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BusinessObjects Collaboration

So I wrote recently about Idea Place as a great way to share your ideas with the SAP Developers.  Hopefully you’ve all gotten signed up and had a chance to long some of your best ideas ever.  Ideas which will quickly see SAP BusinessObjects rocket to the top of the BI charts.

… so here’s my idea.

IDEA # 2630:  What about creating a link in every viewer (e.g. Crystal, WebI, Xcelsius) to allow users to quickly and easily share access to an important report are piece of information?

Impact of Social Media

Isn’t it true that the ability to find information, collaborate and make decisions is what Business Intelligence is all about?  Hasn’t SAP been talking more and more about collaborative decision making through Streamwork?  Isn’t is also true that more and more organizations are seeing the value of collaboration – not just within a BI Environment, but also from outside with solutions like Yammer?

SAP BusinessObjects Collaboration Today

SAP BusinessObjects has had the ability to do collaboration from within the BI environment from some time via Discussions.  Unfortunately, the functionality was never really given the attention it needs.  It lacks:

  • The ability to automatically notify interested parties of the posted comment
  • The ability to easily access and leverage these InfoObjects via the SDK

Then there’s the ability to “Send To” a report.  I’ve never really understood this.  Why would I want to use email from within the BI environment.  Would I not want to have this feature fire-up my email client and insert a link into the body of the email?  To me, this approach seems a little old school… and besides there is no integration into your corporate address book for the To: and Cc: lists.

So far I haven’t seen any changes around collaboration for SAP BusinessObjects v4.0…

Send To Dialog


This screenshot from WebIntelligence shows us what we’ve all seen before.  I don’t know about you but “Send to Ftp” – Say what?

I wonder if they stripped the code out of the feature, if anyone would even notice.

My SAP BusinessObjects Collaboration Wish List

Some people are asking for integration with Twitter and Facebook, but to be honest, I can’t see that happening.  I don’t know anyone who uses Facebook for work.  (Although I know plenty of people who use it during work.)  So what does make sense?

I love opendocument!  It’s a capability that doesn’t get a lot of attention, but is a huge unsung hero.  Opendocument allows you to specify a set of parameters on the URL and as a result, open a specific instance of a report.

So what about the ability to be in ANY type of report content and for you to be able to click on a button and the system will generate an opendocument URL to your clipboard.

Wouldn’t that be cool?  I think so.

It would also be nice if SAP would then provide a URL shortener within the CMC that you could configure if you wanted URL shortening.

This would mean that regardless of what technology you chose to enable collaboration within your enterprise, you could quickly and easily reference SAP BusinessObjects content and include it in the discussion.

If you are scratching your head thinking you’ve seen this before, you’re not alone.  When Explorer was introduced, it provide two really nice features.  Bookmark and Email.  In Explorer, if you bookmark Explorer, when you click on the bookmark, the system will return you to exactly the same view you saw previously.  In the case of email – Explorer will provide a link to the Explorer page at the top of the email and then provide IN-LINE graphics and text, which represent the data you’ve been viewing.

Inline Report Content in Email

Yes – I know – this DOES introduce the potential of the email being sent to someone who’s not supposed to see the data, but at most organizations I’ve worked with, they would prefer the option of turning it off then not having it in the first place.

What’s on your BI collaboration wish list?

«Good BI»

Categories: BI Platform Tags: ,
  1. February 1st, 2011 at 20:34 | #1

    Hi Dave, good post – my number one collaboration wish is for in-line commenting to all parts of the BOBJ platform, Xcelsius, Webi, Crystal etc – it’s a bit of a game-changer in terms of how you store it, along with instances, but other BI platforms are already embedding this and currently, you need to hack BOBJ to get comments, or turn to something like Antivia’s XWIS.

    Secondly, the integration between Explorer and the rest of the tools is, well, not there. If you could assign multiple reports to ‘belong’ to an information space, then they could be listed next to the exploration panes. This allows you to link to other parts of the platform – currently Explorer is it’s own interface and quite separate.

    I could keep going, but that’s probably enough by itself! 🙂

    – Josh

  2. February 2nd, 2011 at 22:51 | #2

    So Cool. I found out that there is a “Get Document Link” option directly within v40 for any document you are viewing. How cool is that!!

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