Building Real Enterprise Dashboards with Antivia XWIS

I first met Mark Hudson and members of the Antivia team at the 2008 BOBJ user conference following a presentation, “Xcelsius Web Intelligence Suite”. From that presentation, I knew that Antivia was on a path to change how we think about enterprise connectivity for Xcelsius. Since then, each version of Xcelsius Web Intelligence Suite (XWIS) has significantly improved connectivity and navigation of data from BusinessObjects Enterprise.

With Xcelsius Web Intelligence Suite 2.5 (XWIS), Antivia has continued their innovation streak with so much compelling functionality, that I had difficulty picking out my favorite new features for this article. XWIS 2.5 simplifies the development process for building real, scalable, enterprise dashboards, which is something that organizations have struggled with Live Office and Query as a Web Service. For the first time, developers can meet complex business requirements without laying lots of data connectors with Excel logic. Instead XWIS 2.5 is a scalable solution designed from the ground up to address enterprise dashboard development using Xcelsius or SAP Crystal Dashboard Design as the development platform. The following list is my favorite new features, so make sure you obtain a full list from

Point and click connectivity to WebI and Crystal Reports– XWIS provides a suite of components that provide direct connectivity to Web Intelligence and now Crystal Reports. With enhanced connectivity management, dashboard developers can re-assemble any combination of measures and dimensions from WebI and Crystal Reports to create true drilldown, hierarchical navigation, and adhoc analysis without data volume limitations or Excel logic.
connect and drill through Crystal or WebI Reports

Autowire– A new feature with XWIS 2.5 is an ability to automatically link standard Xcelsius charts to live data WITHOUT BINDING TO THE SPREADSHEET. Antivia has beat BusinessObjects to the punch, enabling dashboard developers to connect, navigate, drill, and visualize data without a single Excel binding. In addition, Autowire will either synchronize to multiple charts within the dashboard, or provide an in-line chart navigator allowing an end user to toggle between multiple chart types.
autowire automatically recognises the charts on your dashboard
Autowire also features in-line chart drilldown while retaining a breadcrumb navigation to drill back up the hierarchy across all chart types.
autowire automatically recognises the charts on your dashboard

Connectivity to any source with XMLA and JDBC– For customers who want to access OLAP data sources directly from Xcelsius, XWIS’ new XMLA connectivity option provides the flexibility that developers have been asking for a long time. In addition, an JDBC connectivity option provides and interface to inject your SQL queries directly into XWIS, while retaining the same functionality to navigate and drill they support against WebI or Crystal Reports.
New JDBC Connectivity

Online/Offline and Bursting– Previously available with XWIS 2.0, dashboard end users can easily save dashboards for offline use, while retaining all of the data from XWIS. I get a ton of requests for this functionality, so I wanted to re-iterate its availability and importance for the future success of Xcelsius. To further expand offline capabilities, XWIS 2.5 now features dashboard bursting integration with BOE Publisher so you can now personalize and distribute Xcelsius dashboard to hundred if not thousands of users.

Custom Hierarchies- Within XWIS components, dashboard developers can create custom hierarchies from Crystal Report and WebI using a simple point and click interface. Now, dashboard developers can map custom hierarchies to match and synchronize non-hierarchical data with point and click ease.
Define custom hierachies<strong />” title=”Define custom hierachies” />
<p><strong>Custom Variables</strong>– For dashboard developers who spend lots of time buried in Excel logic, this feature is a major enhancement. Abstracting custom variables to XWIS, developers can leverage report measures to create custom variables for use in the dashboard. This feature among others illustrates that Antivia truly understands how developers have struggled building scalable enterprise applications and delivered an important feature to make development and maintenance much better.<br />
<img src=XWIS 2.5 is a must have. For more information, please visit

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