New BusinessObjects Feature Can Save You a Boat Load of Money

I travel a lot and so I belong to a lot of frequent traveler programs . Through flights, hotels, car rentals, trains, restaurants and Starbucks, I collect a lot of miles, points and stars that save my company money and provide extra perks like upgrades and priority status. Best of all, they don’t cost anything to belong.

I realize you have to sign up for these programs and remember to use them but once you get into the habit, it becomes second nature. While it feels good to save money, it feels even better to save time and you can do both through these programs.

Some of the new features in the current BusinessObjects BI 4.3 release are very much like these frequent traveler programs in that they can save you money and time and they don’t cost you anything extra to use them as they are included as part of the software.

One such feature that has recently stood out for me is “Web Intelligence as a data source”. This feature that came out with the first release of BI 4.3 allows you to create a master Webi document and then place a universe on top of this document to enable users to create child reports, dashboards and extracts from this one master document.

This can be used in all sorts of ways like building a single master report for a department where the users of that department will have a simple universe on top to let them easily create any number of derivatives or subsets of the data in the report without having to run queries against the original data sources. This can save time and money as well as improve user self-service and productivity.

With the latest service pack of BI 4.3, SP04, we can now dynamically refresh both master and child reports making this feature even more versatile and desirable to use.

Many BusinessObjects customers now use Cloud based data warehouses or data lakes and Snowflake is one of the most popular solutions chosen. Snowflake is feature rich, but it can also become very expensive to use. This is because it uses a fee model based on the amount of resources you utilize. Whether you are running a virtual warehouse or a serverless deployment, cost is incurred every time you run a query against Snowflake.

By using the new Web Intelligence as a data source feature, you can dramatically reduce the number of times you would need to query your data warehouse. If most users are using or creating reports derived from a master report then all those queries are running against that master report rather than the data warehouse. You would only need to refresh the master report instead of refreshing all the reports. This can be a real cost saver if you are using a Snowflake data warehouse.

Knowing that you can now create master Webi reports in BusinessObjects and use a semantic layer universe on top of these reports may also have you thinking about replacing or re-designing some of your existing universes.

Some customers are still planning or are in the middle of converting old UNV universes to the new IDT UNX universes. This would be an ideal time to look at possibly using the Webi as a Data Source feature to improve or possibly replace some of those universes.

If you are not using Webi as a Data Source or have not considered some of the use cases I have discussed in this blog, now would be a good time to take a look and start taking advantage of some of those perks included in your “BusinessObjects frequent user program”!

You can also learn more about these features and see them in action in real-world scenarios at IBIS 2024, the 3-day “Everything BusinessObjects Conference”, coming up next month in June. Check out the agenda and sign up at – think of it like signing up for the “BusinessObjects frequent user program”.

About pgrill

Paul Grill started his career in Information Technology in the U.K. in 1978, as an Executive Data Processing Trainee for Honeywell. More than thirty years later, he still has a voracious appetite for learning as Information Technology continues to advance at an ever accelerating pace. He was first introduced to the world of Business Intelligence in 1991, in France, when he saw a demonstration of an early version of BusinessObjects on Windows 2.1. He returned to the U.S. to rave about this phenomenal product, but it was many years before BusinessObjects made it into the mainstream. Paul founded InfoSol in 1997, and made Business Intelligence one of the key solutions offered by the company. Today, InfoSol is a leading SAP BusinessObjects solutions partner, known for its expert consulting, education and innovative add-on solutions. Paul is well known within the SAP BusinessObjects community for his extensive knowledge of Business Intelligence, and he has lectured and written many articles on the subject. Paul enjoys writing, running and coaching kids soccer, and is passionate about Ancient Egyptology.

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