SAP have released service pack 3 of SAP BusinessObjects 4.3 and with it some major and minor improvements to the software. DSCallards will be testing it over the next week or two but after that we will be recommending our customers move to it to get the benefits of the extra functionality.
Here are the headlines of the new release.
As well as the reading and design mode in Web Intelligence there is now a ‘data mode’. This brings back some of the functionality of late-model 4.2 but extends the concept much further.
As well as being able to directly view the data coming out of your queries, you now have the chance to combine, extend and transform that data prior to it landing in your report.
Working a little bit like the data preparation steps in SAP Analytics Cloud, this gives the benefit of not having to rely on so many variables in the report, and being able to see the effect of your changes as they are made.
Following on from the Google Drive compatibility in service pack 2, users will now be able to schedule directly to OneDrive folders, or use files saved there as data sources for reports. Considering the ubiquity of OneDrive in organisations around the world this should make a big impact.
Several improvements have been made to formatting and design abilities in Web Intelligence. Gradient backgrounds, icons, and text justification are now available for designers to add flair to a report. Also there are improvements to report interactivity in view mode: sorting data, ranking values and focusing on report elements are now possible for viewers.
The amount of flexibility and ease of use in prompts and hyperlinks as been improved in service pack 3.
Add hints to prompts to improve the user experience and change the order of multiple prompts in a report.
Adding hyperlinks between and internally to documents has been improved with new GUIs to make the process easier.
Some things that were in 4.2 have been re-added to 4.3 in SP3. There is the return of the ‘new report’ button in the WebI application, meaning you don’t have to return to the Home screen each time you want to start a new report.
The new data source selection screen remembers your last 20 chosen sources so it is easier to find the ones you use most often.
Resizing objects in design mode has been improved with more onscreen cues for aligning blocks with others and the way that selections of objects work has been refreshed.
The overall interface has been refreshed as well to reduce empty space and make life easier for users with smaller screens. It is easier to switch off some parts of the screen/menus and other areas have been made smaller to take up less space.
Copying and pasting from Excel or .txt files has been enabled into text fields to ease the need for lots of typing.
There are many more improvements included in the service pack, and more to follow in subsequent patches no doubt. DSCallards will be releasing new blogs with more in-depth looks at the most important new functions over the coming weeks. We’ll talk to customers about their options in the coming weeks too. If you’d like to speak to us then please get in touch with your account director.