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This week, Starbucks made their usual noise about the annual reappearance of one of their customers’ favorite drinks, the Pumpkin Spice Latte, or PSL for short (see related Starbucks article, Fall Arrives at Starbucks with Return of PSL). Starbucks encourages its customers to use the hashtag #PSL on social media sites like Twitter and Instagram. PSL will come and go, but SAP analytics customers know that they can run the SAP BI Platform Support Tool, aka PST, all year long.

The SAP BI Platform Support Tool is a Swiss Army knife collection of previously stand-alone support tools and the brainchild of some really smart folks on the SAP Support team. Designed to improve the lives of SAP BI platform administrators, It’s been through several iterations with version 2.1 patch 3 being the latest release.

Here are my top 5 reasons you should download and run the PST today.

1. Landscape Inspection Tool

The primary feature of the PST is its landscape inspection tool. Not only does the landscape inspection tool provide alerts for customers, the entire XML-based report can be uploaded the SAP support portal and associated with specific customer landscapes or open support incidents. Giving SAP Support a complete readout of your BI landscape’s configuration really saves time on support calls, as there’s no back-and-forth about which operating systems, databases, etc. are part of your BI landscape. A rules engine identifies common configuration issues in your BI landscape that may require immediate attention. And the comprehensive output can be saved as a Microsoft Excel workbook, making documentation of your BI landscape fast and easy.

2. End-to-End Tracing

End-to-end tracing, which used to be much more cumbersome to set up, is now integrated into the PST. An end-to-end trace really helps SAP Support, especially when trying to determine the root cause of a peculiar or unexpected BI system behavior.

3. Enterprise Alias Manager

When working with third-party authentication such as Microsoft Active Directory or LDAP, it’s useful to attach an Enterprise alias to those accounts so they don’t “magically” disappear if the AD or LDAP administrator makes a mistake and deletes the wrong user. Formerly a separate stand-alone utility, the Enterprise Alias Manager is now baked into the PST.

4. Connections Analyzer

The Connections Analyzer tests all of the database connections defined on the BI platform. This feature is helpful for testing a new landscape, insuring that the proper database drivers are installed and configured.

5. Predictive Support Alerts

Beginning with PST 2.1, SAP added the ability to upload landscape inspections to SAP Support. These inspections are automatically reviewed for known issues or best practices, allowing SAP to send you personalized alerts unique to your BI version and landscape design. These alerts have been temporarily suspended while SAP conducts a GDPR review of the Platform Support Tool. But the idea is sound and we eagerly look forward to it being revived again.

What’s Keeping You From Tasting the PST?

These are my “top five” favorite features but there are many more- even a screen capture utility if you don’t already have one. Setting up the Platform Support Tool is simple and well-documented. If you’ve not used the PST before, I hope this article has inspired you to download and install it. You can even sip your Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte while the Landscape Inspection Tool is running – I won’t tell anyone.

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