Using SAP Dashboards and Flex4 Add-Ons with XI3.1

Why use SAP Dashboards with SAP BusinessObjects XI3.1?

To take advantage of Flex4 version of CMaps Analytics and additional functionality added to other Centigon Solutions add-on components, you can install and utilize SAP Dashboards side by side with your Xcelsius 2008 and connect to your BOE XI3.1 install. The following tutorial will walk you through step by step migrating a Flex2 dashboard from Xcelsius 2008 to a modern Flex4 architecture powered by SAP Dashboards.

Changes Required to your XI3.1 Server

NONE! There are no changes required to your server. You are simply opening and re-compiling your dashboard content from Flex2 to Flex4.

Key Differences between Xcelsius 2008 and SAP Dashboards

First, it is important to note that the re-branding from Xcelsius to SAP Dashboards, version change from XI3.1 to BI4 and architecture change from Flex2 to Flex4 all happened during different releases. As such, we always want to refer to the version number as our basis for knowing what versions you should be using. For the purposes of this article, we are specifically focused on the version of Adobe Flex. To find your version numbers in Xcelsius 2008 go to File>About Xcelsius.

Version 5.x – 6.02 = Flex2

Version 6.0.3 and beyond = Flex4

Step 1: Install SAP Dashboards

Version 6.0.4: You want version 6.0.4 as the lowest install which is what we tested with. You do NOT want to install a version lower than 6.0.4.

When you install SAP Dashboards, it will allow you to install side by side with your Xcelsius 2008, so you are not limited from working on existing projects or impacting your work. If you are currently running SAP Dashboards 6.0.0 -6.0.2 it will not allow you to install side by side.


Step 2: Install your Flex4 Add-On Component

In this case we are migrating a dashboard from an old GMaps Plugin to CMaps Plugin.

a. Simply go to File>Manage Add Ons
b. While in the Add-On Manager, Click Install Add-Ons
c. Navigate to the XLX add-on file.
d. Click “OK” and then “Save and Close”

Step 3: Open your Existing Dashboard

If your dashboard project (XLF) file is saved in the BOE repository:

a. Open your old Xcelsius 2008
b. Click File > Open From Platform
c. Navigate to your XLF and Open
d. Save your XLF project to a folder on your local PC.

With your dashboard project (XLF) on your desktop:

a. Open your newly installed SAP Dashboards
b. Open the XLF project from your desktop.

Upon opening your dashboard SAP Dashboards will automatically convert all of your content from Flex2 to Flex4. If you are using an add-on component like GMaps Plugin prior, simply navigate and open the property sheet. This will refresh the properties.

Step 4: Test your Dashboard Content

Moving from Flex2 to Flex4 should be a painless process, though depending how old your version of Xcelsius 2008 is, there could be some minor changes that wont be visible until you try running your dashboard. For specific differences for add-ons like GMaps Plugin- CMaps Plugin, please review our migration guide.

NOTE: Do not save over your existing dashboard project (XLF). Please make a copy of your projects.

Step 5: Data Connectivity and Security

In our testing, we tried Query as a Web Service (QaaWS) and BI Web Services to ensure that existing data connectivity will work on the desktop, and when published to SAP BusinessObjects repository. No changes should be required when migrating your dashboards.

The only notable change is that if you are publishing dashboards to desktop and have your username/password fields blank, the login box does have the newer SAP Dashboards branding.

Step 6: Publishing to XI3.1 Repository

Publishing will be the only difference in your existing workflow. In short, to publish from SAP Dashboards into the repository, you will require XI3.1 Client tools, specifically, Publishing Wizard.



The reason for using Publishing Wizard is SAP Dashboards changed with BI4 when Dashboard Services are introduced. These services do not exist in XI3.1 so new options you will notice for saving to platform will not work.


To publish your SWF and/or XLF back to the repository, please review the following steps:

Step 1. Inside of SAP Dashboards click File Export and save your SWF to your local computer.export

Step 2.  Click Start>BusinessObjects XI3.1>Publishing Wizard

Step 3. Login to your repository

Step 4. Click Add Files

Step 5. To make your files viewable, you need to select the correct file type. You can select the specific type Crystal Xcelsius (xlf) or Macromedia Flash (swf) or simply select All Objects.


Step 6. Navigate to the folder containing your SWF and XLF file and select your files and then click “Next”


Step 7. Select the folder in your repository that you would like to publish your content and click “Next”

Step 8. Confirm the location of your objects by clicking “Next”. If your files belong in other folders you can move them around.

Step 9. Specify any Categories you would like to assign. No categories are required if you don’t use them for dashboard objects and click “Next”

Step 10. Select “Publish without modifying properties” and click Next twice.


Upon completion, it will indicate success.

One limitation of the publish wizard is the missing ability to overwrite your existing dashboard objects. It automatically versions your objects, creating a copy with each version. As you can see it displays a number in the file name. Certainly this can pose some workflow issues if you are linking to your dashboard via iDocID or CUID. There are no known workarounds to force Publish Wizard to overwrite your existing repository objects.


Now, when running your content inside of BusinessObjects, it will inherit the security and load live QaaWS and BI Web Services data.