Creating Dashboards with SAP BusinessObjects (2nd Edition)

Creating Dashboards with SAP BusinessObjects (2nd Edition)

2012
978-1-59229-410-7
679

Product Details

2nd Edition, Fully Updated for Release 4.0

• Create interactive dashboards with the tool also known as Xcelsius
• Understand how to use SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards in an SAP environment
• Explore new features such as Query Browser, sparkline chart, and Universe connectivity

Impress your audience with eye-catching, informative, and easy-to-navigate dashboards with SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards! In this book, you’ll quickly learn the basics of building your own dashboard and move on to customize your creations with themes, data connections, and other essential features.

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards Basics
Build a strong foundation by understanding the features, options, themes, and commands at your disposal, and benefi t from comprehensive examples and practical exercises.

Visualize the Process
Benefit from numerous screenshots that show how different features will look in a dashboard (and view them in color in the online version!).

Custom Options
Tailor and enhance your dashboard by using SDK tools, data connectivity with options like SAP Crystal Reports and SAP BusinessObjects Live Office, and both SAP and non-SAP tools.

Bonus Online Information
Download source code from all examples and find color figure downloads at www.sap-press.com.

Updated and Revised for Release 4.0
Find all changes in the move to SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0, from small menu
changes and what they mean, to new developments in location intelligence and more.


Highlights

• UI components
• Data and Universe connectivity
• Query Browser
• Sparkline chart
• XML data
• SAP NetWeaver BW Connection
• Remote web service
• Query as a Web Service
• SDK
• Drill down
• Direct data binding
• Custom components
• Plus, a special foreword by Mico Yuk!

The Authors

Ray Li is a business intelligence professional currently working as a BI consultant. Evan DeLodder is managing director of Summit Intelligence Services and has extensive experience creating engaging, innovative business intelligence solutions.

Table of Contents

  • ... Foreword ... 17
  • 1 ... Introduction to SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards ... 19
  • 1.1 ... What Is SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards? ... 19
  • 1.1.1 ... Who Works with SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards? ... 19
  • 1.1.2 ... Installation ... 20
  • 1.1.3 ... Relationship with Excel ... 21
  • 1.2 ... What Can SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards Do? ... 22
  • 1.2.1 ... Data Visualization Capabilities ... 23
  • 1.2.2 ... Data Connectivity Capabilities ... 27
  • 1.2.3 ... Distribution ... 28
  • 1.2.4 ... Changes in SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 ... 29
  • 1.2.5 ... Extensibility ... 33
  • 1.3 ... SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards in the SAP BusinessObjects Portfolio ... 33
  • 1.4 ... Summary ... 34
  • 2 ... Becoming Familiar with SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards ... 35
  • 2.1 ... Menu ... 36
  • 2.1.1 ... File ... 36
  • 2.1.2 ... SAP ... 58
  • 2.1.3 ... Edit ... 62
  • 2.1.4 ... View ... 63
  • 2.1.5 ... Format ... 68
  • 2.1.6 ... Data ... 71
  • 2.1.7 ... Help ... 74
  • 2.2 ... Toolbar ... 77
  • 2.2.1 ... Standard ... 78
  • 2.2.2 ... Export ... 78
  • 2.2.3 ... Themes ... 79
  • 2.2.4 ... Format ... 79
  • 2.2.5 ... Start Page ... 80
  • 2.2.6 ... Summary ... 80
  • 2.3 ... Components Browser ... 82
  • 2.3.1 ... Category ... 82
  • 2.3.2 ... Tree ... 83
  • 2.3.3 ... List ... 84
  • 2.4 ... Canvas ... 84
  • 2.5 ... Embedded Excel Spreadsheet ... 85
  • 2.6 ... Property Panel ... 85
  • 2.7 ... Object Browser ... 88
  • 2.8 ... Query Browser ... 89
  • 2.8.1 ... Select a Universe ... 90
  • 2.8.2 ... Build Query ... 90
  • 2.8.3 ... Preview Query Result ... 92
  • 2.8.4 ... Usage Options ... 92
  • 2.9 ... Summary ... 93
  • 3 ... Dashboard Tutorial ... 95
  • 3.1 ... Introduction ... 95
  • 3.2 ... Choose the Right UI Components ... 96
  • 3.3 ... Bind Data ... 98
  • 3.3.1 ... Bind Data for Pie Chart ... 99
  • 3.3.2 ... Enable Drill-Down for the Pie Chart ... 100
  • 3.3.3 ... Bind Data for Label ... 103
  • 3.4 ... Connect to External Data ... 103
  • 3.5 ... Formatting ... 104
  • 3.6 ... Distribute the Output ... 106
  • 3.7 ... Summary ... 108
  • 4 ... UI Component Basics ... 109
  • 4.1 ... Working with Charts ... 110
  • 4.1.1 ... Pie Chart ... 110
  • 4.1.2 ... Column Chart ... 133
  • 4.1.3 ... Line Chart ... 155
  • 4.1.4 ... Bar Chart ... 163
  • 4.1.5 ... XY Chart ... 164
  • 4.1.6 ... Bubble Chart ... 168
  • 4.1.7 ... Area Chart ... 171
  • 4.2 ... Selectors ... 174
  • 4.2.1 ... Introduction to SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards Selectors ... 174
  • 4.2.2 ... Select a Single Item ... 175
  • 4.2.3 ... Filter ... 181
  • 4.2.4 ... Checkbox ... 185
  • 4.2.5 ... Ticker ... 186
  • 4.2.6 ... Picture Menus ... 188
  • 4.2.7 ... List Builder ... 192
  • 4.3 ... Represent a Single Value ... 194
  • 4.3.1 ... Introduction to Single-Value Components ... 195
  • 4.3.2 ... Slider ... 195
  • 4.3.3 ... Progress Bar ... 200
  • 4.3.4 ... Dial and Gauge ... 200
  • 4.4 ... Use Containers to Wrap Several Components ... 206
  • 4.4.1 ... When to Use a Container ... 207
  • 4.4.2 ... How to Use a Container ... 207
  • 4.5 ... Build Backgrounds to Assist Layout ... 210
  • 4.5.1 ... When to Use Backgrounds ... 211
  • 4.5.2 ... How to Use Backgrounds ... 211
  • 4.6 ... Universe Connectivity ... 214
  • 4.6.1 ... Query Refresh Button ... 215
  • 4.6.2 ... Query Prompt Selector ... 216
  • 4.7 ... Summary ... 219
  • 5 ... Advanced UI Components ... 221
  • 5.1 ... Advanced Charts ... 221
  • 5.1.1 ... Stacked Column Chart ... 222
  • 5.1.2 ... Stacked Bar and Area Chart ... 227
  • 5.1.3 ... Combination Chart ... 227
  • 5.1.4 ... OHLC Chart ... 229
  • 5.1.5 ... Candlestick Chart ... 239
  • 5.1.6 ... Radar Chart ... 240
  • 5.1.7 ... Filled Radar Chart ... 243
  • 5.1.8 ... Tree Map ... 245
  • 5.1.9 ... Sparkline Chart ... 247
  • 5.1.10 ... Bullet Chart ... 251
  • 5.2 ... Advanced Selectors ... 255
  • 5.2.1 ... Accordion Menu ... 255
  • 5.2.2 ... Icon ... 261
  • 5.2.3 ... Play Selector ... 263
  • 5.2.4 ... Calendar ... 270
  • 5.3 ... Advanced Single-Value Components ... 273
  • 5.3.1 ... Dual Slider ... 273
  • 5.3.2 ... Spinner ... 275
  • 5.3.3 ... Play Control ... 276
  • 5.3.4 ... Value ... 278
  • 5.4 ... Displaying Data in a Table ... 280
  • 5.4.1 ... List View ... 280
  • 5.4.2 ... Spreadsheet Table ... 285
  • 5.4.3 ... Grid ... 289
  • 5.5 ... Using Art ... 292
  • 5.5.1 ... Image Component ... 292
  • 5.5.2 ... Shapes ... 294
  • 5.5.3 ... Lines ... 298
  • 5.6 ... Use Maps for Geographical Representation ... 299
  • 5.7 ... Web Connectivity ... 304
  • 5.7.1 ... Connection Refresh Button ... 304
  • 5.7.2 ... URL Button ... 307
  • 5.7.3 ... Slide Show ... 312
  • 5.7.4 ... SWF Loader ... 314
  • 5.8 ... Others ... 315
  • 5.8.1 ... Local Scenario Button ... 315
  • 5.8.2 ... Trend Icon ... 317
  • 5.8.3 ... Trend Analyzer ... 318
  • 5.8.4 ... History ... 321
  • 5.8.5 ... Print Button ... 324
  • 5.8.6 ... Reset Button ... 324
  • 5.8.7 ... Source Data ... 325
  • 5.8.8 ... Panel Set ... 328
  • 5.9 ... Summary ... 333
  • 6 ... Data Connectivity Basics ... 335
  • 6.1 ... Embedded Excel Spreadsheet ... 336
  • 6.1.1 ... Role of Excel ... 337
  • 6.1.2 ... How to Use Excel ... 337
  • 6.2 ... Import Data from an Excel File ... 340
  • 6.2.1 ... When to Import Data from an Excel File ... 340
  • 6.2.2 ... How to Import Data from an Excel File ... 341
  • 6.3 ... Security Issues Related to Accessing External Data ... 341
  • 6.3.1 ... Run Locally ... 342
  • 6.3.2 ... Run on a Web Server ... 343
  • 6.4 ... XML Data ... 343
  • 6.4.1 ... When to Use XML Data ... 346
  • 6.4.2 ... How to Use XML Data ... 347
  • 6.4.3 ... Practice ... 357
  • 6.5 ... Web Service Connection ... 364
  • 6.5.1 ... When to Use a Web Service Connection ... 364
  • 6.5.2 ... How to Use a Web Service Connection ... 365
  • 6.6 ... Excel XML Map ... 369
  • 6.6.1 ... When to Use an Excel XML Map ... 370
  • 6.6.2 ... How to Use an Excel XML Map ... 370
  • 6.7 ... Summary ... 373
  • 7 ... Advanced Data Connectivity ... 375
  • 7.1 ... Query as a Web Service ... 376
  • 7.1.1 ... When to Use Query as a Web Service ... 376
  • 7.1.2 ... How to Use Query as a Web Service ... 377
  • 7.2 ... SAP NetWeaver BW Connection ... 385
  • 7.2.1 ... When to Use SAP NetWeaver BW Connection ... 386
  • 7.2.2 ... How to Use SAP NetWeaver BW Connection ... 387
  • 7.3 ... Live Office Connection ... 388
  • 7.3.1 ... When to Use Live Office Connection ... 389
  • 7.3.2 ... How to Insert SAP BusinessObjects Reports in Excel ... 391
  • 7.3.3 ... How to Use Live Office Connection ... 391
  • 7.3.4 ... Practice ... 397
  • 7.4 ... Crystal Reports Data Consumer ... 399
  • 7.4.1 ... When to Use the Crystal Reports Data Consumer Connection ... 401
  • 7.4.2 ... How to Use the Crystal Reports Data Consumer Connection ... 401
  • 7.4.3 ... Practice ... 408
  • 7.5 ... Flash Variables ... 411
  • 7.5.1 ... When to Use Flash Variables ... 412
  • 7.5.2 ... How to Use Flash Variables ... 412
  • 7.6 ... FS Command ... 417
  • 7.6.1 ... When to Use FS Command ... 417
  • 7.6.2 ... How to Use FS Command ... 418
  • 7.6.3 ... Practice ... 421
  • 7.7 ... External Interface Connection ... 424
  • 7.7.1 ... When to Use an External Interface Connection ... 424
  • 7.7.2 ... How to Use an External Interface Connection ... 425
  • 7.7.3 ... Practice ... 427
  • 7.8 ... LCDS Connection ... 431
  • 7.8.1 ... When to Use an LCDS Connection ... 432
  • 7.8.2 ... How to Use an LCDS Connection ... 433
  • 7.9 ... Portal Data ... 435
  • 7.9.1 ... When to Use Portal Data ... 436
  • 7.9.2 ... How to Use Portal Data ... 436
  • 7.10 ... Summary ... 440
  • 8 ... Special Features ... 441
  • 8.1 ... Drill-Down ... 441
  • 8.1.1 ... When to Use Drill-Down ... 442
  • 8.1.2 ... How to Use Drill-Down ... 443
  • 8.1.3 ... Drill Down from One Chart to Another ... 444
  • 8.1.4 ... Drill-Down on the Same Chart ... 447
  • 8.2 ... Make Smart Use of Dynamic Visibility ... 452
  • 8.2.1 ... When to Use Dynamic Visibility ... 453
  • 8.2.2 ... How to Use Dynamic Visibility ... 456
  • 8.2.3 ... Practice ... 458
  • 8.3 ... Alerts ... 464
  • 8.3.1 ... How to Use Alerts ... 464
  • 8.3.2 ... Practice ... 465
  • 8.4 ... Direct Data Binding ... 472
  • 8.4.1 ... One-Dimensional Binding ... 473
  • 8.4.2 ... Two-Dimensional Binding ... 474
  • 8.5 ... Export ... 474
  • 8.5.1 ... Flash ... 475
  • 8.5.2 ... AIR ... 475
  • 8.5.3 ... HTML ... 476
  • 8.5.4 ... SAP BusinessObjects Platform ... 476
  • 8.5.5 ... PDF ... 477
  • 8.5.6 ... PowerPoint Slide ... 478
  • 8.5.7 ... Outlook ... 479
  • 8.5.8 ... Word ... 479
  • 8.6 ... Themes and Colors ... 479
  • 8.6.1 ... How to Apply a Theme ... 480
  • 8.6.2 ... How to Apply a Color Scheme ... 482
  • 8.6.3 ... How to Create a Customized Color Scheme ... 483
  • 8.7 ... Summary ... 488
  • 9 ... A Comprehensive Hands-On Example ... 489
  • 9.1 ... Planning the Dashboard ... 491
  • 9.1.1 ... Plan the Workflow ... 491
  • 9.1.2 ... Plan the UI ... 492
  • 9.2 ... Preparing Data ... 493
  • 9.2.1 ... The US Map ... 494
  • 9.2.2 ... The Gauge ... 495
  • 9.2.3 ... The Column Chart ... 495
  • 9.2.4 ... The Line Chart ... 497
  • 9.2.5 ... The Radio Button ... 500
  • 9.2.6 ... The Pie Chart ... 500
  • 9.3 ... Organizing Data in Excel ... 501
  • 9.4 ... Designing the Dashboard ... 505
  • 9.4.1 ... Position the UI Components ... 505
  • 9.4.2 ... Import the Excel File ... 506
  • 9.4.3 ... Connect to External Data ... 508
  • 9.4.4 ... Adjust the Appearance ... 509
  • 9.5 ... Summary ... 510
  • 10 ... Introduction to the SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards SDK ... 511
  • 10.1 ... About the SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards SDK ... 511
  • 10.2 ... About Flex ... 512
  • 10.3 ... When to Use the SDK ... 513
  • 10.4 ... How to Use the SDK ... 515
  • 10.5 ... What Can I Do with the SDK? ... 518
  • 10.5.1 ... Flex Applications ... 520
  • 10.5.2 ... Data Processors, Connections, and Functions ... 521
  • 10.6 ... SDK Best Practices ... 521
  • 10.6.1 ... Use Only What You Need ... 521
  • 10.6.2 ... Bindings ... 522
  • 10.6.3 ... Use Custom Property Sheets ... 522
  • 10.6.4 ... Don’t Repeat Yourself ... 522
  • 10.6.5 ... Develop Test Containers ... 522
  • 10.6.6 ... Trace and Alert ... 523
  • 10.6.7 ... Development Approaches (MXML versus ActionScript) ... 523
  • 10.6.8 ... Styling ... 523
  • 10.7 ... SDK Pitfalls ... 524
  • 10.7.1 ... Flash Shared Local Objects are Unreliable ... 524
  • 10.7.2 ... XLPs and XLXs Should Be Archived ... 524
  • 10.7.3 ... Common Component Classes—First in Wins ... 525
  • 10.8 ... Summary ... 525
  • 11 ... Get Started with Custom Component Basics ... 527
  • 11.1 ... Developing Basic Add-On Property Sheets ... 527
  • 11.1.1 ... Property Sheet Data Binding ... 528
  • 11.1.2 ... Explicitly Setting Property Values ... 531
  • 11.1.3 ... Explicitly Getting Property Values ... 532
  • 11.1.4 ... Property Sheet Styling ... 532
  • 11.1.5 ... Basic Property Sheet Overview ... 532
  • 11.1.6 ... Proxy.Bind Explained ... 542
  • 11.2 ... Developing Basic Add-On Components ... 543
  • 11.2.1 ... Main Component Initialization Event Handler and Import Statements ... 544
  • 11.2.2 ... Private Variables ... 544
  • 11.2.3 ... Public Chart Color Variable—xcChartColor ... 545
  • 11.2.4 ... Public Chart Series Variable ... 545
  • 11.2.5 ... Public Chart Data Variable ... 546
  • 11.2.6 ... Chart Building Function ... 548
  • 11.2.7 ... Tooltip Function ... 551
  • 11.2.8 ... MXML Markup: Grid Lines and Cartesian Chart ... 552
  • 11.3 ... Creating Basic Component Packages ... 552
  • 11.3.1 ... Basic Component Packaging Steps ... 553
  • 11.3.2 ... Packaging for Special Components ... 554
  • 11.3.3 ... Packaging Best Practices ... 555
  • 11.4 ... Summary ... 555
  • 12 ... Implement Advanced Custom Add-On Component Features ... 557
  • 12.1 ... Implementing Advanced Property Sheet Features ... 557
  • 12.1.1 ... Subelement Binding ... 558
  • 12.1.2 ... Persisting Property Sheet Values ... 560
  • 12.1.3 ... Retrieving Persisted Property Sheet Values ... 561
  • 12.1.4 ... Setting Custom Component Property Values ... 562
  • 12.1.5 ... Retrieving Custom Component Property Values ... 562
  • 12.1.6 ... Generating Reusable Property Sheet Patterns ... 563
  • 12.1.7 ... Communicating with External Data Services ... 565
  • 12.1.8 ... Implementing Advanced Component Features ... 566
  • 12.1.9 ... Communicating at the Application Level ... 577
  • 12.1.10 ... Additional Packaging Features ... 578
  • 12.2 ... Where to Go from Here: Tips, Tricks, and Resources ... 579
  • 12.3 ... Summary ... 579
  • 13 ... Hands-On: Develop Your Custom Add-On Component ... 581
  • 13.1 ... Creating the Chart ... 581
  • 13.2 ... Creating the Flex Component and Property Sheet Project ... 582
  • 13.2.1 ... Creating the Flex Property Sheet ... 588
  • 13.2.2 ... Creating the Flex Component ... 594
  • 13.3 ... Creating the Flex Test Container ... 597
  • 13.4 ... Creating the Packager and SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards XLX Add-On ... 597
  • 13.5 ... Creating the Data Sharing Component ... 598
  • 13.5.1 ... Model Locator ... 599
  • 13.5.2 ... Component Files ... 600
  • 13.5.3 ... SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards Component Files ... 602
  • 13.5.4 ... Property Sheet ... 603
  • 13.6 ... Summary ... 608
  • ... Appendices ... 609
  • A ... Location Intelligence ... 611
  • A.1 ... What Makes Up Location Intelligence? ... 612
  • A.2 ... Why Location Intelligence Is Important ... 614
  • A.3 ... How Does Location Intelligence Fit into SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards? ... 615
  • A.4 ... Location Intelligence Options in SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards ... 617
  • A.5 ... Common Location Intelligence Use Cases ... 621
  • A.6 ... Location Intelligence Best Practices ... 626
  • A.7 ... Summary ... 633
  • B ... Tips for Using SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards ... 635
  • B.1 ... Using SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards in an SAP BusinessObjects Environment ... 635
  • B.2 ... Deployment and Migration ... 643
  • B.3 ... How to Use SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards with SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP NetWeaver Portal ... 644
  • B.4 ... Supported Excel Functions ... 647
  • B.5 ... SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards Editions ... 659
  • B.6 ... Tips for Creating a Good Dashboard ... 662
  • C ... The Authors ... 669
  • ... Index ... 671