SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

SAP is the world’s largest business application provider. Its original business intelligence strategy was to view BI as an extension to its all-inclusive ERP offerings. This was in line with SAP’s general long-term policy of offering all-inclusive enterprise software.

SAP BW, a data warehouse management tool, and BEx, the BI front-ends, were the core products of the former SAP Business Intelligence Suite.

The two products offer a multidimensional data model and an ad hoc reporting tool for Excel as well as a development environment for creating Web applications. BEx is now in maintenance mode but is still heavily used by SAP customers.

In 2007, SAP shifted to a strategy of acquisitions to meet the needs of its customers, acquiring three BI and performance management vendors in the course of 12 months: Business Objects, Outlooksoft and Pilot Software. With the Business Objects acquisition, SAP acquired one of the broadest BI tool portfolios in the industry.

Today, SAP provides solutions for a broad set of BI usage scenarios. Based on their preferences, customers can choose between two portfolios: on-premise or in the cloud. On-premise, the vendor sells former Business Objects products plus some SAP-developed products such as SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio.

In the cloud, a newly developed BusinessObjects cloud solution was launched in 2015. It is positioned as a single integrated product for BI, performance management, predictive analytics and GRC.

User & Use Cases

SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio is an Eclipse-based development environment for creating individual applications, especially for SAP data sources such as BW and HANA. A subset of JavaScript functions provides additional flexibility to implement individual object behavior.

Its application building capabilities are endorsed by customers, 84 percent of whom use it for dashboarding. A further 63 percent use the solution for standard reporting. As the successor to Web Application Designer, which was mostly used for dashboard creation and web-oriented standard reporting by BW customers, it is not surprising to see so many customers using Design Studio in this area.

Design Studio mostly comes up against other SAP products in competes. This suggests that SAP customers are very loyal and would rather evaluate other solutions from their standard provider than opt for a non-SAP product.

Current vs. planned use

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5 products most often evaluated in competition with SAP BO Design Studio

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Percentage of employees using SAP BO Design Studio

Licensing models

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Number of users using SAP BO Design Studio

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Tasks carried out with SAP BO Design Studio by business users

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Company size (number of employees)

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SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

Peer Groups Dashboarding-focused products, Large international BI vendors
VendorSAP SE
Number of responses32
Revenues (2015)€20.8 billion (FY 2015)