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Author's profile photo Former Member

New Names for the BusinessObjects Product and Technical Support Lifecycles

Don’t settle into that new BI4 naming convention too comfortably quite yet.  SAP is announcing a new maintenance model strategy that includes a few more terms you’ll need to become familiar with.  They are aligning the BusinessObjects Product Lifecycle naming convention with the existing SAP model.  The model is straightforward and will provide customers with great benefits.

XI 3.1 Maintenance Delivery


Future BI 4 Maintenance Delivery

Service Pack

Is now

Minor Version


Is now

Support Package

Limited Availability Fix

Is now

Patch (Cumulative)


Benefits of the alignment include a common thread of SAP release management standards and quality & governance standards for BusinessObjects.  In addition, the alignment will allow for common terminology and eliminate the pain in using Limited Availability Fixes.  You will no longer have to forego functionality just because you can’t keep the fix created for your system.

Now that you’ve learned the new terms, let’s get details: 

Patches will be cumulative and will correct urgent customer issues.  Patches will be released every 2 weeks.

Support Packages will focus on technical fixes not features.  They will include platform support, customer and internal corrections.  Support Packages will be released approximately every 4 months, decreasing after the first 4 years.

Minor Versions will include selected new features, enhancements, language packs, and complex customer and internal corrections.  These versions are not cumulative and will require the last prior minor version before installation.  For example, if BI 4.0 has 3 minor versions, you would install 4.01, then 4.02, before installing 4.03. Minor Versions will be released approximately every 9 months, decreasing after the first 3 years.

I think every customer can appreciate a clearly communicated maintenance strategy and the benefits we will see with cumulative patches.  In addition, if you are in the add/remove programs section of your windows pc as much as I am, you’ll appreciate new clearly labeled product versioning for BusinessObjects as a result of this.   Products will display {Product Name . Minor Release Number . Support Package . Patch}.

Once the official SAP communication is created about this, I’ll update the link here.


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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Thank you for this great post. I am curious to see what the fine print looks like for this. A change like this is usually not as simple as a naming convention.

      Do you have access to the official release and what the terms are for these new release definitions? Depending what the language looks like, the idea of a minor release could be a scary proposition for customers who are used to upgrading service packs as soon as they come out.

      Thanks again!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hi Ryan,

      I would highly recommend attending the May 4th, ASUG webcast SAP BusinessObjects Product Release Approach  (

      You can learn more about the release definitions and ask questions live.

      Author's profile photo Raphael Branger
      Raphael Branger
      Are Support Packages cumulative?