Archive for the ‘Guru Reviews’ Category

May
4

Top 10 Xcelsius 2008 SDK FAQ’s

  1. What kind of custom components can I build for my Xcelsius 2008 dashboards?

    You can build from scratch or extend any existing component that is available in the Flex 2.0.1 SDK. Below are some common cases (just to name a few) for custom component development. You may need to:

    • Connect to custom data sources
    • Design custom navigational elements and menu systems
    • Create custom charts, gauges, heatmaps and other data visualizations
    • Develop custom bi-directional application integrations with external business systems (i.e. Salesforce, etc.)
  2. (more…)

Nov
4

Xcelsius 2008 SP1 Fix Pack 1 Link Fixed!

Hi Everyone,

If you recall we reported to you yesterday that Business Objects an SAP company finally released their first Fix Pack for Xcelsius 2008 SP1. Well apparently the link to download FP1 was broken. We fixed it…sorry about that.

Below are shortcut links to ensure you are never left behind when any future HotFixes / Service Packs are released!

  1. Download Xcelsius 2008 SP1 FixPack 1 here
  2. Bookmark SAP Download Site (must cut/paste in browser to acess) - https://websmp130.sap-ag.de/sap(bD1lbiZjPTAwMQ==)/bc/bsp/spn/bobj_download/main.htm

Note: You must have Xcelsius 2008 SP1 installed before installing the FixPack 1 on top.

Happy voting today!

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Oct
29

Review #3: Background Builder – Revive your User Interface!

(10/29 – Article Updated to provide .swf download)

A few weeks ago, we introduced you to a company named Centigon Solutions, who is in the business of creating Xcelsius 2008 Flex custom components! As one of the pioneers in this very new segment, they’ve managed to create some very practical, but much needed and very exciting Xcelsius components.

The ‘Background Builder’ is an awesome example. Not only is it God sent to the design challenged developer…but it allows any Xcelsius user to ‘Revive their dashboard User Interfaces’ with the click of a mouse! Be sure to read until the end…we have a special limited time offer only available through our blog for our readers..and no we don’t get a dime. It’s just a must have! :)

So what is the ‘Background Builder’? It’s a simple Xcelsius Add On that takes 5 minutes to install, 30-45 minutes to create a new design and can literally save you hundreds, if not thousands in custom design work for your Xcelsius dashboards. Don’t believe us?! See our example below.

Here is the Supply Chain dashboard template that comes with Xcelsius 2008 SP1. It was designed by a professional designer and looks great.

Before: Original Supply Chain Dashboard (done by Professional Designer)
Below is the revision that we did. It took us about 30 mins. We started from scratch and we were quite surprised with the results! See for yourself…interact with the model below. Oh yeah….did we mention that Centigon’s support is awesome?!

After – Our Revised Supply Chain Dashboard (Click on picture to open demo and download .swf / .xlf files)

Note: Downloading the model will require you to download at minimum, a free trial of the background builder. The free trial will allow you to view this background, download other templates from Centigon to use in your models and create your own cool backgrounds…but until a license is bought the design will disappear in 7 days.

Have no fear! We’ve arranged a special Centigon’s components bundle package through the month of Nov as an early Happy Holiday and thank you to all of our readers.

You can save $15 off the Xcelsius plugins components bundle for Xcelsius 2008. The components that come packaged in this bundle include Background Builder, Dynamic Sort, and Reverse Selector. When combined, these components will streamline the Xcelsius dashboard development process and add functionality that will make your dashboards look and perform much better than ever before!

Get a coupon code now: http://centigonsolutions.com/landingpages/coupon1.html

Happy Holidays! Feel free to send us screenshots of what you did…we’d love to see..Thanks!

Here are some other links you may find interesting:

  1. Unlimited Free Trial!
  2. Over 10 free templates!
  3. Real world Xcelsius dashboards using the ‘Background Builder’
  4. More about Ryan Goodman…Founder and Owner of Centigon Solutions

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Sep
11

Which Xcelsius 2008 License to Purchase?

With the recent release of Xcelsius Present,


and the ambiguity surrounding the new licensing structure of
Xcelsius 2008, we thought it might be nice to provide a small Grid which describes which version of Xcelsius 2008 is comparable to the old Xcelsius 4.5 versions. (NOTE: This article is more for current 4.5 users than new 2008 users.)


Remember, if you are going to upgrade or purchase Xcelsius Engage Server you need to download the SP1 version.

Here are links to the 30 Day Free Trials:

  1. Xcelsius Present
  2. Xcelsius 2008 Engage
  3. Xcelsius 2008 Engage Server
  4. Xcelsius Enteprise 2008 (No Free Trials on this one!)


Click here to read more on some of the changes that were made to Xcelsius Enterprise 2008.

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Jun
19

Guru Review #2: 10 Xcelsius Template Websites you can’t live without!

Ever wonder where you can find some of the best Xcelsius templates on the web? Well look no further. Below we list and review the top 10 Xcelsius template websites we’ve seen online! While most of them do not contain downloadable source files, they are a great place to gain inspiration and ideas for dashboards in any industry!

Note: While most are in 4.5, we gained word that some of the sites will soon post their Xcelsius 2008 versions. We’ll keep you posted!

Analysis Factory Website#1 Analysis Factory Templates – For the Xcelsius innovator and designer this gallery is certainly one of the finest on the web and guaranteed to spark a few design ideas! It’s our #1 pick for flawless dashboard design and rendering! Like you, we were wondering how they get those cool designs?

Analysis Factory was nice enough to tell us that they have an in house designer who updates their original Xcelsius designs in Photoshop and then imports them into their models utilizing the image component, giving them that professional, polished look!

They also have 3 nice templates that they sell to the public that can be viewed here. (We recently learned that they are in the progress of upgrading their Xcelsius 4.5 templates to Xcelsius 2008. We’ll keep you posted….)

#2 Inverra Dashboard Demos – Patrick Quirk is a great guy and is the owner of Inverra. We were pleasantly surprised at the amount of innovation in these dashboards! While they are NOT downloadable he has a variety of Xcelsius dashboards in different industries to look at! Great place to get a few ideas.

#3 IT-Performs Xcelsius Demos – For anyone seeking the old Xcelsius 4.5 templates we think we found most of them on this website plus a neat ones that are definitely worth looking at! (We’ll see if we can get some of those source files for you a bit later on.)

#4 Ryan Goodman’s Downloadable Blog Templates – While not highly focused on the design, Ryan Goodman’s Xcelsius 4.5 & 2008 templates are nicely categorized. What’s nice if that most of them have an associated article explaining how he built them! OH, did we mention they are also DOWNLOADABLE?

#5 Xcelsius WordPress Downloadable Templates – For those seeking to download a few of the original Xcelsius 4.5 template source files this is for you (click here for steps on how to import to Xcelsius 2008)! Be sure to also check out some of the author’s dashboard work here.

#6 BOBJ Xcelsius Templates – While we are a bit disappointed that they removed most of the Xcelsius 4.5 templates, and made the source files for the new Xcelsius 2008 ones non-downloadable, the official Xcelsius 2008 template website is a great place to start.

#7 Xcelsius for Dummies Gallery - Michael Alexander the author of ‘Xcelsius for Dummies’ did a great job here of providing videos with step by step instructions on how to build these Xcelsius 4.5 templates. Very easy to learn and understand. Great for beginners!

#8 Xcelsius Journal 2008 Templates – Rated as #8 due to the number of templates available, this is one of the only places with Xcelsius 2008 templates on the web. Non-downloadable, Loren Alexander does a great job of displaying the capability of the software.

#9 Xcelsius Best Practices Sample Xcelsius Templates – Rated as #9 due to their overall lack of design, Loren Alexander again presents some interesting ideas on how to build a dashboard in Xcelsius 4.5.

#10 Dashboard Spy – This is an anonymous blog with sneak peeks of corporate dashboards that would otherwise be non-viewable to the public. Its great to see what other companies are doing. This is one you should definitely bookmark as it is updated daily with all kinds of Xcelsius and non-Xcelsius dashboards!

Be sure to bookmark us to receive the latest templates right here at Everything Xcelsius.

We’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to comment, bookmark, or share our articles using the buttons below!

May
29

Guru Review #1: "5 Other NEW Cool Features in Xcelsius 2008!"

If you are anywhere in the Xcelsius 2008 online world you are probably aware of the 2 great articles that exist covering this topic:

1. Ryan Goodman’s ‘Top 10 Xcelsius 2008 Features’
2. Maloy Manna’s ‘What’s new in Xcelsius – Top Ten Features’

If not, feel free to click on the links above (after reading below of course). Our goal here was NOT to repeat the same features as those articles,

“But to add 5 Other New COOL features that we found in Xcelsius 2008 that were also worth mentioning. “

1. Cool New Templates! – Finally they included some templates that are worth using. These are great starting places for the design challenged individuals. We really liked some of their layouts and color schemes. Go to File > Templates OR press (Ctrl + T) to view!

2. Print Component - Need to print your dashboard? Simply include this button on your dashboard, click on it, and automatically make the pop up to print appear on your computer screen. Note: We advise doing a ‘Print Preview’ before printing.


3. NEW Country Maps – Xcelsius has finally gone global by including tons of new country maps! No more custom map layovers like in 4.5. Hooray!


4. New Themes – For the Xcelsius designers choose form 3 new themes (ordered by our ratings) namely 1) Nova, 2) Admiral, and 3) iTheme.


5.
Tree Map Component - For those who need to visualize large hierarchical data sets, this one is for you! Utilize the ‘Drill Down’ capability to view more details.

In the following weeks we will cover the use of each item in more details so stay tuned!

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