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Author's profile photo Donald Guo

How to distribute SAP Crystal Reports 2020 services to a Windows server

Introduction

As announced in SAP BusinessObjects addendum to Statement of Direction (Feb 2021), we plan to stop supporting SAP Crystal Reports 2020 services on Linux and Unix operating systems from version BI 4.3 SP2 on (Q4 2021), to remove dependency of the 3rd party component that simulates Windows API on Linux and Unix.

SAP Crystal Reports 2020 reports are still fully supported, by distributing SAP Crystal Reports 2020 (CR 2020) services in SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) platform to a Windows server.

Such distributed deployment could also be used with BI 4.3 and BI 4.2:

  • to add more Crystal Reports processing power, by adding a Windows server
  • avoid Linux or Unix specific issues

Below are the detailed steps to:

  1. perform an ‘Expand’ install (using BI 4.3 SP01 as example)
  2. check the newly installed Windows CR2020 services

Install steps:

  1. Download and run BI platform installer, on a clean Windows server
  2. Choose installation folder (could use default)
  3. Select “Custom/Expand” install type
    • Select%20Expand%20install
  4. In Select Features dialog, only select following CR 2020 related features:
    • Servers / SAP Crystal Reports Services / SAP Crystal Reports 2020 Processing Services
    • Servers / SAP Crystal Reports Services / SAP Crystal Reports 2020 Scheduling Services
    • Integration Server / BW Publisher Server
    • Database Access
    • Samples
    • Select%20CR2020%20features%20only
  5. Read information on the ‘Expand Installation’ dialog, click Next
  6. Provide a SIA (Server Intelligence Agent) name (could use default)
    • Provide%20an%20SIA%20name
  7. Enter existing CMS name / port / logon information
    • Enter%20your%20existing%20CMS%20Logon%20Info
    • Note: if your existing CMS has Corba SSL enabled, you may want to disable it during install. Otherwise the installer may have difficulty connect to your existing CMS. See SAPNote 2634052 for steps to enable / disable Corba SSL.
  8. Select Automatic Server Start (could use default)
  9. Finish the install

 

After install:

  1. Perform necessary database configurations on this Windows server, e.g.
    • install database drivers from vendor,
    • configure ODBC DSN (with same name)
  2. Login to CMC (Central Management Console), check the newly added CR2020 services are there and running on Windows (like screenshot below).
  3. To prove newly installed CR2020 services are working, stop other CR2020 servers (e.g. on Linux/Unix).
  4. Check if your CR2020 reports could still view and schedule (now processed on your Windows server).

  Check%20server%20status%20in%20CMC

Check server status in CMC

Note: In our setup, AdaptiveProcessingServer on Windows is not required, and can be stopped (like above).

 

Conclusion

With above steps, now you should be able to quickly distribute SAP Crystal Reports 2020 services in BI platform, to a Windows server.

Don’t hesitate to comment, or share your experience / suggestion below.

 

For more details, see:

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      7 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Manikandan Elumalai
      Manikandan Elumalai

      Thanks for the blog Donald. I recently got a chance to review the SOD document and I am trying to understand the below statement. I believe only CR 2020 (RAS & Cache) but we do have a confusion whether this is applicable for CRE as well. I would like to get some inputs from you.

      Author's profile photo Donald Guo
      Donald Guo
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks for reaching out Manikandan!

      You are right, Crystal Reports for Enterprise (CRE) is not impacted.

      Checked with our product management team, the BI SoD addendum will also be updated recently.

      Author's profile photo Matthew Frederes
      Matthew Frederes

      Rather than cause a major discrepancy in features between the Windows and Linux versions of the BI platform, please consider porting the Crystal Reports services source code to native Linux and Unix API calls, so customers can enjoy full parity, and have the freedom to choose the platform.

      One does not simply "add a Windows server" without significant licensing expense, maintenance, and eventual headaches from registry corruption.

      Until the BI platform can fully reproduce the "pixel perfect workflows" that Crystal Reports delivers, which we hope it will some day soon, this Crystal Reports subsystem is still valuable.

      Bad design decisions always come home to roost eventually, at which time you have to pay the piper.  Using a "simulator" so you can write to the Windows API and deliver a cross platform product is nothing short of a house of cards, and SAP knew that up front.

      We suggest that SAP either deliver pixel perfect workflows to BusinessObjects BI platform, or port the code for the Crystal subsystem.

      Author's profile photo Donald Guo
      Donald Guo
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks for the feedback Matthew!

      As an alternative with no extra cost, SAP extended the support of BI4.2 to 2027 on demand – see ‘SAP BusinessObjects addendum to Statement of Direction’.

      Apart from that, we are exploring BI 4.3 Windows + Linux mixed deployment on SAP BusinessObjects Private Cloud Edition (PCE). If that become available on PCE, SAP could take care of setting up Crystal Reports 2020 services on a Windows node.

      Author's profile photo Rajiv Dutta
      Rajiv Dutta

      Hi Donald,

      With this step SAP has put the Crystal Reports users like us in a very tight spot. We have ~100,000-150,000 CR scheduled every day. We have a massive deployment on 4.2 as of now. Now upgrade to 4.3 would be more difficult to us or we may have to switch to another tool which would be compatible with Linux as we cannot have windows in our deployment.

      Author's profile photo Sharon Zhou
      Sharon Zhou

      Hi Rajiv,

      Thanks for your feedback. If you prefer a pure Linux environment, you could stay on BI4.2 which supports Linux deployment till 2027. Beyond that, SAP will continue to support and evolve BusinessObjects BI, but only as a managed cloud subscription offering. You could also consider Linux+Windows mixed deployment or pure Windows deployment on PCE, once these options become available.

      Best,

      Sharon, SAP Analytics PM

      Author's profile photo Rajiv Dutta
      Rajiv Dutta

      Hi Sharon,

       

      Thank you for your inputs. However, BI 4.3 was a major incentive for us to upgrade as Crystal Reports 2020 is completely 64-bit. If we continue to stay on BI 4.2 we are missing out on major upgrade classic CR has seen since forever.

      Regards,

      Rajiv Dutta