Dallas Goes to Dallas

I’m presenting at the 2008 BusinessObjects User Conference.

I received the following e-mail today. It began,

Dear Dallas:
Congratulations! We are delighted to invite you to present at the 2008 Business Objects Users Conference. Having received more than 275 submissions of quality content, our selection committee feels confident that sessions such as yours will make this our strongest conference program to date.


This year’s conference, at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas, will be my fourth in attendance and the third in a row for presenting. My topic this year will focus on the Central Management Console and security.

At my very first Business Objects conference (Insight 2005 at the Gaylord Palms resort in Orlando, Florida), I noticed all of the presentations from Integra Solutions. I said to myself, “that’s what I want to be when I grow up” and worked toward becoming a breakout speaker. It is going to be an awesome, yet humbling, experience to present this year wearing an Integra Solutions shirt.

This year’s conference will be the first conference without Business Objects steering the helm. But regardless of the changes, I know there are many volunteers working passionately to make the 2008 Business Objects User Conference a success.

I hope to see you there!

Business Objects Insight Americas 2006

OK, it’s been nearly two years since the conference in November 2006.  But better late than never to post my photos.  Besides, it’s a great time to reminisce, since this year’s user conference is coming up fast.  After attending my first Insight user conference the prior year at the Gaylord Palms resort in Orlando, Florida, I was selected as a breakout speaker for Insight 2006 in San Francisco, California at the Moscone Center. My topic was Getting Personal with Publications and Profiles. The publications feature has been greatly enhanced in Business Objects Enterprise XI 3.0, but if selected this year, I’ll be speaking on other topics.

Can’t see the above slide show? Try this link.

I managed to stay a few extra days in the bay area, so enjoy my pictures of Muir Beach, Muir Woods, Half Moon Bay, the Business Objects headquarters in San Jose, and of course, the actual conference itself.

Business Objects User Conference – Call for Speakers

Call for papers for the 2008 BusinessObjects User Conference

The call for papers has been given for the upcoming 2008 Business Objects user conference. You can learn more and submit a topic on the Business Objects Community Alliance website. But act fast – the deadline is Monday, August 11, 2008!

Business Objects Insight 2008, RIP?

The news is trickling out slowly, but since 2008 is the year of “change”, change is coming to the Business Objects user community. There will be a conference this year; however, it is now being organized by an off shoot of ASUG (Americas SAP User Group) called the Business Objects Community Alliance. The event will be held October 20-22, 2008 in Dallas, Texas at the Hilton Anatole.

NOBOUG Winter 2008

FYI, NOBOUG’s February 12, 2008 has been cancelled due to weather!

I’ve accepted an invitation to speak at the February 12, 2008 Northern Ohio Business Objects User Group (NOBOUG) in Cleveland, Ohio. I will present Secure Universes with Restriction Sets, my Insight 2007 presentation. Last February, I presented my Insight 2006 presentation at NOBOUG with massive snowfall. If you’re a Cleveland-area Business Objects or Crystal Reports enthusiast, I hope to see you there!

Here’s the full agenda:

Northern Ohio Business Objects User Group Meeting

When: February 12, 2008


Amphitheater (Lower Level) — NOTE – Different location!!!
6000 Freedom Square Dr
Independence, Ohio 44131

Lunch: Provided by Business Objects and Quorum Business Solutions


12:00 PM – Networking Lunch
1:00 PM – Business Objects Presentation
2:00 PM – Effective Data Presentation, Stephanie Lyon
3:00 PM – Break
3:15 PM – Secure Universes Using Restriction Sets, Dallas Marks
4:15 PM – Crystal Reports 2008, Kristos Zagorianos
4:45 PM – Wrap-up & Door Prize Drawings



Effective Data Presentation (2007 IUC)
Stephanie Lyon, Lyon Technologies

This session focuses on the finer points of effective ways to present data to an audience. This session encompasses a closer look at specific design principles. Learn how to communicate more successfully and deliver more effective presentations by understanding how details can make a difference in how a message is delivered.

Secure Universes Using Restriction Sets (2007 IUC)
Dallas Marks, Dataspace

Do you need to tailor universe security to specific users or groups within your organization? Attend this session to learn about restriction sets and how they can apply security to selected groups or user accounts for the universe. Hear how applied restrictions can control objects, rows, query types, and connections. See live demonstrations on how to use each type of restriction and the effect they have on user Web Intelligence documents.

Dallas Marks is a Business Objects certified professional and training manager for Dataspace, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based business intelligence consulting firm. His extensive Business Objects experience spans across manufacturing, retail and education. A knowledgeable speaker, Dallas presented Getting Personal with Publications and Profiles at Business Objects Insight Americas 2006.

Crystal Reports 2008
Kristos Zagorianos, Chateaux Software

Kristos will discuss and demonstrate how Crystal Reports can be used within any size and type of organization as well as demonstrate Crystal Reports 2008

2008 Business Objects Partner Summit

Thoughts from the 2008 BusinessObjects Partner Summit

I’ve arrived at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, site of the Business Objects Partner Summit 2008. This is the first Partner Summit held in conjunction with the Business Objects Sales Kickoff, so it will be an opportunity to network extensively with the Business Objects sales force.

Today was the first day of the conference. Unfortunately, the juicy product stuff is under NDA. But I attended a great presentation called How To Give Compelling Demos by Peter Cohan. You can order his book, Great Demo!: How To Create And Execute Stunning Software Demonstrations, from Amazon.com.

During one of the general sessions, Bernard Liautaud (Business Objects founder and chief strategy officer) spoke live via satellite phone with Pete Collette, a sales consultant for Business Objects in Australia. Pete is rowing the Atlantic solo – a pretty awesome feat. You can read more at Atlantic Solo Challenge.

Can’t view above slide show?  Try this link instead.

Going to 2008 Business Objects Partner Summit

I’m headed to my first BusinessObjects Partner Summit!

Does what happens in Vegas really stay in Vegas? The upcoming Partner Summit 2008 will be my first trip to Sin City.

Join us for Partner Summit 08 where for the first time it will be held in conjunction with our Worldwide Sales Kickoff conference to allow our partners access to our internal sales tools and training.

Looking forward to seeing my friends in the sales, sales consulting, and partner communities. See you at the Bellagio!

Business Objects Insight 2007 – Part 2

Learn how to secure classic UNV universes

My Insight 2007 presentation, Secure Universes Using Restriction Sets, is now available for your viewing pleasure (see related article, Business Objects Insight 2007 – Part 1). Restriction sets are most commonly used to create row and column restrictions to secure data for an individual user or group. However, there are some other cool things that you can use restriction sets for, and they are all covered in the presentation. There’s also a supplemental document that provides step-by-step instructions to create my demos. Sample universes and reports, derived from the eFashion universe, are available in a BIAR file.

A quick Google search revealed that my presentation has also been uploaded to an Israeli web site. I can’t read Hebrew and couldn’t find a web site to translate. But if you can, I’d love to find out who found my presentation useful.

Business Objects Insight 2007 – Part I

Or “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love SAP”.

I recently attended Business Objects Insight 2007 in sunny Orlando, Florida. This was my second year as a breakout speaker, with a presentation entitled Secure Universes Using Restriction Sets. For those expecting big news regarding XI 3.0 (code name Titan) or the next release of Dashboard Manager/Performance Manager (code name Allegro), there weren’t any large announcements during the general sessions; however, there were brief peeks throughout the conference (more about that later).

Of course, the first thing to be dealt with was the small matter of the upcoming acquisition by SAP. Both Bernard Liautaud and John Schwarz indicated that Business Objects would remain an independent organization with both staying on board to lead it. We’ll have to wait till the acquisition closes to learn more, but ideally an independent Business Objects can remain vendor neutral for the benefit of all customers but still create compelling solutions for SAP customers.The “major” product announcement from the conference was Crystal Reports 2008, which is currently in beta and will ship before the end of 2007. I didn’t hear a formal explanation, but I’m assuming that the “2008” designation (instead of XI 3.0) is intended to more clearly communicate to Microsoft Visual Studio developers which version of CR goes with VS. One of the major feature enhancements is the ability to integrate Xcelsius content into a Crystal Report. For those of us who are “traditional” Business Objects users, I’m assuming that similar integration will occur with other reporting tools in XI 3.0.

I was pleased to see that there were two presentations regarding publications, the topic of my Insight 2006 presentation, Getting Personal with Publications and Profiles. Publications are the mechanism Business Objects uses to supporting single pass report bursting. The first presentation was Publications Unleashed, presented by Don Kawahigashi from Integra Solutions. Don had some great examples from an actual customer installation on how to extend the publication capabilities in the current release, XI Release 2. The other presentation was entitled Publications- The Power of Personalization by David Brockington and Derek Wang from Business Objects. Their presentation was my first sneak-peek at the revised Central Management Console (CMC) in XI 3.0. The expected new feature was the addition of Web Intelligence as a supported document type (XI Release 2 publications require Desktop Intelligence). The surprise new features were the addition of Crystal Reports as a supported document type and Dynamic Recipients. With Dynamic Recipients, you can manage subscribers that do not have to be a Business Objects user. I’m anxiously awaiting the release of XI 3.0, which is slated for the intentionally vague “first half of 2008”.

From my perspective, Xcelsius was the most covered technology in the breakouts. The coolest breakout was Jeff Pelletier from AT&T Mobility (formerly Cingular) describing how it was used to launch the Apple iPhone. I’m curious to see if and how Allegro will continue to integrate Xcelsius technology into the Dashboard Manager/Performance Manager products.

Curious was the announcement of a deeper partnership with IBM, which came the day after the conference. The delayed announcement probably explains IBM motivation for being a global sponsor of Insight 2007. The press release is sketchy on details, but it appears that a “limited” version of Business Objects will be distributed with IBM DB2.

No formal word on the location of next year’s conference, but I hope it will be sunny and warm.