Scheduling and Publishing:
SAP BusinessObjects vs 360Cast

scheduling-publishing-sap-businessobjects

Definitions

  • Scheduling refers to creating an instance of a document on a one-time or recurring basis and distributing it to recipients automatically based on defined properties, including recurrence, format, prompts, and destination.
  • Publishing (aka report bursting) refers to refreshing a document or collection of documents against data sources, applying filters, and delivering personalized versions of the document(s) to recipients and/or destinations.

Unique Benefits of 360Cast

When it comes to scheduling and publishing, 360Cast outshines SAP BusinessObjects native resources.

Enterprise Job Scheduler Compatibility

Both SAP BusinessObjects and 360Cast offer numerous scheduling frequency options. What sets 360Cast apart is its ability to trigger scheduled reports with an enterprise job scheduler (e.g., Control-M, UC4, $U, TWS), which SAP BusinessObjects cannot do.

Read the Forrester Consulting thought leadership paper about the advantages of workload automation.

Dynamic Prompts and Filters with Excel and SQL Functions

360Cast offers as many dynamic filters options as there are Excel and database SQL functions. The benefit of dynamic prompts and filters is that changes to parameters are automatically applied to scheduled documents, which is especially helpful when parameters and prompts are based on dates.

Consider the example of a customer that runs a daily report containing quarterly data. The report has two parameters: start date and end date. The start date is always the first day of a quarter and the end date is always the day that the report is generated. 

Dynamic start date calculation with Excel function: =DATE(YEAR(A2),FLOOR(MONTH(A2)-1,3)+1,1)

Dynamic end date calculation with Excel function:
= TODAY()

Start Date (First Day of Quarter)
End Date (Today)
April 1June 28
April 1June 29
April 1June 30
July 1July 1
July 1July 2

More Options for Dynamic Destination Lists

SAP BusinessObjects can create dynamic destination lists when using WebI documents. 360Cast can create dynamic destination lists by fetching values from Webi documents, Crystal reports, Excel files, CSV files, and SQL requests. The advantage of a SQL request destination list is that the parameters used within the scheduled documents are updated automatically when the SQL statement runs, whereas destination lists based on Excel or CSV files must be reloaded to the server for changes to apply.

Dynamic destination list with SQL request:
select customer_id, customer_email where loan_status = ‘Due’.

Customer ID
Customer Email
Loan Status
45173bob@home.comDue
26191sue@school.eduDue
84007john@work.orgDue

360Cast also eliminates the need to maintain SAP BusinessObjects profiles.

Additional Destination Options

360Cast makes it possible to schedule and publish documents and reports to additional destinations, including public folders and SharePoint.

Destination
SAP BusinessObjects
360Cast
Default Enterprise Location
BI Inbox
File System
Email
FTP Server
SFTP Server
Public Folder
SharePoint
SharePoint 2016
SharePoint Online

Enhanced Customization

SAP BusinessObjects allows for limited customization of documents by defining what fields to filter for different recipient lists.

enhanced-customization
customization-creation-filter

360Cast offers more sophisticated customization, including the ability to:

  • Apply advanced filters based on static or dynamic values in recipient lists;
  • Exclude document tabs with dynamic values;
  • Apply the same recipient list to several different tasks; and
  • Go beyond manual input and apply recipient list values to prompts.
static-values
screen-filter-360cast

Better Performance

SAP BusinessObjects bursts reports by first refreshing entire documents and then filtering the documents for different recipients.

sap-businessobjects-bursts-reports

360Cast reverses the order of activities, filtering documents for different recipients and then refreshing only the required data. This improves the performance of documents, especially those with large data sets, and avoids Bex (BW) request limitations.

reverses-the-order-of-activities

Easier Administration

360Cast provides a unique task administration console that displays scheduled jobs by execution status. The 360Cast console makes it possible to monitor activity in real-time, identify failures (entire jobs or portions thereof), and address failures without relaunching the entire scheduled job.

console-360cast

Bonus Features 

In addition to improving on SAP BusinessObjects functionalities, 360Cast offers additional features, including the ability to:

  • Reuse and easily maintain distribution lists;
  • Password-protect delivered documents (Excel, PDF, Zip);
  • Apply watermarks to delivered documents containing sensitive content (Excel, PDF);
  • Attach custom metadata to delivered documents (PDF);
  • Concatenate, set the delimiter type, and select the text qualifier and character set (CSV);
  • Include publication results and HTML in the body of emails;
  • Customize delivered instance names;
  • Choose between sending an OpenDocument link notification for each document or for each email destination; and
  • Schedule publications that include mixed document types (e.g., WebI documents and Crystal reports).

Expert Advice

Organizations with simple and straightforward scheduling and publication requirements may find SAP BusinessObjects native resources up to the task. But organizations that rely on enterprise job schedulers, that want to take advantage of dynamic prompts, filters, and destination lists, or that require additional customization of documents would be wise to embrace 360Cast. The benefits of 360Cast go beyond enhanced functionality to include better performance, easier administration, and bonus features not available in SAP BusinessObjects.

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