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Business Objects vs. Analysis Services and IT Bullies RRS feed

  • Question

  •  

    Hello,

     

    I've been working on implementing an SSAS solution for my department. The Proof of Concept is working very well and I am ready to implement it. However, some bullies from IT have come in and said that cubes are not the correct way to go about this (even though it is working) and that we need to call Business Objects and have them come in and tell us what they can provide.

     

    To create my solution, I am using SSIS, SSRS, and SSAS. It is a great package that has everything in it and, frankly, I don't want to have to redo all my work.

     

    When Business Solutions comes in I want to be able to ask them questions (objectively and fairly) about what they can provide us. If they have a better solution, then I should take it, but if it is sort of borderline, I want to be able to "win" with Microsoft and SQL Server 2005. One quick example that I know of is that when sending a report from Business Objects to Excel, the format is not always pretty and/or easy to deal with.

     

    Any suggestions about a comparison list or feature by feature list of the two? Or maybe just some pointed questions about can Business Objects do X? Maybe questions about speed, stability, "plays well with others (Oracle)", etc.

     

    Thank you for the help.

     

    -Gumbatman

    Monday, September 10, 2007 4:14 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    I implemeted a DW project last year, using SSIS then both Business Objects and SSAS on top of that.  Have to say that the amount of time spent developing the BO universe and reports took almost as long as the ETL process (generally reporting times are far shorter).

     

    From a support and development aspect, the extra level of design which is built into BO is a nightmare to support.  You will end up needing people who are experts in both SQL and BO, not many, and those are all probably contracting.

     

    Did notice that if your reports get complicated or the BO Universe does magical things, the performance hit was on the SQL Database.  If the database is a transactional one rather than a DW you could encounter problems with performance.  I don't think it has quite the same query performance as SSAS, although BO could do some very clever things that SSAS couldn't or would be very difficult to do (more in business modelling).

     

    It also depends how many people are using the reports, more users probably more hits on the underlying database; I don't think there is any caching like in SSAS, so if someone runs the same report it will have to query the database again rather than hit the cache. 

     

    Don't think there are aggregations in BO, we didn't use any.  Think we create table functions to aggregate things up to differnt levels of granularity.

     

    In my opinion if you have a BO team in the company, it is a route you could use as well as SSAS.  Allows you to migrate away from BO into a SSAS world.. 

     

    The improvements of Excel 2007, reporting services in 2008 and proclarity all make BO look basic and dated.

     

    Sure if you contact Microsoft and asked them the question, they would list a load of things.  Probably have a fact file on the matter.

     

    Sorry for the long reply!

     

    Hope that helps

    Matt

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007 8:40 AM
  • Hello! Here is my list:

    • Does BO have their own relational database and ETL tool?
    • Why should you pay for BO when you have SSAS, SSRS, SSIS, SQL Server 2005 bundled and without extra license cost?

    HTH

    Thomas Ivarsson

     

    Monday, September 10, 2007 5:21 PM

All replies

  • Hello! Here is my list:

    • Does BO have their own relational database and ETL tool?
    • Why should you pay for BO when you have SSAS, SSRS, SSIS, SQL Server 2005 bundled and without extra license cost?

    HTH

    Thomas Ivarsson

     

    Monday, September 10, 2007 5:21 PM
  • Hi,

    I implemeted a DW project last year, using SSIS then both Business Objects and SSAS on top of that.  Have to say that the amount of time spent developing the BO universe and reports took almost as long as the ETL process (generally reporting times are far shorter).

     

    From a support and development aspect, the extra level of design which is built into BO is a nightmare to support.  You will end up needing people who are experts in both SQL and BO, not many, and those are all probably contracting.

     

    Did notice that if your reports get complicated or the BO Universe does magical things, the performance hit was on the SQL Database.  If the database is a transactional one rather than a DW you could encounter problems with performance.  I don't think it has quite the same query performance as SSAS, although BO could do some very clever things that SSAS couldn't or would be very difficult to do (more in business modelling).

     

    It also depends how many people are using the reports, more users probably more hits on the underlying database; I don't think there is any caching like in SSAS, so if someone runs the same report it will have to query the database again rather than hit the cache. 

     

    Don't think there are aggregations in BO, we didn't use any.  Think we create table functions to aggregate things up to differnt levels of granularity.

     

    In my opinion if you have a BO team in the company, it is a route you could use as well as SSAS.  Allows you to migrate away from BO into a SSAS world.. 

     

    The improvements of Excel 2007, reporting services in 2008 and proclarity all make BO look basic and dated.

     

    Sure if you contact Microsoft and asked them the question, they would list a load of things.  Probably have a fact file on the matter.

     

    Sorry for the long reply!

     

    Hope that helps

    Matt

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007 8:40 AM
  •  

    Matt and Thomas,

     

    Thank you for the answers. This is great information and will go a long way for me.

     

    -Gumbatman

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007 7:24 PM