Kartic's Musings on Corporate Information and Knowledge Management

March 2, 2010

Xcelsius helps build some really visually appealing dashboards in SharePoint

Filed under: SharePoint — kartickapur @ 12:46 am

I have been using Xcelsius for some time now to build some visually appealling dashboards to be published on Corporate Intranet.

Xcelsius is a powerful product from SAP (http://www.sap.com/solutions/sapbusinessobjects/sme/reporting-dashboarding/index.epx) which can help you build dashboards for the following scenarios:

1. If you have a web service built to fetch data from any data source, you can build connections in Xcelsius to use the data and dump it into an excel spreadsheet. Other data sources like xml and direct link to database can also be configured.

2. Excel interface in Xcelsius helps you perform complicated calculations.

3. Build in visual components in xcelsius like dashboards, maps, tables, graphs etc can be configured to visually display the data or use calculcated values from any columns, rows or cells in excel to display rich dashboards.

4. You can export these dashboards in flash .swf format and store them in a document library. These can be shown on any page with a simple content editor web part and this simple code: <EMBED height=773 type=application/x-shockwave-flash width=1024 src=http://sharepointsite/Document library URL/Dashboard.swf> </EMBED>

5. Remember not to build too many queries (web service or otherwise) on the first load. This will result in a page which takes ages to load and your web service engine to be heavily utilised.

6. SharePoint connector can help you display data using web part connections.

7. You can even create dashboard which does queries based on user input.

The possibilities are endless – and can be unlocked by your imagination. Go and download Xcelsius. Even if you are not using Business Objects as BI platform in your company, the client (desktop) version of this product s not expensive. Try it now!

Some of the examples of the dashboards produced by me are shown below (I have removed some of the sensitive data but you will get the picture):

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