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Author's profile photo Sebastien Goiffon

Optimize Content before Upgrading to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2

gamechangerThe 4.2 release of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence solution is now available. Many customers will be thinking about upgrading or migrating to this new version and will thus be investing time, resources, and money. I have personally been working in the BusinessObjects world for the last 20 years. During that time, I have run dozens of migrations from BO3 to BO4, BO4 to BO5 or BO6 and then, from legacy versions to XIR2, XI3 and finally XI3 to BI4, and have been involved in several beta programs. In a nutshell, migration projects, and more specifically related challenges, remain the same and have even become harder to overcome since BI is more and more widely used within organizations to manage and drive businesses.

Let’s have a look. Basically, an upgrade project can be split into eight major steps.


As part of any upgrade project, two of these steps are of paramount importance in order to optimize time and budget and ensure the project success: cleaning and testing. This post is focused on the first step. The second one will be dealt with in a later post.

Getting Ready for Migration

This preparation step consists in documenting the existing deployment (there could be several deployments to merge into SAP BusinessObjects BI4.2, for instance) to get a global overview of the source platform and start evaluating the scope of the very migration task. A BI on BI solution can thus provide a snapshot of the current deployment (in-depth analysis of all universes, CMS information, or more generally metadata, like starting with webi reports and going down to variables, functions whatever the data source may be; unv, unx, BEX query, SQL script, and so on).

Cleaning and Tracking Inactivity

This preparation phase consists in optimizing the content to migrate. At this point, the following questions should be considered. (Beware—this is a non-exhaustive list.)

  • Do I need to migrate documents not having been read and/or used for months?
  • Do I need to retain all the instances stored on my system? Is there any option to remove the oldest and/or unused instances?
  • Do I have any duplicate reports (different names and/or different locations) on my system? Can I migrate or test a specific report among those?
  • Do I need to migrate the in-boxes of all users? What about unread documents?
  • Can I document all my current authorization settings, security, and scheduling jobs?

Less content to migrate means an easier, faster and cheaper migration process, ultimately allowing easier maintenance and faster back-up of your target SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 system.


A migration project is also the best opportunity to optimize your deployment. Consider the following:

  • Can I optimize SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence reports using hundreds of report variables and numerous data providers?
  • Can I fast-track SAP BusinessObjects Desktop Intelligence conversion to SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence or list any incomplete report conversion?
    • For instance, the query-stripping feature allows you to detect useless variables and universe objects in documents. This then allows removing them, thus making conversion from SAP BusinessObjects Desktop Intelligence to SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence smoother while ensuring a higher success rate.


GB&SMITH, an SAP technology partner, has developed software that’s been proven useful when engaging in migration projects. Hundreds of clients managing 1 million happy users have been using our solutions for the last eight years (deployments from 10 up to 100, 000 users). Our applications make their migration projects easier, faster, safer, and most importantly, cheaper while mitigating related risks. GB&SMITH’s 360Suite is the Swiss Army knife solution to help you optimize time and efforts, eventually ensuring substantial money savings when migrating your SAP BusinessObjects BI deployment to version 4.2.

We estimate up to 80% time and money savings by using our solutions, especially in the assessment and the testing parts.

Ultimately, keeping control over your platforms on a daily basis is essential in order to avoid going through the aforementioned steps in future migration projects. I can still remember one of my clients talking about how intricate and complex his platform was (fetching new documents, users, instances, and thinking about clean-up was an “impenetrable obstacle” for him). You had better check your platform on a daily basis!

360Suite products also ensure a better daily experience for your SAP BusinessObjects BI users and helps organizations to maximize their BusinessObjects investment.

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