As of beginning this year, Xcelsius can run directly on SAP Netweaver BEx queries. This is a huge improvement, since it cuts out several layers of technology, without losing functionality. From an architect point of view, this is a step closer to IT heaven. The implementation and maintenance effort will reduce drastically with this new technology.
Of course, there are technical prerequisites for using this new connectivity (BW version, BO Xcelsius version, SAP frontend version and BI Consumer services). The latest versions need to be installed to get this working, but once you have that in place, it makes sense to start using Xcelsius for building dashboards.
So suppose you are a company which is using the web application designer and portal for their dashboard solution, and you consider converting these dashboards to Xcelsius. What will be your next steps?
To start with, make sure you have your licenses in place, and the latest version installed.
The next step is to start prototyping with the new tool. My suggestion would be to start copying an existing dashboard, and start exploring typical Xcelsius features from there. The benefit is that there will be only attention to the technology, and how to use this most effectively to get the message across. If you start building a new dashboard, based on new data, the risk is that the focus and effort is on data issues instead.
Xcelsius is great for visualizing information, but once you have finished with this part, you need to make sure the solution is robust and has a certain degree of flexibility. You need to think of the use of (default) variables, refresh on opening and authorization of the data. As a last technical step, you need to make sure you understand how to transport your new dashboard through the landscape and how to make the dashboard available in the portal.
In conclusion, with this new connectivity, Xcelsius is your new dashboard tool. As an approach, the advice is to start slow under the radar, using an existing dashboard and existing multiproviders for you queries to get the experience. Once the basics are right, further implementation can be done at desired pace.