SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Review

Provided us with best practice reports out of the box for various modules. It wouldn't scale when we needed to handle over one terabyte of data.

Valuable Features:

  • Universe Designer - I use single interface for all the BI users who access/create ad hoc and canned report
  • SDK - important because we architected and designed a BI Product for 200+ customers using SDK
  • Lifecycle management tools - We keep releasing new versions of our product based on customer requirements/changes requests depending on product changes.
  • Multi-source connectivity - Extended the same BI product to support analytics/reporting on other applications/sources from same portfolio.

Improvements to My Organization:

It's provided us with best practice reports out of the box for various modules. 
As well as an interface for creating adhoc reports with more analytical capabilities. This now allows us to exporting/share data in various formats (Excel, PDFs etc.)

Room for Improvement:

We do not have self-service BI tools which would enable SAP to compete with tools like Tableau and Qlikview. Reports/Dashboards on RDBMS cannot handle or scale the demands of the latest data analytics solutions.

Use of Solution:

I've used this solution for over 10 years.

Deployment Issues:

For deployment, SAP Business Objects has lifecycle management tools. It comes with features such as revert changes and automatic backup which helped us.

Stability Issues:

We had no issues with the performance.

Scalability Issues:

It wouldn't scale when we needed to handle over one terabyte of data.

Customer Service:

Customer service was found to be satisfactory.

Initial Setup:

SAP Business Objects when compared to Linux/AIX/Sun-Solaris is complex to install on Windows due to version/patch issues, and we had to put in requests for patches. Business users who used Web Intelligence were able to find some Java script plug-ins that needed to be installed.

Implementation Team:

We communicate with a vendor team as part of all our evaluations and implementations. This provides clarifications, resolutions, and additional features but mostly it was implemented an in-house by team.

Other Solutions Considered:

It is dependent on our customer needs/requirements, and specific version with specific features were available. We also evaluated Tableau for its technical features, as per business user requirements, pricing, and licensing for choosing the product and also based on outcome of the Proof of Concept.

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

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author avatarBusiness Intelligence Applications Team Leader at a energy/utilities company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User

Hi Raju, we also checked out Tableau against SAP Lumira a couple of year ago. Found it didn't stack up well against Tableau back then. Hoping it is better now (we will revisit it later this year) and are implementing SAP HANA to help with the limitations on performance of WebI etc over large datasets.

author avatarPaul Grill
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

Unfortunately, Lumira still does not stack up well against Tableau and I think it is too late anyway since at least 40% of BusinessObjects users use Tableau alongside BusinessObjects. Tableau does not replace BusinessObjects because Tableau is weak on BI reporting but it compliments it well for self-service data discovery and visualization.

author avatarBusiness Intelligence Applications Team Leader at a energy/utilities company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User

Interesting thoughts Paul. Agree that Tableau is not for reporting and can't see it replacing WebI / Crystal reporting. We have a lot of Tableau users currently and are looking at the capability of Lumira 2.0 to see how it prepares for dashboards to consume in Design Studio. Interesting times ahead.

author avatarPaul Grill
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

I do not think the integration of Design Studio into Lumira as a second client - Lumira Studio - will add very much that would impress an existing Tableau user. I would be interested to hear what your Tableau users think after they have evaluated this.