Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about SAP BusinessObjects Explorer


SAP BusinessObjects Explorer was recently launched at SAPPHIRE. Here’s a long list of Explorer product, trial, customer, technical, and press links that I’m aware of so far.

Product Overviews

Explorer aims to meet the high expectations of today’s business users, by combining the simplicity and speed of Internet search with high-performance and instant response times. You can employ familiar business terms to find relevant information across all your information systems. Explorer is intuitive, presenting the most relevant search results first, and provides additional, context-relevant details for further exploration. Results can be easily shared with others in the organization for further collaboration and decision making.

Marketing video


Marge Breya, EVP and General Manager of the Intelligence Platform Group talking about Explorer


Product pages on SAP.com

Demonstrations and Free Trial

In addition to the Explorer in the Cloud demonstration, and the Microfinance demonstration, you can experience SAP BusinessObjects Explorer software with your own data, and share it securely with others.

Just register here, and within a few days of your registration, SAP BusinessObjects set you up with a hosted account. For 21 days, you’ll be able to upload datasets, navigate with SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, and share your findings with others.

Customer Testimonial

Business Decisions at The Speed of Light: Molson Coors. What could be more mission-critical than making beer?! Molson Coors Brewing Company, one of the largest brewers in the world, test-ran the new SAP Business Objects Explorer, and Global information manager Katrina Coyle is convinced the solution will fundamentally change the way Molson Coors look at data in future.

She said users have been astounded at how fast the system serves up results: “We have more than 900 million records [in our database], and our users can now get the information they want without worrying about the size of the database,” she said. “People used to go meetings with piles of paper and still have to do more research afterward before being able to make business decisions. Now, they just show up with this tool and they can make decisions immediately.”

Technical Information

Video of Donald MacCormick demonstrating Explorer in the cloud, the Excel plugin, and the Antivia Explorer add-in

image image

Technical documents

A recent contest challenged the developer community to demonstrate solutions using the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer APIs inside another application or process. The winners were:

First Prize: Mark Hudson and the team at Antivia created a great solution that brings together Xcelsius, Web Intelligence and Explorer using their Xcelsius Web Intelligence Integration Suite. The result is an interactive and powerful dashboard that gives users a deeper and broader view of data. The new support for Explorer is being released in Antivia version 1.5 in June.

Runners-Up: Zementis combined on-demand, high-performance processing for predictive algorithms through its Adaptive Decision and Predictive Analytics (ADAPA) scoring engine on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) with the visualization functionalities of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer. In its demonstration, Zementis calculated and compared the average risk for each bank that sold loans to Freddie Mac between 2006 and 2009.

Ed Herman and Brian Dennett from Colgate-Palmolive implemented Explorer directly on top of SAP operational systems, using an ABAP API class to turn internal SAP tables into new SAP BusinessObjects Explorer datasets. The solution integrates with custom tables, list reports, and master data management (MDM) for key performance indicators (KPI) reporting.

Derek Papesch of Osaka, Japan started with call-center software that was only able to provide analytics in Microsoft Excel, which previously made analyzing high volumes of data a very slow and limiting process. In response, Derek created “Icicle” – a small Java program that downloads the data, cleanses the data, and uploads it into SAP BusinessObjects Explorer. With the application, Derek demonstrated how quickly one can find interesting trends and gain insight into where call-center improvements are needed.

Explorer on the iPhone from the SAP BusinessObjects Innovation Center (more details soon)


Press and Analyst Coverage

There has been extensive coverage of Explorer, with over 185 articles so far. Here’s a short selection.

Boris Evelson, Forrester, Information Post-Discovery – Latest BI Trend

“Explorer still requires an underlying data model, either in the form of Business Objects Universe or SAP BW, but because under the covers it uses the SAP TRex index engine, the right technology is there, and it’s a huge step in the right direction for SAP.”

Andy Bitterer, Kurt Schlegel, Gartner: SAP Launches SAP BusinessObjects Explorer to Drive BI Adoption

“SAP BusinessObjects has positioned its newly announced Explorer products as the business intelligence front-end for casual business users.”

Mark Smith, Ventana: SAP Announces New BI Explorer: Even a CEO Can Use It

“Not necessarily designed for a CEO but for a large number of management and analysts who need to easily query, analyze and present information the product is a key milestone to further integration of the Business Objects and SAP portfolio of BI products.”

Jim Ericson, Information Management Blogs: BI Search is Back (and Better)

Forrester Research analyst Boris Evelson had a look at Explorer at SAPPHIRE and calls it a “powerful” example of natural language search. “A business analyst can explore a what-if scenario, and a very casual user who will never be comfortable with any kind of OLAP or even a dashboard or matrix-based display can quickly find things and put them into facts and dimensions.”

Manufacturing Business Technology: Finding intelligence: SAP applies search engine principles to new business analytics platform

“Enterprise software giant SAP claims its new business intelligence solution makes mining through mountains of corporate data almost as easy as Googling the location of the nearest pizza parlor.”

Cindi Howson: Explorer Splash Shows BI Matters to SAP

“I have described [Explorer] as an iTunes- and Google-like approach to BI. It certainly makes my “cool” list and is a product the company has demoed as part of the Cool BI course I teach at TDWI.”

David Hatch, Aberdeen, SAP BusinessObjects Aims for Pervasive BI with the Release of Explorer

“SAP BusinessObjects Explorer (“Explorer”) utilizes a simple search box as a starting point for users to enter key words. The resulting “hits” allow users to select the items that most closely match their information needs, and then explore data within an intuitive graphical interface. Explorer provides one of the simplest self-service BI user interfaces on the market, and is designed for the non-technical business user.”

Bruce Richardson, AMR, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Is New Star at 20th U.S. SAPPHIRE

“The new Explorer allows customers to load and manipulate enormous volumes of data in memory, where it can be accessed instantly. At the press conference, one executive from Molson Coors said she loaded 900 million records. Searches across all of the records took less than three seconds. She was so impressed that she compared the velocity to that of the Space Shuttle launch she had witnessed the night before.”

CIO Magazine: SAP Expands Business-Intelligence Strategy

“One product is a business-analytics search tool called SAP BusinessObjects Explorer [Leo Apotheker] likened to an “iTunes” for business analytics, allowing any business user to search and find business analytics information very quickly, he said.”

CIO Magazine: SAP: BI Tool Will Help Create “Clear Enterprises”

“We’re not just talking about a reporting tool,” Apotheker said. “I am convinced it will fundamentally change the way decisions are made in enterprises around the world. … We’re going to be able to cross the chasm from, ‘I think this is a good decision’ to ‘I know this is a good decision.’”

Doug Henschen: Explorer Seems Too Little, Too Late

“Don’t get me wrong. This is exciting, promising stuff; it’s just that I thought it would be a done deal by this point and that it would go to any source of data, which was the real promise of this combination all along”

Other Headlines

Articles in Other Languages:





4 responses to “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about SAP BusinessObjects Explorer”

  1. […] already written extensively about the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer product, the Explorer in the cloud prototype (now a product, as part of BI OnDemand), and the Explorer for […]

  2. […] you’d like to know more about the product, list of “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about SAP BusinessObjects Explorer” in a previous […]

  3. […] More details are available in his white paper A Common Database Approach for OLAP and OLTP Using an In-Memory Column Database and a related presentation. The research was conducted using SAP’s TREX technology and real customer data (to see what the technology can do in a business intelligence context, check out SAP BusinessObjects Explorer). […]

  4. Rajasekar Avatar

    It is really awesome and good to know about Business Objects explorer.This article shows the mashup of BO Explorer .