[smoothfunding] [interactive_charts]

Since early 2005, I had been using Xcelcius, which has changed its owner and name over time, ending up as SAP Crystal Dashboard Design. To begin with, it was a little rough and ready but it did a great job of turning Excel spreadsheets into interactive Flash presentations. When my boss asked me how I'd done that in PowerPoint, I told him it was just Flash (I could have said more). Sadly, Flash was discontinued at the end of 2020 and I needed something else which would do much the same thing in HTML5. Although CDD did eventually export HTML5, it wasn't great. Given the death of Flash, SAP closed down CDD, without replacing it, a very odd decision, I thought. Although they had released something newer, they discontinued it pretty fast (well, it was pretty poor). This left a gap in the market.

Well, I finally found some software which allows one to play Flash files. There are a few of them but only Puffin Secure Browser (personal for $20 a year) seems to work. Having said that, proceed at our own risk.

For over 15 years, Infosol has been a leading provider of SAP BusinessObjects related services. Other than as a satisfied customer, I have no financial connection. With the demise of Xcelsius, Infosol decided to rebuild something similar from the ground up, using the name Squirrel. Initially released in April 2020, the software has been greatly improved, to become a worthwhile successor to Xcelsius, with more interesting stuff on the  way. One of Xcelsius's early capabilities was to be able to place an interactive visualisation within a PowerPoint slide and Squirrel can now also do that.

As an individual consumer, I found SAP totally disinterested in any technical problems I might have with their software. However, my experience of Infosol is quite the opposite and I an grateful for their support. While not a pocket money product, a trial is available. Having looked for a long time, I know of nothing else which provides the same functionality for a reasonable price.