The first step is…installation!

There have been several queries and issues that come up during and post installation for SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1 / BI 4.0 / BI4.1.

On several occurrences it has been observed that solving the installation issues involved steps that should have been performed prior to the installation.

Here are my two cents on the necessary prerequisites for installation of the tool that I’ve come across while handling installation issues.

This is applicable for both Server installations or Client tool installations. Also, this is applicable for fresh installations as well as support pack/fix pack installations.

The basic principle behind these configurations is that the installer should experience no hindrance while placing the files onto the server/machine. The roadblocks in question can occur from the operating system. The security measures, intrusion prevention tools (such as Firewalls and Antivirus) and the network security tools are responsible for blocking/prohibiting certain executable to run or files to be placed at their intended locations.

A. COMPATIBILITY

To start with, the hardware and software configuration of the server or client machine that we’re installing SAP BusinessObjects on must be supported. SAP provides a supported platforms guide or “Product Availability Matrix” (PAM) for several products.

These can be found at the following URL: http://service.sap.com/pam

You can also refer the following KBA: 1338845 – How to find Product Availability Matrix (PAM) / Supported Platforms Document for SAP BusinessObjects Products

Here is an example of a page from the PAM document which shows the hardware requirements. The product version is also included in the screenshot.


Click on the screenshots to see a larger & clear image./wp-content/uploads/2014/05/pam_eg_438838.png

Source: SAP

Once the environment on which the installation will be performed is supported and compatible, we move on to the Windows specific configurations.

B. OS CONFIGURATION

Below are the configurations, if set correctly will not cause any files to not be placed on the server during installation.

  1. User privileges
  2. Data Execution Prevention (DEP).
  3. User Account Control (UAC).
  4. Firewall/Antivirus

Let’s tackle each one by one.

1. User privileges:

The OS user installing the software needs to have complete LOCAL ADMINISTRATIVE rights.

As a part of administrator’s group the user must also have the following security settings enabled:

  1. Act as a part of the Operating System.
  2. Allow log on locally.
  3. Logon as a service

It has been observed that setting the above incorrectly causes issues with certain server executions post-installation.

It is also necessary that the user installing the product must have full control over the following locations:

  1. Installation media.
  2. Installation location.
  3. “temp” locations
  4. Any other directory levels that may be involved (custom Filestore location, etc.).

The rights must be full locally, as well as over a domain if we are installing a distributed configuration.

2. Data Execution Prevention (DEP):

Microsoft Windows has an in-built setting which is used to set rules on how the system executes certain programs, features, etc. While installing BusinessObjects, we usually set this option to allow minimum

Windows Server 2003:

  1. Start -> Right-click on My Computer -> Properties.
  2. Click on the “Advanced” tab.
  3. Select “Settings” under “Performance” category.
  4. Click on the Data Execution Prevention tab and select the first option: “Turn on DEP for essential Windows programs and services only”.


Click on the screenshots to see a larger & clear image.

DEP3.JPG

Windows Server 2008:

  1. Start -> Right-click on My Computer -> Properties.
  2. Advanced System Settings.
  3. Click on the “Advanced” tab.
  4. Select “Settings” under “Performance” category.
  5. Click on the Data Execution Prevention tab and select the first option: “Turn on DEP for essential Windows programs and services only”.

Click on the screenshots to see a larger & clear image.

DEP8.JPG

3. User Account Control (UAC):

    1. Launch Control Panel -> User Accounts
    2. Click on “Turn User Account Control on or off”.
    3. Disable UAC.

Click on the screenshots to see a larger & clear image.

UAC.JPG

4. Antivirus/Firewall:

Antivirus tools have been known to hamper with BO product installations. Writing or updating of certain files can be blocked by an AV tool. Certain sub-process within the installation also do not get executed as a result.

Using an Administrative user, temporarily DISABLE the Antivirus scanner/process.

If this is not possible due to security purposes, you can set the following in the list of exclusions from AV’s list of files/directories to poke into.

  1. Installation media and its directory.
  2. Installation directory root.
  3. Temporary (TEMP) folders.

To allow SAP BusinessObjects and your Antivirus software to coexist harmoniously post installations, have a look at the below KBA.

1497394 – Which files and directories should be excluded from an antivirus scan for SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform products

The same goes for Firewalls. If the installation is being conducted remotely, you may want to make sure that a Firewall is not interrupting the request flow.

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On several occasions it has been observed that these parameters play a part in successful installations. This may not be concrete, however it definitely helps in many scenarios.

You can find documentation for installation, deployment, etc. here: BI 4.0, BI 4.1 and BOE XI 3.1.

Would be adding on to this further to include some more tried and tested configurations.

Also… coming soon, a version for Linux/Unix operating systems.

[UPDATE]: SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1/BI 4.x installation prerequisites and best practices (Linux/Unix)

Regards,

-Sid

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16 Comments

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  1. Jakub Holasek

    Good article. Lets say DEP is turned on for all services, can you estimate how much is performance when installing affected? 20-30%?

    Thank you,

    J.

    (0) 
    1. Siddhartha Nirgudkar Post author

      Hi Jakub,

      Thank you!

      DEP may not contribute to any significant performance improvement. Its merely a security feature which allows the OS to monitor which processes/application to execute or block.

      The relevance here is to allow the installation process to completely executy without anything being blocked.

      However, the Total RAM, free RAM and number of CPU cores would make a difference to the performance.

      Disabling the Antivirus would also help as it won’t scan each and every file/execution that the installation triggers/accesses.

      I’m not fully aware of the numbers this may ammount in. But its always dependent on the system that we’re installing on:

      Amount of TEMP memory available, RAM, processing power, number of active processes and their CPU utilisation etc.

      -Sid

      (0) 
  2. Chetan Chintawar

    Nice one Sid.

    We’ve now got some good answers for those who frequently ask questions like ‘what dep, why UAC, whose firewall,etc’ after an unsuccessful installation attempt. 😉

    Thanks.

    (0) 
    1. Siddhartha Nirgudkar Post author

      Hi Ilias,

      I won’t call it a thumb rule, but it is best to disable IPv6 and keep only IPv4 protocol enabled.

      It may depend on how the network is configured and how the hostnames are resolved – single NIC, multiple NIC, etc.

      Additionally this point would be crucial if you’re performing a remote installation.

      As seen with the KBA, there could be issues if IPv6 is enabled during installation. It may not necessarily be IPv6 itself, but the way it behaves with the rest of the network host and the installer.

      -Sid

      (0) 

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