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SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is #5 ranked solution in top Business Intelligence Tools. PeerSpot users give SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform an average rating of 8 out of 10. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is most commonly compared to Microsoft BI: SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform vs Microsoft BI. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 63% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 27% of all views.
What is SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform?

The SAP® BusinessObjects™ Business Intelligence (BI) platform is a flexible, scalable information infrastructure that helps you more easily discover and share insights for better business decisions. The integrated, unified infrastructure enables scalability from one to many tools and interfaces on premise, in the cloud, or as a hybrid approach.

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform was previously known as SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform, SAP BusinessObjects, Business Objects.

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Buyer's Guide

Download the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: January 2022

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Customers

SRAM, Kennametal, Fairfax Water, British American Tobacco, Velux, and FedEx.

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Video

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Pricing Advice

What users are saying about SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform pricing:
  • "SAP is losing market to its competitors because of its costly user license and licensing model. They can do much better on the licensing side. That's what Microsoft has been doing, and that's why Power BI is gaining market share at the moment. SAP needs to relax a little bit on the licensing part. If Microsoft is giving people a solution that is half of the cost of SAP, people will definitely go with Power BI."
  • "We purchase licenses through Epic. So, we get an Epic price as opposed to the SAP price. If we were going to use other products like Webby that they offer or exclusively use BI Launch Pad, it would cost a lot because half of our employees would touch it in some fashion. So, we use Epic-Crystal integration to keep the licensing cost down. I believe the BI Launch Pad licensing is something like $800 for each, and the Crystal Report licensing is something like $500 for each, but that's not what we pay."
  • SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Reviews

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    SumeetZalpuri
    Data & Business Architect at AME
    Real User
    Integrates very well with SAP ERP, allows you to scale up or down anytime, and is absolutely trustworthy
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most important feature of BusinessObjects is its integration with the SAP ERP system. If an organization is using SAP as its ERP system, and they want to do business intelligence, reporting, or analysis, SAP BusinessObjects is the only tool that I see doing that quite efficiently. That's because of the fact it is tightly integrated, and it gives a good user experience in terms of faster reporting. Its integration is the feature that I have found most valuable, but there are also other factors."
    • "I really want SAP to focus on the dashboarding side. Based on what I have seen in the past 10 years, dashboarding has captured a lot of markets. Executives at the top-level want data that is summarized, looks good, and tells you a story. That's where Tableau, Qlik, and Power BI have an upper edge. It doesn't mean SAP doesn't give you dashboarding. They do have a dashboarding solution, but Tableau, Qlik, and Power BI are more intuitive and more attractive. I would like SAP to capture the dashboarding market as well, wherein they give at least some competition to other competitors. Presently, Tableau, Qlik, and Power BI are leading the market."

    What is most valuable?

    The most important feature of BusinessObjects is its integration with the SAP ERP system. If an organization is using SAP as its ERP system, and they want to do business intelligence, reporting, or analysis, SAP BusinessObjects is the only tool that I see doing that quite efficiently. That's because of the fact it is tightly integrated, and it gives a good user experience in terms of faster reporting. Its integration is the feature that I have found most valuable, but there are also other factors. 

    SAP BusinessObjects is one of the oldest business intelligence tools. SAP has been in the market for quite a long time, and it is truly an enterprise company. They make sure that they talk to every component of the enterprise. 

    They are evolving quickly. They are quite innovative. They understand a user's viewpoint. The best part is their enterprise presence. They're already market leaders in ERP, and they already have a large user base. Having a business intelligence suite and an established product makes things easier for them.

    What needs improvement?

    I really want SAP to focus on the dashboarding side. Based on what I have seen in the past 10 years, dashboarding has captured a lot of markets. Executives at the top-level want data that is summarized, looks good, and tells you a story. That's where Tableau, Qlik, and Power BI have an upper edge. It doesn't mean SAP doesn't give you dashboarding. They do have a dashboarding solution, but Tableau, Qlik, and Power BI are more intuitive and more attractive. I would like SAP to capture the dashboarding market as well, wherein they give at least some competition to other competitors. Presently, Tableau, Qlik, and Power BI are leading the market. 

    I have seen other organizations such as Need4Viz that are creating beautiful charts. They are a partner of SAP.  SAP needs to onboard companies that are developing open-source charts. They need to improve their user experience in terms of dashboarding.

    Another thing that I would like SAP to improve is its licensing. Because of their licensing model, they are losing the market.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    It has been more than 10 years. I am an SAP BusinessObjects consultant. I've been working with the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Suite. I have worked on the ETL side, reporting side, and infrastructure side.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is absolutely trustworthy. Once you develop a BI solution and it is signed off, you can definitely rely on it. I have seen big enterprises that have the finance or other critical reports going out from the system. It is reliable. I don't see any problem there. The problem only comes if it is not properly deployed, or you do not understand the product or don't know what you want from the product. Your business goals should be clear. Reliability is not an issue. It is an enterprise product at the end of the day.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    SP Business Objects is a Scalable Product and allows you to Scale your application Vertically & Horizontally both ,We can Scale up either by adding resources on a Single machine or add a Separate machine to increase the Performance.

    Scaling up the Application is quite simple & can ensure performance & Reliability.

    I have seen thousand of reports running on the platform without a performance overhead. 

    How are customer service and support?

    Initially, it was not that good, but SAP took the feedback from their customers, consultants, partners, and Gold/Platinum partners, and then they improved that process and the user experience. They set up a community, and there was a lot of engagement at SAP's level. At one point, SAP involved their experienced engineers to write blogs to have a community engagement, which eventually improved the experience when it comes to their support. SAP understands customers. They have their strategies in place.

    At this point in time, there is still scope for improvement, but their support is not bad. I would rate them at least seven out of 10.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I do work for enterprise customers, and in the past 10 years, I have seen more presence of SAP, Tableau, and Qlik, but now Power BI has also started capturing the market. Power BI is cheap. Its per-user license fee is cheaper than SAP. That is the key reason why people are switching from SAP to Power BI, but at the end of the day, when customers who have been using SAP for ages do the PoC on Power BI, they are not getting the ROI that they're expecting. They already have a solution that is proven, working, and giving them what they are looking for.

    All the tools have certain technical challenges in terms of the whole landscape or whole ecosystem, and our clients use tools as per their requirements. 

    Its integration with the SAP ERP system is a pro. Another pro is that SAP is already in the enterprise market. They understand the landscape of big companies, and that's how they actually enhanced their product. They also have a very good user community. However, SAP's dashboard capability needs to be further improved. It is improving, but Tableau, Power BI, and Qlik have already captured a big share of the market, and regaining that share of the market would be quite difficult.

    How was the initial setup?

    SAP's deployment is not straightforward. As compared to how it used to be 10 years ago, it is not that difficult. That's because SAP has worked on things that were lacking when it comes to deployment. They also worked on the other factors such as how good the support is, how good the product is, and how much help is provided on the internet. They have a user community of experienced people. They have worked on these factors, and now, it is much easier than it used to be about 10 years ago.

    Its deployment cannot be compared with Tableau, Qlik, or Power BI because these are light tools. SAP has many more components than these solutions. SAP has more functionality, which makes the deployment a little bit tricky. When you have thousands of reports, it becomes more difficult. That's why its deployment needs more expertise than other tools. It is an enterprise solution, and at the end of the day, you need to scale it. When you have hundreds or thousands of reports, you need to scale your environment. When you have a large user base, you can come across issues, but it has improved over the period of time. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    SAP is losing market to its competitors because of its costly user license and licensing model. They can do much better on the licensing side. That's what Microsoft has been doing, and that's why Power BI is gaining market share at the moment. 

    SAP needs to relax a little bit on the licensing part. If Microsoft is giving people a solution that is half of the cost of SAP, people will definitely go with Power BI.

    What other advice do I have?

    They're evolving very quickly. They are giving users new features. They are taking feedback from the users, and they are making sure that they are not losing the trends. They understand the user needs and where the industry is moving in terms of cloud, artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies that are going to be the driving force in the future. It is really amazing how SAP is doing it. I have been working with their tools for the last 10 years, and I've seen that they are coming up with almost everything that users need. 

    Now that everything is moving to the cloud, they are also working on the cloud side of their business. For example, SAP BusinessObjects is not good with dashboarding. It is basically for financial reporting and drill-down reporting. So, they came up with a cloud product that is not only for reporting but also for dashboarding. They have given a one-stop solution wherein you can do your reporting, dashboarding, and storytelling.

    If you are completely new to business intelligence but you are already using SAP solutions, this is the best tool that you can use to leverage your financial systems or logistic systems. It is not a self-BI type of tool. It needs an IT expert. If your data is important and you are a big company or a mid-scale company, you should go with SAP BusinessObjects because it is already in the market, and it has integration with SAP ERP. The user experience will be good. You'll not see any performance issues with the queries. At the end of the day, when a business user sees a report, he doesn't understand which tool it is, whether it is SAP, Power BI, or something else. They want the experience to be good. They want the functionalities.

    The advice for a new company is to first find out the integration. If you're using Power BI with SQL Server, it will work wonders, but if you are using it with SAP HANA or SAP BW, you'll not get the experience that SAP can give you. You need to understand the landscape and different applications that are there and then decide whether it would work for your use case. SAP doesn't fit everywhere. Similarly, Power BI doesn't fit everywhere. 

    An organization that is completely new to BI should try to identify:

    • What type of reports do they want? Do they want aggregated reports or operational reports?
    • Who is the target audience?

    There are a lot of processes that are involved depending on whether the data is coming from your data warehouse, or you're querying the OLAP system directly. 

    I read a very good article where a company did this exercise and asked enterprises about the BI tools they use. What they ended up seeing was that no organization was using one BI tool. There were two, three, or even four BI tools. So, it all depends on your source systems. It is always a combination, and there can't be only one BI tool. It is difficult to have a single, centralized BI tool.

    I would rate this solution a nine out of 10.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    Technical Lead at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    User friendly report creation but not great on the dashboarding side
    Pros and Cons
    • "It is more user-friendly and easier to work with the report creation part, creating reports out of an established universe. Maybe a business person could liberate the existing universe and create a report on top of it, as well. So that's one cool feature."
    • "Most of the Apps right now are into dashboarding. This tool, for the Crystal Reports in the phase I'm primarily working on, does not have those dashboarding capabilities, like in the other advanced tools like Power BI or ClickView, and compared to them the dashboard generation is not that great."

    What is our primary use case?

    SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is currently deployed as on-premise solution and recently the server got hosted into cloud, but it's more or less assembled as on-premise solution.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It was a tool that was established in its current form a very long time back, so most of the uses are familiar. The familiarity is very good with that tool. Since it is familiar, they're able to navigate and get the reports and even share the requirements needed for anything new that needs to be developed. To an extent, they know its features and capabilities. So that's one thing.

    It is providing a wide range of reports in different departments. Especially for the department I'm working in, they are mostly interested in the regulation side. So they are looking for the information or properties regarding the products and getting their details on the regulation, which will help them to manage or make sure that all the regulatory standards are maintained for the information captured in the database.

    What is most valuable?

    It is more user-friendly and easier to work with the report creation part, creating reports out of an established universe. Maybe a business person could liberate the existing universe and create a report on top of it, as well. So that's one cool feature.

    It has additional capabilities like scheduling and getting the reports in the various forms, like through the mails and through the shared locations, and all those sorts of formats, so those features are good. The user friendliness helps create the reports out of the data source available.

    What needs improvement?

    It's not like apps. Most of the Apps right now are into dashboarding. This tool, for the Crystal Reports in the phase I'm primarily working on, does not have those dashboarding capabilities, like in the other advanced tools like Power BI or ClickView, and compared to them the dashboard generation is not that great.

    But there are other products, like SAP Analytics Cloud, all of which actually provide this information under the Business Intelligence platform. But I have not used it much because my customer has not moved onto those platforms yet. That may be one thing that may need improvement - the dashboarding side. Also sometimes the performance is not that great when getting millions of records out of it. It'll take its own sweet time to get that report refreshed.

    Feature-wise, it's a slightly old technology, so I don't expect anything getting updated much in it, rather just continuing with their current thing.

    I'm right now using other dashboarding tools for the dashboarding requirements. As I mentioned, it's not that capable of providing the current dashboarding requirements. I was introduced first to this tool then later to others.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I'm using SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform in my current project. One of my roles is to develop the reports and universes, so I'm currently using it for that.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    On the backside, there is not much that needs to get fixed. Occasionally we used to figure out some bugs with the versions, mostly compatibility issues with the latest databases, for example with Snowflakes. But we used to get the patches for that compatibility issues. But so far I haven't seen those sorts of issues in the environment that I'm working in.

    In terms of the maintenance, we have seen some server slowness or shutdowns or something like that. We have noticed it, but not much on the admin side of activities. But if we see some issues in the system then we usually reach out to SAP to see their point of view and they may be coming with a fix for it or with a solution to adjust the system parameters.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is not that scalable. I will say the scalability is medium. It's not as easy to scale it up as we need it to deploy. We have an option to cluster it with multiple servers, but it's not like it's just a configuration change. It should be repeating the process of the entire installation in a different box, and linking those up.

    It is being widely used and we have people from various departments and roles. It is covering some of the finance reports and it covers from the financial side. On the VP level, they are getting some sales reports and other data, with daily refreshes on it. It is used by the analyst for day-to-day activities. It is widely used. I cannot pinpoint one specific use we set for it for the current client I'm working for.

    Maybe I'm planning to increase usage. The BI platform has different components in it. The current components I'm using are mostly the Web Intelligence and the Crystal Reports. I feel like it's a little outdated, it's a little more like old technology. But under that they have an SAP Analytics Cloud platform that they're building up under the Business Intelligence itself. I guess eventually the roadmap will be inclined to that solution.

    How are customer service and support?

    We usually use both the forum and the support group for SAP. As I mentioned, if there are some serious issues, we are in contact with SAP, so we'll raise tech issues with them and they will come back with a fix, like connectivity to a new database. And if there are any ongoing issues that we identify in our landscape which need to be addressed, they usually get back with the fix or they usually analyze our system and give us suggestions.

    We also interact with the forum. The blog forums and the social forums for this product are well established. We will get most, 60% to 70% of queries, addressed in those forums. I have observed most of the very similar issues already registered in those forum, which will be helpful for debugging or solving our issues.

    Occasionally we may have to do multiple follow-ups for a product with tech support and get them to understand and then have a debate to get it fixed. That's little challenging. It'll take some time since maybe our issues are specific to a landscape, the way that we operate with this huge, massive amount of records. So at times they may not be easily open, but with more proof and if we can provide more justification, they usually pick it up. But it's not very fast, it will take some time.

    How was the initial setup?

    The deployment process is quite easy. We have a dedicated admin team to manage the queues of deployment. It is very easy to get that once we deploy the changes in dev, it can be easily moved across environments to different test environments and to the cloud. It also has the capability to roll back the changes if there are any issues that we identify, so I don't see any issues with the deployment process.

    To set it up, provided we have all the infra support needed, it will mostly be handled by different teams, like database. From that perspective, maybe a couple of teams may be involved as repositories are mounted on top of database, but the installation side can be handled by one person. That can be possible if it is a small scale deployment with not too many clusters involved.

    But if there are cluster servers and multiple servers needed to be deployed and linked, it may be worth having a considerable effort to deploy this solution. I'm mostly talking about the installation of the product. But it can be handled with a couple of people, provided we have the support from the infra team with the servers, with required specification for the server, as well as any other support needed, including admin support for the servers.

    If it is standalone, a simple server installation can be completed in a day or two.

    What was our ROI?

    It is very widely used across different departments and it definitely serves a purpose to give insights on the data. It is surely giving the returns, but I may not be in a position to give the exact figures or how much it will be in connection with the purchase demand or purchase cost. But it is definitely a tool that is needed for the day-to-day tracking.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    I think the licensing depends upon the user base. If it is a limited license, the user base has some restrictions. If we need to expand our user base, I guess there needs to be enhanced licensing. At a high level I can share that, but we haven't faced it as we have the full premium license with them, but I know the starter packages are limited on the number of users. Maybe not for all licensing, but only the lowest range licensing fee may have some limitation on the number of concurrent users.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice to anyone considering SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is to keep an eye on the requirement side that they need. If you are looking for a flashy dashboard with a lot of user interactions with click and dicing the graphs, I don't recommend the Business Intelligence component or the Crystal Reports. They may have to look into other products.

    On a scale of one to then, I would say SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is a 7.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    Flag as inappropriate
    Learn what your peers think about SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
    565,689 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    DENNISSUNNY
    Business Intelligence Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Web intelligence will work with any amount of data even if you have 10 million rows
    Pros and Cons
    • "There are two tools inside BusinessObjects' schematic layout called the Universal Design Tool and Information Design Tool. These are the most powerful tools that set BusinessObjects' reporting from other solutions. If my organization has 300 or 400 tables, I can combine all of them into one universe, and everyone can use that. It is just a schematic layout that does not hold any data but the table relationships."
    • "Factoring in total implementation and maintenance costs, SAP BusinessObjects is too expensive. If you deal with a huge amount of data, you can go with BusinessObjects. However, if you are a medium-sized company with a modest amount of data, you can opt for another solution."

    What is our primary use case?

    BusinessObjects has a lot of tools, including Web Intelligence, Crystal Reports, Analysis for Office, SAP Lumira, and Analytical Cloud. SAP also has a new tool for HANA-based applications it introduced around 2018. Analysis for Office is an SAP add-on inside Microsoft Office. It works inside of Office tools like Excel, so you have the option to get data from Excel, and there's a direct connection with SAP. You can point that to your HANA database or a BEx query also. 

    You can also connect SAP to PowerPoint, so you can create presentations from the HANA database or a BEx query.  We had more than 180 to 200 reports on Analysis for Office in my last implementation. Most of our company users were good at Excel, so it was easy to use an external data connection to Excel.

    For example, say we have different sheets in Excel. We populate the data from the BEx query or the HANA database in the first sheet. In the second, we'll do some options like the lookup function for Match Index and the reports. The data will be constantly refreshed in the backend. Finally, we have to create the report and publish it to the SAP BI Launchpad to be shared with everyone. 

    The other thing is the WEBI, or Web Intelligence report. That's the most powerful reporting feature inside BusinessObjects. We normally use WEBI for ad hoc reporting, not for dashboarding, because the dashboard visualization is not that great. WEBI will work even if you have more than 10 million rows. 

    WEBI will work with any amount of data. I have more than 100 gigabytes of data in WEBI. It's best for ad hoc reporting instead of dashboards. SAP has its own dashboard tool inside BusinessObjects dedicated to dashboards and visualizations. You cannot do any ad-hoc reporting inside that.

    In terms of the dashboard, they introduced another tool called Design Studio. Design Studio is another took inside SAP BusinessObjects. Design Studio is better for dashboarding and summary reporting. For example, you can take a data table and create a graphical representation. That's SAP Design Studio, and WEBI is a tool we use globally. 

    All of our SAP Businessthey will always prefer to work in WEBI, Web Intelligence. WEBI has two versions. One is inside the launch pad that is a browser-based tool. Second, you can have a tool of WEBI inside your desktop itself, that is called Web Intelligence Rich Client. Web Intelligence Rich Client is the same tool as the second version, there are two versions of WEBI, one is inside the browser, and the second is, you can install it on the desktop. Lumira is comparable to Tableau, or Power BI. Lumira was introduced in 2013 or 2014. I forgot the year, but it was introduced after Tableau. Lumira has a great story function. There is a story option in Tableau, but that started in Lumira.

    SAP had another tool called Explorer. Explorer is a simple tool to preview the data that can be used for both ad hoc reporting and visualization, but they discontinued Explorer in December 2020. Adobe Flash Player was discontinued, and Explorer was completely dependent on Flash. The last tool, SAP Analytics Cloud, is currently strong in the market, and it was introduced in 2020, I think. They prefer SAC. SAC can be used for both ad hoc and dashboard reporting. 

    What is most valuable?

    There are two tools inside BusinessObjects' schematic layout called the Universal Design Tool and Information Design Tool. These are the most powerful tools that set BusinessObjects' reporting from other solutions.

    If my organization has 300 or 400 tables, I can combine all of them into one universe, and everyone can use that. It is just a schematic layout that does not hold any data but the table relationships.

    UDT is perfect, and you can do anything in it. There are never any issues when joining the tables because there are a lot of options. In terms of tables, two things always come to mind: looping and traps. These are the main difficulties we face when joining tables, but loops and traps are easily resolved inside BusinessOjbects UDT and IDT. We have API functions and contact operators that resolve these issues.

    IDT and UDT form the backbone of BusinessObjects. There is one more thing called publication. I haven't seen this feature in any other tools. Publication is useful for bulk reporting. For example, say I want to send reports to 200 Indian salespeople, and I want to apply a filter so the reports only go to specific cities. This can be done in BusinessObjects in five minutes. This cannot be done in any other tool like Tableau or Power BI. 

    What needs improvement?

    BusinessObjects reporting tools have not been perfected yet. However, there are two ETL tools inside the BusinessObjects. They are ETL tools in the schematic between the database and the reporting. 

    But if we're talking negative aspects of BusinessObjects, it's like comparing a bus and a bike. If you want to reach somewhere nearby within five minutes, you can use a bike instead of the bus because there will be a lot of traffic and lots of people inside the bus. If you have large amounts of data, then go for BusinessObjects. If you have a light amount of data, it's better to use Tableau or Power BI tools.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've worked with SAP BusinessObjects for 10 to 15 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    BusinessObjects' stability is awesome with a huge amount of data, but you're often running three or four tools at a time. For example, say I want to do reporting in BusinessObjects. First, I have to think about the type of schematic layer I must use: UDT or IDT.  Second, I have to think about what type of reporting tool I'll need: ad hoc, detailed summary, or dashboard reporting. 

    If it is an ad hoc report, I will go for Crystal Report. If it is just dashboard reporting, I've to go for SAC or Lumira. These confusions will be there for every user. If someone wants to really work on BusinessObjects, they should understand at least three or four of its tools. With Tableau, you only need to know about Tableau. You don't have to think about other tools because everything is inside Tableau or Power BI.

    BusinessObjects will give you a lot of options. There will be a proper category, like schematic layout developer, report developer, report viewers, etc. And there are different categories of users inside BusinessObjects. Tableau and Power BI don't have such categories.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Factoring in total implementation and maintenance costs, SAP BusinessObjects is too expensive. If you deal with a huge amount of data, you can go with BusinessObjects. However, if you are a medium-sized company with a modest amount of data, you can opt for another solution. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate SAP BusinessObjects eight out of 10.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementer
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    Paul Grill
    President & CEO at Infosol Inc
    Real User
    Top 5
    Once you are stable on a BusinessObjects release, it is worth staying there for a while
    It is true that there are often challenges when upgrading between releases of BusinessObjects but this has always been the case as it has been for all the other BI and software application vendors too. A few rules of thumb for BusinessObjects software are: 1. Never upgrade to an x.0 release - always wait for at least the x.1 release and even the first or second service pack of that release 2. Never attempt to perform a release upgrade if you have not done one before. Get training and experience first or use a reputable BO Consulting company 3. Experiment with the new release on a sandbox environment to become familiar with the changes and find any major issues before attempting a migration to production Once you are stable on a BusinessObjects release, it is worth staying…

    It is true that there are often challenges when upgrading between releases of BusinessObjects but this has always been the case as it has been for all the other BI and software application vendors too.

    A few rules of thumb for BusinessObjects software are:

    1. Never upgrade to an x.0 release - always wait for at least the x.1 release and even the first or second service pack of that release

    2. Never attempt to perform a release upgrade if you have not done one before. Get training and experience first or use a reputable BO Consulting company

    3. Experiment with the new release on a sandbox environment to become familiar with the changes and find any major issues before attempting a migration to production

    Once you are stable on a BusinessObjects release, it is worth staying there for a while.

    Update April 2014 : BusinessObjects BI 4.1 has been out for 8 months now and is looking like a stable release. Expect to see a lot of activity moving to this release over the next year.

    Update September 2014 : BI 4.1 is now at Service Pack 4 (SP4) which corrected multiple issues in earlier service packs (SP2 and SP3). As more customers move to BI 4.1. more experience is gained and the platform improves. Main features attracting customers to BI 4.1 are improvements in Web Intelligence, Mobile Dashboard support and support of Desktop Intelligence.

    Update February 2015 : BI 4.1 is now at Service Pack 6 (SP6). Both SP5 and 6 have been stable. Most BI 4.0 customers are also migrating to BI 4.1 and many more XI 3.1 customers are also migrating since XI 3.1 goes into a maintenance only support mode ( no more service packs or fix packs) after Dec. 31, 2015. The next major release BI 4.2 is currently scheduled for end of the year.

    Update December 2015 : BI 4.1 SP7 has just been released. BI 4.2 is in Customer User Validation phase and will not be released until 2016. The jury is still out regarding if the quality of software updates has improved but new QA processes have been implemented by the SAP BusinessObjects development and support teams this year.

    Update May 2016 : BI 4.2 SP2 was released at the end of March. There are quite a few new features including to the Upgrade Management Tool (UMT) which is used for migrating content from previous releases. It is now possible to handle incremental updates and moving certain types of content instead of all. There is also a new mechanism that allows part of the update to be performed while the system is still running. There is also a new Recycle bin feature for public folders in case you accidently delete a report. Organizations still running BusinessObjects XI 3.1 are now looking to go straight to BI 4.2.

    Update October 2016 : BI 4.2 SP03 is now the latest version released at end of August. It has a lot of new features for a service pack including additional new functionality for Web Intelligence like cascading prompts for input controls, references and further enhancements to the new discussions. The Administrators cockpit has also been further enhanced to provide more options. So far, stability looks good.

    Update April 2017 : SP03 has proven to be a relatively stable service pack that many BO customers have updated to. The next service pack, SP04 is now in beta and scheduled to be released in May. Again, it promises to have a bunch of new functionality for Web Intelligence including full parity between the Java and dhtml clients, an optional new UI and many new graphics

    Update September 2017 : SP04 has now been available since May and there were additional quite a few code changes . The first release release had multiple issues. Some were addressed in the two subsequent Fix Packs that have been released. The general feeling was that it was not as stable as SP03. However SP04 was the first version that included SQL Server 2016 support so many customers wanted to install it.

    Update February 2018 : SP05 was released in December and there were further enhancements particularly to the new optional HTML5 Fiori portal that can now be used for consuming BO reports. This first version has some issues around installation/upgrade but too early to judge its overall stability yet.

    Update July 2018 : Like all the previous BI 4.2 Service Packs, SP05 had multiple issues when first released and really did not completely stabilize until Fix Pack 200 (after Fix Pack 100). It is now at Fix Pack 400 and SP06 is in beta testing and should be released soon.

    Update December 2018 : SP06 is now the current BI 4.2 Service Pack update released late July. Like all the other service packs there were some initial issues and after a couple of fix pack updates, it now is quite stable. Like its predecessors it has a lot of additional functionality especially with the new Fiori HTML5 UI and Web Intelligence (more new charts like funnels, pyramids, intra-document links and more). Nice enhancements to BO Administrators Cockpit for usage/performance monitoring. Now BI 4.3 has been announced for release at end of 2019, the next service packs may be more maintenance fixes than new functionality.

    Update June 2019 : SP07 was released a couple of months ago. Unlike previous BI 4.2 Service Packs this had a very small amount of new functionality and was mainly a maintenance update. Again the first version had a few issues but a fix pack has been released and customers are upgrading to it. The remaining 4.2 service packs are also supposed to be primarily maintenance updates and fixes as new functionality will be focused in the eagerly awaited BI 4.3 release now likely to be released in early 2020.

    Update December 2019 : BI 4.2 SP07 remains the current release. There have been issues with some of the Fix Packs and it is best to go with the most current. The BI 4.3 open beta is due to start this month but GA is not expected until mid 2020 now. There should also be an SP08 update to BI 4.2 coming in early 2020.

    Update April 2020 : BI 4.2 SP08 was released a few weeks back and despite it being primarily a maintenance release, SAP has included some interesting new features like a direct connector to Snowflake for Webi. Some early bugs in SP08 have been reported and the first fix patch 100 has just been released. There is still much anticipation for BI 4.3, the next major release due out this Summer.

    Update September 2020 : BI 4.3 SP0 was released in June and has  a radically different HTML6 UI that will take some getting use to. There are a lot of other new features including Webi as a data source allowing you to use universes on top of a Webi report. a few brave souls may try out an SP0 release but most will wait till at least SP2 due out mid 2021. BI 4.2 will continue as the dominant release for at least the next couple of years with SP9 coming out later this year.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a SAP BO partner - http://www.infosol.com/about/partners/
    Manager Data Analytics and Interfaces at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    Integrates seamlessly within our Epic environment, provides flexibility for numerous data resources, and operates efficiently
    Pros and Cons
    • "I like the fact that we can integrate it seamlessly within our Epic environment, but probably the best thing that Crystal Reports offers is the ability to do visualizations. They're simple to do, and they're catchy. So, it is a really great tool."
    • "It has got great flexibility. As a reporting tool, it has a great deal of flexibility for numerous data resources that you can bring into it. It allows you to write your SQL query directly within the product. So, it allows you to do server-side joins instead of pulling all the data into Crystal Report to aggregate that data. It has great visualization. For the most part, it operates quite efficiently."
    • "We're an Epic shop, and Epic is moving away from Crystal. It would be nice if it had tighter integration with products like Epic. It would be awesome to have better integration with third-party products."
    • "They could reduce the licensing expenses. There is nothing really wrong with the product in terms of what it does. It works well. If you are a part of BI Launch Pad, then you could run ad hoc reporting, but for the integration, you need access to BI Launch Pad, which is quite expensive. We're an organization with 18,000 employees. It is not really practical to give people access to BI Launch Pad. So, from a customer perspective, in terms of saturating our employee base, we don't really have great saturation because of the expense."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it almost exclusively for our analytics for the Epic environment. So, a lot of healthcare-related reporting and financial reporting is done on it. It is not geared towards the operational world. It is geared towards the analytical world where we're looking at a month of data, a year of data, or a quarter of data.

    We try to use its current version.

    How has it helped my organization?

    On the first of the month, when we get ready to close the books, we run a lot of analytics through the BI platform. The analytics are available to our financial team within 10 hours, and we typically run around 21,000 jobs at the beginning of every month. We schedule them, and they get downloaded as CSVs and then people consume them.

    What is most valuable?

    I like the fact that we can integrate it seamlessly within our Epic environment, but probably the best thing that Crystal Reports offers is the ability to do visualizations. They're simple to do, and they're catchy. So, it is a really great tool.

    It has got great flexibility. As a reporting tool, it has a great deal of flexibility for numerous data resources that you can bring into it. It allows you to write your SQL query directly within the product. So, it allows you to do server-side joins instead of pulling all the data into Crystal Report to aggregate that data. It has great visualization. For the most part, it operates quite efficiently.

    It is a really solid product. It has been out there for some time, and it gives you exactly what you need.

    What needs improvement?

    We're an Epic shop, and Epic is moving away from Crystal. It would be nice if it had tighter integration with products like Epic. It would be awesome to have better integration with third-party products.

    They could reduce the licensing expenses. There is nothing really wrong with the product in terms of what it does. It works well. If you are a part of BI Launch Pad, then you could run ad hoc reporting, but for the integration, you need access to BI Launch Pad, which is quite expensive. We're an organization with 18,000 employees. It is not really practical to give people access to BI Launch Pad. So, from a customer perspective, in terms of saturating our employee base, we don't really have great saturation because of the expense. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been probably using it for close to eight years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It has been a solid product. We have had no issues. Any issues that we had were self-inflicted. They were not consequences of the product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We run around 21,000 reports at the beginning of every month, and we get them done in 10 hours. These are not operational reports. These are analytics reports. Some of those reports pull a year's worth of data, aggregate that data, and then spit it out with visualizations and everything else. So, it operates efficiently.

    We're a healthcare system in Dallas, Texas. We have 11 hospitals. A vast majority of the leaders, probably more than 2,000 leaders, use the results of the products we create from Crystal Reports, etc. A significant amount of the other staff also uses the results. Our finance team uses it almost exclusively to generate their data. We have probably more than 18,000 people working through our facilities, and probably half of them in some fashion or another touch the SAP environment at some point during the course of a month. So, it is being used extensively. We rely on this product.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We don't call SAP directly. We work through Epic. Our licensing with SAP is through Epic. So, Epic has a direct relationship with SAP, not us.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I have used other products, but my company hasn't really used any other product or any big data solution like this.

    How was the initial setup?

    It is pretty straightforward. We had no complications at all in installing it. We had some complications getting it to work with Epic, but once it was set up, it has been sitting there and doing its thing. We don't ever have to mess with it. It has been a solid product. It just works.

    What about the implementation team?

    For its implementation, we used a consultant, but he was not associated with SAP. We took the help of a gentleman who was DBA experienced in implementing this product in an Epic environment, but he was not an SAP employee.

    For its maintenance, I have one staff member who's the admin of SAP. She has additional duties with the maintenance of this product, which probably takes up 10% of her time.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    We purchase licenses through Epic. So, we get an Epic price as opposed to the SAP price. If we were going to use other products like Webi that they offer or exclusively use BI Launch Pad, it would cost a lot because half of our employees would touch it in some fashion. So, we use Epic-Crystal integration to keep the licensing cost down. I believe the BI Launch Pad licensing is something like $800 for each, and the Crystal Report licensing is something like $500 for each, but that's not what we pay.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would advise others to get somebody who knows what they're doing when they install it. That's what we did. It is a complex product, and trying to fumble through all the bits and pieces and the nuances of it is challenging.

    It has been around for years. It has been there ever since I went to software engineering. It does what it does. It is built to do that every year. It just needs to get more efficient at doing it. It just needs better integration with third parties and maybe a price reduction for the licensing.

    I would rate this solution an eight out of 10.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    Paul Grill
    President & CEO at Infosol Inc
    Real User
    Top 5
    Using Xcelsius dashboard instead of Qlikview
    When I first started presenting Xcelsius dashboards back in 2006, I said that it should carry a warning sign stating “May Cause Xtreme Xcitement”! Despite all the advances in technology and tools over the last decade that statement not only remains true today, but maybe should be changed to “Will Cause Xtreme Xcitement”. In the last month, I have both seen and heard stories from companies singing the praises of Xcelsius and hailing it as the savior of BI user adoption in their organizations. A company specializing in reporting and analysis of employee business travel was looking for a client facing BI application that would help sell their solution. The client showed me their current solution running in Qlikview bemoaning how rigid, limiting and unexciting it was…

    When I first started presenting Xcelsius dashboards back in 2006, I said that it should carry a warning sign stating “May Cause Xtreme Xcitement”!

    Despite all the advances in technology and tools over the last decade that statement not only remains true today, but maybe should be changed to “Will Cause Xtreme Xcitement”.

    In the last month, I have both seen and heard stories from companies singing the praises of Xcelsius and hailing it as the savior of BI user adoption in their organizations.

    A company specializing in reporting and analysis of employee business travel was looking for a client facing BI application that would help sell their solution. The client showed me their current solution running in Qlikview bemoaning how rigid, limiting and unexciting it was to use. They then showed me an example of something they found on the web that was an animated PowerPoint dashboard much closer to what they were looking for. Of course, I recognized it as an Xcelsius dashboard embedded in PowerPoint immediately. It had been developed over seven years ago, but it still sizzled. So, we mocked up a new prototype in Xcelsius for the client and to say they loved it would be an understatement. The VP of Marketing came up with the best quote of the day when he said, “It’s alive!”

    A multi-national vehicle leasing company developed a super cool Xcelsius dashboard for improving their vendor management with built-in location intelligence using the GMaps plug-in and the InfoBurst XML Data Caching for high data volume performance. They presented it at their annual sales meeting last month and it stole the show. The excitement generated was so contagious, the VP and Director responsible spent the evening at the bar designing the next dashboard together! (I can’t wait to see that one!).

    A new finance director of a global software company needed a way to provide better visibility to their financial statements and reports. She remembered using Xcelsius many years ago and said it really helped then. We put a prototype together for her in a day and everyone loved it, so they are buying it next week.

    So why is Xcelsius so amazing and still slaying the BI data visualization competition everywhere? There are dozens of reasons from its ease of use, animations, ability to embed in everything, fast prototyping to its “what if” scenarios and cool components. But it goes deeper than all these features which you can also find in other BI visualization tools. The real secret to the success of Xcelsius is that it was initially designed and developed by computer gamers. To develop a winning computer game, you need to engage your audience visually, make it cool and fun to use and have limitless possibilities. You can find all these elements in Xcelsius dashboards allowing you to create killer BI applications.

    That is why Xcelsius dashboards is still the best show in town. Xcelsius lives!

    Update Nov 2015 : Lots of activity around Xcelsius HTML5 for deployment on mobile and on desktop with dCode add-on (www.getdcode.com). Now that Xcelsius generates HTML5 output, I see it being around for many, many more years

    Update April 2016 : Xcelsius continues to thrive with many organizations using and deploying it for the first time in 2016. SAP provided updates to it with latest BI 4.2 release including full support for Excel 2013

    Update Sept. 2016 : Xcelsius HTML5 definitely seems to be the dashboard solution of choice and many new add-on HTML5  components are becoming available including D3 charts, flat components and query drag and drop discover.

    Update Sept 2018 : Adobe announced end of life for Flash for Dec 31, 2020 and SAP announced it would no longer support Xcelsius after this date since the development client uses Flash. While some Xcelsius users are looking for a viable alternative solution, others vow to continue to use the tool regardless. There are some new Xcelsius compatible solutions in development so let's see what materializes in the coming months.

    Update Feb 2019 : Xcelsius still heavily in use. Some companies looking to replace with Tableau or PowerBI but just not the same. Web Intelligence dashboards may be a viable alternative for simple dashboards .

    Update July 2019 : SAP has announced it will no longer support Xcelsius after Dec. 31, 2020 to coincide with Adobe no longer supporting Flash in the browser. However, most Xcelsius users have been generating HTML5 dashboards for a number of years now and are continuing to do so and their Xcelsius HTML5 dashboards should not be affected. SAP has no equivalent follow-on product and is recommending customers move to SAC (cloud only) and rewrite their dashboards - this will require programming skills . An alternative to Xcelsius, called Squirrel,  that requires no training for an existing Xcelsius developer and has a built-in XLF migration utility is due for beta release by InfoSol in October and will be GA in December.

    Update Dec 2019 : Squirrel has been in beta for the last few weeks with multiple organizations and is scheduled for general release on Dec 31. Initial feedback is very positive with Xcelsius users who require no re-training to use it. They have been able to both migrate or recreate existing Xcelsius dashboards. This is great news for the Xcelsius community who now have another option when Flash goes away and SAP stops supporting Xcelsius in 2021.

    Update May 2020 : Squirrel is now at version 1.3 with multiple Xcelsius customers having converted their dashboards and running with the Squirrel HTML5 versions in production. This appears to be a very viable path forward for those customers left with Xcelsius Flash dashboards that will probably no longer work starting in 2021.

    Update Nov 2020 : Squirrel 1.6 which has a cloud based version and allows you to embed dashboards in PPT was just released last week. More and more Xcelsius customers have now successfully moved to Squirrel and companies like Salesforce are using it too. Xcelsius has about a month to go before Adobe and SAP stop all support.

    Disclaimer: My company is partners with several vendors including SAP BO.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: OEM Partner of SAP
    Data Science Manager at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Very good dashboards and self-service BI
    Pros and Cons
    • "The features that I have found most valuable are that we are able to build all dashboards with self-service BI and are able to provide our business users with self-service BI. We are building a repository on top of our data warehouse and building all the dashboards and KPIs."
    • "It would be good if they could integrate the possibility for end users to create end models for themselves that they can use, especially for site operators, and if they could provide the end user not only the self-service BI, but also the self-service analytics, based on a predefined model, the same way that Oracle did."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are only using the dashboards and promoting the self-service BI features. the usage is limited just to visualization. We integrated dashboards for monitoring KPIs. sending SMS' is used based on threshold in few dashboards. Otherwise, it's more used for visualization and not data mining because it requires some licenses that we didn't buy.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Currently we are working with the Web Intelligence on premise but we don't have a lot of features. We would like to get some more features related to predictive analytics. We are just using dashboards and monitoring KPIs on top of our data warehouse.

    What is most valuable?

    The features that I have found most valuable are that we are able to build all repositories needed and provide our business users with self-service BI. We are building a repository on top of our data warehouse and building all the dashboards and KPIs.

    Sometimes, when monitoring our network or monitoring the KPIs, if we have something drop lower than a threshold, an email or an SMS will go out. We are using these features, but we are not using predictive modeling, clustering, or data mining. We don't have those.

    What needs improvement?

    In terms of what could be improved, it would be good if they could integrate the possibility for end users to create end models for themselves that they can use, especially for site operators, and if they could provide the end user not only the self-service BI, but also the self-service analytics, based on a predefined model, the same way that Oracle did (I manage Oracle, as well), because I like that feature with Oracle.

    I would like them to implement analytics the same as Oracle does and have the machine learning model within their Web Intelligence.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform since 2005.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is a very stable solution and it works well.

    It doesn't work in memory, only on the server side. We are not taking this benefit, but it's very stable and it's answering the need.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform's scalability is based on the need and it's not scalable based on Alfa's needs, which I believe, from a data warehouse perspective, the data is around 12 terabytes. We are not talking about petabytes.

    We have 25 end users using it.

    We have users from the customer experience department, the marketing department, from customer service, from finance, from budgeting, and we have the chief also working on it.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I am not so satisfied with the technical support because I am opening cases but it's taking too much time.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We previously tried to work on Power BI and on Microsoft SharePoint. But with Power BI, there are a lot of limitations. Its visualization is very good, but you have a lot of limitations, and it uses a lot of memory. It does not provide efficiency and scalability when we are talking about a high volume of data. When you are talking about simple reports, it's very good and its visualization is great, but sometimes business users are in need of answering complex questions, so here SAP was better for me.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was not that straightforward, but we were able to manage.

    We have a lot of server process and configuration, plus the agents and everything. So from an administrative perspective, it is complex, but we were able to manage because of our technical expertise.

    Because we did it internally, I believe it took us two to three months.

    We got the environment ready, then the repository, it was packaged by phases and by project.

    We launched an RFP related to an enterprise data warehouse, then we split this RFP in phases, with data integration, data modeling and then the BI. During the BI part, we used an implementation strategy to try to implement it.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    We have an on-premise license. We have one license for an admin and we have a license for our users, enough for 27 user licenses. We pay on a yearly basis. We are selling support, but as I said, we are using only the Web Intelligence and the dashboards. We didn't buy the other models or feature. We don't have the predictive analytics or the SAP HANA. We don't have any of that.

    The servers and the preparation to go on the servers are costs beyond the licensing fees.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We checked Oracle. It used to be OBIEE back then, and in 2010 and 2005 it was not as good as today. Now, Oracle has worked a lot on their product, especially with Oracle Analytic Server. But back then, when we made the decision, it was Oracle OBIEE and it was very limited. It had bad dashboards, they were not appealing to the end users.

    What other advice do I have?

    SAP is a stable solution, but you need to have multi-experts to be able to maintain it.

    The biggest console that we implemented is using SAP as a self-service BI. It is an incentive for business users and different stakeholders, to be able to use the self-service BI and answer their questions instantly. This is conditioning that we as IT are using the right models, the right repository, and requiring all the data for them.

    On a scale of one to ten, I would rate SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform an eight.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    Andy Pan
    BusinessObject Delivery Dev. at a government with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    A reliable, stable, secure, and mature tool
    Pros and Cons
    • "BusinessObjects can handle a lot of usage on the front end, and many users can view these reports. It's a relatively stable and secure tool."
    • "When we implemented BusinessObjects, the setup was straightforward. After SAP bought BusinessObjects, it gradually became more and more stepwise. There are too many steps, and they take too much time."

    What is our primary use case?

    This tool has worked with relational databases and others since 2002, when it involved PeopleSoft and an SAP ERP-type of back end. The tool extracts the structural data onto the front end and creates reports for our interactive end-users. So the primary function of BusinessObjects is reporting or BI access.

    There is a factor table in the back end and a dimensional table with a tool called IDT. IDT stands for Information Design Tool. You create a file called the "universe," which generates SQL code and sends it back to the back end relational database or another type of back end to draw data from the front end. But the universe file itself doesn't affect any storage of the data. It's only code. So based on the universe, you can do a report or multiple reports. And when you click "refresh," a package of SQL code from the universe file will be sent back to back in the database system based on the particular table in the fields. Then you get the data, package it again, and send it back to report. Crystal Reports is the reporting and intelligence component. It's the dashboard tool.

    What is most valuable?

    BusinessObjects is an enterprise reporting system that includes a content management system, security model, and report distribution system. They all merge nicely. These features are all integrated, and BusinessObjects can handle a lot of usage on the front end, and many users can view these reports.  It's a relatively stable and secure tool. 

    I worked on a project with around 3,000 users around the globe. People from China, France, South America, and locally here in the United States were reporting on BusinessObjects 24 hours a day. It's a reliable, stable, secure, and mature tool for business intelligence and other functions, like standard reports. BusinessObjects has been around for nearly 30 years. A French person created it in 1994, so they've constantly improved and upgraded this tool ever since.

    What needs improvement?

    BusinessObjects originated in France, and then it was bought by SAP, a German company. Some things don't totally fit into the American culture of software development. For example, German software always uses detailed steps, whereas Oracle and Microsoft are very straightforward. Everything in this tool is stepwise. There are so many steps, but it is pretty good functionally. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using BusinessObjects since 2001.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    BusinessObjects is perfectly stable. I seldom have a problem. I'm an administrator who is on-call 24/7, but I rarely get a call at midnight about an issue with BusinessInsights. With some tools, I get a call at least once per week. BusinessObjects has set up a server type they call the Server Intelligence Agent. This autonomously handles the situation right away by restarting or automatically debugging to resolve the issues. The whole server doesn't shut down when there is a problem. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    BusinessObjects is scalable. At this organization, we have around 1,000 end-users working with it. At my previous job, it was upwards of 3,000 some. We are constantly increasing usage. Every month, we're raising the capacity. 

    How are customer service and support?

    I'm the administrator, and I haven't had any significant issues, so I don't usually need specific technical support. In business usage, we don't need a lot of technical support. The developers need to create new things, so it's not support but development. I would rate SAP support between eight and nine out of 10.

    How was the initial setup?

    When we implemented BusinessObjects, the setup was straightforward. After SAP bought BusinessObjects, it gradually became more and more stepwise. There are too many steps, and they take too much time. For maintenance and deployment, we have a team of fewer than 10 people, including the developer.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We also use Tableau and Power BI alongside BusinessObjects, but we have been using BusinessObjects the longest. In my job, I have been confused when working with some other type of tool, like Microsoft Power BI and some other type of non-structured data. This type of tool is okay, but it's not smart. It has too many steps. And at a given stage, you might make a mistake. It's not really scalable.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate BusinessObjects nine out of 10. It's a mature, complete product with a long history and a decent reputation on the market. Many organizations and commercial companies are using it right now. It's reliable, scalable, and stable too. I would recommend it.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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