Friday, April 12, 2024

SAP Business Objects: Product Overview and Insight

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Bottom Line

Like other major enterprise data mining application providers, SAP offers a variety of BI solutions aimed at different user groups. This includes populations relying on distinct applications, such as Microsoft Office, or SMBs and those using the vendor’s own ERP software. The SAP Business Objects platform focuses on self-service functionality. It addresses data mining and data analytics in a holistic way.

Users can pull data from numerous sources and in most major data formats. The application architecture is flexible and scalable, and thanks to a partnership with Microsoft, it is adept at importing, filtering and manipulating data from Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Azure cloud and PowerPoint. All of this produces a platform that supports personalized information access and consumption.

Product Description

The strength of SAP’s BI platform lies in the ability to integrate with other SAP applications. However, the data solution also integrates seamlessly with Java, Microsoft SharePoint and numerous other data sources, including transactional systems. Like most other vendors, SAP has focused on a self-service approach, though the platform can be difficult for non-technical users to master.

SAP Business Objects includes robust tools for data discovery and processing. At the other end of the BI and analytics spectrum, a BI launchpad makes it possible to share content, widgets and other elements across an organization. In fact, it’s possible to securely share content, including reports and visualizations, to more than 1 million users. The platform supports strong security, including data encryption, as well as compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Overview and Features

User Base

Although SAP touts the solution as a self-service framework for BI and analytics, it is more slanted toward users with some knowledge of data mining, BI and analytics.


Graphical drag-and-drop.


SAP connects flawlessly with other SAP enterprise applications. It also connects to most other data formats, and an agreement with Microsoft simplifies the import and use of data from its software applications. SAP also offers a robust set of APIs that work with third party vendors.

Reporting Formats

Ad hoc analysis

Ad hoc reporting

Predictive Analytics

Trend Indicators

Automated Scheduled Reporting

Customizable Dashboards

AI and Machine Learning Support

Yes. Strong predictive analytics tool.

User Sentiment

Gartner customers rated SAP a 3.9 at the Peer Review website. However, customers frequently report difficulties involving limited or missing functionality.


Pricing is available directly from the vendor. SAP does not provide pricing information publicly.

SAP Business Objects
Focus Powerful platform designed to work primarily within the SAP universe.
Key features and capabilities Integrates with SAP products seamlessly. Also integrates with Microsoft SharePoint and Java. Supports all major device types, including mobile. Strong reporting and visualizations.
User comments Overall high marks but some comments about too much of a legacy oriented focus. Some complaints about usability.
Pricing and licensing SAP does not provide pricing information publicly.

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