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Yesterday Ian Mayor of SAP provided an Introduction to Design Studio.  The replay will be made available soon.  The slides can be found at this link.

He said the usual disclaimer applies, that anything under development is subject to change


Design Studio was released in November and is considered the “next release” of BEX Web Application Designer (WAD)  - it is a  “premium” alternative.  It is part of BusinessObjects  BI Suite. It is not just free if you have BEx (see more below). 

This is the first release, for professional content creators and designers; it is not an end-user tool

For end user dashboard creation look at BusinessObjects Explorer and Visual Intelligence

Design Studio uses HTML5, providing support for web, iPad and mobile devices

The first release focused on Next generation Web Application Designer (WAD) so supported data sources are BW/Hana

When compare to Dashboards, Design Studio is optimized for large volumes of data with multi-dimensional data

Figure 1: Source: SAP

Figure 1 shows you can publish on BI Platform, save the application to the CMS and use the system connections on the platform.

You can also use Design Studio without the BI Platform, and with one button launch in the web browser.

Templates are “skeleton apps”  to help you get started

Some targeted are to desktop, the others to mobile

You can define your own templates

Where fit in BI Suite?

When use?  How fit in with Dashboards? What is the long-term roadmap?

Figure 2: Source: SAP

Why two tools?  Which one should I go with?

Reviewing the history, Xcelsius came via BusinessObjects acquisitions and has rich visualizations

The BEx Web Application Designer provides more focus on guided analysis

SAP had to rearchitect dashboards as XCelsius is dependent on Flash and they couldn’t bring to Mobile

For BEx, SAP had to modernize user experience

Design Studio is the first iteration of HTML5 architecture

For current BI4 Dashboards SAP has introduced some mobile capability

Over the next few years SAP plans to introduce dashboard features into Design Studio – converge to one tool

Figure 3: Source: SAP

If data source is BW or Hana, Design Studio is your first choice.

How much pay for Design Studio?   Ian said if you own Dashboards (Xcelsius) licenses, you have Design Studio licenses


Version 1.0 is generally available, following a new way.  SAP “dispensed with ramp-up” as there was no ramp-up for Design Studio.

Design Studio 1.1 is planned for release in Q2 – continuing to bring in Wad features; better support for variables, exceptions, a new charting engine (next generation of charting engine on HTML5)

SAP plans to release the beta version of extensions of SDK

Design Studio 1.2 is planned for Q4 with more BEx RRI and BW-IP – and support for other data sources such as universes

Question and Answer

Q: What is new in Design Studio not in dashboard designer?

A: Design Studio is the start of next generation dashboarding architecture – easy mobility, desktop use, BW connectivity – multi dimensional cases, large volumes of data

Q: When can we expect navigation block like in wad

A: Some available now in filter panel; planned in 1.2

Q: Does it need a separate system?

A: No, the backend installs to BI4 SP5; installs as another service on APS

Design-side for building the dashboards/apps – requires a Windows PC –key requirement is IE9 for WYSIWYG uses IE9 rendering engine

Run time need browser that supports HTML5

Mobile device – HTML5 compliant browser or BI mobile

Support is on iPad only; can send OpenDoc link to any device supports HTML5

Q: Does it support BEX structures?

A: Yes

Q: Can these dashboards be placed in BI Enterprise?

A: Yes, this is how you can publish

Q: Can I publish on BI Mobile or do I need QR code

A: Yes you can publish to BI mobile; QR code is for development

Q: Any plans to add geo maps as a charting feature

A: In the plans but not before 1.2

Q: Does the iPad have to be on the same network?

A: Yes the iPad and the laptop need to be on same network

Q: Does this work with KM and comments

A: Commenting is probably not until next year

Q: does it require a client app?  BB10?

A: either mode – BI mobile or browser

Q: Universe option?

A: Today targeting meeting the new WAD – BW & hana – plan to expand to other data sources such as universes is Q4 1.2 version

Q: Design Studio connecting to Excel?

A: No; in roadmap but not supported today

Q: Where does it fit with WebI; currently using WebI to create mobile dashboards

A: “complementary to WebI” – both work in BI Mobile – depends on use case

WebI – no control over layout; Design Studio provides exact control, interactions, tuned for handling multi-dimensional data

Q: Will there be migration from WAD?

A: there will be conversion support in future releases

Version 1.1 will support mandatory BEx variables

Q: Training courses available?

A: see

Also see below

Q: Timeline for merging with Dashboards?

A: Does not see tools merging before 2014

Q: Is Zen and Design Studio the same?

A: Yes

Upcoming Events featuring Design Studio:

ASUG: March 11: Design Studio - Creating Complex Applications

BI 2013:

Lessons for preparing, deploying, and optimizing SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0  and ...Ingo Hilgefort
Expert strategies for picking the right SAP BusinessObjects BI solution for your reporting and analy...Ingo Hilgefort
Delivering interactive, data-driven BI applications and dashboards with SAP BusinessObjects Design S...Ingo Hilgefort
A technical guide to integrating SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 with SAP ERP and SAP NetWeaver BWIngo Hilgefort
SAP BusinessObjects Design StudioIngo Hilgefort

ASUG Annual Conference:

SAP BusinessObjects BI4.1 with SAP BW and SAP ERP - Everything You Need in One Day

SAP Mentor and SCN Top Contributor ingo.hilgefort is leading this hands-on workshop which includes Design Studio. 

The seminar will provide you with a hands-on experience for the following products:

Register here.

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