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Optimise Your Migration to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1

The 4.1 release of SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence (BI) solutions has been available for a couple months, and more and more customers are investing time and resources to migrate to this latest and greatest release. Migration is generally the right time to deploy new solutions available with the full suite of SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions and to seize new opportunities and/or serve new business users previously undeserved. So it’s always a good idea to follow the right steps when proceeding with your migration in order to optimise time and costs and ultimately deliver more value to the organisation.

The team at GB & SMITH, an SAP technology partner, has developed some interesting expertise and technologies that you might find useful as you embark on your migration project.

Let’s have a look – basically, there are three major steps in a migration project.

Step 1: Preparing your migration with auditing and cleansing

This preparation step consists of optimising the content to be migrated. It’s the right time to ask the following questions (watch out: this list isn’t exhaustive…!):

  • Do I need to migrate documents that haven’t been read and/or used for some months?
  • Do I need to keep all instances stored in my system? Is there an option to remove the oldest and/or unused ones?
  • Do I have any duplicate reports (different names and/or different location) on my system?
  • Can I migrate or test only one of these? Do I need to migrate all users’ inbox’s? What about unread documents?
  • Can I document all my current authorisation settings?

The less content you migrate, the easier, faster, cheaper, and safer the migration… ultimately making your target SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 system easier to maintain and faster to backup.

Step 2: Optimising your deployment

A migration project is also the perfect time to optimise your deployment. Ask yourself:

Can I optimise universes by removing unused ones? Then switch from classic universes (.unv) to the new technology (.unx)?

Can I optimise SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence reports that use hundreds of report variables and tens of data providers?

Can I fast track SAP BusinessObjects Desktop Intelligence conversion to SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence or list any report which may not fully convert?

As an example, the query stripping functionality allows you to detect useless variables and universe objects in your documents. This will enable removing them, thus making the conversion from SAP BusinessObjects Desktop Intelligence to SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence smoother while raising its success rate.

Step 3: Coping with the classic migration challenge: Should you freeze your source production environment during the migration?

Imagine your migration project was launched three months ago, and you’re now planning to go live across the organisation in just a few weeks. But wait a minute… what about your source SAP BusinessObjects XI environment?

What about new content created or modified during the migration? Should you, and can you, freeze the source environment during the migration project? Or best, how can you synchronise your XI source with your SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 target during this time?

What about keeping snapshots of your deployment, restoring any of them and rolling back to it if needed? Imagine you launched your migration project on September 1st, after cleaning and auditing everything by running Steps 1 and 2 above. Now it’s October 1st and the right time to take a first snapshot of the source XI environment, deploy BI 4.1 to a few pilot users, perform tests, convert some reports, and collect feedback from these key users.

Everything looks good and you decide to roll out SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 to everyone on December 1st as planned. Before doing so, though, just take a new snapshot of the source system, compare it with the October 1st snapshot, and highlight changes, like a new alerter in an SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence report, a new publication, a modified universe object, or security settings.

You can then replicate all these changes to the SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 target system and go live without missing all these changes done on your XI source during the previous migration step!

360eyes – a Veritable Swiss Army Knife

360eyes from GB & SMITH is the Swiss army knife solution that can help you optimise your time and effort as you migrate your SAP BusinessObjects BI deployment from XI to BI 4.1.

Ultimately, by utilising 360eyes, you‘ll also ensure a better experience for your SAP BusinessObjects BI users.

By Thierry Audas, SAP and Sebastien Goiffon, GB & Smith

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