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Understanding the SAP BusinessObjects SDKs Part 2 – OpenDocument for Viewing Content

Terry Penner, BI Solutions, SAP
Michael Sung, Product Manager, SAP
February 2011

Overview

OpenDocument is a popular API used to directly link to content stored within the BI Platform.  Your end users can view reports with a single click, instead of needing to navigate through a portal.
The OpenDocument allows end users to view different formatted business analytics without navigating any folder hierarchy. Popular uses for OpenDocument include:
  • Sending an email with a link back to report content
  • Embedding links in one document to connect related content
  • Programmatically generate links to documents in your application

Example

OpenDocument links can be generated from within BI Launchpad. In the screenshot example, right clicking on “World Sales Report” and then selecting “Document Link” gives me a link I can embed in an email or application.  The URL is based on the unique report ID, so the link will still work even if I move the report to another folder. 
opendDocument_3.png
 

In this example, when Tim clicks on the “Sales Report” link, he will first be authenticated by the BI Platform, and then the report will display in his preferred web browser.
OpendDocument_4.png

Advanced Scenarios

The OpenDocument API is only called through URLs.  Typically, you will pass in the name or ID of the document you want to view, and any format specific options such as parameters or the output viewer you want to use.
The key part of the OpenDocument call is the part after the openDocument.jsp text.  All the text after the question mark is used to customized the output the user sees.  When creating the kink, some key advanced features of OpenDocument include:
    • View by document ID or Name
    • View latest instance
    • View document in specific output formats (i.e. HTML, PDF)
    • Pre-set prompt values

Product Requirements

The OpenDocument API is included with SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise, SAP BusinessObjects Edge, and Crystal Server.  It is not part of the
standalone SAP Crystal Reports, or the standalone SAP Crystal Dashboard Design solutions.
SAP Crystal Server (formerly known as SAP Crystal Reports Server) shares the platform APIs with SAP Edge and SAP BusinessObjects BI, so most sample code and API documentation you see will work on any one of the three solutions.  The exceptions are code samples interacting with content types or servers not supported in Crystal Server, such as SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP.  The OpenDocument API requires version 4.x or 3.x of the BI Platform.

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