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In my career at BusinessObjects and SAP I have supported many administrators, developers, and consultants and have seen a variety of complex administration challenges for which there has not been a simple or elegant monitoring solution.  There most certainly has not been a “free” solution available for administrators to leverage in their environments.  Well, times are changing and now any SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise administrator with a support contract can get their hands on the remote support component monitoring add-on for free.

In case this is the first you have heard of remote support component, it is a free yet robust monitoring solution for BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.1 and also very soon, SAP BI Platform 4.0.  It is a light weight add-on based on the Solution Manager Diagnostic Agent 7.30 framework and is designed specifically for BusinessObjects Enterprise customers that do not have an existing SAP infrastructure.  Remote support component is an alternative to Solution Manager for which there will be an upgrade path in case you decide that you want to upgrade in the future.

Although lightweight in concept, previous versions did require some manual effort to deploy and configure.  Well the good news is in and as of remote support component service pack 3 the time to deploy the add-on has been reduced to only 30 minutes to 1 hour per host for experienced administrators.  This means you will spend less of your precious time installing and configuring the monitoring infrastructure and more of your time analyzing and transforming your BusinessObjects environment into a well oiled machine!

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The acceleration in setup time has been accomplished by delegating all of the manual configurations to the Lifecycle Management Automation Tool.  At install time, the administrator provides the Automation Tool all of the required parameters for the monitoring infrastructure into a slick and easy to use Flash interface and then it takes care of all the time consuming dirty work for you. 

 

Although improving the installation and deployment was the main objective of remote support component service pack 3, there are still some other great features that are certainly worth mentioning. 

Let’s review the other major improvements in this release:

All-in-one installation archive

Now instead of multiple downloads required for installation, there is just one download which includes a shell script / batch file that does all the unpacking and extractions for you.  No more manual SAPCAR extractions to get the install started.

Added possibility to install the SMD agent silently

If you would prefer to avoid page after page of dialogs and configurations that are found in the SMD Agent sapinst gui installer, you now have the option of providing the parameters once and letting a script do the rest!  For those of you who enjoy marvelling and contemplating the stock photographs, you can still use the gui installer. 

Automation of the managed system setup and configuration

As previously mentioned, the configuration of each managed host is handled automatically via the Lifecycle Management Automation Tool.  No more manual work and less opportunity to make mistakes during the installation.

Other important fixes and improvements include:

  • Correct handling of standalone web application servers
  • Fixed task scheduling issues, especially parallel task interferences
  • Improved UI dialogs and functionality for security certificates
  • EarlyWatch Alert message upload statuses are now logged in the internal RSC event log

Remote support component service pack 3 will be generally available for download on the Service Marketplace in September 2011.  A number of installation options are available including:

  1. Automatic self updates which is triggered once per week
  2. Manual update via the remote support component user interface
  3. A new full installation which will include service pack 3

For more information please see the remote support component website.

For technical help or to provide feedback please visit the Supportability Tools.

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