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Career Move to Business Objects

Posted on 2014-02-19
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I have 10 years of experiance as Oracle Developer - Oracle Performance Tuning, Sql, Pl/Sql, Forms, Reports, Unix, Shell scripts, Clear case etc.
I want to move over to SAP using SAP Business Objects - BOBJ module through certification.

I have the following questions:

1. How is the experiance i currently have in Oracle technologies contribute towards SAP Business Objects
2. What is the job scenario for SAP Business objects today. Considering it is a relatively new tool the other being SAP Netweaver Business Warehouse BI/BW
3. What all technologies do i need to learn along with it - example, SAP Netweaver Business Warehouse, BODS: SAP Business Objects Data Services, HANA
4. Business Objects have the following areas: Reporting, Data Visualization usig Xcelsius, Universe Designer, Crystal Reports, Enterprise Information Management, Enterprise Performance Management, Infoview, Lumira, Office Analysis, Business Objects Planning & Consolidation, BI on-demand. What all topics does the certification cover.
5. Which paid forums can i ask question on Business Objects.
6. Is there any exam on new features for Business Objects.
7. Where can i get documentation on SAP Business Objects
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Question by:gram77
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by:mlmcc
mlmcc earned 250 total points
ID: 39870296
What do you want to do in BO?

There are many tracks to follow and most are relatively independent of each other.
For instance I am a very successful BI developer using Crystal Reports and WebI along with Universe Developer.  I know very little about the other tools BO offers.

There is certification in Crystal, WebI, and many other tracks.

Q1.  Current skills translation
For what I do using BO tools probably the most important skill you have will be your general database knowledge and SQL.  BO doesn't have its own database management system but allows you to use many different platforms to host the data and for use as the database for its enterprise tools.

Q2.  BO has been around for over 15 years under different names.  Under its current ownership, SAP, it is evolving and maturing.  There is a bright future for Business Intelligence.

Q3.  What tools to learn.  This depends on what you want to do.  Most of the BO tools are standalone and don't require knowledge of other tools.  Each tool has its place and capabilities.  They can work independently or together to accomplish a task.  Especially when you a trying to transition, you probably want to consider what you really enjoy doing and look at the tools that use those skills.  

For instance do you really enjoy SQL and understanding the backend database?
IN that case Hana and Universe development come to mind as particularly needing those skills.  They are different tools and have different uses.  Universe development is done to provide report developers particularly WebI with the data they need for reports but it insulates them from having to fully understand the backend and SQL.
Hana is a new tool and as I understand it is more for use in Data Warehousing.
Do you enjoy developing, designing reports then Crystal, WebI, Dashboarding might be a good way to start.

4.  Certification topics.  Not sure what you want.  Each tool has its own certification and the knowledge required depends on the tools.  For instance with Crystal you really need to understand how to develop a report and the steps needed to do things.  Many questions involve knowledge of the menus and command to do things.

5.  I would recommend this forum for asking questions.  SAP BO has its own forum ut I am not sure what the requirements are for asking questions.  There are many other forums around but why would I recommend one when in my opinion this is the best resource.

6.  Exam on new features.  Most BO certification is tool based and in many cases version based.  For instance, Crystal Reports has or had a certification exam for CR XI, CR 2008, CR 2011, and I assume there will be one for CR2013.  Exams covered new features, changed features, and ongoing knowledge.  There isn't anything that just covers the new features.

7. BO Documents are available on the SAP website
    http://www.sap.com/index.html

Some documentation
    http://help.sap.com/boall_en

mlmcc
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by:gram77
ID: 39870398
Business Objects have the following areas:
Reporting, Data Visualization usig Xcelsius, Universe Designer, Crystal Reports, Enterprise Information Management, Enterprise Performance Management, Infoview, Lumira, Office Analysis, Business Objects Planning & Consolidation, BI on-demand

Why is it that in experts exchange everything related to BO comes under the umbrella of Business Objects/crystal reports.

Does experts exchange handle questions on all topics of Business Objects.
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Kurt Reinhardt earned 250 total points
ID: 39870748
Certification is worthless, IMO,  unless your job requires it and those jobs are rare.  I'm certified as a consultant/trainer in Crystal Reports because I work for an SAP Partner consulting company and teach official classes.  I've never had any other job that required the certification or would even care about it.  Experience matters most.

Your Oracle experience won't count for much, except that you know how to write SQL.  The report builder experience is completely different than any of the tools available through the SA BI Platform.  Frankly, I find Oracle developers or programmers in general have a harder time with the standalone Crystal Reports designer because it's tough for them to get out of "programmer" mode or because they want to use stored procedures for EVERYTHING!

Where I think your Oracle/SQL experience would help is with Universe design and WebI reporting.  A Universe is a SQL-based semantic layer between the end user and the database and greatly simplifies reporting.  Designing a Universe well is an art form, much like designing a good data warehouse.  It requires a lot of thought and analysis.

You may be able to specialize in SAP BI installations and administration on Linux, given your background, but the market is almost non-existent.  Also, dedicated SAP BI Administrator jobs are very rare.  In general, many of the SAP BI jobs, especially those for administrators and Crystal Reports writers, are lumped in with other generalist tasks (even though they shouldn't be, IMO).

If you want to stay in BI, you might try looking at DOMO.  It's an upcoming BI company that offers a proprietary SaaS product primarily focused on dashboards, infographics and KPIs.

As for the Business Objects forum here, frankly there aren't nearly as many experts (here or elsewhere) and the experts that do exist tend to frequent the official site or BoB (BusinessObjects Board).
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by:mlmcc
ID: 39870939
I agree with the certification being relatively useless.  I have never had a job that required it.  I know several certified report developers who are next to worthless particularly when it comes to report look and feel.

The only reason I am considering it is because the company I work for is a SAP Gold Partner and part of the Gold certification relates to number of BO certified consultants.

mlmcc
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Author Comment

by:gram77
ID: 39872741
It would be appreciated if my questions are answered point wise.
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