We moved from Business Objects Xi (Boxi) to Web Intelligence 4.1 (Webi) in the summer of 2016, it was a paradigm shift to an online-only ecosphere. This was the first step in enhancing the Business Objects reporting service. Version 4.2 is the next upgrade to the service and will add more features to Webi, whilst making a tightly aligned service. Please read on to find out more about the new features.
Aligning the service into one HTML interface
Version 4.1 uses either an HTML interface aimed at refreshing, viewing and exporting a report, or a Java applet that offers further functionality for creating and maintaining reports. In Webi 4.2 the HTML interface has been enhanced to the point where you can stop using the Java applet. This will mean that you are able to use any modern web browser to access the service.
Our getting started guide and training manual have been updated and are based around the enhanced html interface. The html interface will be further enhanced in future Support Packages.
Cascading Input Controls
In 4.2, it is possible to gather input controls into a group. For example, in a group consisting of Dept and Course input controls, when a specific Dept is selected, only the Courses relevant to the Dept in question will be displayed in the Courses input control list.
Geomaps are a new type of visualisations that represent data geographically, and allow users to match specific parts of your dataset with precise locations around the world to visualize data on a map.
There is a new variable type in 4.2 called a reference. A reference is a variable which returns the value of a specified cell in the document. A reference can be created by right-clicking a cell in Design mode and selecting Assign Reference. Once defined, the reference is displayed in the Available Objects side panel under the References folder and can be used in a formula to define a new variable or in conditional formatting.
In order to ease the report creation, the new release offers the ability to save report elements (e.g. a table or a chart) in the repository as what is called Shared Elements. This is done under Linking in the Report Elements menu. With shared elements, expert designers can save some report elements that can be re-used by less experienced users. When a shared element is inserted in the document, a link between this shared element and the document is created. Thanks to this link, when a document is opened, the user can check whether a new version of the shared element has been published and, if needed, resynchronize the content of the shared element into the document. Computing Services will need to determine how much use can be made of this feature. Users can save Shared Elements to their Favourites folder.
Comments can be added to a report, block (tables or charts) or any table cells. When a comment is created, an icon is displayed on the cell or block to show that a comment has been added. The comments can be viewed in the side panel or by hovering the mouse over the icon on commented the item.
The way ahead
We are investing into the Webi service. A Wiki is being developing to share all of the knowledge from campus users on how to best use Webi, from the basics right through to the advanced features of Webi. Short courses are being developed focusing on specific areas of Webi, these short courses can be combined to create a course tailored to suit your needs with Webi. Regular blog posts will highlight new tutorials and current news on the service.