Considering all the great new features and improvements the latest service pack of BI 4.2 brings with itself, a migration is more tempting then ever, but next to the usual risks involved in a BOE/BI upgrade project, there have been a couple of high-profile functional issues that needed fixing for 4.2.
Most of these issues such as the failing WEBI queries after 10 minutes, and disappearing navigation trees in WEBI Query Editor have been resolved, but some are still standing, and one that might still cause some headache for the administrators is the issue described within the following SAP note: 2458279
Versions where the issue has been verified: 4.2 SP3 (all patch iterations)
The error is surprisingly exact and on the point though it does not seem so at first as it only appears for some WEBI reports and is easy to miss during a functional test: “This backup document can’t be opened because it requires the original document that can’t be found”. There is no connection between the affected WEBI reports (can get the list via reposcan) and it also does not help that the migration tools do not report any issues during transport, nor does it matter if it is on-site upgrade or transport to a new version.
The answer lies in the error message: The affected reports, of which there can be easily over 1000 in a repository of over 100k reports, do not have a corresponding backup file. What is meant here is the automated backup when WEBI reports are edited by the user. As these reports are not transported over, it is understandable that they are missing, what seems to have changed in 4.2 are two things:
- These files are lost even during on-site upgrade
- WEBI engine now controls the referenced backup file during opening of the reports, and will terminate the procedure if the referenced file is not found
Now, the workaround proposed by the above SAP Program error Ticket makes sense: Importing the report via WEBI Rich Client works, as the Fat Client does not control the existence of the backup file, hence it can open it and by saving it back to the portal, the issue can be resolved. This does not help though if there are hundreds of reports affected.
Thanks to the workings of the backup engine, there is a workaround that will fix all affected reports though (the ones that have had a backup in the old version), and only takes a couple of seconds:
- Disable the automated backup function of WEBI application in CMC
- Restart all WEBI processing servers
- Open an erroneous report to verify if it is working again
- Activate automated backup function of WEBI application again if needed (the error will not reappear again, as the references are lost)
If further effects of this change in the behavior of the WEBI engine will cause complications, we shall see, but until then: another blocker is cleared for the migration.