Finally a 64-bit driver for UNV to SAP BW (BAPI) connections on Windows!
This one goes out to all of those XI 3.1 customers that heavily utilized UNV access to SAP BW using the BAPI network layer.
As most of you should know by now, the long awaited BI 4.1 product released back in September. There are many new features and enhancements that come with this release but the one I was most excited to hear about was the 64-bit SAP BW drivers for classic UNV universes.
For people that migrated their UNV -> SAP BW reports from XI 3.1 to BI 4.0, you likely noticed a change in the process flow when viewing a Webi report that used a UNV universe to SAP BW. The Connection Server (32-bit) was used instead of the Web Intelligence Processing Server!
Why did this happen? Well, simply put, the data driver that we use to connect universes to SAP BW (BAPI) was only available in 32-bit flavors when BI 4.0 was released. This meant that we had to actually use the Connection Server (32-bit) to load the data driver and fetch the data. This basically threw sizing and stability for a loop and caused many issues for customers that had not planned for this change in process flows.
There is a KBA out there already that explains this change in more detail but this blog post is more to bring awareness to the solution!
BI 4.1 ships a 64-bit version of the data driver which means that the Webi Processing Servers can again load the connections in-process, or in “Library” mode as we often refer to it internally. This is the same way it worked in XI 3.1 but with the added benefit of a 64-bit process.
This will benefit us in many ways. To name a few:
- We will benefit from 64-bit memory limits. Previously we were restricted to about 1.8GB of maximum memory usage on Windows
- The WIPS memory management is back in effect. This allows us to set limits and receive messages when limits are reached
- Automated recycles are back too. This helps by recycling idle WIPS servers that may be holding on to resources that are no longer needed
- Less inter-server communication across the network! It is always faster to handle processing in-process instead of transferring data back and forth between servers and network.
Bottom line is that utilizing this new driver will give you more control over your resources and should definitely give you greater stability and throughput!
Currently only BI 4.1 SP01 and higher has this functionality but I believe BI 4.0 SP08 *may* ship it as well. There are no promises there but we’ll see shortly.
A how-to KBA has been created and is accessible here. It gives you instructions on how to ensure the 64-bit driver is installed on your BI 4.1 install.