Earlier this month SAP's Ty Miller and Susan Guess provided an ASUG Webcast on planned innovations and future directions. Note that the usual disclaimer applies, that planned things are subject to change.
Figure 1: Source: SAP
Figure 1 shows the future direction themes and the "innovation without disruption"
Figure 2: Source: SAP
The "Solution today" includes BI4 FP3/SP4 while planned innovations is generally the next release.
Figure 3: Source: SAP
Figure 3 shows reducing total cost of ownership, through reducing the number of different platforms and technology.
As an example, the CMS repository can move to Sybase SQL Anywhere as the default repository database.
SAP is working on making it easier to install and deploy platform. Release an enhanced server config tool provides you how you want to install and do some preconfiguration and click 'install". They want to automate to reduce complexity and avoid errors.
For SAP applications customers they plan on integrating with NetWeaver Identity Management capability – one place to manage users, the properties of the users and how defined in system.
For BI with HANA users the plan to provide a more open standard for authentication based on SAML, a new but more global standard for authentication to remove dependency on Active Directory
For software management want to provide an auto update service to manage desktop clients
Multi Tenancy where hosting BI platform for others but want segregated usages of BI platform, enabling ability to actively manage resources of tenants and use the same instance.
Figure 4: Source: SAP
Figure 4 shows the Semantic Layer planned innovations.
For big data, (HANA, Hadoop) - how access and how present it.
For HANA they plan to enable multi dimensional access to those views. Today connect via relational, as move forward access as a multi-dimensional source. To improve HANA performance they plan to use query stripping
It is planned to work against Hadoop.In feature pack 3 / SP4 you can connect to Hadoop as a data source
It is planned to continue to integrate with BW. They plan to optimize BI platform for BW.
Figure 5: Source: SAP
From SAP, adopt Sybase SQL Anywhere embedded repository database
They are taking advantage of Java Virtual Machine – comment virtual machine for products
SAP plans to continue to adopt most up-to-date platforms from partners - Microsoft, IE10, Windows 10, Office 15
For browser support they plan on adding Google Chrome
They plan to offer Firefox long term support.
Figure 6: Source: SAP
It is planned to access Web Intelligence with a REST service SDK – not just support .net customers but those who want to use PHP, Ruby, etc.
They will add back extension points and add features to take advantage complex UI
They plan to augment programmatic access to universes with a new universe authoring SDK. It will be Java based
They plan to offer programmatic conversion of old .UNV to .UNX universe for batch scripting capaibilites
They plan to expand Open doc – adding the open doc to Analysis OLAP
The plan to extend the platform and web services for Crystal Reports
Figure 7: Source: SAP
Figure 7 focuses on visualizations that are part of BI clients on Suite
With the ability to have high interactivity, visualizations are dynamic, an emotional connection to data, to bring focus into data quickly
They compel you take action based upon data and you want users to be emotionally tied to graphics
They want you to do this with "Big Data" – they are designing them to make sense
They want to make them easy to use – improved new touch screen hardware devices enable and analytic controls to provide in the charts.
They continue to work with HTML5 standard so mobile devices can be more quickly adopted and work with the next gen internet browsers that are both touch based and mouse based.
Figure 8: Source: SAP
SAP Visual Intelligence will be available on BI on Demand to visualize data in an easy-to-use environment.
Turnkey BI packages to quickly deploy in On Demand such as connecting to Business Suite or extract data to BI on Demand and out of the box analytics
Within on BI On Demand, they will add highly interactive, data discover capability. For example, adding ad hoc capability similar to exploration views; their target application is SuccessFactors workforce analytics
The on premise mobile BI will take advantage of cloud too.
Figure 9: Source: SAP
Expand device support: Android, Smartphones and tablets
They have an aggressive platform support life cycle as mobile is moving quickly
Analtyic capabilties that you have such as hierarchies, prompts
They have redesigned UI – report navigation, added a favorites capability, as well as control instances of BI documents from mobile application
They continue to integrate with Sybase with SSO support, SiteMinder,
They continue to integration with SAP StreamWork mobile applciation
Figure 10: Source: SAP
Big Data is continuing to evolve and BI wants to take advantage
This includes enhanced support for all tools for Hana
This includes relational and dimensional access and variables.
They are investing in ability to enable the quick migration translation of investments on traditional databases to Hana
For example, will be able to migrate universe on SQL Server and migrate scheme/universe in HANA and will not have to rebuild universe against that
The plan to allow federation of data against big data sources – as an example, HANA/Hadoop combine in a universe
Figure 11: Source: SAP
As Figure 11 shows, work has been done to comment on data in BI Suite at the instance level, not just object level and push into StreamWork
Explorer is being added to the collaboration clients – planned to have discussion threads on Information Spaces
They are also adding Android as a platform for StreamWork
You will be able to do exploration of BI content in StreamWork
Part 2 is coming...soon.
Subset of Question & Answer:
Q: Collaboration - how about SharePoint?
A: SAP integrates with SharePoint today via our Integration Option for Microsoft SharePoint.
Q: Also, When is Analysis for Office 1.3 expected GA?
A: First it has to RTC which is in the next few weeks I believe.
Q: Can we please come back to the points about Webi functionality from 3.1 that was missing and has been reinstated?
A: These are XI3.x options that are reenabled in SP4
- CMC settings for SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence
- Auto-merge by default
- Ability to purge previous value in prompts
Q: For the repository database you can still use other databases like Oracle, right?
Q; Data Federator is replaced by Information Design Tool? or Standalon Data Federator is still available?
A: Data Federator as a standalone capability will continue with the IDT and BI platform as the technology
Q: When will Bex Variables be supported from Web Intelligence Mobile?
A: They are supported today as of the most recent Mobile BI release
Official Roadmaps can be found on Service Marketplace at service.sap.com/roadmap (SMP logon required)
Join SAP on July 17 at 1pm EST for the virtual launch of SAP Visual Intelligence and SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 FP3. Click here (http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-29411) for more information.