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Intriguing features of BI 4

Intriguing features of BI 4.0

Here’s a quick look at the most intriguing features of BI 4.0:

Information design tool

Definitely one of the major enhancements. Information design tool will be the new tool for universe (or rather Data Foundations or Business Layers, that is what universe is being called in 4.0) design with the ability to federate data from multiple data sources. Yes, the universe can now connect to multiple data sources. The existing universes can be converted to take advantage of new universe features.

Upgrade management tool

This is going to replace the existing import wizard. If the existing system is being upgraded, this tool has to be used. For migration within the same versions, Lifecycle manager is used.

BI workspaces

Enhanced BI workspaces. The most interesting feature is content linking. Imagine dropping webi, Crystal and Xcelsius dashboards in a single workspace and linking them together. No more ‘open document’.

Visual Difference

Visual Difference enables you to view the difference between two versions of the same file. For example you migrate from XI 3.1 to 4.0, you need to do the report validation manually. Visual Difference can be used to analyze any discrepancy between the two versions of the file.

Dashboard Design (Earlier Xcelsius)

Loads of enhancements here. Hopefully a lot more stable and developer friendly version with better performance. Most interesting ones:

  • Query Panel: Query panel for creating universe based queries
  • Direct data binding: data from query objects can be directly bound with components. No more excel interface.
  • Text translation through translation manager: the dashboard can be translated to different languages using translation manager
  • Dashboard Design objects: New object type. Dashboard design object holds both XLF and swf in a single object.
  • Lifecycle Management of Dashboard Design objects: LCM is much more seamless.

Advanced Analysis, Web edition

Alternative for Bex Analyzer for analyzing OLAP sources. We’ve already seen Advanced Analysis, Microsoft version.

BI Launchpad

New name to Infoview. Improved alerting feature.

Interactive Analysis

Webi is renamed to Interactive Analysis.

  • Enhanced copy and paste: The best feature. You can copy tables, charts and queries between documents and all the dependent objects will also be copied.
  • SAP Info Cubes using BEx queries: You can build Bex queries just like building a query in a universe.

Interactive Analysis Desktop (Webi rich client)

In-repository editing, allows to edit reports while in repository.

Auditing dashboard

A pre built dashboard with audit statistics.

The translation management tool

Now we can translate Webi reports, Universes, Crystal Reports, Dashboards and BI Workspaces.

Change Transport System

Manages the dependencies between SAP system and SAP Business Objects Enterprise seamlessly.

wdeploy GUI

Boon for administrators. No need of command line. A GUI to deploy web server and web application server.


A new tool, which helps to check the performance of each server and system KPI’s.

I just tried to list the most interesting enhancements in BI 4.0 and there are many more of them.


For more information on BI 4.0, refer to this blog by Nic Smith, Top 10 SAP Business Intelligence Demos

For learning BI 4.0, refer to this Official Product Tutorials – SAP BO BI Suite

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