Metabase – easy, open source way to ask questions and learn from data.

After 7 months of working with Metabase Dashboards at customer sites, I though it was about time I started talking about it! Our product page is here, the product showcase will be along once time permits. With the demise of Crystal Dashboard (Xcelsius), I spent some time looking at alternative products. The obvious first choice […]

Farewell Xcelsius/BOB Dashboards/Crystal Dashboards

It started of simply enough – a Flash front-end for Excel. The clever bit was the interaction between the spreadsheet and the widgets. Great for budgeting and what-if analysis. Then some server-side stuff was added, so the licensing became complicated. It seemed to change slightly with every release. Sometimes it appeared that only the name […]

Migrating to SAP BI4 4.2 SP5 or Crystal Server 2016 SP5? STOP! UPDATE.

UPDATE This has now been fixed: SP4 from patch 000009 onwards SP5 from patch 000400 onwards SP6 For Crystal Server Users, you’ll need to go to SP6. For SAP BI, install the patches or SP6. It looks like there’s a definite problem.I’ve had an odd reply from SAP that talks about moving files from DEV […]

Migrating to SAP BI4 4.2 SP5 or Crystal Server 2016 SP5? STOP!

UPDATE This has now been fixed: SP4 from patch 000009 onwards SP5 from patch 000400 onwards SP6 For Crystal Server Users, you’ll need to go to SP6. For SAP BI, install the patches or SP6.   First, if you’re just doing a fresh install with no old content to migrate then go ahead. 4.2 SP5 […]

When software licensing is like a cork in a bottle of wine

21 years ago, I was still working in the wine trade. At the time, the vast majority of wine was sealed with a traditional cork. Wines at the cheaper end of the market would often use agglomerate corks (bits of cork glued together). Some wines were starting to use artificial corks, but they were often […]

Intel’s Meltdown and database performance

Unless you’ve been on an extended Christmas break with no TV or Internet, you’ll have heard of Intel’s recent troubles. While it’s true that most computers will not be noticeably affected, servers that read and write large amounts of data to disk will be impacted. In my world, that affects two things – databases and […]

Still have a single CPU licence for reports?

This is the first in a series of posts about licence compliance. It’s always difficult to get independent advice on licensing, so I’m attempting to highlight some potential pitfalls. Given the complexities and potential liabilities, you should always refer to your own licences. I’ve been trying to source some useful guidelines from SAP without success. […]

Crystal Dashboard in a Flash-free world

Hint: It involves HTML5! I first used Crystal Dashboard (then known as Xcelsius) in 2004 or 2005. Back then, the fact that the dashboards were deployed as Flash files was a selling point. Flash was available on over 90% of clients and Adobe had great plans for further developing the platform. Then, it all changed. […]

Buying from SapStore.com? You paid HOW MUCH?!? 2018 Update

(Updated August 2018 following SAP’s price rise) We don’t normally publish prices on this website. It’s not that we have something to hide, it’s just the complexity of SAP’s price list. There are two different distribution methods, each with its own price list. Each of these is potentially updated every month. That’s about 500 updates […]

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