Home > BI Platform > BusinessObjects v4.0 “Looking Good”

BusinessObjects v4.0 “Looking Good”

I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and spend some quality time with BusinessObjects v4.0… and I like her.

Disclaimer:  Now of course, everything I'm going to be talking about is based
 on the ramp up version, so there may be some differences between what I
 post here and what's in the final release.

Let’s Talk

I don’t mean to be superficial, but she looks so good.

She’s elegant, She’s sophisticated. She’s refined… She’s hot.  And best of all?  Her beauty isn’t just skin deep – but more on that later.

Hopefully you’ve seen a few of the videos on SDN of my new infatuation, but to do her justice, you have to take her out for a spin.  Earlier this week, we went for a drive and there’s a lot to like.  I took all my old BI documents and we moved in together… and although we hit a couple of bumps, overall, I like what I see.

BI Launchpad

The BI Launchpad is the new name for InfoView.  In fact, this is one of many name changes.

The new tabbed design is elegant.  It’s one of those things that you didn’t know you needed until you see it and then you wonder how you ever lived without it.

InfoView is now BI Launchpad


The users can easily toggle between the Home Page and the Documents page.  The home page by default is broken down into 5 different areas.

  1. My Recently Viewed Documents – Yes, that’s right.  It keeps a viewing history so that you can quickly return to previously viewed documents.
  2. Unread Messages in My InBox – Here you can see any reports that are unread in your BusinessObjects Inbox
  3. My Recently Run Documents – Now when users log in in the morning, they can see the reports which ran the night before.
  4. Alerts – Not just Crystal Reports Alerts, but real-time operational alerts that were generated by the BI Platform.  (More on this later)
  5. My Applications – a quick, oversized icon list of my available applications.  (This same list of applications is also available from the Applications drop down list at the top of the page.)

The other thing I love about this screen is that as you hover over the objects it doesn’t just tell you the name and description.  For example with the Recently Run documents, it tells you the Title, Type, Owner, Run Time, Duration and Status.  Nice.

Of course, if you don’t like this layout, you can create your own BI Workspace (aka Personalized Dashboard Page) and use it instead.

Here is one I created in the BI Workspace Builder (aka Dashboard Builder)  in just a few clicks.

Creating a Custom Launch Page

You can see that I decided I was only interested in Recently View Documents and Recently Run Documents and so my launch page reflects that.

Documents Tab

This Documents view is similar to the Document List in BusinessObjects XI 3.1, only better.

The Documents View

From the left hand panel, they have broken the screen up into four expandable bars:

  • My Documents – My Favorites Folder, My Inbox, My Alerts, etc.
  • Folders – The Public Folders that my rights give me access to.
  • Categories – All the same documents in the public folders, but just via a categories view.
  • Search – This has been simplified to just one box where you type in text – once you have results you can narrow the results down by type, location, refresh time, data source, etc.

Functionally everything works as you would expect but from a layout perspective, it feels much more simplified and clean.

Pin This Tab

Because of the new interface, you can have multiple documents open at once.  My favorite new feature on the BI Launchpad is the ability to open a report and pin the report so that when you log in, this report is ready to go.  In this screenshot you can see I have two pinned reports: Bill of Materials, Part Availability Report.

Reports Pinned on across the top

Of course if you don’t want to use the tabbed interface and want to open a report on a new browser window for maximum real estate, you can do that too.  That’s the icon just to the left of the pin.

Final Favorite

The great thing about my v40 is that she always lets me know if I’m not giving her enough attention.  In the past I would turn around and before I knew it, she was gone.  My session had timed out.  Not anymore.  Now she warns me and I love her for it!  Now when I’m working and get distracted, she’ll tell me how much longer we have before she has to say good bye.

New Timeout Warning

Lots of New Stuff

As you can see there is going to be a lot of great, new stuff for us to talk about over the coming weeks and I am really looking forward to it.

I know that Ms. 4.0 and I are still on our honeymoon, but we’ve gotten our marriage off to a good start!

«Good BI»

  1. Jamie Oswald
    February 2nd, 2011 at 13:11 | #1

    Do you mind if I dance with your platform? She looks sexy AND lonely.

  2. February 2nd, 2011 at 18:37 | #2

    Great article. I can’t wait to get stuck into BI4 and learn all the ins and outs 🙂

    – Josh

  3. February 3rd, 2011 at 04:07 | #3

    Hi David,

    Good article! But I have one comment for the first image of BI Launchpad. The BI Launchpad is divided into 5 area’s. In my point of view for user experience, the 5th area is not clear enough for business users. Only icons are displayed, no text. I hope SAP can change the look and feel of this area, so it will be more user-friendly. The screen itself looks graphically very good!

    I have one question more. Wednesday the 23th SAP introduce the virtual launch of SAP BusinessObjects 4.0. Is this also the release date of SAP BO4.0? Will the 4.0 software be available for consultants in the SAP Service Marketplace?

    I can not wait until SAP BO 4.0 is available 🙂

    Pieter (www.pieterverstraeten.com)

  4. Markus
    February 3rd, 2011 at 19:00 | #4

    Hi David,
    I’m playing around with Bo 4.0 as well and I can confirm your first impressions – looks really good. Have you already figgured out if its possible to integrate the launchpad smoothly into SAP Portal?


  5. Renkata Ramireddy
    May 14th, 2014 at 13:31 | #5

    Hi David,

    Really it is very good session.

    Currentlty i am working in BI 4.0 in BI workspace. i have created one Bi workspace using different modules and displaying reports from publick folders. i want to disply reports in the modules with out tool bar like ” title,refresh, type ..etc. i want to create like which u created Bi workspace like slide 2. please provide me the steps.

    Could you please help how to do that , that will help me .

    Thank you,


  6. Paulina
    May 28th, 2015 at 21:59 | #6

    Hi David,
    Your blog is really interesting. I have a question about BI Workspace. I created one and I have a Navegation List, a Viewer and a My Recently Viewed Documents BI Launch Pad Module. This workspace is the only user interface. When the user opens a document from the Navigation List, it should be displayed in the Viewer and the document name should appear in My Recently Viewed Documents BI Launch Pad Module, but it is not happening. Could you please help how to do that, that will help me, because this module should display the latest documents open when you reopen the BI Workspace.

  1. February 8th, 2011 at 15:40 | #1