Tuesday, December 13, 2011

SAP to Deliver Integrated Social Analytics to the Enterprise

"SAP Social Media Analytics by NetBase enables enterprises to create an enterprise social analytics platform that offers a wider and deeper perspective on a range of activities"...

This tool allows organizations to extract unstructured data from the web (95 million social media posts daily from Twitter, Facebook, news feeds, blogs and other sources) and by that analyse trends,feedbacks
,requests and many other data items that can bring a better understanding of the business work flow.

Watch this new Video :

Sunday, December 4, 2011

SAP pays $3.4B for cloud vendor SuccessFactors

SAP is about to acquire SuccessFactors ,a provider of cloud-based human capital management tools.

In order to become a major player in the cloud and cloud BI business and compete with already in motion vendors like Oracle,Informatica,Salesforce and Microstrategy.
Click here for the original article :

Monday, November 28, 2011

On security breach In the CMC and data leak prevention

Building permissions in the CMC is made up easy but when it comes to private folders it gets complicated.

What happens when a user sends a restricted public report to a user that doesn't have the right to see that report in the public folder?

That user will see that report because he has full control rights on his inbox object and his private folder.

There is no way to change all the inboxes right automatically through the CMC, writing an SDK script can do the work, but till this issue is covered you will remain with a security breach in the CMC.

Has far as I know this issue suppose to be resolved in the current version, I'll keep you update about that.

So what can you do in order to lower this breach as possible?

  • Use an SDK script to change the inbox\private folder objects
  • Allow schedule and send rights only to power users (problematic approach)
  • Define the reports with the options of refresh on open + row level restriction

Still you can't prevent people from seeing unwanted data and in order to monitor the "crime level" it recommended doing the following:

  • Run an audit report that will show you which reports the user accessed and which users are accessing reports that their universes are restricted to those users?
  • Check who sends reports to who (using VB, java or COM scripts,3rd part tools or some audit data )
  • Run periodic tests in the CMC to check the inboxes and private folders content.

What is the next generation of data security?

  • Security that works in the view level and not just in the data base access level
  • Alerts based on illegal user activity (just like in banks )
  • Encrypted data engine based on the destination target and the user rights.
Example: if John from sales sends a sales report(through inbox, e-mail, folder and ctr) to Smith from HR the engine recognizes the permission differences and encrypts the data.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Impact Analysis in Auditor ?

Apparently you can get from the Auditor some Meta data information.

There are few drawbacks for this deal that makes the whole approach limited but for specific tests, general estimations and searches it can be most efficient.

First, what are the drawbacks?

1. The SQL data is documented but only for reports that have been edited through the query panel

if we are relating to Deski only then you can use the Rubik's cube as well.

therfore the result you will get won't be a full one.

Imagine we wouldn't have this drawback; we could make a full impact analysis on the reports.

2. This is more a basic line of the Auditor capabilities:

Auditor is only documenting live reports that have been activated during the audit, 'sleepy' reports, quarterly reports and reports that are used for single time purpose will not appear in the results, as we said it is a build in feature.

The data curve is simple:

The more you use Auditor and the more reports are being edited the more data you will get...

What reports can you write?

1. Reports Impact analysis:

This report can show you the report name, it's SQL ,it's owner and location in the repository.

By using the 'LIKE' operator we can make a search on the SQL field and ask questions like:

Which report is using a specific table, join, alias, SQL function, select clause, where clause...

2. Report select object:

This report will show you the result objects of the report.

You can ask questions like:

Are there objects that appear in different universes?

If I am about to change an object, which reports will be effected?

you have located an error in a calculated object, you want to

Locate the reports and their users in order to alert the users about this...

You can also write a complementary SDK script that will just perform the 'edit' function in all the reports in the repository,

By doing that you will achieve a much higher result of impact analysis and of course, if your company or organization can't afford a Third party tool, then script can do the job.

There are other ways how to achieve Impact analysis without buying any tools,on that i will discuss in a separate post.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oracle Announces Exalytics - In memory and Advanced data visualization

Oracle has released it's version for In memory fast computing for BI environments
("The industry's first in-memory BI machine "...), now Oracle will also become a player in the In memory technologies market setting an alternatinve and competition to SAP HANA,Qlikview and other vendors.

Oracle press release:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Simple Overview on SAP HANA

A good and helpfull article discussing the Architecture,In-Memory capabilities and many other interesring ideas of Hana

the article is located the sap articles section,written by Abyson Joseph :

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gognos IBM vs SAP Business Objects

Here is a nice comparison i have found at http://www.bi-dw.info/ 
The compatirion isn't up to date and missing some important points but in general it is a good strating point for comparing Gognos to SAP Business Objects.
BIscorecard ,Gartner and Forrester are companies that are specialized in evaluating BI platforms and in general if you have the resources, i would reccomend to perform a POC

Here is the link:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BI related vs Google Related

Google as just went up with another nice idea that has it's implications on the way we use BI

Just a quick thought :

You are running your regional sales report,you get the results and on the buttom of your browser there is a toobar that shows you:

1.Suggestions for other related reports.
2.You get the info : "people who view this report also viewed these repors" (just like in Amazon site)
3.You get suggestions for further data that can help you analyze the report.
4.You get suggestions " whould you like this reports to be sent to you when a certain value\amount cahnges ?"

Any more suggestions ?


Monday, August 15, 2011

Getting rid of the LOV timestamp

One of the famous problems in Designer is getting rid of the timestamp LOV and sorting the date LOV according to the date column.

Here is the step by step procees in order to achieve that in Oracle:

1.first we have the date object in the universe named :Time Key

2.Inside the object properties we can see the date LOV time stamp:

3.Now we will create an object that will be used inside the object's LOV,later on we re-map the lov of the date object to this object's LOV:

this object contain the function to_char in order to format the date object.

4.Inside the time key object properties we will re-map the LOV to the "No time stamp LOV " object and sort it from Z to A

5.Now we will get inside the object LOV and esit it's SQL to:




the result is :

make sure that you thick the "do not genertae" button  and the "export with universe" property of the LOV.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Time difference calculations for call center - part 1

Here are two scripts that return the time difference between two dates in Oracle:

1.The following script returns the time portion in seperated columns :


     38              8            10           2569 


trunc(86400 * (SYSDATE - DATES.TIME_KEY)) -60 * (trunc((86400 * (SYSDATE - DATES.TIME_KEY) / 60))) AS SECOUNDS,trunc((86400 * (SYSDATE - DATES.TIME_KEY)) / 60) -60 *(trunc(((86400 * (SYSDATE - DATES.TIME_KEY)) / 60) / 60)) AS MINUTES,trunc(((86400 * (SYSDATE - DATES.TIME_KEY)) / 60) / 60) -24 *(trunc((((86400 * (SYSDATE - DATES.TIME_KEY)) / 60) / 60) / 24)) AS HOURS,trunc((((86400 * (SYSDATE - DATES.TIME_KEY)) / 60) / 60) / 24) AS DAYS


2.The following script returns the time portion in hours,minutes and secounds in one column :

61 :    22 :    11

(sysdate - nvl(DATES.TIME_KEY.TIME_KEY, sysdate)) * 24 as hour_diff,
floor((SYSDATE - DATES.TIME_KEY.TIME_KEY) * 24) ' : '
mod(floor((SYSDATE - DATES.TIME_KEY.TIME_KEY) * 24 * 60), 60)' : '
mod(floor((SYSDATE - DATES.TIME_KEY.TIME_KEY) * 24 * 60 * 60), 60)' ' time_difference


These scripts can become universe objects and are good for call center calculation

SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 Platform Demo

 sneak preview demo of SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 new capabilities in Designer and Webi modules:

Dashboards in SAP BusinessObjects 4.0

Watch this demo of the new Xceslius called SAP Dashboard in version 4.0
 including some new great features like:
direct binding,embedded query designer,parameter selector component

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

YTD and MTD Prompts

Here are code samples for creating YTD and MTD prompts in the universe designer,the prompts are written for Oracle :

1. YTD
This prompt allows the user to enter a date and get all the dates from the month of the chosen date till the beginning of the current month, for example:

If the user will type 05/05/2010 (mm/dd/yyyy) he will get the range: 05/01/2010 till the first day of the current month.


Table.date BETWEEN trunc(To_Date(@Prompt('Enter Date:','D',,Mono,Free),'mm/dd/yyyy hh24:mi:ss'),'mm') AND TRUNC(SYSDATE,'MM')

2. YTD specific year:

This prompt allows the user to enter a date and get all the dates from the first day of the year of the chosen date till the chosen date, for example:

If the user will type 05/05/2011 (mm/dd/yyyy) he will get the range: 01/01/2011 till 05/05/2011.


Table.date between trunc(to_date(substr(@Prompt('Pick date','D','folder\date_object',mono,free),1,10),'mm/dd/YYYY'), 'YEAR') and to_date(substr(@Prompt('Pick target date','D','folder\date_object',mono,free),1,10),'mm/dd/YYYY')


This prompt allows the user to enter a date and get all the dates from the first day of the month of the chosen date till the chosen date, for example:

If the user will type 05/05/2011 (mm/dd/yyyy) he will get the range: 05/01/2011 till 05/05/2011.


trunc(Table.date) BETWEEN trunc(to_date(@Prompt('Enter Date:','A',,mono,free),'DD/MM/RR'),'MM')

AND to_date(@Prompt('Enter Date:','A',,mono,free),'DD/MM/RR

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

On Data Minning ,your unknown grandmother and information monsters

A very interesting article i came across today :

It is an interview with Shumeet Baluja ,a Senior Staff Research Scientist at Google, speaking about data minning,information research and getting information on people who aren't even a part of your structured data:

SAP will integrate Google Maps

SAP will cooperate with Google Maps,after Centigon has already integrated Google Maps in Xcelsius,
now comes SAP  turn to targer to one of the hottest areas of BI -Data Visualization in a geographic context/
read here the original article that was published by SAP 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Who moved my universe ?

One of the most unpleasant symptoms that can happen to a busy BI team are universe overrides by different designers.In general , universe overrides shouldn't happen and by determining simple working processes, keeping the team synchronized and updated and making sure that the universe life cycle is secured we should get a healthy environment . But what happens when someone exports the universe to production against the regulation?

As the team manger, finding out who exported the universe last can help you improve the change management and simply know who was the last person that updated the universe which can be a very important information. This information can be pulled out from the Activity universe and by crossing this information with the CMC, you can know for sure.

The following query is based on the Activity universe (Oracle based) and will pull out all the changes that were made in a particular universe in a specific date.  

Please note:   The changes are not necessarily describing export actions of the universe and therefore i recommend to Identify the last record of the export by looking in the CMC, under universes, you can find a column next to The name of the universe that shows the last update date, this date will also appear in the report and by crossing these records you will get the correct answer to "who exported the universe last?"  

Here is the query script:

 Table__37.DETAIL_TEXT,   AUDIT_EVENT.User_Name, AUDIT_EVENT.Start_Timestamp +( (3/24) )FROMAUDIT_EVENT,( SELECTAUDIT_DETAIL.Detail_Text,AUDIT_EVENT.Event_ID FROMAUDIT_DETAIL,AUDIT_EVENTWHEREAUDIT_DETAIL.Event_ID=AUDIT_EVENT.Event_ID AND AUDIT_EVENT.Event_Type_ID = 65544) Table__37WHERE( Table__37.EVENT_ID=AUDIT_EVENT.Event_ID )AND (( ( Table__37.DETAIL_TEXT ) LIKE '%' @Variable('enter teh universe name or part of the universe name ') '%' )AND Table__37.DETAIL_TEXT NOT LIKE '%Everyone%'AND Table__37.DETAIL_TEXT NOT LIKE '%/%'AND ( ( trunc(AUDIT_EVENT.Start_Timestamp) ) BETWEEN @Prompt('from action date','A','Action Time\Action Date',mono,free)AND @Prompt(' till action date','A','Action Time\Action Date',mono,free) ))

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How will Designer look like in the next version ?

Version BI4 is officially out and among all articles and presentations that you can find online here is a very good one written by Joshua Fletcher, who presents the new Designer capabilities:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

BI4 Knowledge Center

If you want to know exactly what awaits for you in the next version of SAP Business Objects and
what changes are about to be made you can enter the following link and read all the new manuals

The future of BI by Timo elliott

A question that always on my mind: how will  BI look like in 5 / 10 years from now...?
Timo elliot from SAP speaks and presents the vision of SAP in a series of presentations and videos :

Matrix acquires 75% from Matchpoint for 10 million Shekels

Matrix continues its acquisition campaign and according to estimates, in order to improve efficiency and continue to be a major player in the Israeli IT market Match point have been acquired.
Match point specializes in outsourcing

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Saleforce acquired Radian6

When I reviewed the future of the BI at the end of last year I expected that social network layer will begin to trickle into the BI layer.
While SAP has already begun to develop products that integrates the organization social network data,
Saleforce is one of the first companies to make significant step towards implemeting social networks by purchasing Radian6which  is the leading supplier of social media monitoring.

Here is the link for the original article:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SAP and IBM Test SAP In-Memory Appliance

The innovation war continues:

SAP will collaborate with IBM (which bought Cognos) in order to integrate the in memory technologies.
Currently DB2 is beeing tested .
If we wll also consider the replication server of SAP the and intention to replace the usual load services, we have a more immediate view on the future of the BI and technological environment

that awaits us:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

HANA is here

If you have not heard about the new project of Sap,Hana - High-Performance Analytic Appliance - a project which should bring the best of bread in terms of performance.
I think that there is no doubt that the future of BI has to grow through the in memory capabilities
and SAP is getting us close to that place.

Here is a quick review written about HANA in the http://biscorecard.typepad.com/biscorecard/ :

"Queries that the customer used to run in two to three hours now run in two to three seconds. The data volumes were not that big – 9 million customer records. But it’s the complexity of customer segmentation and that the queries were running directly in the transactional source system that made for the slow queries. Christian Ritter, head of Reporting and Global IT at Hilti, explained that with HANA, they would skip building a data warehouse altogether. Data is replicated in near real time from the SAP transaction systems into HANA."

Monday, February 7, 2011

Xcelsius version X4.0

In the new version of SAP Business Objects , Xcelsius presentation can be built (say SAP Dashboard from now ...) directly on a universe without the necessity to use an Excel sheet.
Watch this video that demonstrates how to easily build an Xcelsius dashboard in the new version :

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Xcelsius 2011: Direct query binding

In the next version of  Xcelsius you will be able to built a presentation without the use of a spreadsheet.
Here's a short video from the recent User conference that demonstrates the new capabilities :