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What does an existing Xcelsius 2008 dashboard look like in SAP Dashboards 4.0 SP5 ?

I just installed SAP Dashboards 4.0 sp5 and the first thing I wanted to try was opening up a previous version dashboard and see how it looked in the new version.   I opened the course dashboard from our Dashboards Beginner Bootcamp Course and took print screens of the differences.  It looks fairly nice in Mobile preview, but I was surprised about some features that are not supported – like no alerts on charts and selectors, scale formatting for Fixed Label size (4k, for example), which can make for some verrrrry long numbers, and the option to remove a series (check box legend) is not available.  I would think these will be a disappointment to many who are hoping to convert current dashboards to HTML5.

Below is a “tab by tab” view of the differences between the Flash version and the Mobile version of the same dashboard.

On the first tab, the two views look fairly similar.  I was glad to see the gauge alerts still there and the slider working as expected.  Notice the Y axis scale on the column chart is missing the “Fixed Label Size” ($6M) formatting on the mobile view.  I do like the hover over on the Mobile view, though, which gives a nice clean view of the selected bar (Wisconsin), with the light gray background to indicate which bar was selected.  However, the positioning of the hover over cannot be changed, and it tended to cover the title of the chart – a minor annoyance.

 

Dashboards 4.0 sp5 Desktop (Flash) preview Dashboards 4.0 sp5 Mobile (Fit to Screen) preview
sap4-sp5-tab1-desktop sap4-sp5-tab1-mobile

 

On this tab, we see that the alerts on the Combination chart are missing (unsupported) as well as the Trend Icon.  The “Fixed Label Size” ($6M) formatting on the Y axis of the chart is very noticeable on this chart and could be problematic if there were more charts displaying on this tab.  I do like the hover over on the Mobile view, though, which gives a nice clean view of the selected bar (April) as well as the Avg (the line bar) with the light gray background to indicate which bar was selected.

Dashboards 4.0 sp5 Desktop (Flash) preview Dashboards 4.0 sp5 Mobile (Fit to Screen) preview
sap4-sp5-tab2-desktop  sap4-sp5-tab2-mobile

 

On the next tab, you will see that the List Box does not display the alerts anymore in Mobile view, and we lose the Y axis formatting ($25k).  The hover over on the line chart is very nice, though, with a red line showing which data point is selected.  However, notice that we lose the series specific name (Microphone), and we cannot format the “July” to be larger or bold.

Dashboards 4.0 sp5 Desktop (Flash) preview Dashboards 4.0 sp5 Mobile (Fit to Screen) preview
sap4-sp5-tab3-desktop sap4-sp5-tab3-mobile

 

The Pie chart in the Mobile view looks different, and it is smaller than the original (which doesn’t matter in this pie, but may be a problem with smaller slices) and it does not appear that you can change the mouse over location or font size for the values/text:

Dashboards 4.0 sp5 Desktop (Flash) preview Dashboards 4.0 sp5 Mobile (Fit to Screen) preview
sap4-sp5-pie-desktop sap4-sp5-pie-mobile

 

On this tab, the Mobile version is missing the Spreadsheet Table in the middle on the left (Spreadsheets are unsupported in Mobile), and the Bar Chart has the same nice hover over, though missing the additional dimension (the selected Year – 1999):

Dashboards 4.0 sp5 Desktop (Flash) preview Dashboards 4.0 sp5 Mobile (Fit to Screen) preview
sap4-sp5-fig5-desktop sap4-sp5-fig5-mobile

 

Another difference which may take some getting used to,  is the lack of scroll bars on the Scorecard.   There is 2003 data in the chart below, and if I click on the chart, I can mouse/scroll/swipe down … but I wouldn’t know just by looking.  The way we navigate on web based content allows for doing things in new ways, so this might be one area where just a small amount of  retraining is necessary.

Dashboards 4.0 sp5 Desktop (Flash) preview Dashboards 4.0 sp5 Mobile (Fit to Screen) preview
sap4-sp5-fig6-desktop sap4-sp5-fig6-mobile

 

And finally, the last tab of this dashboard had a US map (standard Xcelisius map) and a spreadsheet table, which did not display in the Mobile view.

Dashboards 4.0 sp5 Desktop (Flash) preview Dashboards 4.0 sp5 Mobile (Fit to Screen) preview
sap4-sp5-last-tab-desktop sap4-sp5-last-tab-mobile

 

Apart from the “look and feel” of the new version, I was VERY excited to test out the new SEARCH feature in the Object Browser.  Anyone who has built a dashboard with more than 10 components will appreciate this feature!  Most of the dashboards I build have over 100 components, so this is a huge plus in my book.

I tested it to see if the search could find re-named objects within a group and I was very pleased to find that it had no problem with that!  It not only found the objects, but gave the group name as well.  Love it!

sap4-sp5-object-browser

 

Lessons learned: even “standard” components will not always look the way you might expect them to look in Mobile view.  I’m excited by the new possibilities with HTML5, but I look forward also to a more mature product.

Happy Dashboarding!

About Roxanne Pittman

Roxanne Pittman is a Senior Business Intelligence Technical Consultant for InfoSol, providing consulting and training for BusinessObjects. She is a certified Business Objects Instructor for Business Objects, specializing in Web Intelligence, Desktop Intelligence, Dashboard Manager, Universe Design, Xcelsius Dashboards, Xcelsius Data Connectivity, and Knowledge Accelerator Customization. Roxanne has specialized in Xcelsius connected models, with extensive experience in using XML, Web Services, Live Office and InfoBurst-XDS and XDM to create dynamic dashboards. In addition to being a multi-certified instructor, Roxanne has experience working with Fortune 500 companies as a consultant in the deployment of business intelligence solutions.

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