Thursday, December 20, 2007

Visual Composer 7.0’s BI Extension Kit Offers New Data Modeling Capabilities

Understand what’s new in Visual Composer 7.0. The BI Extension Kit, part of Visual Composer, includes many new design-time and run-time features that allow functional consultants to create analytical applications without coding.

Key Concept

Visual Composer is a model-driven development tool that allows business experts to create and adapt analytical and free-styled applications without writing code. Visual Composer 7.0 is the General Availability (GA) release; Visual Composer 6.0 introduced the freestyle model-to-code creation of analytical appli- cations and it was intended as a preview tool for evaluation purposes.

Visual Composer 7.0 in SAP NetWeaver 2004s includes an updated version of BI Extension Kit, which enables SAP users to create Analytical cross applications (Analytics xApps), such as the new generation of SAP-delivered analytics dashboards. Analytics xApps Release 1.1 requires SAP NetWeaver 2004s Support Package Stack 8.

Visual Composer 7.0 includes an updated version of BI Extension Kit. It adds BI functionality to Visual Composer that allows business analysts to easily configure BI applications such as a BI dashboard or a yearly financial report in a visual modeling environment. Analysts can deploy and view the results in Adobe Flash in SAP NetWeaver Portal. BI Extension Kit also allows users to model applications based on SAP NetWeaver BI data or by querying diverse SAP and non-SAP online analytical processing (OLAP) and relational data sources. Additionally, BI Extension Kit includes a wizard that builds queries to address common business questions. To know what other functionality Visual Composer 7.0 includes, see the sidebar “New Features of Visual Composer 7.0.”

We’ll explain the architecture of Visual Composer to show how BI Extension Kit fits in. Then, we’ll walk you through the processes that occur at design time in Visual Composer’s Storyboard as well as at runtime. Finally, we’ll introduce you to the four types of BI data services and explain how to use them.

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