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Exploring GIS Integration Options for SAP BusinessObjects

Introduction

In conversations with various individuals and businesses over the years, I hear a common question being raised:  How do I integrate maps in with SAP BusinessObjects.  This is a diverse question with many different answers.  In this document, I will introduce the different methods of integration of mapping technologies with standard SAP BusinessObjects reports and analytics.  These options include what’s available not only out of the box but also some third-party options that I’ve used in the past.  Also, I will discuss some mapping options using technologies such as Tom Tom and ESRI as well as custom development from any available mapping source.

Integration Options

SAP / ESRI Direct Integration

The first option that we have is the direct integration between SAP and ESRI with no reliance on 3rd party tools.  The direct integration between SAP and ESRI takes many forms.  First of all, we have the integration of GIS data with the Dashboards application.  SAP and ESRI have a solution that provides an “xlx” file that plugs into the Dashboards application.  Using the plugin, dashboard designers can take advantage of fully functional, BI directional maps within the SAP Dashboards application.  There is some configuration on both the client and server sides in SAP BusinessObjects.

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Also included in the latest versions of SAP Lumira (1.17+) is the ability to add story board components that appear as fully functional maps.  The capability is automatically built-in to the Lumira interface.  However, the only GIS support for ESRI that is available is through ArcGIS Online.   This scenario is undesirable for enterprise level applications given issues with data security.  The ability to interface with an Enterprise installation of ArcGIS Server is on the roadmap but currently has no projected availability date.

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contributor_chris_hickman_lg About Chris Hickman

Chris is a certified SAP BusinessObjects consultant. His specific areas of expertise include reporting, analysis,  dashboard development and visualization techniques. Chris’ software development background has enabled him to  achieve proven effectiveness in architecting, developing, testing and supporting both desktop and web-based  applications for many customer engagements representing various industries. Chris also speaks globally at SAP and  ASUG events.

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