Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Call for Feedback

So the Tech Preview has been available for 2 weeks now. Based on the website stats it appears that quite a lot of you have had an oportunity to download it and give it a try. We had over 500 downloads in the first 24 hours which is a great response. Anyways, I want to once again put out my request for feedback. The forums have had some activity the past few weeks but I want more :)

Specifically, I want to know the following:
  1. Things you don't like
  2. Things that don't work
  3. Workflows that are not intuitive
  4. Workflows that are not supported
... and if you have time... feel free to list those things that you like.

I encourage you to try some of the more complicated reporting needs...things you know you will need once you go into production with this product. Some examples that you may want to try:
  1. How to do a Top N/ Bottom N report
  2. Using the Formula Editor
  3. Using Charts
  4. Inserting Subreports from existing reports/new reports
  5. Using Parameters
  6. Building Crosstab reports
We are scheduled to be releasing our Beta early to mid Q2 which means that the window to add usability enhancements is not very long. I want to get as many suggestions addressed as possible. Thanks again everyone, and I hope to hear from you soon.



At 7:35 AM, February 06, 2006, Blogger Adam Ellis said...


First off, I'd like to say kudos to the development team for this package. There is a lot to be excited about from this preview release. The layout of everything takes some getting used to, but is very powerful and intuitive. I am really digging the formula editor. Seeing all of the code on the same screen will be a tremendous help for me. So often I need to create a ton of formulas that have nearly identical content and I am constantly doing a "copy, create new formula, paste, edit" routine. This will make that process a bit easier. It would be nice if new formulas could be created in-line sort of like how typing 'Sub FunctionName()' works in VB.

The creation of viewers is great. I don't know anything about JSP, so the whole "Create Viewer JSP" is great as well as the automatic publishing to Tomcat.

Here are a few more items I'd like to see in the program:

- Grid and guidelines.
- I could not see any way to do a left outer join. Perhaps the Derby database driver does not support it.
- A way to change the default fonts.
- I could not seem to get a drill-down report to work in the JSP viewer. It did work correctly in the "Preview" tab.
- I was not able to connect to my database via JDBC (details here: http://support.businessobjects.com/forums/message.asp?fid=583&sk=5&ps=25&pn=1&mid=150221#m150221).

...and a few of the "would be nice if..." items:
- "Fit section" option to automatically shrink a section to it's contents.
- A way to drag a lasso box around elements on the screen to select them.
- Do designing from the preview tab.


At 7:35 AM, February 07, 2006, Blogger Sean said...

Hi Adam,
Thanks for the feedback. I'm not sure why the drill-down wasn't working in the JSP page, it should. :) You may want to start a thread in the forums that I can respond to to see if we can duplicate the issue on our end.

I think we will be addressing most of your requests in the Beta timeframe (although the editable preview will not be available until a future release). The lasso box is available in the Tech Preview if you select the "Marquee" tool in the palette while on the layout pane. (Note: this is a precise tool and will require the complete object to be selected). Once the items have been selected you can switch back to the "Select" tool to move the obects, if required.

If you think of anything else that needs to be addressed please let us know.

Thanks again,


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