Wednesday, September 17, 2008

VC versus Xcelsius challenge

This week I had the change to ‘play’ with the Visual Composer again. Goal was to show a KPI dashboard on top of a BI query. With a gauge and a color (red or green) the status of the KPI had to be clear in one view. Besides that it had to be possible to change the ‘norm’ line online and to add comment on base of the results.
It was quite fun to build. Challenges? Only a few:
  • Find out what BI query on our Discovery Server returned results that could be presented: Trial and error.
  • Coloring the status bar: found in TechEd 2006 session CD151.
  • Slider with the Norm and plotting this line in the graph: Also in CD151.
Here is the result:


Next to my playing around, two colleagues (Pieter and Xavier) created almost the same demo in Xcelsius.

Their result:


The customer was impressed by the Business Objects demo. They are interested and currently investigating project possibilities. Great news for the other team! Unfortunately not for me with my Visual Composer. But hey, I already have enough project activities – so no worries ;-)

Conclusion:
  • Both are able to perform real time analysis with trends and jump to detail screens.
  • “Development” time or better said modelling time is comparable.
  • Visual Composer is a free add-on to your portal environment.
  • Additional costs for Xcelsius: a server is required and license costs.
  • Learning curve for heavy Excel users is very short for Xcelsius.
  • Visual Composer can easily integrate (web services) with different systems, even non-SAP.
  • Xcelsius is able to read from Excel as data source.
  • Authorization concept is probably easier to integrate in the VC.
  • Both are flexible in layout design.
  • Both tools generate Flash applications. (I know VC is also able to generate Web Dynpro, but for this demo Flash was more ‘sexy’).
  • Xcelsius is more suitable for reports that also have to be printed.

Hungry for more? On SDN there is a presentation available that explains how Visual Composer 7.1.1 can be used to embed BI into business processes and gives an outlook on future development plans. Also the relation with Xcelsius is described.

You can find this same article on SDN.

1 comment:

Point-Blank said...

Hi Twan,

I would like to know what kind of authorization we can have in Xcelsius and what level..do you have any doc on that??

thanks in advance