates. This year you can celebrate by pre-ordering a copy of the fourth edition of SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Resource. In addition to welcoming Christian Ah-Soon from SAP’s Web Intelligence product group to the authoring team, the book has been fully updated for SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.2, including features from the latest Support Pack 4. The book officially goes on sale October 25 in both hardback and electronic editions. The iRate PieRates hope you’ll pre-order a copy today.

Arghh!

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.

SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, Third Edition

Announcing SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, Third 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 in hardcover or e-book editions

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

Universe Design with SAP BusinessObjects BI: The Comprehensive Guide

SAP authors Christian Ah-Soon, Didier Mazoue and Pierpaolo Vezzosi have created a well-crafted guide to the Information Design Tool.

Universe Design with SAP BusinessObjects BI: The Comprehensive Guide

With the introduction of SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0, SAP introduced a new semantic layer format (UNX) and a new design tool, the Information Design Tool. Now SAP Press has released a comprehensive 724-page guide, Universe Design with SAP BusinessObjects BI (SAP Press, ISBN 978-1592299010), written by three of some of the best minds at SAP to help organizations get the most from the Information Design Tool. Unlike its predecessor, the Universe Design Tool, which had a monolithic file format (UNV), the Information Design Tool breaks a universe into three distinct components: the connection, the data foundation and the business layer. As you might expect, this guide devotes entire chapters to each of these components. Additional chapters bring clarity to new features unfamiliar to users of the classic Universe Design Tool  such as team project features and multi-source data foundations. Organizations that use SAP applications to run their business will appreciate a chapter devoted to connecting to SAP ERP, SAP Netweaver BW, and SAP HANA, with detailed explanations of when to create universes versus using direct connectivity with Business Intelligence Consumer Services, or BICS.

Experienced universe designers will find the final chapter, Comparing the Universe Design Tool and Information Design Tool, extremely helpful in understanding the differences and similarities between the two tools. I remember feeling very inadequate the first time I opened the Information Design Tool. The user interface is a radical departure from the legacy Universe Design Tool. However, both tools create universes. Once I realized that designers must still cope with contexts, fan traps, and chasm traps, it didn’t seem quite so daunting.

The book is well-illustrated, which alone makes the book worth the purchase price, as the free product documentation on the SAP Help Portal is nearly devoid of any illustrations or screen shots. And although I really appreciate blog readers who click on my Amazon affiliate links, you’ll probably want to purchase the book directly from SAP Press and take advantage of the DRM-free electronic formats. With Adobe PDF, ePub and Mobi, you’ll be able to read this book (and many other SAP Press titles) just about anywhere on just about any device.

The UNX universe and the Information Design Tool are the future of SAP’s business intelligence platform. BI teams should start using it for new projects as well as considering when and how to convert older classic universes. BI managers would do well to equip their teams with this book and universe designers should ask for permission to expense it.

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.”

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day with the iRate Pirates!

Ahoy, mates! On behalf of fellow SAP Press authors Jim Brogden, Gabe Orthous, Heather Sinkwitz (aka the iRate PieRates, uh, Pirates), we wish you a happy 10th International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

The IRate PieRates (Pirates) from 2012 ASUG SBOUC DevWars
The IRate PieRates (Pirates) from 2012 ASUG SBOUC DevWars

Learn more about International Talk Like a Pirate Day at http://www.talklikeapirate.com/

Learn more about our SAP Press book, SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide

Check out our appearance at the 2012 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference Developer Wars.

Thanks to Jamie Oswald for reminding me about Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Arrrrrgh!

Gratitude

My personal acknowledgements from the new book.

It was a great feeling to hold the new SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.0 book for the first time at last week’s ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference.  I had a great time participating in Developer Wars with my co-authors Jim Brogden, Gabe Orthous, and Heather Sinkwitz (Mac Holden was unavailable off the coast of Spain).  But my participation on this book didn’t just “happen”.  I’ve been blessed with a lot of help from my friends along the way.  Here are the acknowledgments that I included in the front of the book.

First I would like to thank my mom and dad for everything.  Special thanks are due to Jerry Bedilion, my tenth grade English teacher, who endured a lot of bad grammar and patiently taught me to enjoy writing. Thanks to Jim Brogden for inviting me to participate in this book-writing adventure.

I am grateful to Jeff Bartel and Tom Somerville, who gave me my start with SAP BusinessObjects and totally changed the trajectory of my professional career.  I am also grateful to Bob Dissinger and Sharon Peters for the years we organized the Southern Ohio/Northern Kentucky BusinessObjects User Group. I would also like to thank Penny Brewer, Deanna Glinka, Eileen King, Gary Kuertzel, and Alan Mayer for helping me become a better instructor and presenter.

Thanks to Diversified Semantic Layer hosts Greg Myers, Jamie Oswald, and Eric Vallo. I value your friendships as much as your professional advice.

Last, I’d like to thank my wife, Kristin, and my children, Emily, Catherine, and Benjamin, for their patient love and support during the development of this book.

My deepest thanks.

Discover SAP BusinessObjects

This book is a great addition to your bookshelf, especially if your role is to recommend SAP BusinessObjects solutions to customers or coworkers.

SAP Press recently released Discover SAP BusinessObjects by Chris Dinkel, JC Raveneau, and Thierry Audas.  This book is a great addition to your bookshelf, especially if your role is to recommend SAP BusinessObjects solutions to customers or coworkers.  As a technology consultant that lives and breathes this stuff, most of the material was not new.  However, I found the coverage of less-familiar topics like EPM and GRC very helpful.  The book provides a high-level overview of the entire SAP BusinessObjects portfolio, starting with the standard Business Intelligence (BI) suite (SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise, Web Intelligence, etc.) and moving through On-Demand solutions, Enterprise Information Management (EIM), Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC).

The book describes the current SAP BusinessObjects product landscape while looking ahead to the future roadmap.  Despite the book’s recent publication, it still reveals SAP’s last-minute internal wrangling over product names.  For example, Web Intelligence 4.0 is referred to as Interactive Analysis (which I predict will be its name in BI 5.0) and “Advanced Analysis” (Pioneer) has been released as simply “Analysis”.  I enjoyed chapter two the most- “Business Objects: A Historical Perspective”, which provides the colorful history of Business Objects from its founding in 1990 by Bernard Liautaud and Denis Payre to its acquisition by SAP to the present.

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.”

SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence

Jim Brogden, Heather Sinkwitz and Mac Holden have created a comprehensive guide to SAP BusinessObjects’ query and analysis tool.

UPDATE: I liked this book I helped co-write later editions. See SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide.

SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence is a brand new 2010 title from SAP Press, who kindly sent me a review copy.  According to its back cover, the book will “provide you with a comprehensive functional overview of SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence, as well as actionable, step-by-step content to help you quickly begin creating, analyzing, an sharing enterprise reports.”  Authors Jim Brogden, Heather Sinkwitz and Mac Holden have created a comprehensive, hard-cover 574-page  guide to SAP BusinessObjects’ query and analysis tool.

Web Intelligence is used by many types of business and IT users throughout an organization.  However, it is designed primarily for business users, not IT professionals.   I was curious how the authors would define Web Intelligence, as this definition would guide the organization of the material.  From the book’s description of Web Intelligence in Chapter 1:

SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence is a best-in-class ad hoc query, reporting, and analysis tool designed with the business user in mind [emphasis added]…  The primary function of Web Intelligence XI 3.1 is to provide the capability of querying a set of data without any knowledge of the SQL language and interactively analyzing data to further restrict, expand, and modify the way information is displayed and delivered”

A majority of the book is devoted to Web Intelligence report design and is topically well-organized.  There is also significant coverage of universe design and the Web Intelligence SDK, topics that traditionally have different (predominantly IT) audiences.  The Web Intelligence SDK is covered neatly at the end of the book. However, universe design topics appear at several places throughout the book. My personal preference is that a book for Web Intelligence users should focus on the user experience and, to quote the Wizard of Oz, “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”.  That man (or woman) is the universe designer, frequently an IT professional.  That said, I really appreciated the discussion in Section 2.1.1, “Design with the Business User in Mind”.  Technical challenges aside, most universe designers violate this basic rule, resulting in a universe that is not easily adopted by business users.

This book is comprehensive, giving coverage to advanced features like report bursting via Publications, related tools like Live Office, linking multiple report documents, and new features introduced in Web Intelligence XI 3.1 SP2.  Business users who are new to SAP BusinessObjects tools will benefit greatly from the book’s methodical coverage of Web Intelligence.  Traditional SAP users, in particular, should embrace this book readily, as Web Intelligence is replacing older SAP BI tools in the product portfolio.

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.”