Dogs, Guard Dogs & Toblerones

Dogs, Guard Dogs & Toblerones<

As is usually the case this blog post started life through a totally off topic conversation about whether stereotypes are always negative. My fiancee is currently taking a language degree and part of the course relates to languages & culture. When at first challenged with this question initially you DO think that stereotypes are negative; then you start to delve just a little deeper and you start to realise they are not always negative. Moreover they are actually an essential part of life as well as being an innate component of the learning process. We are born pretty much a blank slate and slowly over time our brain fills with experiences, observations and nuggets of information, it is these that inform our world view. One of the most amazing things about the human being is our adaptability, it is innate within us and allows us to hit the ground running in any of the different cultural situations we find ourselves in. There are some medical conditions that from a very early age prevent us from assimilating within a social group but in the main we are all able to cope with whatever the crucible of life throws at us. It is my belief that the blank slate approach is critical, if we had some level of pre-programming that allowed us to ‘fit in’ culturally I believe that our adaptability would be severely compromised, culture is also constantly evolving. I also believe that it would hamper our learning model to a huge degree.

Posted By Conrad Rowlands, Senior Systems Architect & Developer on March 24th, 2017
Read more

SAP Data Integrator: Configuring Data Stores

SAP Data Integrator: Configuring Data Stores<

One of the nice features of SAP Data Integrator that DTS just cannot compete with is how it deals with datastores at run time. For an overview let's think about how the process will normally work…

Posted By Conrad Rowlands, Senior Systems Architect & Developer on March 22nd, 2017
Read more

My SAP Crystal Reports Training Experience

My SAP Crystal Reports Training Experience<

I enrolled onto the two-day SAP Crystal Reports Introduction course run by DSCallards as a complete novice.

Posted By Peter Gwilt, Sales Executive on March 21st, 2017
Read more

Upsert [sic] with SAP Data Services? Don’t cry though ...

Upsert [sic] with SAP Data Services? Don’t cry though ...

So, recently I find myself heavily involved with SAP Data Services and data migrations, I know what you’re thinking … that's not real code! And you’re damn straight …. it isn’t, but I have always leaned heavily towards the data end of the spectrum rather than the UX end which is filled with sorcery, witch craft and more importantly users who are like little pixies with no respect for the sanctity of code; data is data though and it doesn’t press buttons marked ‘Nuclear Button, Do Not Press’ just for kicks. I thus don’t complain too much (ahem) when ETL jobs come my way. One of the biggest challenges with ETL in the SAP world is to keep everything down at the database level, it’s very easy to slip up and watch your execution times rattle up to unusable very quickly all because you used a feature for which there is no direct database equivalent and at times it is frustrating at how the simplest functions are not covered; bygones.

Posted By Conrad Rowlands, Senior Systems Architect & Developer on March 20th, 2017
Read more

Dimensional Drift

Dimensional Drift

I find myself starting this blog, sad that I must write it. When it comes to development languages and products I am without a shadow of a doubt firmly two feet and all other associated body parts stood plum on the centre of the Microsoft camp; this has been the case since my late 20’s when I started in software. The only real difference now is that there’s a lot more of me to fit inside the camp nowadays but fit I still do. Of late I find myself heavily involved in more ETL work than true ‘development’ and so my playing field when i get distracted thus comprises off SSIS which I’ve always used (being of the Microsoft camp) and SAP Data Services which is what we sometime use in-house (being an SAP reseller). It is about these two products which I write.

Posted By Conrad Rowlands, Senior Systems Architect & Developer on January 17th, 2017
Read more

Universe 'month name' Object That Orders Chronologically

Universe 'month name' Object That Orders Chronologically

If you use a month name field (or convert a month number to name), it is a string object, so orders alphabetically in a report. The report users can change this with a custom sort but this is cumbersome.

Posted By Angus Menter, BI Practice Manager on January 16th, 2017
Read more

Fork Handles – Four Candles ...

Fork Handles – Four Candles ...

Fork Handles – Four Candles ... is not exactly the way it works, but the essence of the message is there and used many times over in the classic sketch that most of us love and know so well ...

Posted By Lisa Drew, Finance Executive on September 23, 2016
Read more

Support contracts ... what a bore I hear you groan!

Support contracts ... what a bore I hear you groan!

You would be right in thinking that, except …

Posted By Danielle Locke-Hodges, Administrator on September 23, 2016
Read more

Waterfall Charts in SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise 4.2

Waterfall Charts in SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise 4.2

I've just taken a look at the new Waterfall Chart feature in CR4E 4.2 SP2. I thought the idea of tracking weight loss over a period of time would be a good visual representation of the data. My data is very simple, consisting of a weekly period starting on the first Sunday of the week from the beginning of 2016 until the current week. I have stored the weight in kilograms and then a variance from comparing the weight loss (or gain!!!) between weeks.

Posted By Steve Chapman, Senior BI Consultant on August 9th, 2016
Read more

Two New SAP Crystal Reports 2016 Functions

Two New SAP Crystal Reports 2016 Functions

GetLowerBound and GetUpperBound

These functions work well with a Date Range parameter field. Firstly, you will need to define a parameter called 'Date Range' where Type: = Date. Ensure that 'Allow Range Values' is set to True.

Posted By Steve Chapman, Senior BI Consultant on August 8th, 2016
Read more

Change Data Sources at Run Time in SAP Design Studio

Change Data Sources at Run Time in SAP Design Studio

Recently whilst working on quite a complex SAP Design Studio Dashboard for a valued client we came across the situation whereby the custom graphs and charts that we had developed needed to be changed at run time. This seemed, and in reality was, quite simple although information was sparse and so it took a little bit of digging to find the answer to our solution.

Posted By Conrad Rowlands, Senior Systems Architect & Developer, on 14th April 2016
Read more

SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio: The New Generation Dashboard Solution from SAP

SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio: The New Generation Dashboard Solution from SAP

SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio enables application designers to create analysis applications and dashboards – based on universe data sources – for browsers and mobile devices (iPads, for example).

Posted By Jamie, Senior Developer, on 13th April 2016
Read more

DSCallards: A Breath of Fresh Air

Universe


I am bias. I have been working for DSCallards since 2007. But, I’m no spring chicken and have worked for a number of organisations since I started in the world of work back in 1985. So what makes me stay at DSCallards?

The answer is simple: We are small yet perfectly formed.

Posted By Adriane Gillies, Marketing Manager, on 20th December 2015
Read more

The Internet of Things

Universe

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or "things" using electronics and software to collect and exchange information.

It’s not the future as everybody expects … it is now. It is all around us.

Posted By Ray Kemp, Technical Director, On 24th November 2015
Read more

The Universe and an Analytic Database

The Universe and an Analytic Database

If you’re modelling your data into business information in the universe then surely creating an analytic database as well is overkill?

It’s a distinct possibility. If your data is in reasonably good shape, then let the universe go at it with what it does best.

However, complex computations such as a validation rule calculating customer eligibility for a loyalty bonus may be pre-processed.

Posted By Angus Menter, BI Practice Manager, on August 6,2015
Read more

SAP BusinessObjects Resources on Tap

SAP BusinessObjects Resources on Tap

The Business Objects People are a specialist SAP BusinessObjects consultancy firm. We provide a low risk, low commitment option to your SAP Business Objects resourcing needs.

Our consultants have an average of twelve years’ experience working with SAP BusinessObjects/SAP Crystal software and we are an accredited SAP Partner Centre of Excellence for Business Objects. Our staff are certified in their expertise of SAP Business Objects and the processes by which we support it.

Posted By Angus Menter, BI Practice Manager, on June 30,2015
Read more

Data Data All Around But Not a Drop to Drink!

Data Data All Around But Not a Drop to Drink!

The team with the best car often but not always win the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Why is this? The skill and experience of driver, engineers and team management all have a part to play in defining the race strategy, delivering the race strategy and tactically adapting to changing circumstances throughout the race.

Similarly simply possessing the market-leading business intelligence software, in SAP BusinessObjects, does not guarantee an answer to a business question. Such that an organisation can have a wealth of data sources without being able to find the relevant data.

Posted By Angus Menter, BI Practice Manager, on June 25,2015
Read more

The New Universe Tool

The New Universe Tool

If you first implemented SAP Business Objects before 2013 you probably have universe(s) built with Designer, one of the all-time classic software tools.

The SAP Business Objects universe, with its accompanying imaginatively-named design tool, was the first software designed to turn data into information; by turning ‘data objects’ into ‘business objects’

Posted By Angus Menter, BI Practice Manager, on May 25,2015
Read more

The Universe is Your Friend

The Universe if Your Friend

It lets you model your business data into information that makes sense to humans who need to make good decisions. It makes a little knowledge a powerful rather than dangerous thing by quietly translating your human question into an unambiguous data query that a data machine can respond to accurately.

Posted By Angus Menter, BI Practice Manager, on April 24,2015
Read more

Big Data - Not Just for Big Companies

Big Data

In the last week, have you made journeys with a switched on mobile phone, posted, liked or uploaded a photo on Facebook? Have you searched the internet? Watched videos on Youtube?

Then you are data, a small part of big data in fact.

Does your company have a website? Does it do any marketing or sales?

Then it’s generating big data, the hundreds or thousands of data points that define any one journey through a website quickly accumulate.

Posted By Angus Menter, BI Practice Manager on April 10,2015
Read more

Successful Guide to BI

Successful Guide to BI

DSCallards has been delivering value-driven Business Intelligence (BI) for over ten years to hundreds of customers and understands the main pitfalls when implementing a new solution.

So, if you are thinking about investing in a new BI solution, we would recommend that you consider the following six points when selecting your solution partner. Each of our recommendations is backed up with a customer case study, which you may find an interesting read!

Posted By Adriane Gillies, Marketing Manager, April 10,2015
Read more