UNV is dead, long live UNX
As you already have read in the latest Business Intelligence Statement of Direction, SAP has decided to release an updated version of the BI suite code named SAP BusinessObjects BI 2024 to provide more time to our on-premises customers to adopt SAP Analytics Cloud.
As described in the statement, our BusinessObjects BI customers will benefit from an extended maintenance for their favorite and most used solutions.
To maximize the value for our customers, we will focus ongoing investments on the most-widely adopted SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions:
• SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence,
• SAP BusinessObjects Information Design Tool and single source .unx universes,
• SAP Crystal Reports (on Windows only*),
• SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office,
• SAP BusinessObjects BI platform
This also means some of the BI suite components will no longer be maintained after 2027, as SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.3 is planned to be supported until end of 2027.
As a reminder, these are the components we plan to remove from SAP BusinessObjects BI 2024:
- SAP Lumira,
- SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise,
- Multi–source universes and associated connectivity,
- SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP,
- SAP BusinessObjects Live Office.
- SAP BusinessObjects Universe Design Tool and .unv universes
In this post we will focus on the replacement of Universe Design Tool (UDT) and .UNV universes by Information Design Tool (IDT) and .UNX universes.
You will learn how to convert your .UNV universes to the .UNX format, and how to manage your conversion project regarding impacted Web Intelligence documents.
A bit of history
IDT was first released with BI4.0 BOBJ version in 2011, and this new tool was meant to replace UDT and allow customers to create a new Universe format, with extension UNX.
While IDT brings more functionalities than UDT, there are no functional gaps between the two formats. Everything working in your UNV will work the same in a UNX.
So it has been more than a decade now that UNV replacement is announced, and the majority of our customers have already moved to the UNX stack.
With the end of UNV support in 2027, it becomes mandatory for those still using UNV to process this change in the coming years.
This post is meant to help these customers plan their migration project in confidence and have access to the expertise gathered by our ecosystem.
Let’s review the different steps that need to be planned for a smooth and successful migration.
UNV to UNX conversion
There are very few challenges in the UNV to UNX conversion process by itself.
To perform the conversion within IDT, you just need to select a UNV and right click to launch its conversion before saving your converted UNX file.
The only exception is for OLAP UNV (on top of OLAP sources like BAPI, MSAS, or Essbase) which cannot be converted, as they have a flat structure whereas UNX have an OLAP structure. You will have to recreate those OLAP universes manually in IDT.
For all the other relational universes, no manual process from UNV to UNX is needed.
The real challenge of the UNV/UNX conversion is about the Web Intelligence reports based on the UNVs, which need to be repointed to the converted UNX. If you have many Web Intelligence reports, you may need to automate this bulk change source process.
Change Source Process
The “Change Source” feature is a well known powerful Web Intelligence feature which allows to easily replace the Universe used by a Web Intelligence document by another one while maintaining the document integrity.
If your WebI document is based on a UNV, you must repoint your document to the corresponding converted UNX. This can be done manually for few documents, but for larger deployments the manual Change Source cannot be an option.
To proceed to a massive Change source process, you can either use SAP solutions like SAP Workflow Assistant tool (formerly Automation Framework, see details here), build your own SDK scripts, or rely on some of our partners solutions.
For instance, APOS Migrator for Web Intelligence or Wiiisdom solution are two reliable offers recommended by SAP. Their solutions cover the whole migration process, from a preliminary audit to decide which documents must be processed, to a final check to verify that all documents have been successfully updated.
We want to hear from you
The SAP BusinessObjects BI suite remains a key component of our Analytics strategy and we are
committed to our customers.
Please help us fine tune our roadmaps by providing your input through the dedicated influence channels: SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform and SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence, or write us to email@example.com
If we follow the patch release notes we see many fixes related to unv. to unx. conversion.
Therefore, the customer should update/patch the entire client and of course the server to avoid such errors, which in most cases is not possible.
In my opinion, the conversion part of IDT should also be available as separate downloadable tools that can be updated/fixed and installed/upgraded/patched independently of the product patch.
so that it can be used by the customer without having to update the entire BI System (Client and Server).
Some interesting points you make.
Just to let you know, here at APOS we have an independent tool called APOS Webi Migrator and its primary purpose is to make it easier for customers to migrator UNV to UNX as well as migrate the associate Web Intelligence reports as well, and do this in bulk.
We have a Freemium version of this tool that allows you to migrate an unlimited amount of Universes.
If you have interest in utilizing the Freemium version I would be happy to help.
With the planned removal of "Liveoffice", will the "Analysis for Microsoft office" be updated to include querys via universe?
Regarding the alternatives for LiveOffice, you will find some informations in this other post:
Hope this helps,
Will there be an alternative to "SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise" or will it cease to exit just like Deski?
Natural alternatives for Crystal Reports for Enterprise (CR4E) are Crystal Reports Classic (CR) or Web Intelligence, as both tools can be used for enterprise reporting and are functionally close to CR4E.
Conversion from CR4E to CR Classic is quite straightforward. You will retrieve contents and structure report with minimal manual rework.
You will have to recreate manually the report structure and contents in Web Intelligence.
But different criteria in your current enterprise reporting configuration must be taken into consideration to decide which will be your target tool.
Recommendations based on your answers in next table will help you find the most appropriate target tool.