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SAP BO Design Studio – time to move on?

For a long time SAP BW customers have been waiting for a tool that was able to replace the Web Application Designer (WAD). Of course, there are several tools available in the BO portfolio that do parts of the WAD. Mostly with a better front-end as a result. But on the downside, not better integrated and thus usually causing additional maintenance effort.

The projects I have been working on for the last years have been able to cope with the disadvantages of the WAD’s (pdf printing, IT organization involvement needed) and thus had very little reason to start working with the BO tools. Even the WAD 3.5 version turned out to be preferable.

Now it seems that finally SAP has a successor to the WAD. And its name is SAP BO Design Studio (DS). Currently the 1.0 version is out, and what I hear the current version is still buggy, and also missing functionality. The 1.1 version is expected this summer, hopefully already a lot better. From then on, the tool will be developed further, and the message is that it will turn into a genuine WAD replacement.

My wish list for the functionality of this tool:
– Seamless integration with BEx Queries (since the WAD’s are built with queries as building blocks, customers have invested in these)
– Similar working of variables (i.e. to determine organization unit of the user, most relevant reporting period)
– Look & Feel improvement (i.e. customizable tooltips)
– Favorites functionality (creating, deleting, sharing, etc.)
– Portal integration (current WAD reports are positioned in a portal)
– Single sign on (logon on the portal, no difference for WAD’s or DS reports
– Better printing functionality
– Easy publishing on portable devices (i.e. tablets)
– Report to Report functionality (to be able to drill down into more details)

For what I have learned so far, a lot of these wishes are on the list of deliverables in Design Studio. However, it remains to be seen how well and how soon these are implemented.

In conclusion: SAP Design Studio has the potential to replace the WAD.