Nobody Ever Got Promoted for Being Live Office Product Manager

Microsoft Power Query for SAP BusinessObjects

Last week at its 2014 SharePoint Conference, Microsoft announced Power BI connectivity to SAP BusinessObjects BI, described as “a joint business intelligence interoperability solution delivered with SAP”. The solution allows users to query UNX universes from the Information Design Tool from Microsoft Excel 2013. Andrew Fox has an excellent write-up of his first-time experience on his blog (see related article, Microsoft Power Query Connectivity to SAP BusinessObjects Universes – How to get started). But Andrew doesn’t feel that PowerQuery has sufficient capabilities to retire Live Office. At least not yet.

It’s certainly an interesting development, as Live Office 4.0 did not receive any significant updates. Its inability to query new UNX universes from the Information Design Tool is a curious omission. My co-worker Ahmed Sherrif thinks Live Office is as good as dead (see related article on the EV Technologies blog, Live Office is Dead to Me). Looking for answers, I posted a question to Twitter that’s probably on the minds of a lot of SAP BusinessObjects Live Office users.

There’s been no official word from SAP on the release of Microsoft PowerQuery.


So we don’t know if it is the official successor to SAP BusinessObjects Live Office. There had previously been some rumblings from SAP that Live Office functionality would be migrated to SAP BusinessObjects Analysis for Microsoft Office. The lack of official news from SAP confirms my suspicion that nobody ever got promoted for being Live Office product manager.


Microsoft Excel is the most popular BI tool. Getting data from Excel into SAP Lumira and Web Intelligence is a key capability. But some users prefer to do the opposite- get data into Excel and other Microsoft Office applications. In any case, there’s a SAP business intelligence product that is trapped between the living and the dead. With the North American SAP SAPPHIRE still two months away, let’s hope that more details about Microsoft PowerQuery and SAP BusinessObjects Live Office emerge before then.

Dallas Marks

Dallas Marks

I am an analytics and cloud architect, author, and trainer. An AWS certified blogger, SAP Mentor Alumni and co-author of the SAP Press book SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, I prefer piano keyboards over computer keyboards when not blogging or tweeting.

4 thoughts on “Nobody Ever Got Promoted for Being Live Office Product Manager

  1. Hi Dallas, thanks for building on by blog.

    I did cross post the same blog on SCN and there was some interesting banter in the comments.

    Most notably was a comment from Blair Wheadon at SAP

    Quote: “This solution is not positioned as a replacement for Live Office. Live Office certainly does more than this feature of the Microsoft PowerBI adding such as report part viewing in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

    We acknowledge the gaps with respect to UNX support and are working internally to address that. Unfortunately we cannot provide guidance on timing at this time.

    This may be obvious, but I’d like to highlight that unlike Live Office, this PowerBI addin is owned by Microsoft and leverages our web services API. Microsoft owns the roadmap of the PowerBI addin and their implementation of the Universe connectivity.”

    This confirms SAP know there is a product gap but sadly give no view on a fix or replacement technology.


    Andrew Fox

    1. Thanks for cross-posting the comments, Andrew. I made some very minor updates to the article. We have a customer that wants to start using Live Office in 2014- we’ve very gingerly told them “well, it’s supported but…”. Hopefully we’ll have better advice for these customers soon.

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