SAP made Feature Pack 3 for BusinessObjects 4.0 generally available last week, but the enhancements are only a small part of the changes that have come to SAP's core business intelligence (BI) offering in recent months. Those changes include new data management features, GRC tools, data visualization tools and some major deployments.
Significant steps in the evolution of BusinessObjects are laid out below.
SAP announces HANA-ready BusinessObjects for predictive analytics
SAP customers have been using BusinessObjects to analyze and interpret historical data for years but typically had to rely on third-party vendors for predictive modeling and visualization functions. SAP says that has now changed with the introduction of SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis.
Read how the software stacks up and about perceived gaps around “model management."
SAP BusinessObjects EIM 4.0 shows off new Data Services features
SAP BusinessObjects Data Services, part of the SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise Information Management (EIM) suite, is not only an extract, transform and load (ETL) tool, but also a data quality suite integrated with many traditional SAP products. With the release of SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0, the EIM product stack includes many new features.
Read about EIM 4.0 and unstructured data processing.
BusinessObjects user group aims to address customer beefs with SAP
Members of the BusinessObjects user community felt they didn't have much of a say in the direction of the product, according to Bridgette Chambers, the CEO of the Americas' SAP Users' Group (ASUG). BusinessObjects users -- many of whom bought their BI software before SAP acquired the business analytics software giant in 2008 -- felt that SAP was trying to dictate how their community should interact and how their software should be integrated.
Read what ASUG did about it and what “innovation in core programs" means.
SAP releases BusinessObjects 4.0, Feature Pack 3
To address the issues with SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 and introduce new functionality faster, SAP has now released Feature Pack 3. This takes the place of what had been called SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1.
From better mobility support to the ability to handle different kinds of “big data," here's what's in BOBJ Feature Pack 3.
Is upgrading to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 right for you?
SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 is the culmination of more than one million man-hours of development by SAP and includes a number of improvements over the previous versions of BusinessObjects.
What's in BusinessObjects (BOBJ) 4.0, and what are the advantages of BusinessObjects over BEx?
SAP Visual Intelligence is a promising, but some say limited, first release
SAP's Visual Intelligence software is a solid entry into the data visualization market, but one that serves mostly as a way of fending off competition from niche vendors that offer more sophisticated products, according to Rita Sallam, an analyst with Gartner Inc. in Stamford, Conn.
"SAP does feel some sort of urgency to deliver some data discovery tool," Sallam said. "I don't believe it's unique; I definitely believe it's more of a ‘me, too.' "
Learn where SAP Visual Intelligence hits, and misses.
BOBJ 4.0 CEP feature keeps Canadian National Railway costs on track
But one of the features most appealing to longtime customer Canadian National Railway is complex event processing (CEP), which lets companies process a wide range of events and pieces of information, with the intent of making decisions on that information in real time.
Read how complex events processing works and how it's helping Canadian National Railway.
SAP rolls out BOBJ-enhanced GRC 10.0 platform on ABAP
Of all the changes in the new SAP BusinessObjects GRC 10 platform, it's SAP's decision to build the SAP governance, risk and compliance (GRC) platform on its Advanced Business Application Programming (ABAP) language instead of Java that most excites people like Gretchen Lindquist.
"It's such a big win for the security administrator," said Lindquist, a Houston-based GRC consultant and SAP Mentor who recently worked for Halliburton.
Video analytics: Are BOBJ 4.0 customers watching you?
While it may not help them completely understand consumers' spending habits, retail customers running SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 can now use video to shed some light on how shoppers spend time in their stores.
"Video analytics is starting to emerge," said Rita Sallam, an analyst with Stamford, Conn.-based IT research firm Gartner Inc. "When you combine that with other analytic processes, then you begin to open up entirely new use cases and applications across the board. I do think this has potential."
Integrating SAP BI and StreamWork
SAP is bringing BI to collaboration, but should it have done the opposite?
StreamWork, SAP's collaborative decision-making (CDM) platform, is just that -- a way to help teams of users drive projects forward through document sharing, instant messaging and by using SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analyses within the application to reach decisions collectively. Because it's integrated with BusinessObjects, users can upload and share copies of spreadsheets, Crystal Reports and Crystal Dashboards to help inform decisions.
Learn how SAP compares to Qlikview when it comes to collaborative BI.
What's wrong with SAP BusinessObjects support?
A new survey by the U.K. and Ireland SAP User Group finds some mixed news for SAP. The adoption rate for SAP BusinessObjects is on the rise, but a third of the entire user base isn't happy with the technical support it's getting.
In a survey of roughly 100 SAP BusinessObjects customers, nearly one-third of all customers said they thought the technical support provided to them wasn't as great as what they get from other vendors.
Read why users are frustrated with SAP's technical support for BOBJ.
This was first published in July 2012