Posts Tagged ‘v4.0’

Dealing with Small Numbers in Explorer

January 2nd, 2013 1 comment

Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time with Explorer and I’ve made a few interesting discoveries that I wanted to pass along.

I’m not sure why some of my BI colleagues haven’t been giving Explorer any love (see the DSLayer Explorer Gets No Love podcast), but I think it’s a phenomenal product… but with any product there are always little quirks to deal with.  Some people call them bugs… I call them quirks.  🙂

Truncation Frustration

I spent a good part of a day experiencing truncation frustration.

I was trying to determine how to display a capacitance value within Explorer.  Capacitance as you may know can be a extremely large or an extremely small number.  It took me multiple attempts to figure out how to get it to work but I finally cracked it!

What Didn’t Work

Capacitance was stored in the database as a float, which worked great when I used it as a measure — but when I displayed it as a facet value, suddenly Explorer began to get it wrong.  Here are both the facet and the measure for capacitance displayed side by side.  It seemed only able to display up to three decimal places.

See truncated values on the left and the correct measure value on the right.

Here is how I initially had the capacitance defined as a float.

Normally the first thing to do with numbers is leverage the format value within the semantic layer and I tried everything but somehow, if the capacitance was stored as a number, Explorer would consistently drop the significant values to the right of the decimal place.  Here is how I defined the custom format for the capacitance.  I tried both # and 0’s but neither worked.

The IDT appears to show the number correctly when I preview it…

… and yet it still appeared incorrectly within Explorer.  What was going on?  At this point it’s pretty clear that this bug quirk should be fixed, but I needed to get it working asap.  I needed a work around.

I know I was going to have to convert the capacitance to a string.  The added benefit of this was that now capacitance would also be full searchable as a string.

I tried multiple formulas to try and do the conversion to a string.

None of these worked successfully:

  • cast (Capacitors.Capacitance as varchar(18)) returns scientific notation – Yuck.
  • Str (Capacitors.Capacitance,10,8)
  • charindex([^0],reverse(Str (Capacitors.Capacitance,10,8)))

What Did Work

The problem now was that regardless of how many decimals of precision the capacitance had, there were always 8 trailing zeros and I desperately wanted to get rid of these, so finally I found the magic formula:

CASE WHEN PATINDEX(‘%[1-9]%’, REVERSE(Str (Capacitors.Capacitance,10,8))) < PATINDEX(‘%.%’, REVERSE(Str (Capacitors.Capacitance,10,8))) THEN LEFT(Str (Capacitors.Capacitance,10,8), LEN(Str (Capacitors.Capacitance,10,8)) – PATINDEX(‘%[1-9]%’, REVERSE(Str (Capacitors.Capacitance,10,8))) + 1) ELSE LEFT(Str (Capacitors.Capacitance,10,8), LEN(Str (Capacitors.Capacitance,10,8)) – PATINDEX(‘%.%’, REVERSE(Str (Capacitors.Capacitance,10,8)))) END

Special Thanks to SwePeso

After beating my head against a wall, the sense of achievement and satisfaction were extremely rewarding and reminded me of why I love my job so much.  I got what I wanted.

It was great.  The user can search for 0027 capacitance and will get the appropriate match (more on that next week).  Also, you can also observe that all the capacitance values show up in the correct sort order, which means when I display capacitance is order from smallest to largest they are sorted in the correct order.

Capacitance Graph displays properly


As Explorer continues to mature, it’s my hope that more and more of these quirks will be addressed by the product team and more of the product will work as expected — becoming a fully fledged, first-class citizen of the semantic layer.

I’d also would like to see hyperlink support within Explorer.  I think this is long overdue.  Please help me vote YES, thumbs up for this feature >>

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SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 Nears General Availability

August 29th, 2011 6 comments

Are you wondering when SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 is going GA?  So does Mico Yuk.   Will it be August 31st?  Maybe.  That’s the date currently advertised on Service Marketplace.

SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 GA Date

Mico Yuk recently did an interview with Steve Lucas where she was able to get the answers to 4 burning SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 questions.  If you’ve not read it, then do.  you can find it here:

SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 went into ramp-up in September 2010 and although I think SAP was pretty clear that the ramp-up would last 6-8 months, that timeframe has come and gone.  It is true that there was an early teaser video that announced SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 coming in Q4 2010.    You can watch it below:

Have You Downloaded v4.0?

If you’ve not taken the chance to download SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 and begin to play with it you should!  Approximately two months ago, SAP opened up access to the software beyond the ramp-up program and anyone who is interested can download it from Service Marketplace…  There are a lot of new features in this release.

SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 introduces:

  • New multi-source Semantic Layer
  • New Charting and Graphing for all products
  • New Crystal Reports for Enterprise
  • Tons of new WebIntelligence features
  • Revamped OLAP Client for the Web
  • New Xcelsius Direct Binding to the Semantic Layer (no more Excel or QaaWS required)

I know the release is getting close because I’ve seen significant strides around quality.  The latest pre-release version of SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 is SP02, Patch 4.  (SP = Support Pack).

Although early on in my testing I found a number of problems – especially with WebIntelligence,  the number of issues I’ve has dropped dramatically as development has continued to roll out new fix packs on an regular basis.

Coming Soon

So, it’s pretty clear.  SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 IS coming soon…

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Categories: BI Platform, In the News Tags:

What’s in BusinessObjects v4.0?

November 12th, 2010 5 comments

Have you had a sneak peak into the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 Platform?  No?

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence v4.0 Architecture

I just came across this link today and had to share it.  If you want to get a peek into the new Architecture components, then this is the place to look.

SAP Architecture Picture

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence v4.0

You can click on the image above or click here:

It’s a very nice representation of what’s happening in the infrastructure.  All the new naming conventions are there and as you click on the boxes, it gives you additional details.  It cleverly tells you a components “former name”, whether it’s a web based or desktop based solution, etc.

Check it out!

More To Come

I’m hoping over the coming weeks to begin sharing more and more information about the imminent release of the v4.0 platform.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time working with it this week and I must say, I really like what I see.  The interface is beautiful and much of the redesign work focused around ease-of-use and user interface design is really nice.  I didn’t really like the XI 3.1 InfoView when it first came out, but I really, really like the new and improved InfoView, renamed BI Launch Pad… but more on that later.

Have a great weekend!

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