Although many, including Hollywood, jumped on the 2012 end-of-the-world bandwagon, SAP is getting the party started earlier. For SAP BusinessObjects customers, the end of the world as we know it will occur in 2011 with the general availability of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 (code name Aurora). Folks in the beta program are revealing that Desktop Intelligence is not present in the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 distribution. While the temptation for some may be to go into shock, the news of Desktop Intelligence’s demise is really old news first announced as part of the XI roadmap in 2004 after then-BusinessObjects acquired Crystal Decisions. Desktop Intelligence was going to disappear “someday” and now we’re learning that “someday” is really 2011.
Disclaimer: I am not part of the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 beta/ramp-up program. Although I would like to get in, if somebody could please show me the secret handshake.
Desktop Intelligence, in previous versions known simply as “Business Objects”, “Business Objects Reporter”, or “the full client”, used to be the only reporting tool in the BusinessObjects arsenal. Although Web Intelligence had gone through several incarnations, it wasn’t until Web Intelligence XI R2 that the tool became powerful enough to handle most common reporting tasks. However, at the same time, Crystal Reports was fully integrated into the Business Objects product portfolio. Then Voyager appeared, soon to be reincarnated as Analytics (code-named Pioneer). And Xcelsius, uh, I mean SAP BusinessObjects Dashboard Design.
What we’ve seen from SAP and other vendors is that there isn’t “one BI tool that rules them all”, but instead tools focused toward specific user audiences and applications. In its day, Desktop Intelligence tried to cover all known bases. And although Web Intelligence incorporates most Desktop Intelligence features, it still doesn’t cover all of them even in the most recent XI 3.1 SP3 release.
So over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring The End of the World as We Know It. Life without Desktop Intelligence. I’ll explore certain Desktop Intelligence features in XI R2 and XI 3.x and look at some strategies for living in a world without Desktop Intelligence.