Archive for the ‘Reportapalooza’ Category

Jan
4

Xcelsius Gurus Top 10 of 2010

To say that 2010 was a very memorable year for the Xcelsius Gurus community is an understatement.  To see what I mean, take a minute to read my 2010 Top 10 list below.

#10 SAP TechEd Conference

Coming in at #10 is the SAP Teched conference in Las Vegas.  There I had the pleasure of co-hosting the Xcelsius hands-on sessions with 2 of my favorite technical guys from the SAP Xcelsius and RIG team, Matt Lloyd and Patrice Lebhan. The event drew in such a crowd that we had to turn away attendees.  I also had the pleasure of doing a live interview with fellow mentor Jamie Oswald (a must watch for those considering attending TechEd in 2011) and former SAP Executive Marge Breya. There aren’t enough lines to explain how great this event was so click on the links below to see firsthand.

  • Click here to see pics of the event!
  • Click here to view interview #1 with Jamie Oswald and Jason Cao (SAP BusinessObjects Community Leader)
  • Click here to view the interview #2 with former SAP Exec Marge Breya and fellow SAP Mentor Karin Tillotson

#9 Xcelsius Advance Training in Dallas

Hosted by Mike Alexander and myself in Dallas, TX this was a jam packed fun event.  This event is traditionally sold out with a waiting list, so if you are interested do write us an email early to get on the list. We are considering doing one on the West and East coast this year due to popular demand.

#8 EverythingXcelsius Blog Design Update

If you visit our site often enough, and our Google statistics show that many of you do, you have probably noticed that a few months ago we made some small updates to the blog’s design. Two major updates include our sleeker image enriched front page now with enhanced social media buttons and our new ‘Resources’ tab which is a one stop shop for Xcelsius related links on the web. You will also notice that our ‘Showcase’ tab now takes you directly to our commercial website to see examples of some of our guru dashboards which takes us to #7!

#7 Launch of our Commercial Website Benchmarkers Business Intelligence

If you’re wondering why this is so far down the list, it’s because we have yet to do an official launch, as we are still making some small adjustments. Expect to hear more about our official commercial website Benchmarkers Business Intelligence, where we work with some of the world’s biggest companies to deliver state of the art BusinessObjects deployments, migrations and implementation being sure to include our well known and best designed dashboards. We will do an official company launch in Feb 2011, but those who wish to find out more can visit our site http://benchmarkers.com to see how other companies are benefiting from our services.

#6 My SAP Mentor Nomination

It is no secret that the acquisition of BOE by SAP took the BOE community by storm in 2008, me included. I was again taking by a storm when I was informed that I had been nominated by the SAP BOE community to become an SAP mentor.   There isn’t enough space in this blog post to document my adventure in the first year as an SAP Mentor, but I will do a better job to document the journey in 2011.

#5 SAPPHIRE / ASUG Conference

Making our Top 5 is SAPPHIRE, the biggest SAP sales event of the year. Unfortunately, it was not an option for many BOBJ folks who shied away from the heavy SAP ERP presence. Teaming up with ASUG, SAP managed to pull together one of the best events that we ever attended. There was no shortage of BusinessObjects information, just BOE attendees!

#4 Reportapalooza

Coming in at #4 has to be the first official BusinessObjects virtual competition (at least that we know of). With a name like Reportapalooza how could we forget? We emailed asking for your votes and entries, you won prizes, saw some really cool dashboards and then forgot it existed. While the event may have lasted for a bit too long, we do give SAP an A+ for wanting to engage the community with their software. Recruiting big BOE community names like SAP Mentor Jamie Oswald, known author and blogger, Jim Brogden, and myself, it was the first of its kind. Big KUDOS to the winner, Brian Durning at PepsiCo (also ASUG Crystal Reports Chair). Will SAP do another one next year? Guess we’ll have to wait to see.

#3 EverythingXcelsius Social Links reach 1000+

Making the top 3 has to be the fact that our Twitter and Linkedin Group both exceeded 1,000+ followers this year. We are delighted by the tremendous growth and look forward to having you be a part of our community’s evolution in 2011. Lots of exciting changes in 2011. We truly feel that we host the most passionate community members in the SAP BusinessObjects realm and we appreciate all of you!

#2 SAP BusinessObjects User Conference (aka SBOUC) / 2nd Annual Xcelsius Gurus Reception

As the only BusinessObjects conference that currently exists (though more are popping up in 2011) this event took off in Orlando with over 1600+ attendees, a far cry from its despicable attendance in Dallas the year before. On-site was the “Who is Who” in the BOE world, along with tons of informational sessions, and keynote demos of the upcoming BOE XI 4.0 release. Most shocking however was the formal announcement by Steve Lucas, SVP for SAP Business Objects North America that BOE had accounted for 52% of SAP sales up to Q3. We also co-hosted the wildly successful 2nd Annual Xcelsius Gurus Reception with the help and support of the SAP Xcelsius Marketing Team. Pics can be seen here.

#1 SAP Renames Xcelsius

Topping the charts at #1 is of course the Xcelsius name change to SAP Crystal Dashboard Design or #SCDD depending on what day you look on twitter. While some who are in emotional distraught blogged and tweeted that the “Xcelsius name will never die” it is clear that SAP is moving forward with it in an effort to consolidate their Crystal product portfolio. If it is any consolation, SAP took it one step further to leave no rock unturned by also changing the names of long beloved products such as ‘Infoview’ to ‘BI Launchpad’ (1/10/11 Update. Correction – Web Intelligence will not be remained and hence the statement has been removed. Refer to the comments below). They even managed to gain accolade from Gartner who openly criticized SAP for their frequent name changes.

** Just for fun we had to add this video done by fellow SAPMentors Jon ERP & Dennis Howlett on this phenomenon!

What to expect in 2011?

  1. More Conferences, more coverage…
  2. More Gurus covering more topics and products …
  3. More Webinars and Collaberations …
  4. New Community aka “The Evolution” …
  5. Official launch of commercial website Benchmarkers Business Intelligence!

Mico Yuk is a 2010 SAP Mentor and the founder of the Xcelsius Guru Network and the Everything Xcelsius blog. To learn more about her, please visit our About Us page.

Nov
11

Integrating Xcelsius into Crystal Reports Series – 3 of 3

Thanks to everyone who attended the Reportapalooza “Behind the Reports” webinar yesterday!  Below is  a quick recap of where we are with the Reportapalooza competition.  The final winner will be announced on Nov 22th.

  • Challenge #1 (Done) – Winner , Mico Yuk (Check out my Coffee Consumption Calculator)
  • Challenge #2 (Done) – Winner, Mico Yuk (based on traffic sent to Report a Hero Page)
  • Challenge #3 (Done) – Winner, Brian Durning (voted best Crystal Reports Video by Community)
  • Challenge #4 (Done) – Winner, David Deitch (voted best Charity Dashboard by Community)
  • Challenge #5 (In Progress) – “Reporting Remix” (What this series of blog post is about).
  • Community Dashboard Challenge (In Progress) – Voting end tomorrow Nov 12th for your favorite community dashboard.
  • Experts Webinar- ”Behind the Reports” (Recording should be available soon) – You don’t want to miss the important tips and answered questions by the experts!

Now for a quick recap of the last 2 posts:

  • Part 1 – I went over some Q&A on what it would take on a high level to embed your Xcelsius charts and maps into a Crystal Report, as well as some pros and cons of both.
  • Part 2 – I went over how to set up your map in Xcelsius so that it can be consumed by Crystal Reports.  I used Google Maps (compliments of Centigon Solutions) for this example as it much more robust than the out box maps in Xcelsius.
  • Part 3 (the last one) – I am going to show you the  step-by-step process on how to embed your Xcelsius .swf file into your Crystal Reports.

6 Simple Steps to embed your Xcelsius .swf file into your Crystal Report!

1. Open Crystal Reports 2008 -> Click on blue icon to Embed Flash file

2. The Google Map should appear in your dashboard

3. Right click on the Google Map -> Click ‘Flash Data Expert’ to bind the Crystal Report Data

4. Drag the Label field, in this case ‘Sheet1_.Label’ into the 2nd row in the ‘Insert Row Labels’ section

5. Drag the Address field, in this case ‘Lat,Long’ into the 1st row in the ‘Insert Row Labels’ section -> Select ‘OK’. (Note: The map is now connected, so you can see the heat map data display in the preview.)

6. Voila! Your data and your map now appears in your Crystal Report.

As a BONUS, I attached the files that I used for the series.  Click here to download.

Again, just a quick reminder to cast your final votes by tomorrow (11/12) on the 3 dashboards that were submitted by the community to show your support.

Mico Yuk is a 2010 SAP Mentor and the founder of the Xcelsius Guru Network and the Everything Xcelsius blog. To learn more about her, please visit our About Us page

Nov
9

Integrating Xcelsius into Crystal Reports Series – 2 of 3

As usual, before getting started I want to provide a quick recap of where we are with the Reportapalooza competition. This is the last week of voting before the final winner is announced on Nov 22th!

  • Challenge #1 (Done) – Winner , Mico Yuk (Check out my Coffee Consumption Calculator)
  • Challenge #2 (Done) – Winner, Mico Yuk (based on traffic sent to Report a Hero Page)
  • Challenge #3 (Done) – Winner, Brian Durning (voted best Crystal Reports Video by Community)
  • Challenge #4 (Done) – Winner, David Deitch (voted best Charity Dashboard by Community)
  • Challenge #5 (In Progress)What this series of blog post is about.
  • Community Dashboard Challenge (In Progress) – Vote until Nov 12th, 2010 for your favorite community dashboard.

In Part 1 of this series I went over some Q&A on what it would take to embed your Xcelsius visualization (in this case a map) into your Crystal Report, as well as some pros and cons.   In Part 2 I am going to cover how to set up your map in Xcelsius so that it can be consumed by Crystal Reports.  For this example we will be using Google Maps (compliments of Centigon Solutions) as it much more robust than the out of box maps in Xcelsius.

5 Simple Step to getting your Xcelsius (aka #SCDD) model ready!

1.       Install Google Maps Plug-in for Xcelsius (more details on how to do this here)

2.       Add the  GMaps Plugin to your Xcelsius dashboard

3. Configure your Excel spreadsheet to hold 2 columns of data for the Google Map: 1) Map Address 2) Map Labels

4.       Go to Data Connections in Xcelsius -> Add the ‘Crystal Reports Data Consumer’ Connection


5.       Configure the ‘Crystal Reports Data Consumer’ Connection so that the ‘Row Headers’ are bound to the  Excel cell area you created in Step #3

In Part 3 I will focus on the final step:  Bringing your Xcelsius Map into Crystal Reports.

One last thing, please don’t forget to cast your votes on the 3 dashboards that were submitted by the community to show your support.

Mico Yuk is a 2010 SAP Mentor and the founder of the Xcelsius Guru Network and the Everything Xcelsius blog. To learn more about her, please visit our About Us page.

Oct
29

Integrating Xcelsius into Crystal Reports Series – 1 of 3

Before getting started, I want to provide a quick update on the Reportapalooza competition:

Unfortunately, I fell a bit behind while attending 2 SAP Conferences back to back this month.  Sorry if I let anyone down but I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support.  I also want to give a huge CONGRATS to our current leader David Deitch who is an Xcelsius beginner turned Guru in this competition!

Now to Challenge #5.  Labeled the ‘Report Remix’ challenge, I am tasked with learning more about Crystal Reports 2008 and sharing it with YOU the community, hence the ‘remix’ which is to take you on the journey with me of learning a new Crystal product :) .  Below is my official public statement:

So let’s get started with a few simple questions?

Q. How can you integrate Xcelsius flash files into your Crystal Reports?

A. It’s a 2 step process. You first have to configure the Crystal Reports Data Consumer connection in Xcelsius (seen below) and then use the .swf button in Crystal Reports to embed the Xcelsius flash file. (More details on how to setup each will be provided in the next article)

Q. What are the Pros and Cons?

A. Pros – It is no secret that Xcelsius’ ability to handle large amounts of data is VERY limited. By embedding your Xcelsius flash file into Crystal Reports you get to leverage the power of the Crystal engine while utilizing the beautiful graphics in Xcelsius. It’s like having the best of both worlds.  In fact, in my next blog posts I am going to show how to integrate a map in Xcelsius into a Crystal Report.

A. Cons – If your not as familiar with Xcelsius you may have some issues using the ‘Crystal Reports Data Consumer’ connection. It could use some fine tuning (note to the  Product Team :) )

One more thing! This is your last week to submit your dashboards to the community Reportapalooza competition.  Hope you read this far down,  because if you have something worth seeing I am opening the door to review any entries that you send via email to gurus at everythingxcelsius.com and provide feedback if sent by 10/31 @ 12am EST.

Mico Yuk is a 2010 SAP Mentor and the founder of the Xcelsius Guru Network and the Everything Xcelsius blog. To learn more about her, please visit our About Us page.

Sep
21

Reportapalooza Challenge Check in!

And Reportapalooza continues! Two weeks ago I wrote my first blog post about this exciting SAP BusinessObjects virtual competition. Since then, THANKS to YOU, I won Challenge #1 with my Coffee Consumption Calculator. I can’t thank everyone enough for the overwhelming support and feedback that I received! I am cooking something up in the form of a free giveaway, to show my appreciation, once the competition ends for all of you.

The bad news? I did not fare as well in Challenge #3, “Lessons from a Reporting Maestro”, but a huge CONGRATS to the winner Brian Durning (ASUG Crystal Reports SIG Chair). He did an awesome job, including, providing some direction on my beginner video (along with my colleague and Crystal Reports Guru, Mike Garrett).

So what’s next? Below is a quick review of the past and upcoming Reportapalooza events:

So what’s Challenge #2? Many folks have asked me about getting involved with Reportapalooza not realizing that this is exactly what the “Report Hero” challenge is all about. It’s simple, submit your heroic experience with SAP Crystal Reports or Dashboards by October 8th, 2010, and you may become the next superstar! Not only can you register to win prizes, (I was shocked to see that 3 of my twitter friends won $25 ITunes gift cards for Challenge #1!) but if chosen, your story will be turned into a collectible music poster and highlighted in the competition and community.

My advice? Don’t walk, Run to submit your story NOW. If you are an SAP BusinessObjects report writer/developer or consumer this is a no brainer! It takes 5 minutes to submit your short story, so do it now! In addition, we will feature the winning story on our blog as well.

Thanks again for all the great support!!

Mico Yuk is a 2010 SAP Mentor and the founder of the Xcelsius Guru Network and the Everything Xcelsius blog. To learn more about her, please visit our About Us page.