Mashups are still cool! – Webi/Google mashup example

Mashups have been around as a concept for many year, and as a term for a few. The term mashup became very popular when google released its maps API. Suddenly, everyone had maps mashed up on their web sites. The BI vendors were quick to catch on, and provide ways (sometimes easy, sometimes not so much) to integrate external mashed up content into their html based reporting applications. And while you don’t hear about mashups so much these days, I still think they are a very powerful, inventive and cost effective way to produce powerful applications. The concept of combining functionality and content from different web based applications and providers and mashing it into a coherent and new kind of application works great in the context of a BI app or a report. In the example below, I mashedup a google map and a custom google search into a BusinessObjects web intelligence (webi) report. The resulting report is interesting, fun and contains functionality that neither app would have been able to provide on its own, making it unique and fresh.

The top left corner of the report contains a regular block of data from the e-Fashion universe (a sample database and semantic model that ships with the product). Next to it, is an embedded google map, that includes the city and sales revenue. On the left bottom corner is a custom google search on the page that allows the users to search the local web site (boston.com) and finally on the lower right corner is a regular webi chart with sales, discounts and margins data.

What could have been another boring tabular report is now teaming with interactivity and life, begging the users to explore and understand the information presented and look beyond.

The map was embedded in the webi report using an iframe that references a jsp file that was created on the businessobjects server. The jsp file takes the address parameters from the webi report, passes them to the maps api, along with the sales data, and creates the map. The custom search uses a similar concept, leveraging an iframe to embed the custom search div content.

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12 Responses to Mashups are still cool! – Webi/Google mashup example

  1. David Taylor says:

    Unfortunately the iframe work around is broken in v4.0. The WebI developers began using iframes within WebI and since nested iframes don’t work, this won’t work anymore. Bummer, eh?

    • Ron Keler says:

      Thanks for your comment David. I have not tried this with 4.0 yet, but will be sure to update as i learn more.. Thanks – Ron

    • Ron Keler says:

      David, as of 4.0SP2, Patch 4, i was able to implement an iFrame inside a webi report that references an external site content. I was hoping to see that exporting to PDF support the HTML rendering, but ALAS, that is not the case yet.. But at least the same online iFrame content embedded in webi will still work. Thanks – Ron

  2. BIuser says:

    Hi, I like what you did with google map. Could you give us more detail on how you did it for thoses who are not experts (more information on the jsp file and the webi document)

    • Ron Keler says:

      Thank you Bluser. I will look to dig up the details and post them here in the next few days. Generally speaking, i believe in this example, i was generating an iFrame html string with a .jsp file as the src tag, passing to it the values from webi over a query string (like: or so..), the jsp picked the variables values and passed them to the embedded google chart in it.

  3. andrew says:

    Hi

    This looks great – could you publish a few more details, i.e. exactly how to do it.

    Appreciate any help you can provide.

    Cheers

    Andrew

  4. Remko says:

    Hey Ron

    This looks great and I would like to apply this in a Webi 3.1 environment. Could you publish a few more details, especially the details to the JSP-file part?

    Thanks!

    Remko

  5. Remko says:

    Hi Ron,
    Thanks for your response. 🙂
    Unfortunately I’m using XI version 3.1 and am not able to open the sample WID file and HTML file you supplied. Compiling Java code is not really my cup-of-tea. Would it be possible for you to send me the above mentioned JSP file and sample report?
    Thanks, Remko

  6. Manish says:

    Can you pls share the steps to how to integrate the Godle Maps functaionality in Webi Reports. I don’t know Java. Can you pls guide on how to do it in BO XI R3.2

    Pls Help

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