SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 – You’ve Got Notifications

It’s great to see a shock-and-awe technology demonstration at a big show like SAP SAPPHIRE. But sometimes, it’s even more satisfying to see a feature long-requested by users quietly show up into a product. That is the case with SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise 4.2 and user notifications.

User notifications have been such an oft-requested feature that customers will go to great lengths- usually unsupported and difficult to maintain customizations- to implement them. User notifications, as implemented in BI 4.2, allow BI administrators to push messages to specific users or groups at scheduled intervals.

To create a user notification event, log into the Central Management Console (CMC) and navigate to the Events management area. Right click on the User Notification Events folder and select New -> New Notification.

SAP BI 4.2 User Notification Events

Next, choose a date range for users to see the notification, then supply a short title and longer description. You can also send the notification via email, if desired.

SAP BI 4.2 User Notification Events

Next, you’ll want to subscribe the people who need to see the event. Right click on the event and choose Manage Subscribers.

SAP BI 4.2 User Notification Events

Click Add to choose subscribers.

SAP BI 4.2 User Notification Events

Then choose the users and/or groups that should receive the notification event. In this example, I want to notify every user of the system that a system outage will occur. But imagine the possibilities here as messages can be targeted to smaller user communities within your BI platform.

SAP BI 4.2 User Notification Events

When the scheduled time occurs, users logged into the system will see a yellow status alert at the top of the BI Launch Pad.

SAP BI 4.2 User Notification Events

Clicking “see more” brings up a pop-up window that displays the full notification message.

SAP BI 4.2 User Notification Events

This is a relatively small feature but one that’s been highly anticipated. I appreciate the ability to target specific individuals and groups but would have preferred an option to globally display a notification to ALL users on the login screen. In this way, users would notice that there’s a system outage before logging in, getting some kind of error, and calling the support desk. Perhaps we’ll see some enhancements to this welcome new feature in future support packs.

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