As any Xcelsius dashboards is in essence a Adobe component and also is enabled to be distributed as an AIR application. Using Adobe AIR® Packager for iPhone you can turn an Xcelsius dashboard into a Apple application (ipa).

Keep in mind that Adobe AIR® Packager for iPhone will do a full conversion of a given Adobe application, and you may face some performance issues with too much complex dashboards.

Step 1 – Create or Use an existing Xcelsius dashboard

Step 2 – Export it to Adobe Flash

Step 3 – Create a XML application descriptor* to this Xcelsius dashboard

Step 4 – Compile the IPA file

Please make sure that your application description follow the form demanded for IPA. See that for AIR application the XML structure is different.

As any Xcelsius dashboards is in essence a Adobe component and also is enabled to be distributed as an AIR application. Follow the steps below to see how your dashboard will show as an RIA (Rich Internet Application) application.

 

Step 1 - Create a XML application descriptor file for AIRStep 2 - Generate an AIR application

adt -package -storetype pkcs12 -keystore iphone_dev.p12 -tsa none MyXcelsius.air MyXcelsius.xml MyXcelsius.swf -C ../air2 icons 

 

Step 3 - Install an AIR application (call it from command line to installation starts)

MyXcelsius.air

 

 

The distribution process will demand a application descriptor for such application. Below you will find further information. *Step 1 - *Create an XML file for application settings The application.xml file contains basic settings for the application:image

As in developing any application for the iPhone, you must first obtain iPhone developer files from Apple. You need to obtain an iPhone developer certificate and a mobile provisioning profile. You also need to obtain other provisioning profiles.

Obtaining these files is an important part of the application development process. Be sure to complete this process before developing your application. Obtaining developer files is not a simple process. Read these instructions and the instructions at the Apple iPhone Dev Center site carefully.

You need to obtain an iPhone developer certificate and provisioning profiles from Apple. You also need to convert the certificate into a P12 certificate.

Install iTunes

You need iTunes to install your application on your iPhone. Also, you use iTunes to determine the device ID of your iPhone. You will need to know the device ID when applying for an iPhone developer certificate.

Apply for an iPhone developer certificate and create a provisioning profileIf you have not already done so, sign up to be a registered iPhone developer at the Apple iPhone Dev Center site (http://developer.apple.com/iphone/).

Note: You do not need the iPhone SDK or XCode to develop ActionScript 3.0-based applications for the iPhone. You do need to be a registered iPhone developer. And you need to obtain a developer certificate and a provisioning profile.

Step 1 - Registering at iPhone Dev Center

  • 1. Log in to the iPhone Dev Center using your iPhone developer account ID.
  • 2. At the iPhone Dev Center, apply for (and purchase) an iPhone developer Certificate.You will receive an e-mail message from Apple containing your iPhone Developer Program activation code.
  • 3. Return to the iPhone Dev Center. Follow the instructions on activating your developer program (and enter your activation code when prompted).
  • 4. When your activation code is accepted, go to the iPhone developer Program Portal section of the iPhone Dev Center.

Step 2 - Creating signing request file

  • 5. Create a certificate signing request file. You will use this file to obtain a iPhone Development Certificate.

openssl genrsa -out mfigueir.key 2048 openssl req -new -key mfigueir.key -out CertificateSigningRequest.certSigningRequest -subj "/emailAddress=yourname@domain.com, CN=Miguel Figueiredo, C=BR" 

You should submit your signed certificate (eg, mfigueir.key) to the iPhone Dev Center at this area: https://developer.apple.com/iphone/manage/certificates/team/index.action   

  • 6. In the next step, you will be asked to provide the Device ID (or Unique Device ID) for your iPhone. You can obtain the UDID from iTunes:
  • 7. Connect your iPhone with a USB cable. Then, in iTunes, select the summary tab for the iPhone.
  • a. Once you have downloaded the provisioning profile from the iPhone developer center site, add it to iTunes.
  • b. Then click the Serial Number displayed. The UDID is now displayed. Click Command-C on Mac or Control-C on Windows to copy the UDID to the clipboard.
  • 8. Create and install a provisioning profile and an iPhone development certificate.Follow the instructions at the iPhone Dev Center. Look for instructions at the iPhone Developer Program Portal section. You may want to use the Development Provisioning Assistant to obtain your development certificate and create your provisioning profile at https://developer.apple.com/iphone/manage/bundles/index.action
  • 9. If you have not done so, download the iPhone development certificate file (a .cer file) from https://developer.apple.com/iphone/manage/certificates/team/index.action.
  • 10. The Development Provisioning Assistant may have provided you with a link to download this file. You can also find the file at the Certificates section of the Provisioning Portal at the Apple iPhone Dev Center site (http://developer.apple.com/iphone/).
  • 11. Next, you will convert the iPhone developer certificate to a P12 file.

             openssl x509 -in developer_identity.cer -in form DER -out developer_identity.pem  -outform PEM

             openssl pkcs12 -export -inkey mfigueir.key -in developer_identity.pem -out iphone_dev.p12

To get starting you must know what does the magic. Adobe Labs has started Adobe AIR® Packager for iPhone that offers the technical capability to have ActionScript 3 projects run as native applications for the iPhone 3.0 OS.

Adobe AIR® Packager for iPhone accelerates Flash conversion to Apple format (ipa). The '.ipa file extension stands for 'iPhone/iPod Touch Application' and is essentially a compressed data archive that is readable only by Apple devices.

Step 1 – Downloading the Adobe AIR® Packager for iPhone

Download the Packager for iPhone 

Step 2 – Extract Adobe AIR® Packager for iPhone1.

     Use a Winrar or similar utility to extract all files to a folder (eg: C:\ipa) 

Step 3 – Register as Apple Developer

To be able convert any Adobe Flash application you must have a digital certificate provided by iPhone Dev Center website (http://developer.apple.com/iphone/). There you can do the following:

  1. Apply to become an iPhone developer.
  2. Manage and create iPhone development certificates, provisioning profiles and app IDs (which are defined below).
  3. Submit applications for the App Store.

By the way, you can go ahead on 2 ways:

  1. Register as regular Apple Developer (for iPhone Program costs US$ 99,00/year)
  2. Use a digital certificate file from a colleague (share the investment)

iPhone development certificate: used to identify a developer for the purpose of developing applications. You obtain this file from Apple once you are registered as an developer. Later you convert this certificate to a P12 certificate file to sign the iPhone application you create using ActionScript 3.0.

By introducing new concepts about user interface experiences, Apple in fact has changed the way of people around the world interact with information using touch screen features present on their own devices.

Is not a fact isolated, but the history tell us that hardware has promoted software changes, what does main software companies review their strategies to follow or not that wave.

Fortune’s analysts estimate that Apple will end Q3 in 2010 selling about 3 million iPads. Not only to follow Apple trajectory, but moreover to follow this mobility momentum, it's not too complicated understand why SAP is entering in this arena. This can be reinforced with the Sybase acquision.

                      image

Xcelsius 2008 is tied to Adobe technology (Flex and Flash), thus is not possible to generate something that can be run on Apple devices because iPads and iPhones use Safari browser that is built on top of Webkit (HTML5 enabled). In a row, Xcelsius is not runnable in Apple devices.

However, I started a research by myself on how to enable my old (not too much) Xcelsius dashboard on Apple devices? For my surprise, Yes! We Can!

The good new is that Adobe is not stopped. Adobe Labs has an initiative that makes possible generate a new Apple application (ipa) from a Xcelsius dashboard to be synchronized with iPads and iPhones.

 image

In the following posts I describe required steps to have a Xcelsius dashboard running on Apple devices.

Step 1 - Preparing the Development Environment

Step 1 - Preparing the Development Environment

Step 2 - Working with iPhone Developer files

Step 2 - Working with iPhone Developer files

Step 3 - Distributing a Hello World iPhone application

Step 3 - Distributing a Hello World iPhone application

Step 4 - Turning a Xcelsius Dashboard into AIR (optional)

Step 4 - Turning a Xcelsius Dashboard into AIR

Step 5 - Turning a Xcelsius Dashboard into IPA

Step 5 - Turning a Xcelsius Dashboard into IPA

By now you can download a sample Xcelsius App to your own iPad/iPhone. http://tiny.cc/r4n5u

I would really appreciate suggestions for further blogs and would like to hear what is the most interest to people. I will then try to provide the information in the form of a short blog entry. Stay tuned for more on SAP BusinessObjects BI suite.

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In the last post I thought a little about how to better segment different business users by their different roles and today we will discover how address search and exploration demands using the new analytic tool, Polestar.

Polestar is a solution that introduces features that remember some behaviors found in the web 2.0 applications but driven to the enterprise business users.
From some time people have used features like self-service, easy-to-use interface, taxonomy, English-like search engine, collaborative environment, publishing engine and others intelligently enabled on these web 2.0 applications, as expected inside a global trend, pervasive computing.

This intuitive, user-friendly and self-service environment common for these people can be found on Polestar with some few clicks. Polestar makes Business Intelligence easier like we saw in the past when market analysts coined the term pervasive BI.
Since that Google and Yahoo turned on the web searching tool for the world, we can say today that everyone uses this kind of search on the web or one day will do, so why not use search for enterprise data? Polestar mimics the same well knowledge search capability to enable useful content for enterprise users to enable put in practice the pervasive business intelligence strategy for business users.

The big trade-offs when using traditional BI solutions is that users still lack intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces and workflows and these limitations frustrates casual users leading to a poor BI adoption. Most users are penalty with lack of speed navigating on a small amount of data or can work with more data at the expense of less data. Most vendors have worked to boost performance of BI servers and addressed the issue of huge amount of data, but we still need a more intuitive interface.

 image             image

Polestar brings a very, very intuitive navigation interface allowing business users explore any data from any source.

Polestar combines intuitive information search and exploration functionality with high performance and scalability and this way can be used against enterprise data.

                              image                        


Personally I like this definition: “Polestar is a self-service, search-driven, and discovery solution for exploring and analyzing your enterprise data.”

The following key features make this solution strong in the segment of pervasive BI:

Search across all data sources – Simply enter a few search keywords to find the most relevant information instantly from across all data sources

Contextual exploration – Gain additional contextually relevant details when searching – no data model or data knowledge required

Automated relevancy and chart generation – Work with a solution that presents the most relevant keyword search results first and automatically generates the chart that best represents the information

High performance and scalability – Take advantage of the high performance and scalability you need for immediate answers across very large data sets and may initial step is need to where you start a exploration by typing a word phrase to search what information spaces have what you want.

Polestar can answer questions from casual users for different demands. For example, a HR manager may need to know the average performance of new employees compared to the previous year, as well a Marketing Manager to plan next year’s budget, need to know results for top 5 successful campaigns in 2008; nevertheless a Customer Support person may need a summary about customer satisfaction for a last minute meeting.

The main business challenges that Polestar focus are:

• Improve end-user adoption of BI tools to enable fact-based decisions
• Improve query performance and response times to increase productivity and enhance decision making
• Contend with spiraling IT costs and changing business priorities

There are clear benefits that Polestar will bring for business users that adopt it like:

• Enables higher performing organizations, thanks to pervasive BI and fact-based timely decisions
• Allows IT to become a proactive business partner supporting and even driving business changes, thanks to shorter time to delivery and heightened agility
In the next post I will show you how to use Polestar to discover and get useful information allowing you explore the best capabilities of it.

I would really appreciate suggestions for further blogs and would like to hear what is of most interest to people. I will then try to provide the information in the form of a short blog entry.

Stay tuned for more on SAP BusinessObjects BI suite.

I just started blogging today after a while thinking how to organize and externalize knowledge about SAP BusinessObjects BI suite to enable more people know how to better use SAP BusinessObjects solution driven to their needs and fitting the right space on their jobs.

Since that BusinessObjects platform has integrate the SAP Business Intelligence platform so many people asked me about what tool should be recommend for a given user. I decided to start first on this topic and go forward with it providing a initial understanding about SAP BusinessObjects front end portfolio.

For a better reading the figure below shows a simple distribuition of each solution having 3 types of business user:

 Right Tool

Executive & Managers: People that really don’t have much time to expend reading detailed reports or performing ad-hoc queries or deeper analysis. Dashboard, scorecards and alerting are common. For these audience often minus is more.

Casual Users: People that need to consume information ready to be used from data marts or data warehouse through standard and formatted reports in some cases available in the enterprise portal. Usually have powerful report authoring demands.

Analysts: People that need such functionality to discover deviances, trends or any sort of changed behavior on the corporate information through an interactive viewing capability. Standard reports and dashboards or even pre-built queries often will not fit their needs for deeper analysis.

Low Touch Information Consumer: People that usually has no time and consolidate information (eg. KPI) will tell much.

High Touch Information Expert: People that will use detailed information on day-by-day operation to support further Executive & Manager’s decision making.With this concept in mind we can move forward in the next blogs to provide you useful information that will enable you understand SAP BusinessObjects BI suite and how you can explore the best capabilities of each product.

I would really appreciate suggestions for further blogs and would like to hear what is of most interest to people. I will then try to provide the information in the form of a short blog entry. Stay tuned for more on SAP BusinessObjects BI suite.

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