Each time I introduce Xcelsius to customers or friends, I would summarize it as Intuitive, Beautiful and Powerful. As to Powerful, I mean we can connect to almost any kind of data source, with the help of its rich set of data connections.
Different from other blog posts of mime about UI components, this blog series focus on the data connection types provided by Xcelsius 2008 SP3. Most content in this blog series is from my book co-written with Evan Delodde, Creating dashboards with Xcelsius – PracticalGuide which is also available on Amazon, making the blog series kind ofpromotion of the book.
The complete list of data connectivities of Xcelsius 2008 SP3 can be seen from Data Manager, including:
- XML Data
- Web Service
- Flash Variables
- FS Command
- External Interface Connection
- Query as a Web Service
- SAP NetWeaver BW Connection
- Crystal Reports Data Consumer
- Excel XML Map
- Live Office Connection
- Portal Data
- LCDS Connection
- Xcelsius Web Intelligence Integration Suite (XWIS)
The data connectivity’s provided by Xcelsius 2008 can be divided into several categories. Some are specific to Business Objects environment, such as Query as a Web Service and Live Office Connection. Some are used for communication between the SWF and its container (either Adobe Flash Player or a web browser) such as Flash Variables, FS Command and External Interface Connection. Some are for Xcelsius to retrieve live data from a web application server, such as Web Service Connection and XML Data. SAP NetWeaver BW Connection is specific for SAP environment, to retrieve BW data directly.
For license issue, you may not be able to use some kinds of Data Connectivity’s in your dashboard.
In my book, I categorize XML Data, Web Service Connection and Excel XML Map as basic connectivity types and the others advanced, though the connection types of Query as a Web Service, Live Office Connection, Flash Variables, FS Command and External Interface Connection are also frequently used.
This blog series will include several blog posts to illustrate all the connection types one by one. Pay attention to the security restriction of Adobe Flash Player to access external data, for which you need trust the SWF file or create a cross-domain.xml policy file.
Development of custom Xcelsius components using Xcelsius Component SDK is also nicely covered in the book, some content of which is available at Creating Dashboards with Xcelsius Practical Guide: Reusable Property Sheet Patterns with a FAQ Top 10 Crystal Dashboard Design (Xcelsius 2008) SDK FAQs.
Explaining Data Connection of Xcelsius 2008 - Part 6: Query as a Web Service
Explaining Data Connection of Xcelsius 2008 - Part 7: Live Office Connection
Explaining Data Connection of Xcelsius 2008 - Part 8: Excel XML Map