Posts Tagged ‘SAP’


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 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.


SAP BI 4.0 and Xcelsius 2008 Events and Resources

Hi Everyone,

With all the anticipation and ramp up surrounding the release of the new SAP BI 4.0 Suite, I would like to report on several new and exciting events and resources that you should not miss. I will also mention some exciting Xcelsius 2008 news that we announced yesterday on twitter!

Let’s begin with SAP BI 4.0:

SAP BI 4.0

Webinar Alert: BI 4.0: Did you think about your upgrade?

Please join David Francois Gonzalez with the SAP Technology RIG Americas as he hosts the webinar titled BI 4.0 Did you think about your upgrade?

DATE: Wednesday, 15 December 2010
START TIME: 8:00 a.m. PT, 10:00 a.m. CT, 11:00 a.m. ET, 5:00 p.m. CET
PRESENTER: David Francois Gonzalez

For more information and to register for this webinar, please click here.

Resources: SAP BI Suite ELearning Catalog

SAP is now offering official product tutorials to assist in learning the new SAP BusinessObjects suite of products. Below is the list of products with available interactive and animated tutorials online. For more information on what’s available, please click here.

  • SAP Crystal Reports 2011
  • SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise
  • SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards
  • SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence
  • SAP BusinessObjects Explorer
  • SAP BusinessObjects Information Design Tool
  • SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence platform
  • SAP BusinessObjects Analysis (coming in Q1)

Xcelsius 2008

Today Matt Lloyd announced the release of the Xcelsius 2008 Fix Pack 3.4 (FP3.4) with support for Windows 7 on the SCN Forum.

The Fix Pack must be applied to Crystal Dashboard and Presentation Design (Xcelsius 2008) SP3 (version:, FP3.1, FP3.2, or FP3.3. If you don’t already have it installed, please click here. To proceed with your FP3.4 download, please click here.

Please be aware…there are two different versions available to download:

  1. The Xcelsius Present 2008 Fix Pack 3.4 patch is for Xcelsius 2008 SP3 Present only
  2. The Xcelsius Enterprise 2008 Fix Pack 3.4 patch is both for Xcelsius 2008 SP3 Engage and Enterprise.

After FP3.4 is applied, the version number should change to version:

The following official documentation is now available on the SAP help portal for your reference:

For more information and the official announcement, please click here.

Our goal is always to provide you with all the latest news and events on SAP BusinessObjects, so please stay tuned for more. You can also follow us on one of our other profiles:

Soo Tang Yuk is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more about her, please visit the About Us page.


Documentation Available for Xcelsius 2008 Fix Pack 3.3 (FP3.3) with support for Windows 7

We are following up to our post earlier this week with documentation for Crystal Dashboard and Presentation Design (Xcelsius 2008 with support for Windows 7) Fix Pack 3.3 (FP3.3). There are two different documents available:

  1. SAP BusinessObjects Xcelsius 2008 Fix Pack 3.3 (FP3.3) What’s Fixed
  2. SAP BusinessObjects Xcelsius 2008 Fix Pack 3.3 (FP3.3) Release Notes

We look forward to receiving feedback on this new Fix Pack.  Have a great weekend!

Soo Tang Yuk is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more about her, please visit the About Us page.


NEWS ALERT! Xcelsius 2008 FP3.3 is out (with support for Windows 7)

Hi Everyone,

Last week we announced the release of Crystal Dashboard and Presentation Design (Xcelsius 2008) Fix Pack 3.3 (FP3.3) on twitter and wanted to follow up with an official post. (See the official post by Matt Lloyd here on the SCN Forums) The Fix Pack must be applied to Crystal Dashboard and Presentation Design (Xcelsius 2008) SP3 (version:, FP3.1 or FP3.2. If you don’t already have it installed, please click here.

To download FP3.3 now, click here. Please be aware…there are two different versions available to download:

  1. The Xcelsius Present 2008 Fix Pack 3.3 patch is for Xcelsius 2008 SP3 Present only
  2. The Xcelsius Enterprise 2008 Fix Pack 3.3 patch is both for Xcelsius 2008 SP3 Engage and Enterprise.

After FP3.3 is applied, the version number should change to version:

The documentation is delayed, but will be available shortly from the SAP help portal. All your Crystal Dashboard and Presentation Design (Xcelsius) guides can be found by visiting the SAP BusinessObjects Solution Portfolio Knowledge Center. As soon as the documentation is available, we will know, so YOU will know as well!  STAY TUNED!!

Want to keep up with all the latest Xcelsius news, follow us on:

Soo Tang Yuk is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more about her, please visit the About Us page.


ASUG SBOUC Must Attend Xcelsius Sessions

Hi Folks,

Quick blog post, live from Orlando, while we’re getting ready for the ASUG BusinessObjects conference, which starts tomorrow!

I finally got the chance to put my agenda together and below are a list of sessions (sorted by day) that are must attend for all fellow Xcelsius gazelles.  (NOTE: Items highlighted in BLUE are extra sessions that I think every Xcelsius fan should attend.)

Tuesday, Oct 5th, 2010

  1. 9:15 AM-10:15 AM: Getting Smart with Xcelsius (Mark Hudson from
  2. 10:30 AM-11:30 AM: Xcelsius + Google Maps + 15 Minutes: A Coding Must-See (Ryan Goodman from Centigon Solutions)
  3. 10:30 AM-11:30 AM: Dashboarding: Modular vs. Composite vs. Custom (Matt Hawkins from Kingfisher)
  4. 1:30 PM-2:30 PM: Ten Key Xcelsius Dashboard Design Patterns (Loren Abdulezer author Xcelsius 2008)
  5. 2:45 PM-3:45 PM: Best Xcelsius Business Dashboards – Case Studies (Paul Grill from Infosol)
  6. 4:00 PM-5:00 PM: Influence Council – Dashboarding and Visualization (Scott Leaver from SAP|Bruce Novell chair of Influence Council)
  7. 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM: Xcelsius Reception (RSVP Required)

Wednesday, Oct 6th, 2010

  1. 10:30 AM-11:30 AM Taking BI Mobile (Emily Mui from SAP Xcelsius Team)
  2. 1:30 PM-2:30 PM Best Practices for BI Success (Cindi Howson, reknownd BI Author)
  3. 2:45 PM-3:45 PM Visualization for Experts (Donald MacCormick from Antivia)
  4. 2:45 PM-3:45 PM Introducing SAP Crystal Solutions (Blair Wheadon SAP Crystal Team)
  5. 4:00 PM-5:00 PM Jason Rose and George Mathew present “The Future of SAP BusinessObjects Analytics”
  6. 5:45 PM-6:00 PM Are Dashboards the right choice for your organization? – Dashboarding SIG Members

Thursday, Oct 7th, 2010

  1. 8:00 AM-9:00 AM True Confessions of an Xcelsius Guru (Scott Strool from Everything Xcelsius / Benchmarkers Business Intelligence)
  2. 9:15 AM-10:15 AM Tour of SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise XI 4.0 (Coy Yonce, Crystal Report Product Manager)
  3. 11:45 AM-12:45 PM Dashboard Design 2011 (Xcelsius) Release New Features (David Dalley |Donna Dong)

There are a ton of other exciting sessions not mentioned here, but at least this will give the Xcelsius folks a head start. See you there!

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.


How ASUG Won Me Over

As a SAP BusinessObjects “legacy customer” why should I pay to join ASUG, a predominantly SAP organization? This is perhaps the million dollar question and one that many SAP BusinessObjects folks have been asking themselves for the last 2 years, post the SAP acquisition. I was also in the same boat, but instead of speculating, I was blessed enough to connect to some key folks who changed my entire perspective and I want to share my experience with you. (Note: Anything that I state here is not for the purpose of advertising or discrediting ASUG.  It is simply based on my actual experiences and personal thoughts.)

So you can easily follow my journey through ASUG, I am going to summarize what I call ‘the how ASUG won me over timeline’, one person at a time.

  • (May 2010) ASUG Dashboarding SIG Volunteer – I was invited to join earlier this year by the SIG’s chair, my former client and colleague, Gabe Orthous, from McKesson. While the progress with this SIG has been fairly slow, considering the group has only met about twice to date so far, I was surprised to find tenured members, such as Paul Grill of Infosol, whose outspoken persona always shines light on the “real issues”.  The joint webinar I conducted with Ryan Goodman in August is an example of the SIG’s effort to provide quality content to its few hundred members (most of which are from the SAP side).
  • (July 2010) ASUG Atlanta Chapter – While having lunch with Gabe and another fellow ASUG Dashboard SIG volunteer, Durgesh Das, I then met Rajeev Kapur (a very friendly, but influential BI leader from Newell Rubbermaid). Tasked with managing both the SAP and BusinessObjects suite in his own environment, Rajeev happened to also be the head of the ASUG Atlanta chapter.  He is responsible for organizing  the local Atlanta ASUG Chapter events that are attended by almost 300 customers and partners. Expressing the need to get more BOE folks to these events, though skeptical, I attended the first on Sept 17th at the COKE Enterprise with my buddy Durgesh (I documented my entire experience via twitter with photos). In a nutshell, there were 4 segments of sessions from 9-5pm and each segment contained a BusinessObjects session that was not only well attended, but quite informative.  I learned about RoamBI, Crystal Reports integration with Xcelsius, and the BusinessObjects Roadmap. Did I forget to mention, that as a BOE vendor, there was not a shortage of SAP customers who needed help with their BOE implementations? So honestly, I left there wondering, how can I possibly get more BOE folks to see what I saw?  The best was yet to come!
  • (Sept 2010) Conversation with ASUG CEO Bridgette Chambers – Triggered by some feedback from the webinar I conducted with Ryan Goodman, (which I will not discuss here due to its irrelevance) I was then contacted by ASUG’s very own CEO, Bridgette Chambers. Like many of you, I had read about her new role as the CEO of ASUG last year, but when her secretary called to set up a call with me, I thought, “OK, maybe these guys are serious about getting BOE folks on board!” Without going into full details of the entire conversation, what stood out to me the most was her absolute focus and determination to win over the BOE community. It honestly left me wondering, “With this type of leadership at the top, why does it seem that ASUG has failed to capture the attention of the BOE community?” Simple answer. They did not choose a BIG ENOUGH SHOVEL to penetrate the heap known as the BOE legacy customers.

Conclusion - At this point, however, I am convinced that there is tremendous value in ASUG, but just unsure how to relay this to our BOE community. I think most will agree, that ASUG did a poor job of transitioning the GBN members when they took over which left the BusinessObjects folks wandering out there, turned off by member fees, a bad ASUG website, a confusing strategy to bring them board, and no visibility into the true value of joining this ‘seemingly’ SAP vested organization.

So my take? If you are a customer the membership is free until the end of the year. Please check it out. I’ve not only gained great friendships and associates, but also new customers and lots of new friends to network with and to exchange knowledge. And because the BOE community is so small, there is a lot of room to really influence what ASUG does. Not to mention, the SAP folks I met have such a deep interest in BusinessObjects. There is no excuse that one will hear about SAP modules all day. I sure did not! I did however, learn a lot about how BusinessObjects work on top of SAP. So I definitely encourage you to join me on this journey folks. See you next week in Orlando!

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.


Xcelsius Party RSVP Begins

Hi Everyone,

We are excited to formally announce the SAP Xcelsius Community Party, hosted by the Xcelsius Gurus, at the SAP BusinessObjects User Conference in Orlando, FL, on October 5th at 7pm in the Oceanic 3, Lobby Level.

This invitation-only event promises to be much bigger and better than last year, with a chance to network with Xcelsius users, experts, and other folks from the BusinessObjects community. To RSVP, please send an email with ‘RSVP’ in the  subject line, to by October 1st.

This year we also want to encourage you to submit your best stories and examples of Xcelsius, to be judged by your colleagues and peers within the community. All submissions should be sent to emily.mui@sap, no later than October 3rd.

For more details about the party and to view the full invite, please click here: SBOUC 2010 Xcelsius Party Invite.

We are super excited about this event and hope to see everyone there.

Soo Tang Yuk is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more about her, please visit the About Us page.


Break Boundaries with Custom Components

A commonly requested feature in SCDD custom components (formerly Xcelsius 2008) is the ability to share data between custom components, across separate SWF files. Usually, developers turn to Flash Vars or other methods of workaround, which present limitations and additional work. Fortunately, there is another more streamlined approach if you wish to share data between 2 SCDD swf’s. This method comes with a couple of caveats, the first being that the swf’s need to be loaded via the SCDD SWF Loader component, and second, that the 2 SWF’s share the same Application Domain (the “This” option on the SCDD SWF Loader). If you can live with these 2 requirements, this can be a powerful approach for passing large volumes of data from component-to-component while completely bypassing the Excel model, if desired.

How it’s done

To accomplish component-to-component communication across swf’s is fairly straight forward. All you need is a ModelLocator-type singleton that both component’s share data through. The components don’t even need to be the same, they just need to refer to the same ModelLocator class and corresponding ModelLocator variables in order to share data. You can see how this is done by downloading the sample source code.

Next week, we’ll explore the possibilities of sharing data globally between swf’s using this approach. Globally, meaning that any SCDD component can access the data exposed by our custom component that leverages the ModelLocator.

Evan DeLodder is a Senior Software Engineer focused on the development and application of cutting edge Rich Internet Application technologies in the Business Intelligence space. To learn more about him, please visit our Gurus page.


Reportapalooza Challenge One Results!

Hi Folks,

As winner of Challenge #1, and on behalf of not just myself but the other 4 experts, I just want to say THANKS to everyone for your ongoing support and participation in this Reportapalooza competition. It’s really YOU the community, (the partners, customers, fellow reporters)… who make this exciting for us!

I can’t even express in this message what fun it is working with such fine fellow experts. It’s incredible the amount of expertise we have in this competition and I am just humbled to be a part of such an elite cast. It’s quite a learning experience for me and the support from the fellow experts, Jamie Oswald, David Deitch, Brian Durning and, Jim Brogden has been unparalleled.

As you can see, we all put in a great deal of time and work so that you would be happy with our entries and based on the feedback, we succeeded. We look forward to putting out more exciting dashboards and videos in the next few weeks so continue to flood us with your input.

It’s only just begun so let’s get the Fall kicked off. We are ready for Challenge #2! :-)

I originally posted this on SAP Crystal Reports and Dashboard Design Facebook Fanpage, but wanted to extend my thanks here as well…

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


Introducing Reportapalooza – SAP 1st Virtual Reality Show!

If you are on twitter following the @XcelsiusGurus you’ve probably heard the new buzz word #Reportapalooza, SAP’s new virtual reality show where 5 Crystal Reports / Xcelsius experts will compete for prizes. The cool part?  All challenges will be judged by YOU, yes YOU the community who will also have the chance to participate and win fun prizes.  Think ‘American Idol’ except instead of singing we are building reports. Oh yeah,  no one gets voted off, points are tallied each week and at the end of the competition.

Talk about neat?  Outside of being excited that SAP is entering THIS century with their marketing efforts :) take a quick peek at the impressive TOP 5 EXPERT LIST below which you can also follow on twitter here.

  1. Mico Yuk – yes that’s me, so hopefully you are somewhat biased in your voting LOL! SAP 2010 Mentor, Founder of this blog / Xcelsius Gurus Network, Xcelsius fanatic/blogger
  2. Jamie Oswald – fellow SAP 2010 mentor, former GBN Ambassador, long-time BOE Specialist
  3. David Deitch –   Owner of largest Linkedin Crystal Reports Group, long-time Crystal Reports Guru
  4. Jim Brodgen – SAP BOE Webi Author, Xcelsius 2010 Winter Olympics winner, long-time BOE Guru
  5. Brian Durning – ASUG Crystal Reports SIG Chair, long-time Crystal Reports Guru

The competition officially starts today so be sure to visit the site and sign up for email updates to win prizes!  I will be blogging throughout and offering some specials to our community as well. :-)

GET STARTED NOW – Vote on our first challenge poll today to pick which dashboard you want us to build and win a $25 Itunes gift card. Click here!

Here are some related articles:

  1. Official Press Release
  2. Social Media Today Article

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