Tag Archives: SAP

Office 2010 – SAP Gives the Go-Ahead

Microsoft Office 2010 is already available for enterprise customers, while users of the home edition will have to hang on until June 15. Microsoft promises to make Office our constant companion – but just how compatible is the software with SAP systems?

Wählerische SAP GUI: 32 Bit ja, 64 Bit nein (Bild: Jan Meyer)
SAP GUI says yes to 32-bit but no to 64-bit (graphic: Jan Meyer)

The current SAP GUI 7.20, which SAP launched in April 2010, supports both the latest Microsoft operating system Windows 7 and the new Office package. But while the SAP GUI runs easily on the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions of Windows 7, SAP is only giving the go-ahead for the 32-bit version of Office. Why is that?

Microsoft now offers a 64-bit version of its Office suit. However, SAP GUI 7.20 is not compatible with the 64-bit Office version. This is because the SAP GUI is a 32-bit application. When it runs on Windows 7 (64-bit), the operating system’s integrated emulation mode kicks in. But the 32-bit SAP GUI and plug-ins such as Outlook integration cannot communicate with the 64-bit Office version. SAP is aware of the incompatibility and is currently examining two different approaches to address the issue. The result will probably be a 64-bit SAP GUI – but there is currently no indication of when this might become available.

Collaboration, smartphones, and the Web office

Microsoft promises those who buy the new Office suite that it will be their constant companion, wherever they go. According to Ralph Haupter, the new head of Microsoft Germany, a tailored version of Office 2010 will be available for all the major platforms (PC, smartphone, and Web). Thanks to the new Office Web Apps – online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote – files can be processed, downloaded, and published using the Web browser.

Zuversichtlich: Der neue Microsoft Deutschland CEO Ralph Haupter beim Deutschland-Launch (Foto: Benjamin Blaume)
Ralph Haupter, the new CEO of Microsoft Germany, oozes confidence at the launch in Germany (photo: Benjamin Blaume)

In combination with Microsoft SharePoint 2010, which was launched at the same time, Office 2010 is slated to strengthen its position as a collaboration platform. Several people can work on opened files at the same time, while social networks such as Facebook and the Microsoft service Windows Live can be integrated using Outlook Social Connector.

Haupter predicts that most companies will upgrade to the new Office version in the medium term. His confidence stems from the fact that the Office version was already very stable when it hit the market – thanks to the biggest beta test of all time (8.6 million users worldwide, 520,000 in Germany) – and the license model adopted. Haupter says that 50% of large companies in Germany can upgrade to Office 2010 with no additional costs, because their enterprise license agreements already include the licenses required.

Anyone who would like to try out Office 2010 can download a 60-day version of Office Professional Plus from the Microsoft Web site (http://www.microsoft.com/office/2010/en/download-office-professional-plus/default.aspx). The beta version for private customers will expire in October 2010.

VIA [SAP.INFO]

XCELSIUS® BRAND MIGRATION

For over 15 years, Crystal Reports software has helped business users and IT departments around the world achieve richer insight and greater productivity. With millions of active users and deployments in organizations of all sizes, across all industries, Crystal Reports software is widely recognized as the de facto standard for reporting today. Building on the industry leadership of Crystal Reports, SAP is expanding the Crystal product line and delivering innovative business intelligence solutions that will change the way people work. As of part this initiative, Xcelsius software is joining the SAP Crystal family of offerings as the flagship software for dashboarding and data presentation.

Starting May 17th, 2010, Xcelsius product names will be replaced with SAP Crystal descriptive nomenclature as follow:

Current Product Name New Product Name
Xcelsius Present SAP Crystal Presentation Design
Xcelsius Engage SAP Crystal Dashboard Design, personal edition

VIA [SDN]

SAP to Acquire Sybase, Inc.

Strategic Move to Accelerate the Reach of SAP® Solutions across Mobile Platforms,
Help Companies Manage and Analyze Business Information and Processes on Any Device

WALLDORF, Germany and Dublin, California, USA – May 12, 2010 – SAP (NYSE: SAP) and Sybase, Inc., Dublin, California (USA) (NYSE: SY) today announced that SAP’s subsidiary, SAP America, Inc., has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire Sybase, Inc., in a transaction that will bring the two information technology (IT) leaders together to enable companies to become better-run “unwired enterprises.” As a result of this transaction, customers will be able to better harness today’s explosion of data and deliver information and insight in real time to business consumers wherever they work so they can make faster, more informed decisions. Companies will benefit from greater productivity, speed and agility to help their businesses grow. Under the terms and conditions of the merger agreement, SAP America, Inc., will make an all cash tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Sybase common stock at $65.00 per share, representing an enterprise value of approximately $5.8 billion.

The per share purchase price represents a 44% premium over the three-month average stock price of Sybase. The transaction will be funded from SAP’s cash on hand and a €2.75 billion loan facility arranged and underwritten by Barclays Capital and Deutsche Bank.

The Sybase board of directors has unanimously approved the transaction. The closing of the tender offer is conditioned on the tender of a majority of the outstanding shares of Sybase’s common stock on a fully diluted basis and clearance by the relevant antitrust authorities.

SAP and Sybase to Benefit from Synergies
Both SAP and Sybase will benefit from synergies across product lines and markets. SAP will accelerate the reach of its solutions across mobile platforms and drive forward the realization of its in-memory computing vision. This will drive higher user adoption of SAP software and unlock significant business value out of existing customer investments. In addition, Sybase’s innovative mobile platform can connect all applications and data (SAP and non-SAP) and enable them on mobile devices. SAP, Sybase and their customers will be able to tap into Sybase’s messaging network to reach 4 billion mobile subscribers through 850+ operator relationships worldwide and engage their consumers via alerts, transactions and promotions on their mobile devices.

For Sybase, SAP in-memory technology will provide the opportunity for dramatic performance improvements to its analytic processing capabilities. Sybase will also be able to bring its complex event processing and analytics expertise, which was built in the financial sector, to customers in other industries, markets and product areas in which SAP has a complementary, strong presence. Finally, Sybase’s core database business will be enhanced by SAP in-memory technology to deliver integrated transactional and analytical capabilities. At the same time, SAP reinforced its dedication to customer choice by stating that it will continue its commitment to supporting leading database vendors.

The synergies between the two companies will also expand opportunities for the SAP and Sybase ecosystems. Software and implementation partners can capture new opportunities by innovating on Sybase’s market-leading mobile platform, which will make it easier to create, deliver and securely manage mobile enterprise applications across major device types.

SAP and Sybase Stronger Together
“With this transaction, SAP will dramatically expand its addressable market by making available its market-leading solutions to hundreds of millions of mobile users, combining the world’s best business software with the world’s most powerful mobile infrastructure platform,” said Bill McDermott, co-CEO of SAP and member of the SAP Executive Board. “This is a game-changing transaction for SAP and Sybase customers, who will be better able to connect their employees with key functionality and information from anywhere and make it easier for companies to make faster, more informed business decisions in real time. With SAP’s customer-centric approach, we are resolute in our commitment to support Sybase customers to be best-run businesses.”

SAP said it will continue to support each organization’s product road map while enhancing products to help customers derive additional value from existing investments. It also stated that both companies’ development organizations would remain intact, with the opportunity to cross-collaborate to increase innovation for customers.

Headquartered in Dublin, California, Sybase delivers a range of solutions to ensure that customer information is securely managed and mobilized to the point of action, including enterprise and mobile databases, middleware, synchronization, encryption and device management software, and mobile messaging services.

“Mobile devices are becoming the preferred interaction point with business applications, whether the user is a factory supervisor, a retail manager or an entrepreneur in a developing nation,” said Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-CEO of SAP and member of the SAP Executive Board. “The combination of SAP and Sybase will give users the option of running their operations from leading mobile devices and will unleash the full power of mobility, including messaging interoperability, content delivery and mobile commerce services, across all companies and roles and in any location. In addition, innovation around Sybase’s established database business will pave the way for ‘real’ real-time analytics and finally remove the decade-old barrier between business applications and business intelligence.”

Sybase to Operate Stand-Alone
The two companies announced that Sybase will operate as a standalone unit under the name “Sybase, an SAP Company.” Sybase’s management team will continue to run the business. The SAP Executive Board plans to propose to the Supervisory Board to appoint the Chairman and CEO of Sybase to SAP’s Executive Board.

“This transaction better positions SAP and Sybase to bring remarkable benefits of mobility and real-time information to our customers’ existing technology investments,” said Vishal Sikka, Chief Technology Officer and member of the SAP executive board in charge of Technology and Innovation. “SAP’s in-memory computing technology is already revolutionizing business analytics and will bring a paradigm shift to enterprise data management for all applications. The in-memory team within SAP will continue its current mission to innovate in-memory technology and these innovations will enable both SAP and Sybase to bring unprecedented value to their customers.”

“This combination is a transformative event in the software industry,” said John Chen, CEO of Sybase, Inc. “SAP’s in-memory technology in combination with Sybase’s database technology will revolutionize how transactional and analytic applications are built, benefiting all businesses. Further, by combining the market leader in enterprise applications with the market leader in enterprise mobility, companies around the world will be able to run their business from many devices. This will drive a new wave of enterprise productivity. The combined SAP/Sybase will be able to provide a software offering that enables companies to transform their businesses in an increasingly data-, consumer- and mobile-centric world.”

Transaction Expected to Be Accretive to SAP’s Earnings per Share on a non-IFRS Basis in 2010 and Beyond
The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2010 and will be immediately accretive to SAP’s earnings per share on a non-IFRS adjusted basis. SAP expects the combination to deliver synergies through both revenue enhancement and the realization of cost efficiencies. Additional details regarding specific product, go-to-market and other integration details will be provided after the transaction is complete.

Tender Offer Details and Disclosure Information
SAP America’s wholly owned subsidiary, Sheffield Acquisition Corp.will promptly commence a tender offer under US securities law for all outstanding shares of Sybase common stock.

The completion of the tender offer and acceptance of Sybase’s shares is conditioned on the tender of a majority of the outstanding shares of Sybase’s common stock on a fully diluted basis and the satisfaction of regulatory and other customary conditions. Approval of the transaction by SAP’s stockholders is not required and the transaction is not subject to a financing condition.

VIA SAPPRESS

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE IN THE CLOUD

SEND YOUR WEB INTELLIGENCE REPORTPARTS IN THE CLOUD AND EXPLORE THEM ON YOUR IPHONE

SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand is a newly released turnkey solution with next-generation capabilities that enables easy data exploration, and combines reporting, analysis, and sharing from any data source. With the power and simplicity of search-and-browse technology, the ability to combine data in a few clicks and a “Guided Path” workflow that guides users all the way from data to analysis, users can get up and running with SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand quickly, with little to no prior experience or training.

Now that BI OnDemand has been released, we are providing 2 prototypes for extending it:

  • SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence ReportPart Export to BI OnDemand – Share your BI ReportPart with the external world,
  • SAP BusinessObjects Explorer on iPhone to explore your BI OnDemand data.

WHAT’S THE GOAL OF WEB INTELLIGENCE REPORTPART EXPORT TO BI ONDEMAND?

The Web Intelligence ReportPart export functions have been designed by end-user to push their ReportParts data like a table to BI OnDemand, so they can build a dashboard on top of it. See it in action here.

KEY FEATURES

  • Extends the reach of Web Intelligence ReportPart to your business network
  • Combine Web Intelligence ReportPart with your dashboard in the cloud
  • Integrate dashboard in the cloud data and Web Intelligence ReportPart

WHAT’S THE GOAL OF SAP BUSINESSOBJECTS EXPLORER ON IPHONE TO BI ONDEMAND PROTOTYPE?

This is an extension of the now famous SAP BusinessObjects Explorer on iPhone prototype. With the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer for iPhone prototype, insight into your business is never more than a few flicks away, it allows you to answer business questions “on-the-fly” and regardless of where you are. Look at the video.

KEY FEATURES

  • Fast and intuitive exploration of data you share in the cloud
  • Automated relevancy and chart generation – Automatically generates the chart that best represents the information
  • Share your results instantly with others right from your iPhone

VIA  SDN

SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence Reporting for SAP ERP

SAP BusinessObjects Data Federator Infoset, SAP Query and ABAP Function Connector Prototype

SAP BusinessObjects now provides a new direct access to the SAP ERP by leveraging the SAP Query and Infoset. Real-time business intelligence can reach out more data from the operational systems, allowing high level business reports to be up to date, by merging operational data with historical information.
This prototype is an add-on to SAP BusinessObjects Data Federator for XI 3.0 SP2 providing connectivity to RFC enabled function, Infoset and SAP Query.

What’s the goal of this connector?

The connector has been designed to connect SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence to Infosets, SAP Queries and ABAP functions through the Universe semantic layer and let you design easy to use ad-hoc reports and queries.

What are the features and benefits of this prototype?

  • Combine multiple Infosets, SAP Queries and ABAP functions in the same Universe to shield end users from technical details and provide new business insights
  • Extends the reach of Web Intelligence’s popular ad hoc query and reporting capabilities to SAP operational systems
  • Enable SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence reports managed by end users on SAP ERP, SAP CRM…
  • Protect your ERP system from runaway queries by offloading query processing to SAP BusinessObjects Data Federator
  • Combine historic information with SAP ERP real time information in the same universe

Architecture

The SAP BusinessObjects Data Federator connector prototype queries RFC enabled ABAP function and Infoset using SQL. It wraps an ABAP function, SAP Query or Infoset as a data source, pass input parameters and retrieve result tables. This approach is fully compatible with universes prompts and filters.

The Data Federator multi-source engine close the gap between reporting clients (requiring standard SQL support) and the SAP ERP exposing ABAP objects.
Administrators can take advantage of this engine to control the number of concurrent clients reporting on the SAP ERP and offload the processing to Data Federator instead of overloading their ERP.

VIA SDN

The Many Uses of Data Federation

Data federation is now regarded as a viable, necessary, and complementary DM practice, tapped alongside ETL to support an array of data integration scenarios.

When Composite Software Inc., IBM Corp. and other players first started promoting data federation a decade ago, some data management (DM) experts cried foul. The temptation to tap data federation technology in what DM pros deemed a kludgey manner — as an instant-enabling technology for data mart applications, for example, or as a quick-and-dirty replacement for a full-fledged enterprise data warehouse (EDW) — would simply be too great, they cautioned.

Seven years later, the worst-case scenarios of DM pros haven’t come to pass. More importantly, federation is now regarded as a viable, necessary, and typically complementary DM practice, tapped alongside ETL (or ELT) to support an increasingly complex array of data integration (DI) scenarios.

In the meantime, DM pros seem to have warmed to data federation’s strong suits — chiefly as an enabling technology in frequently-refreshed reporting, data warehouse modeling, or other rapid time-to-value scenarios.

“It makes a lot of sense to use data federation tools when it takes too long or costs too much to create a persistent store of consolidated data, such as a data warehouse or data mart,” writes Wayne Eckerson, director of research with The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI), in his recent TDWI Checklist Report: Data Integration. Eckerson also praises data federation’s ability to facilitate on-the-fly access to heterogeneous data sources.

At the same time, Eckerson stresses, the data federation tools of today are considerably more powerful than their predecessors. Consequently, they’re increasingly used in a number of non-traditional (or not-strictly-DM) scenarios.

“[D]ata federation tools have broadened their capabilities and appeal and go by many labels, including data virtualization, data services, and distributed query,” he writes. “They are used in a variety of situations that require unified access to data in multiple systems via high-performance distributed queries, such as data warehousing, reporting, dashboards, mashups, portals, master data management, data services in a service-oriented architecture [SOA], post- acquisition systems integration, and cloud computing.”

From a data management perspective, data federation offers a number of compelling advantages. The trick, Eckerson says, is to use it when and where it makes sense. “Data federation software is designed for query-based applications that require current data from multiple systems,” he writes. “It’s ideal when the business needs a solution fast, doesn’t have a sizable budget for infrastructure and staffing, and wants to minimize the risk involved in deploying a new solution.”

In this respect, he explains, it’s a big improvement over the DM status quo.

“The traditional way to build query-based applications is to create a data warehouse or data mart,” Eckerson writes. “However, creating a new data mart … takes at least three months. The process involves understanding user requirements, creating target data models, and building and testing ETL transformations as well as purchasing, deploying, and testing server hardware and database software.” Federation can be a godsend in such scenarios. Its strongest selling point, proponents claim, is a rapid time-to-value.

“Data federation can minimize the risks, costs, and time needed to deliver query-based solutions because it doesn’t require a lot of upfront coding and doesn’t need an additional database to store source data,” he explains. “All you do is install the data federation development and runtime software on an industry standard server, create the views and services that form the global semantic layer, and tune the major queries. There are no ETL programs to develop or staging areas, data warehouses, or data marts to instantiate.”

Nevertheless, Eckerson stresses, data federation is not a silver bullet.

“Data federation software is ideal when source systems are consistently available and have enough capacity to handle streams of ad hoc queries without slowing down transaction processing tasks,” he counsels. “Also, it’s best if source data doesn’t require significant transformation or cleansing, and if the business application consumes mostly current data in relational or XML formats.”

For this reason, federation isn’t suitable for applications that involve very large data sets or which require complex transformations. Nor does it make sense in situations where a DM infrastructure is already overloaded.

Instead, Eckerson and TDWI outline a quartet of new or compelling uses for data federation, including using it as a means to extend a DW with additional (external) sources. Elsewhere, federation can be tapped as a tool to help augment existing ETL processes and accelerate ETL development; create a single (virtual view) of multiple data warehouses (a scenario that’s particularly compelling in M&A scenarios); and, lastly, as an interim solution to help facilitate data warehouse migration.

“If you need to migrate or replace a data warehouse, data federation can help minimize the impact on downstream reports, reducing costs and risks,” Eckerson writes. “To migrate the data warehouse, you need to rewrite report queries to run against data federation software instead of directly against the old data warehouse. Once the new warehouse is in place, you modify the semantic layer in the data federation tool to point at the new source. This insulates your reports and queries from source system changes.

By Stephen Swoyer

VIA TDWI