Posts Tagged ‘Xcelsius 2008 Service Pack 3’


Dynamic status update of Check Box components in Xcelsius: Part 3/4

Now you see it, Now you dont!

This post demonstrates how to apply the ideas presented in Dynamic status update of Check Box components: Part2 to the dynamic selection of chart series.

One of the features introduced in Xcelsius 2008 SP3 was a dynamic series selection in charts.This long awaited addition addresses an old request for the ability to hide/show a chart series at run-time.

Now, all we need to do to set it up is to go to Appearance section in the chart properties, enable legend on theLayout tab, check Enable Hide/Show chart Series at Run-Time check box and accept the default value of Check Box in the Interaction combo box. At run time, next to the corresponding labels in the chart legend, we’ll get the check boxes that govern the display status of the chart series as shown in the following example of charting traffic trends by geo region.

This approach is quick and intuitive. It’s a big step forward and in many cases will serve its purpose. But there is still room for improvement. One of the limitations is an inability to reset all check boxes (or all in a group) at once. So, the traditional solution for toggling a display of chart series based on Check Box components and Excel logic still takes its place and can be enhanced with the methods explained in details in (Dynamic status update of Check Box components: Part2). The following model shows how to apply such a technique to the previous Hide/Show chart Series example.

All custom push buttons shown above the chart use the Status range (cells H3:H6) as the destination. The raw data is in the range P3:U6.

The range J2:N6 is the data source for the chart. Formulae in the range J2:N6 calculate values for the chart series. When the values in the Status range are 0s, the formulae in the corresponding rows in the range J2:N6 return empty strings and series that are based on those rows are not displayed. And when the values in the Status range are 1s, the formulae in the range J2:N6 return the raw data values and the display status of the chart series gets toggled.

Custom push buttons are created as described in Customizing a Push Button component in Xcelsius.

The buttons support All, Invert and None types of selection. The buttons serve to select only series in the corresponding groups (USA and Canada in this example). The check boxes are also designed as custom push buttons and used for changing the display status of the chart series for individual regions (e.g. just Portland or Seattle and Portland).

Select None functionally is just one click less than a combination of All and Invert selections. So, depending on our intentions, we can save an extra click for the user by adding this button, or exclude it from the design to save some space on the canvas and deal with fewer components. Yet another option, as a compromise between two, is to stack the All and None buttons and toggle their dynamic visibility.

With such an implementation, after clicking the All button it will become invisible, and the None button will be displayed instead on the same spot. In turn, clicking the None button will hide it and make All button available for the next logical action. Using this option might need some integration with the Invert button functionality.

The example in this post demonstrates one of the practical applications of the dynamic check box status update in Xcelsius and can be extended to the designs that support more complex rules for simultaneous selections of logically grouped items.

Leonid Koyfman is a BI professional with over 10 years of experience in a database design and development and in delivering reporting solutions using enterprise reporting technologies. He is a big Xcelsius enthusiast passionate about dashboard design and other kinds of data visualization. In his leisure time Leonid enjoys solving mental puzzles and hiking in the Bay Area with his family.


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.


Crystal Dashboard and Presentation Design (Xcelsius 2008) Fix Pack 3.2 (FP3.2) Documentation Available!

As promised, we are letting you know first that the Crystal Dashboard and Presentation Design (Xcelsius 2008) Fix Pack 3.2 (FP3.2) Documentation is available to explore. There are two different documents available:

  1. SAP BusinessObjects Xcelsius 2008 Fix Pack 3.2 (FP3.2) What’s Fixed
  2. SAP BusinessObjects Xcelsius 2008 Fix Pack 3.2 (FP3.2) Release Notes2

We will follow up with another post, once we finalize our evaluation!! Have a great weekend!


FREE Advanced Xcelsius Tips and Tricks Webinar with giveaways!

Join the Xcelsius Gurus Mico Yuk and Mike Alexander, Author, Crystal Xcelsius for Dummies, for a FREE 30 minutes webinar on advanced Xcelsius data management and visualization tips and tricks on Thursday, March 4, 2010, from 1-1:30pm. We only have 100 seats available, so please register today!

Below is the webinar agenda for your reference:

  1. Introductions (Mico)
  2. Data management Tricks (Mike)
    • Copying Formulas from Xcelsius to Excel
    • Dynamcially Resetting Controls to a Default
  3. Visualization Tricks (Mike)
    • Creating Web Style Menus
    • Creating a Pin-Cushion Chart (Simulating Drop Lines in Xcelsius)
  4. Discuss Upcoming Training in March (Mico)
  5. Q&A (Mico)

This webinar is a preview to our Advanced Xcelsius Developer Workshop on March 24-25, 2010, in Dallas, TX. During the webinar we will be offering the following:

  1. Free! Seat Giveaway
  2. Discounted sign ups until 12am EST that day for $949/person instead of $1099/person
  3. More info on what will be covered

For more information on the workshop on March 24-25, 2010, please visit

We only have 100 spaces available for this FREE webinar, so please reserve yours today! Click here to register!


Overview of Xcelsius 2008 SP3 – Part II (Videos)

Overview of Xcelsius Service Pack 3Happy New Year. Well, it’s January, so we can still exchange wishes. As you all know, towards the end of 2009, SAP released Service Pack 3 for Xcelsius 2008. I started a video series to show you what’s new in the latest service pack. This is a 2 part series. In part I, I showed you how to download and install the service pack. I also talked about the new components. As promised, here is part II. In these videos I talk about the new features and also performance enhancements. I tried to squeeze it into a single video, but I couldn’t and since I can only upload a 10min or less video on YouTube, I split it into two. So part II comprises of 2 videos. Don’t forget to watch both of them to get a complete overview. I tried to do my best to cover all the new features, if I had missed something, please feel free to use the comments section to shout it out. Watch the videos after the jump.

Part II Video 1

Part II Video 2

Kalyan Verma is a BI consultant, freelance Xcelsius Developer and a Web Blogger. He is based out of Boston, MA and his technology interests range from BI to Visual Data Analysis. Visit our Gurus page for more info.


Overview of Xcelsius 2008 SP3 – Part I (Video)

Xcelsius Service Pack 3I know it’s not a breaking news anymore that Xcelsius SP3 is out there to download. However, I tried to put together a video post on the same. I’m sure by now many of you must have already downloaded the new SP3 and playing with the new and exciting features and components like a little kid who just got his/her Christmas gift. Trust me, I did the same. This is a 2 part video post series. Part I is all about Downloading, Installing and the New Components. Part 2 is all about the new features. I encourage you all to subscribe to our RSS feed so that you don’t miss out on Part 2 video.

Apart from showing how to Download, Install and talking about the new components, I also quickly demonstrated how to use them. Beginners might find it a little hard to follow. Please note that this is just to introduce the components. We will be doing a series of Text and Video posts in the near future to demonstrate the full functionality of the new components.

Kalyan Verma is a BI consultant, freelance Xcelsius Developer and a Web Blogger. He is based out of Boston, MA and his technology interests range from BI to Visual Data Analysis. Visit our Gurus page for more info.


Top 10 Xcelsius 2008 SP3 Enhancements!

BusinessObjects’ release of Xcelsius 2008 SP3 is a great step forward for customers to benefit from new charting, performance enhancements, and other capabilities that make dashboard development easier. For fellow Xcelsius customers and developers who have been patiently waiting for new functionality, this release is the one we have been waiting for.

Here are my top 10 features to help you jumpstart your exploration of new Xcelsius SP3 enhancements:

  1. Performance

    With a commitment to improve performance, there is a new option to optimize Excel performance in addition to promises of improvements to other previous performance concerns both inside of the Xcelsius design environment and runtime SWF files.

  2. Bullet charts

    A Steven Few inspired component set, the Bullet chart provides a new visualization tool for Xcelsius developers who want to maximize screen real estate while communicating more data.Bullet Chart

  3. Sparklines

    Sparklines are the second new charting edition to Xcelsius that also provide significant value for organizations who want to leverage the popular data visualization control within Xcelsius. Previously only attained with add-on components, this functionality comes packaged with Xcelsius.sparkline

  4. Selector Enhancements

    In Xcelsius, staging data for visualization has long contributed to the learning curve required for building excellent dashboards. As a step forward to make selector configuration easier, the Xcelsius team has exposed new global properties for selectors. Hopefully this is only the first step to seeing significant improvements to selectors since this is the most powerful yet difficult concept to learn in Xcelsius.

    • No selection- Sometimes a developer does not want a selector to trigger until it is clicked on. While this request is simple in concept, this functionality was not available until now. For the casual Xcelsius developer this is not a major feature until it becomes a requirement, but those fellow developers who have experienced this limitation will appreciate this feature.
    • Multi-selection- Another developer-centric feature, multi-selection capabilities will enable a dashboard to trigger multiple events which was previously accomplished with workarounds (Excel logic and hidden selectors). The first time you open a standard selector, developers will noticed a revised property sheet UI that is extremely easy to pick up using previous Xcelsius experience.
  5. Chart Enhancements

    Chart Enhancements

    • Sorting- The chart sorting requirements traditionally fulfilled with Excel logic or add-on components are now fulfilled for charts using a new sort behavior. Accessible in the chart behavior tab during design time, this functionality is extremely valuable when data is not loaded into a dashboard pre-sorted.
    • Labeling- As one of the most commonly requested features for Xcelsius, visible chart labels is now available simply by checking a box in the chart appearance tab under labels. Enable value and series label functionality and format them according to your design specifications.
  6. Chart slider

    To fill in IMT time slider capabilities previously available in BusinessObjects performance manager, developers can extend flexibility for end users to focus on a specific range within a time series using a dual slider. Built directly into the Xcelsius chart components, you can easily enable this functionality in the behavior tab.
    Chart Slider

  7. Bindable Colors

    As one of my personal favorites, you can now bind any color to the spreadsheet using a simple color binding option.
    Bind Colors

  8. Scorecard

    For any existing Xcelsius developers who have struggled aligning icons or hidden selectors, a real scorecard component will be a breath of fresh air, making it a relatively simple process  for configuring alert indicators within a vertical table. I can instantly see a lot of opportunities to expand on this component, so I am interested to hear the community use cases for this new component.

  9. Canvas Container Component

    This is a nice component for new Xcelsius developers who want to group components without learning dynamic visibility. This component is available with the other container components.

  10. New Gauge properties

    Gauges have long been criticized for consuming a large volume of screen real estate without displaying enough information within the control. For customers who insist on using these controls, Xcelsius offers additional capabilities previously available in BusinessObjects performance manager. Bind multiple values to a single gauge and track them as marker indicators or additional needles. From the second you open the gauge property sheet, you can easily take advantage of these new features using the same paradigm you have always used.

    Dial and Container

Please download SP3 directly from SAP Software Download Site.

Ryan Goodman is the Founder of Centigon Solutions, an SAP® software solution partner that is strategically focused on developing add-on products for use with Xcelsius®. To learn more about him, please visit our new Gurus page