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State of the SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 Upgrade – June 2015

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Support Pack 6 is Here!

Today, SAP released SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.1 Support Pack 6 to the SAP Support Portal, both as a full build and as a patch to previous versions. Support Pack 6 has something we haven’t seen from a support pack in a long time— new features! Christian Ah-Soon, SAP Product Expert, has written a great summary here on the SAP Community Network (see related article, SAP BI 4.1 SP6 – What’s New in Web Intelligence and Semantic Layer). Web Intelligence users will no doubt put document-level input controls to great use. There’s small yet significant usability improvements. For example, Export Data functionality has been added to the Reading mode (previously, you had to remember to go to Design mode for that feature). There’s improvements to Microsoft Excel data providers. And while I’m not a huge fan of Free-Hand SQL (see related article on my personal blog, Free-Hand SQL Isn’t Free), I’m thankful that SAP has closed yet another Web Intelligence feature gap with Desktop Intelligence. And if you’re a Live Office fan (don’t be ashamed), you’ll be glad to know that Live Office has not only been given UNX universe access in BI 4.1 SP6, but the product also has a road map and a future (see related SCN article SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 SP06 What’s New by Merlijn Ekkel for a comprehensive overview of what’s coming to the entire platform). I’ve barely scratched the surface here, so please read Christian’s and Merlijn’s much more detailed articles.

BI 4.1 SP6 is the last support pack released in 2015. Read that sentence again, I’ll wait… Support for XI 3.1 and BI 4.0 ends on December 31, 2015 and it is unlikely that BI 4.2 will be generally available by that time (although it might be in ramp-up, cross your fingers). This means that BI 4.1 SP6 is going to be the go-to release of BI 4.1 for the foreseeable future. And with just a bit of nostalgia, the article that you’re reading now will likely be the last “State of the BusinessObjects BI4 Upgrade” I’ll write this year (check out the State of the BusinessObjects BI 4 Upgrade archive on the EV Technologies web site). Tomorrow morning- before the first cup of coffee is finished- I’ll begin helping a customer download the 4.1 SP6 full build for their XI 3.1 migration kickoff. And I’ve already downloaded the SP6 patch to apply to one of our internal sandbox servers tonight.

You are no doubt wondering if BI 4.1 SP6 is a stable release. And I am, too. I’d be lying if I said that BI 4.1 and its first five support packs were completely pain free. Let’s hope that the product quality is just as impressive as the new features.

SAP Lumira v1.25 for the BI Platform – Now with Free Sizing Guide!

The big deal at last month’s SAP SAPPHIRE was the release of SAP Lumira v1.25, which brought the first iteration of integration with the BI 4.1 platform. I’ve been lucky to follow Lumira v1.25  from a special SAP Partner training program to its Customer Validation program and finally to its general availability. Release 1.25 brings SAP Lumira from the desktop to the BI 4.1 platform without the requirement for SAP HANA, a stumbling block for a significant number of BI platform customers. But until today, Lumira for the BI platform was missing a critical component- sizing guidelines. SAP has published an updated SAP Lumira Sizing Guide to the SAP Community Network that includes sizing for the BI 4.1 add-on. The add-on brings the same in-memory database engine to the BI 4.1 platform that SAP introduced to the Lumira Desktop in version 1.23 a few weeks ago.

Time to Start Migrating!

The software and documentation released today, combined with the SAP Lumira v1.25 and Design Studio 1.5 software that was released last month (see related article, State of the SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 Upgrade – May 2015 (SAPPHIRE Edition)), bring all of the pieces together to take your BI landscape into the future. I hope that these pieces and their installation will be more tightly integrated in BI 4.2. But for me, as well as many of you, the adventure begins tomorrow. Just as soon as all of the software is downloaded.

More to come…

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    • And I am, too. I'd be lying if I said that BI 4.1 and its first five support packs were completely pain free.

      I disagree with above statement of Dallas Marks. 4.1 SP5 is has lot of issues with explorer servers. We have been facing the issue. Infospaces disappear, some times indexed infospaces corrupted, we have to reindex them again. Explorer master server stops intermiitently.

      SAP support claims that they were fixed in SP5 patch1,2,3 and above. But Patch1,2,3 has Promotion management issues.

    • Thanks for the correction, Ajay. I had forgotten that SAP added SP7 to the maintenance calendar. But with a December 2015 release, it will arrive too late for the end-of-support deadline for XI 3.1 and BI 4.0. My guess is that with BI 4.2 not far behind, SP7 will be mostly about bugs and not features, but I've been wrong before.

      • Dallas,

        And what do you think about 4.1 SP6 P3, coming early October? It seems it will be the last patch for SP6 in this year, do you expect it to be stable enough for not having 24/7 work at the end of the year or it would be better to upgrade to P2 or even P1?

        Thanks and Regards