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SAP BO Design Studio – release 1.6 is out

In April 2015 I wrote an evaluation about the experience we had with SAP BO Design Studio 1.3, after being live for 5 months. The general feeling was that the new application was a huge substantial improvement, but we were also waiting for some enhancements to come. So now, with the new release of Design Studio 1.6 out since the end of November 2015, it is interesting to see where we stand.

Design Studio 1.4: functionality improvements – cleaner applications

With release 1.4 we have made some functional improvements to our template that will help maintain our reports and organizes them more logically.

  • Fragmented bookmarking makes the bookmarking more robust. We used to have regular bookmarking, but with that, when an application is changed, even the smallest change, all the bookmarks become invalid. With fragmented bookmarks this has been solved;
  • Context menu is used for filtering on members in the table. We used to mimic this functionality with BIAL (SAP BI Action Language) coding, but working with the context menu works a lot better;
  • In some applications we use checkbox groups, usually for key-figures;
  • Drag and drop in the filter panel is enabled;
  • Global Scripts are used to organize the BIAL coding;

Design Studio 1.5: huge performance improvement

The main thing about the 1.5 version is the improvement in performance. Initial startup became a lot faster, and also working with the tool on the platform has improvement significantly.

Further, we use the binding properties where possible to minimize the BIAL.

Design Studio 1.6: interesting improvements

I will need more time to figure out what we will be using of DS 1.6, but from reading ‘the what’s new’ document, I already like a few features:

  • Crosstabs hierarchies exported to Excel; This is something we have been waiting for. We even created an SDK component to mimic this behavior;
  • Assigning bookmarks to folders; This might be the solution for some of our users who are requesting for a central environment where they can retrieve all their bookmarks;
  • No restart after updating the SDK; A nice improvement, we always need to ask administrators to restart the servers after business hours. Not necessary anymore;

As for the new components, I need to become more familiar with them.

Platform: Netweaver versus BO BI

In March 2014, when just starting with SAP Design Studio, the Netweaver platform seemed more robust than the BO BI platform, as I described in my blog. However, since then a lot of improvements have been made to the BO BI platform. Also, SAP states that future platform development will be concentrated on the BI Platform. That makes the choosing a lot easier.

 Comparison with April this year

In April 2015 I mentioned 5 bullets we were skeptical about. My current view on them is that 4 of them are more or less covered with DS1.6, and steps are made with DS1.6 to cover the fifth:

  • Stability: with DS1.5 already the applications feel more robust;
  • Export to Excel: exporting hierarchies are now supported with DS1.6, other issues have been solved;
  • Bookmarking: with fragmented bookmarking in DS1.4, and assigning bookmarks to folders, this has improved a lot;
  • Performance: great improvement with DS1.5;
  • Mobile readiness: with DS 1.6 steps are made towards a responsive design;

To conclude: Design Studio is really getting mature. Keep up the good work!