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SAP Integration Update 9 – Should you start with SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 or wait for 4.1 ?

By now most of our customers have heard about the new SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 release and are probably starting to think about the upgrades of their existing SAP BusinessObjects landscapes and how they will be able to take beneift of the new upcoming functionalities.


Now some of you might have heard advice – including from me – during SAP TechED 2010 that there are situations where a customer perhaps should wait for the SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 (4.1 meaning first Enhancement Package for the SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 version) and I would like to clarify the scenarios and provide an important update on those recommendations.


At SAP TechED 2010 there was for customers using the SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1 release in combination with OLAP Universes the recommendation to consider to wait for the SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 release as the plans at that point in time (October 2010) pointed to a more stable and more functional rich multi-dimensional semantic layer on top of SAP NetWeaver BW – functional richer compared to the SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 release at that time.


Now in the interims there has been a change in the product plans.



As part of the SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 release all the BI client tools are now going to leverage the BICS (BI Consumer Services) connectivity directly connecting towards the SAP BEx queries in SAP NetWeaver BW and therefore there is no need for an additional Universe. Now that was – in addition to the multi-dimensional Universe – always the plan – even at SAP TechED 2010 so this is nothing new.




Now coming back to the point that some customers received the message to wait for the SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 release. This message was based on the plans to create complete OLAP Universes on top of SAP NetWeaver BW as part of the new semantic layer in SAP BusinessObjects 4.0.


This is the change that happened now during the RampUp period – as shown above. OLAP Universes XI 3.1 are still fully supported but are not getting any further enhancements, which also means that there are no multi-dimensional Universes on top of SAP NetWeaver BW and therefore there is no need to wait for the SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 release.


As part of SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 customers can leverage the direct BICS connectivity (recommended) or leverage the semantic layer and create a Universe with a relational view on top of SAP NetWeaver BW. The relational view on top of SAP NetWeaver BW is then helpful when you would like to combine data from multiple sources and one of them being SAP NetWeaver BW.


This now leaves the question when should customes leverage SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 and I tried to simplify this decision a little bit as shown below.




You will notice that for customers using SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1 already, that there is a migration effort involved to move the reports from the existing OLAP Universes in XI 3.1 to the new direct BICS connectivity.


Here is a huge advantage of SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 – you can perform a technical upgrade and leave the content “as is” and simple as an initial step keep using your XI 3.1 OLAP Universe in an SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 environment and then at your own time migrate the Universes and content.


At last but not least I would like to also highlight the fact here that customers shouldn’t just simply look at SAP BusinessObjects BI as a replacement for their existing BEx reporting landscape and simple make a comparison of BEx Analyzer to SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office and BEx Web Reporting to Analysis, OLAP Edition. Customers should take the time to really understand the requirements around their BI landscape from their business users and look at the complete BI offering from SAP BusinessObjects and match their requirements to the right tool.




The above table is only a simplified view on which tool matches to what kind of requirements. In case you are interested in further details you can find them here.



I hope that this now clarifies, if customers should wait for SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 or should start leveraging SAP BusinessObjects 4.0. The simple answer is – start using SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 in combination with the new BICS direct connectiivty.

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  • Thank you for clarification.

    This is very very informative as we are still struggling to make decision between BO 4.0 and BO 4.1.

    What are the major featured in BO 4.1 or still not finalized?

    We have another issue is that we are planning to go NW 7.3 upgrade this year-end as soon as it is available. We would prefer to have NW 7.3 first and then BO. It is good for us as we do not have BO yet. The integration is much better in NW 7.3.

    We are still not sure.
    Your input will be greatly appreciated.

    • Hello Sume,

      in regards to 4.1 and the scope I would assume that public information becomes available closer to Q3 / Q4 this year as part of the ramp up for 4.1.

      On the NetWeaver 7.3 part – that really depends on the priority but I agree with you that taking those 2 projects on in stages is the right thing.


      • Hi Ingo,
        Let me ask my question in another way:)

        For this blog series, which version of SAP BW were you using? If it was BW 7.3, is the functionality you have been showing in the blogs supported in early version of SAP BW?

        Thanks. Bill

        • Hi Bill,

          the blog does show any product functionality really – it talks about the connection options.

          The list of supported BW version is available on service marketplace for all the products from SAP BusinessObjects.

          Ingo Hilgefort

  • Thank you for the reply but I must say that BO4.0 are still not very clear as far as minimum requirement on the NW700 BW side is concerned(e.g. like they state in the upgrade guide about minimum requirement).

    The technical prerequsites are not very clear.
    You keep telling everybody that it is mentioned in the supported platforms guide but I have to disagree. Just few things are there not all as far as NW side is concern.

    Best Regards,

    • Hi Sume,

      if you go to the supported platforms listed on service marketplace ( and open the file then you will see

      – on page 7 the list of supported Java App Server
      – on Page 9 the list of supported Portal Versions
      – on Page 13 the supported SAP GUI Versions
      – on Page 15 reference links for Crystal Reports and Semantic Layer supported data sources


      • You are right Ingo but it does not mention anything about the NW BW ABAP side of the components requirements (e.g. ABAP, BASIS, PI, BW etc).

        Thank is what I meant.

        • Hello Sume,

          SAP BusinessObjects BI is about reporting on top of SAP BW and SAP ECC. SAP BW and SAP ECC is listed in the source mentioned above with the required version and patch levels.

          Ingo Hilgefort

          • Good blog!

            But I still find it difficult to see which SAP BW version is minimal required to built reports on.

            In the blog you mention the BICS connection that is used to connect the SAP BO reportingtools to BEx Queries. Afak, BICS is situated in the SAP Java Stack and then I would say you need to know which version of Java Stack (or SAP BW) is required to leverage the usage. And I find that information hard to find! Can you point exactly where it should be in the documentation you refer to?

            I did not look into BI4.0 that detailed, it could be possible BICS is situated in the BOE environment and connects direct to BW ABAP stack via BAPI, just like BEx tools do. But then again it is also good to know which BW ABAP stack version is minmum required.

            Could you please help with this?

          • Hi,

            the versions for the support can be found on

            The BICS part is part of the SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise environment and therefore there is no need for the BI Java part for the data connectivity and NO it is not a BAPI connection – it is using BICS.

            Ingo Hilgefort

  • Thanks for these infos. To clarify the SAP BW access strategy. Do you say there won’t be a multidimensional universe on top of a BW cube/query in later versions (4.1 onwards) either?
  • Just like Sume Chau we struggle with if we can start out with version SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 on top our current SAP BW installation. We are running SAP BW on SAP NW 7.0 stack 22 and without any enahncement packages. Would this version of SAP BW/NW be sufficient ?

    I would appreciate if you have time to outline dependencies between SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 and SAP BW/SAP NetWeaver here or in a separate blog.

  • Pleased to see that BEx was [and still is] a strategic standard within SAP and our company!
    Dashboarding, Webi and explorer are nice goodies extra; but we didn’t jump on the bandwagon just to experiment with XI, just for the new sake of it.
  • Hi, I want download SAP BO 4.0, but I dont find the instalation files in SAP Suppot Potal.

    I need install SAP BO 4.0 where I can find this?


  • Hi Ingo,
    1st THX for the wide range of information provided in this blog. in some places your patience appears to be admirable.  😉

    Now, asking about ‘advanced analysis’, what does this apparently new component comprise in functionality? is it a somehow enhanced ‘analysis_OLAP’ thing or rather a closer combination of ‘analysis_OLAP’ and ‘analysis_Office’ or is it even sth completely different?
    Many thanks for clarification!
    Cheers, Harry

    • Hello Harry,

      Advanced Analysis is what is not being called Analysis, OLAP Edition and the counterpart to the BEx Web Analyzer.


  • Hi Ingo, how are you?

    First I’d like to congratulate you for your important comments about SAP BO 4.0.

    Now, I’d like to explain my situation. My company licensed SAP BO some months ago and we decided to install BO 4.0 SP2 (with BW 7.3). Now, we started to develop some dashboards and we are connecting them to BW through BICS (using WebI to create the report that reads the BEx Query). Our BO consultant is having some problems when she is trying to create formulas based on dimensions. When she apply the formula, all the key figures fields show #UNAVAILABLE instead of the sum of the fields. She said that in version 3.x, it was normal to change the universe from “Database Delegated” to “SUM”. I saw some SAP notes about this and in one of them (1618899), SAP says that it’s a product’s limitation and there is no solution at the moment.

    Do you have some information about this behaviour? When it happens, do we need to treat these cases in BEx side instead of BO side?

    Thanks and best regards.

    Marcos Alexandre Bertaci.

    • Hello Marcos,

      I would suggest you post these kind of questions into the forum as it is easier to follow up there.

      Using the direct BICS connection you can not change the aggregation behavior of the measures in BI 4.0.

      Ingo Hilgefort

      • Hi Ingo

        In the future release is there any change where in by Using Direct BICS connection we can change the behavior of the measure in BI 4.0 as the Measure values come as “Data delegated ” in WEbi

        Many Thanks