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This was a webcast given by Visual BI on their latest extensions late last month.

Look at how deliver advanced visualizations using Design Studio with their extensions as an example

Figure 1: Source: Visual BI

Figure 1 covers the add-ons. What are the extensions?  They are add-ons to Design Studio, certified by SAP.

They work with Design Studio 1.4 or higher and integrate with BI platform.  The extensions include more than 40 chart types, with additional mapping capability, to close gaps in Design Studio to giveyou more visualization capabilities to quickly turn around what business users are looking for

Components are developed for developer productivity, to create a menu structure, list box with alerting capability, components that don’t need scripting so you can focus on visualization without scripting

Figure 2: Source: Visual BI

What are some of the key features that the extensions deliver?

You don’t have to figure out style sheet classes or scripting, they are already embedded in component

There is a table component that has the look and feel instead of finding the style sheet classes (which have changed between on version and the other)

Mobile front – component to create different look and feel for devices and device sizes.  Instead of one look and feel for desktop, tablet, iPhone – do have components with work with devices

Figure 3: Source: Visual BI

More than 40 chart types come with the extensions

Give you a column/pie charts with additional charts; will also offer charts that do not come out of the box with DS – Marimekko, box plot, define axis types

Allow you to assign permanent colors, such assign colors to certain products

Export, print, drill down to charts

Conditional formatting, drilldown for hierarchies, reuse data sources for multiple charts to keep the number of data sources down

Chart selector so business user can change chart types on the fly

Figure 4: Source: Visual BI

In-place expand and collapse, the labels move with the hierarchy and you can see the hierarchy

No scripting

Figure 5: Source: Visual BI

Trendlines are offered, along with error bars

Figure 6: Source: Visual BI

Container to handle different chart types without scripting

Developer decides which chart types are available

Figure 7: Source Visual BI

You can develop a theme code

Identical scaling; take a chart, assign to a group, these charts will always be on an identical scale; allows users to compare values

Figure 8: Source: Visual BI

Create conditional formatting based on a single value

You can create formatting based on a calculation


Figure 9: Source: Visual BI

Two different types of maps are offered

400 maps are added out of the box – regional maps – starting from world map, countries, to California showing areas inside the state

You don’t have to create a definition, Europe or the countries

Have ability to go to longitude and latitude values and marker values shown in Figur e9

Inside the maps, you can perform drilldowns

No scripting needed

Maps integrate with BusinessObjects systems; map is a start for an analytical workflow

Figure 10: Source: Visual BI

FIPS code support is offered as shown in Figure 10

Figure 11: Source: Visual BI

The map can take the context and pass it over to another report in your BusinessObjects system

The business user can treat the map as a starting point for overall workflow

Figure 12: Source: Visual BI

No notes but this feature is a common question here on SCN

Figure 13: Source: Visual BI

Draw a circle or box around those items as a filter

Figure 14: Source: Visual BI

Read GeoJSON file, map attributes defined, to the data in DS, plot custom areas and regions on the map and decide on which measures to visualize

Filters & Selectors

Figure 15: Source: Visual BI

Filters that go beyond a basic workflow

Listbox and a combo box; SAP has this too

VBX Benefit is listbox and combo box has no scripting to feed data, combined with conditional formatting; filter those items that are critical

Figure 16: Source: Visual BI

BusinessObjects Explorer had an exploration workflow, now this is provided in the VBX extension

It works in a cascading fashion

Figure 17: Source: Visual BI

Slider component takes various forms; bottom left with static information with a range

On the right side switching between products

The top shows slider component with conditional formatting where overall moving the sliding – to a good area

Figure 18: Source: Visual BI

List box and combo box with features such as search

On the fly, the user can decide to see key, text or both

Capability to provide alerting

Figure 19: Source: Visual BI

Define how data should be filtered

Provide true hierarchy filtering from BW and HANA


Figure 20: Source: Visual BI

Combine items that do not focus on visualization aspects but need as part of the project

Able to export PowerPoint, Word, PDF, send an e-mail

Figure 21: Source: Visual BI

Table component; SAP does give crosstab, why create table component

  • Sort the table like Excel – sort by column 4 without sorting others
  • Resize the column
  • Interactive filtering
  • Conditional formatting
  • Freeze header row
  • Supports mobile touch instead of swiping

Figure 22: Source: Visual BI

Configure dashboard and create multiple layouts in a single Design Studio project

Which components visible, and which placed where

Different layouts, mobile or desktop or both

Do we have to create different projects for iPhone, tablet or desktop – that question is not there as you can do it in a single project

Figure 23: Source: Visual BI

Items for quick prototyping, leverage HTML, JavaScript, and ability to use spreadsheet as a data source

Local Excel or on BI platform or Google Sheets and use them in production

KPI tile – header, footer, chart, alert, icons

What-if Scenario – take data you have and decide change values using percentages and not change the actual data in source system, just show you the impact of the scenario

Planned Functionality

Next 2-4 months

Figure 24: Source: Visual BI

Figure 24 is an overall roadmap (subject to change)

Figure 25: Source: Visual BI

Waffle charts are planned (square pie chart) – 10 by 10 chart, focusing on providing key metrics as a percentage value – “how full glass is” – see top right of Figure 25

Calendar heat map – daily weekly monthly

Add gauges to what they have – show up to 3 values – 2 data values and a trend indication

Figure 26: Source: Visual BI

Conditional formatting for maps is planned

Marker will change color – sales revenue, color code states that achieve goal

Figure 27: Source: Visual BI

Taking responsive UI to the next level; specify font re-size

Tile that allows you to define structure yourself

Figure 28: Source: Visual BI

Gantt chart is planned along with an open context menu for charts

Figure 29: Source: Visual BI

Day and week selector will be added

Capability to export large tables

Question and Answer

Q: Can this be installed on desktop without server components?

A: Yes; install to Design Studio design tool; if you want to share then install on BI platform

Q: Color palettes?

A: on the list; for maps on Q2 release; for charts part of Q3

Q: Scheduling and broadcasting offered?

A: not on the list as SAP is already working on this based on their roadmap

Q: Offline capabilities?

A: Looking at solutions

Next week

Join ASUG at ASUG Annual Conference for these sessions:




Interactive ASUG Influence: Design Studio


Tetrapak BI Reporting Strategy and Business Empowerment with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio


Road Map: SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio: The Road Ahead


On-Premise BI Versus SAP Cloud for Analytics: What’s In It for SAP Business Warehouse Customers?


Self-Service Dashboards: SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and SAP Lumira


Are You Ready to Migrate from SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards to SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio?


Unlocking the Value of SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio with Callaway Golf


All About That Base: Precision Drilling Built Scalable Analytics with SAP BusinessObjects Software


ASUG Business Intelligence Community Meet-Up


SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio Deep Dive (Advanced Topics)

If you have already registered for SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference, great! We are looking forward to seeing you there. If you have not registered, take a look at the sessions to see how they will help you and your organization now and into the future. You can also browse the ASUG Business Intelligence Community Brochure.

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