Monthly Archives: October 2011

XComponents Update

Given that the XComponents is a spare-time project, it is remarkable that they have now been downloaded over 10,000 times and are in use in many production Xcelsius dashboards around the world.

However because of the part-time nature of the project, I have not always been diligent in keeping people up to date with the new features which have been added, so as I have just released a new update to the XComponents, I thought I would write this short blog post to go some way to correcting this.

If you have downloaded the XComponents before, then you should have received a link enabling you to download the new version. If you want to download the XComponents for the first time then go to: Download XComponents

XGlobe bug fix

The latest version includes a fix for the fact that Yahoo turned off the geocoding API that XGlobe was using, resulting in no markers or pins appearing on the globe, which rather defeated its purpose. The latest version uses a newer Yahoo API, but from the outside should function exactly as before.

XGlobe off-line tip

While on the topic of XGlobe, there is a little know feature which you can use to allow the XGlobe to work in a disconnected, offline mode. The XGlobe needs to locate the markers on its surface and it does this using latitude and longitude values for each of the locations it is plotting. This is where the geocoding API comes in as it translates between place names and lat/long values. However, the XGlobe will also take hard-coded lat/long values if you have them and just to be helpful the “Copy location information to the clipboard” will give you just this information, ready to be pasted intot the spreadsheet for off-line viewing. It is much easier to see than to explain so here is a short video of it in action:

XScorecard Enhancements

The latest version also adds a few highly requested features in the XScorecard. These are :-

  1. Control over which nodes are open or closed the ability to specify (both at start-up and dynamically at run time) which nodes of the tree are open
  2. Number formatting using an Excel like format string (e.g. 0.00, or 0.0% or 0.##) to format numbers in the scorecard
  3. Display names the ability to provide alternative names for the labels displayed in the scorecard (which allows the same child label to appear under different parents)

The short video below shows all of these in action:

Opening an Xcelsius 2011 dashboard with Xcelsius 2008

With the GA release of Business Objects 4.0, we are now creating dashboards in multiple versions of Xcelsius. Even though you can install Xcelsius 2011 side-by-side with Xcelsius 2008 there are still times when you need to open a file in the earlier version to the one it was created with.

To revert you model to an earlier version of Xcelsius, you can simply update the XLF file as follows;

 

  1. Backup your XLF file
  2. Rename your XLF file to a ZIP file
  3. Open the ZIP file and copy document.xml to your file system
  4. Edit the XML file and update the following tag; version=”x.x” for the version you want to revert to. In my instance I am updating it from 6.0 to 5.3.1 as I am using Xcelsius 2008 SP3 FP5
  5. Copy document.xml back into the ZIP file
  6. Rename the ZIP file back to a XLF file

If you are using any components that are not part of the earlier release these will not work and remember that updating the XLF file is an UNSUPPORTED action, but it has managed to get me out of a jam a few times now.

You can find more information on the XLF file using the following links;

<!–[if gte mso 9]> 1024×768 <![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]–>
Remember that updating the XLF file is an UNSUPPORTED action so make sure you take a backup of your original XLF file as mistakes may corrupt the XLF file.