Best practice xcelsius

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XCelSIuS 2008 GenerAl beSt PrACtICeS

CONTENTS 1 Introduction 1 Who Should Read this Guide? 1 About Xcelsius 2008 2 The Role of Microsoft Excel at Design Time 2 The Role of Adobe Flash at Preview or Export Time 3 Microsoft Excel Best Practices 3 Supported Microsoft Excel Functions 3 Microsoft Excel Functions for Small Data Sets Only 4 Use Colors, Labels, and Borders to IdentifyData Types (Input and Output) 5 Organize Your Data in a Logical Fashion 6 Place Frequently Used Data and Logic at the Top of the Sheet 6 Use Multiple Tabs 8 Designing and Creating Visualizations 8 Design on Paper 8 Start with an Empty Spreadsheet 8 Try to Keep the Data and Logic to a Minimum or Hard-Code Values 8 Add Components 8 Add Some Dummy Data to Test Charts and Interactivity 8 Add DynamicVisibility Logic 8 Remove Your Dummy Data 8 Export and Test Your Visualization 8 Embedding Your Visualization into a Web Page 11 Flash Player Security 11 Running a SWF from Your Desktop – Make the SWF Trusted 12 Running a SWF Hosted on a Web Server – Use a Cross-Domain Policy File 13 Further Reading 14 About Business Objects, an SAP company


This white paper covers the general bestpractices for building visualizations with Xcelsius® 2008 from Business Objects, an SAP company.

Who Should read this Guide?
Anyone who is creating visualizations with Xcelsius 2008 should read these best practices.

About XCelSIuS 2008

Xcelsius 2008 is a visualization tool for creating interactive visual models based on highly aggregated data sets. It uses a point-and-click design timeenvironment that can easily be used by business users. No programming skills are necessary for creating Xcelsius 2008 visualizations.

Author: Matt Lloyd Contributors: Ryan Goodman and Richard Reynolds (updated based on their Best Practices for the older Crystal Xcelsius 4.5 products)

the role of MICroSoft eXCel At deSIGn tIMe

We often are asked what benefits we get from using MicrosoftExcel and why do we continue to use Microsoft Excel? Apart from Microsoft Excel having a wide reach among business users and being easy to use, there are three key benefits that Microsoft Excel provides when embedded inside Xcelsius 2008: 1. A Data Model. You can enter highly aggregated data directly into the spreadsheet and visualize it, so there is no need for a database. You can also pull inhighly aggregated data from external sources, including Web services, XML, and databases. 2. A Calculation Engine. In addition to Microsoft Excel having a very familiar and flexible formula language, it also provides a calculation engine. 3. An Eventing Model. When a cell changes, we get a “data change” event. This is a very simple model, but we leverage it for more than just calculations. You caneither start with a blank spreadsheet inside Xcelsius 2008 or you can import an existing spreadsheet. If you want to export the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet out of Xcelsius 2008, on the data menu, click export.

the role of Adobe flASh At PrevIeW or eXPort tIMe

When you preview or export your visualization, all of the data, logic, and formatting from the embedded Microsoft Excel spreadsheet iscompiled as Adobe Flash to produce a Shockwave Flash (SWF) file So when you distribute your Xcelsius visualization as a SWF, all the end users need in order to view the SWF is the Adobe Flash player (version 9 or later). Note: Microsoft Excel is only required at design time when building Xcelsius visualizations.

business objects. Xcelsius 2008 Best Practices

MICroSoft eXCel beStPrACtICeS

SuPPorted MICroSoft eXCel funCtIonS

Xcelsius 2008 supports a lot of the Microsoft Excel functions. Make sure that your Excel spreadsheet uses only the Excel functions that are supported by Xcelsius 2008 – otherwise, during preview time, your visualization may not behave as expected. To see the list of Microsoft Excel functions that Xcelsius 2008 supports: 1. From the Xcelsius 2008 help...
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