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Two forms of collaboration reviewed

a) Freeform collaboration

b) task tracking software,
includes – team collaboration, online calendar, document sharing, and file management

Pretty Simple: great gantt charts

Very detailed Project Management

several link with Basecamp and add specialty features

Interesting mind map of tools

Out plan is to continue a best of breed approach

Integrates to Outlook for migrating tasks to your calendar and your calendar to your timesheet
Integrates to Googledocs for client project collaboration
Integrate with Virtual Timecard timesheet system for automated submission, approval process (Timecard integrates with our Quickbooks invoicing already)
Integrates with ReportLaunch for reporting and automated billing in some cases.

Kevin McManus


While the SOA model is good for BI ETL there more areas that it can pertain to including reporting, dashboards, performance management that have a much greater inpact. Every application needs one of the above areas of BI interfaces in addition to its own ETL or data input interfaces. We have been focusing on implementing the whole BI interface as a reusable framework. This creates a huge ROI when the same funtionality is not build over and over again throughout an enterprises various applications. Not to mention that it would provide consistent information utilizing MDM, DW and ETL in the way described. Last but not least by leveraging the whole BI stack in your SOBI architecture you actually leverage the investment you have already made in not just ETL but in your enterprise BI tools.

Cheers, Kevin McManus,

BOE handles report migration in a slightly different way than a JSP file for example. Reports are primarily identified by a GUID and not solely on the name. Also the directory in which an object is referenced plays a large role so report objects should be kept in a maximum of two structures. One for unit testing and one for synchronization per the steps below.

In summary
1) Reports should be kept on a network share or subversion with version numbers in the file name and in the report properties.
2) Once reports are modified they should be published (File menu –> save as –> enterprise) to a TEST folder on level down from the main folder in the BOE Repository on the TEST BOE Server.
3) This version will have a new version number in the report properties and in the description.
4) The TEST Report Launch application that points to the TEST BOE Server and will see that folder within the application. The reports can then be tested. If they work sufficiently the Report should be published to the main folder from designer (File menu –> save as –> enterprise) without the version number in the title but still with the version number in the report properties. This replaces the existing report on the UAT server but PRESERVES the unique id that keeps the reports in sync with Prod BOE. UAT or system testing by a fellow team member can occur with the report in this main folder location.
5) This report in the designer can then also be checked into the network share or subversion.
6) Then the import wizard will migrate between the main folders in TEST with PROD. The DEV folder where the versioned reports are kept is not migrated to production.

Other points
a) As discussed the best practice no one should ever publish a report directly to PROD, nor have the rights to do so. It is protected and serviced only through proper administration. This supports the checks and balances that ensures that testing is properly completed and that roll-backs are easier.
b) Reports are not moved. Reports are published per the steps above so that if there is an issue identified during testing the prior version is already available online and clearly versioned so that it can be reverted on the TEST server without any affect on production. In the event that this reverted report needs to be imported to production the steps above will ensure that the proper version is in sync between environments.
c) This means that reports are not developed or published directly to the BOE PROD server keeping it pristine.

Kevin McManus

Suppose a company that is using hundreds of enterprise application looked at the reporting in each of those application. I propose that 95% of the functionality is exactly the same. What would the cost savings be if they shared a single set of functionality and when one application required new functionality they all received it. This fits into models of SOA, WOA and web services. It IS so simple with Report Launch. The question is how do I get to the people who want to say “I helped save the company 500K by consolidating our reporting onto a single platform” and did it for 10K

What is it? Its a way to present data from Web Intelligence outside of the Infoview and the Webi Viewer. It uses a technique called slicing to securely present webi data to users based on pre-scheduled reports.

Its all about who you know and if you are ready to listen. I connected with the project management team of Crystal at the SAPPHIRE conference in Berlin and talked about the needs for web developers today.

From that Crystal Developers Advantage has taken share and I am excited to be part of it. We have much to show about what this allows us to do so more to come later.

Here is the press with McManus Software + Consulting recognised

I am verry passionate about not developing new code for something when it already exists in an application or widget form that can be absorbed without additional coding.  With that premise I will be sharing some of the options that can be added to the Business Objects Enterprise system using the Report Launch framework.  The marketing folks say that all the features are too much to put on the web site in detail so as I document these features please feel fre to coment and ask questions.  My hope is that with so many features that someone will come accross this blog and find the one they need.

Came across a good article on developing Crystal Reports on universes on Business Objects XI 3.1 specifically. I am hoping this might help with some of those catchy requirements.