Last week SAP's Harold Schellekans and Mike Seblani gave an ASUG BI-Community/Crystal Reports Special Interest Group webcast on the Crystal Reports Roadmap. As some things are subject to change, the usual legal disclaimer applies. ASUG Volunteer Brian Durning hosted this webcast.
Harold called Crystal Reports "the fine dining of Business Intelligence"
Figure 1, Source:SAP
In Figure 1, planned innovations covers Feature Pack 3 which is in ramp-up now
Two versions of Crystal – 2011 which is a minor upgrade of 2008 and Crystal Reports for Enterprise is new on top of BI4
Crystal Reports 2011 and Crystal for Enterprise can run side by side.
Going forward, this discussion and roadmap covers Crystal for Enterprise.
BI4 has a common consistent interface. The Smart Guidelines feature won an internal SAP design award. It is easier to move columns around in a group. It uses the native BICS connector with BW.
Figure 2: Source SAP
Planned Innovations are in ramp-up today.
Figure 3: Source: SAP
They wanted to “end the blank canvas”. An online library of library templates is available to help create reports. First up is sales.
Improved Set Data Source location UI – it will help map the fields and generate placeholder fields if field in destination does not exist. It will suggest automatic mapping. This is beneficial even for customers who do not want to start with a report template.
Figure 4, Source: SAP
Figure 4 provides more details of the online library of report templates and set data source UI.
Figure 5, Source: SAP
In FP3, added Direct to Data – accessing a database directly instead of going through semantic layer.
Direct to data is done using the same data drivers as the universe, allowing simplified administration.
Common semantic layer is fulfilling the vision to add new data sources. SAP ECC access via the universe, and is planning to have Hadoop support.
Figure 6: Source SAP
Figure 6 shows new API’s with new RESTful web service and an AJAX API to style the experience.
These AJAX API’s are simpler and corporate customers are starting to use them.
Figure 7: Source: SAP
New visualizations using CVOM, adding tag clouds with modern visualizations
Continuous scrolling, breadcrumb for drilling – they did usability testing on this
Mobile support – can be viewed in BusinessObjects Mobile iPad applications.
Figure 8, Source: SAP
Figure 8 shows binding report to report interface calls for reports based on BEx queries
Figure 9, Source: SAP
Additional visualizations will likely include geographic mapping, bar codes, QR codes
Long term, they are looking at styling and theming options, view time filtering for .UNX data sources
Other improvements include XML and OData consumptions, SAP Hana improvements consumption analytic views and variables inside analytic views.
Subset of Question & Answer:
Q: Will Crystal Reports for Enterprise replace Crystal Reports 2011?
A: Long term, yes
Crystal Reports works in many different markets
Crystal Reports For Enterprise – large enterprise market
Encourage looking at Crystal Reports for Enterprise
Q: How would licensing model work?
A: Licensing model is similar to Crystal Reports 2011
Q: What is roadmap for Business View Manager?
A: Metadata authoring tool for semantic layer – future for business views – want customers to use universes
Business View Manager roadmap is tied to Crystal Reports 2011
Long-term, use universes
Looking at having a CEI around business views
Q: We have lots of existing Crystal Reports with Business Views and LOV's. What is the migration strategy for these?
A: Stay with CR 2011 for now
Q: Can Crystal Enterprise reports be made available on mobile by simple assigning to the mobile category (similar to WEBI)??
A: Works the same as WebI
Suggestion – model prompts consistently in the tools
If you want hands-on Crystal for Enterprise Feature Pack 3, I recommend signing up for the ASUG pre-conference BI4 Feature Pack 3 hands-on session on May 13 lead by SAP Mentor Ingo Hilgefort, SAP Canada.
Also check this blog for what is coming for Crystal Reports at ASUG Annual Conference next month.