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No Better Time to Upgrade to BI 4.2

February 13th, 2017 1 comment

If you are one of the SAP customers who is still running BusinessObjects XI 3.1, I would urge you to add an upgrade to BusinessObjects 4.2 into your immediate plans for 2017.  Although SAP has extended priority one support until Dec 2018, this should not mean upgrading your BI environment should be delayed.  As the software that supports your BI platform reaches end of life, you are putting your system at unnecessary risk.  In addition, understand that Priority One support is limited.  SAP will only develop XI 3.1 software for true production outages.  Specifically, this means there will be no bug fixes or new functionality developed for the platform (including possible issues with hardware).

What’s Stopping You?

If there is a reason why you cannot upgrade to BusinessObjects 4.1 or 4.2, SAP wants to hear from you.  Contact SAP or your SAP sales representative asap.  They can put you in contact with someone who can help you.

Need more help on how to prepare for an upgrade?  There are excellent resources available online as well such as the SAP BI Pattern Book – Upgrading from BOE XI 3.1 to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2.  It’s a one stop shop guide of everything you need to know about upgrading your BI environment… check it out.

Is There Any Other Reason to Upgrade?

Yes.  There are a number of very important reasons for you to move to BI 4.2.   Aside from the additional business value you will undoubtedly realize due to the increased power of the BI Suite, you should consider the following:

  1. Connectivity: While I don’t understand your complete landscape, connectivity to new applications (BW/4HANA, S/4HANA, etc) and databases (upgrades) will likely cause you significant challenges.  The BI 4.2 is highly integrated to all SAP platforms and supports all modern databases.  If you check the BusinessObjects XI 3.1 Product Availability Matrix, you will see it does not support current databases or applications.
  2. 32 bit vs 64 bit code line: Is 32 bit really getting it done for you these days?  If your reports get too large, it’s possible for your reporting processes to crash because they run out of memory.  Administrators often have to optimize system loads to overcome this issue.  If you move to BI 4.x, you can take advantage of the 64 bit architecture, which allows you to use modern database drivers the best possible performance.  As your needs for Analytics continue to grow, so will the amounts of data you need to process through your BI system.
  3. Operating System Support:    I’ve been supporting BusinessObjects environments for many, many years.  Over and over again I have seen the operating system present a significant challenges to the administrator when their BusinessObjects system gets too old.  I remember when organizations did wholesale retirements of Windows Server 2000 and Windows XP.  Customers were stuck on BusinessObjects XIR2 and couldn’t get client tools to run on the Windows Vista or Windows 7.  Suddenly the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ attitude became a huge fire drill as administrators were forced to draw up emergency plans to tackle these incompatibilities.

And Then There’s Java

How much longer is your IT department going to allow you to run software with a Java Plug-in?  If you using all the features of WebIntelligence then it’s also likely that you are familiar with the need to use the Java Plug-in to leverage some of the capabilities that WebIntelligence offers.  Two years ago you may have seen this security article discussing the challenges that come with Java.  There were several security breaches associated with Oracle’s JAVA plug-in and fake installation websites.  With BusinessObjects 4.2 SP4, organizations can be completely free from the Java Plug-in.

Don’t wait!

There are more resources than ever to simplify the process.

These pattern books are a great start.  You can begin planning immediately for your system upgrade so you can begin taking advantage of the latest innovations from SAP while making sure you are not taking unnecessary security and reliability risks with some of your companies most important assets — the system that provides the critical insights they need to make decisions everyday.

Did I mention all the new capabilities in BI 4.2?  How much time have you got?  😉

«Good BI»

Upgrading to SAP BusinessObjects 4.1

September 3rd, 2014 No comments

 

Don’t Miss Out!

There is an excellent Technical Webinar Series happening right now: Upgrading to the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.1

These sessions started back in July and have been an excellent resource for understanding what’s required to upgrade, best practices, SSO, monitoring, strategy and roadmap, etc.  For details on the schedule go here.

On Thursday we will see part 5 in this 13 part series.  To register, click here.  Harjeet Judge, who presented the session on BI 4.1 Deployment Best Practices will also be leading this session and will be covering:

  • Planning, preparation and prerequisite tips to install and configure SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1
  • Important post-installation configuration that is required on the BI 4.1 server
  • The necessary steps for building up a patching strategy to take advantage of the latest fixes and enhancements

Previous Recorded Sessions

To catch you up on what you may have missed check out sessions 1 – 3.

  1. BI Upgrade:  Value Proposition and Tools
  2. BI 4.1 Upgrade and Upgrade Best Practices
  3. BI 4.1 Sizing and Visualization

I would also strongly recommend that you consider going through the BusinessObjects 4.1 training available on open.sap.com for free!   Here is the URL to access it:
https://open.sap.com/courses/bifour1/items/6hhPDeSmvThBgZwCUmZntT   All the content and videos are also available offline which is really handy when you’re learning on the go.

If you are interested in other upcoming enablement events, you can always see the current list of sessions by going to the enablement website.

It’s time to leverage all the many free resources regarding the SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 Suite and get your organization upgraded now.

«Good BI»

Categories: Administrators, BI Platform Tags:

Virtualizing SAP BusinessObjects BI 4

June 18th, 2013 1 comment

Last year I wrote a quick article about Virtualization support for BusinessObjects.

Since that time, SAP has been doing a lot of testing and refinement to guidelines regarding virtualizing your BI 4 environment.

Originally only advertised to a handful of attendees at Sapphire the www.sap.com/bivirtualization link has had over 1,000 views per month.

This is the official guidance you should be pointing all customers, partners and employees to when it comes to BI 4 virtualization.  This document can be used by your BI team to make sure and negotiate the right sized infrastructure from your IT team for a large scale move to BI 4.  Don’t get caught short.

Ashish Morzaria has done a great job and putting everything together in one place.   He’s collected feedback from actual customers together with performance tests that have been run internally at SAP.  All this information is put together in a 42 page everything-you-need-to-know whitepaper on VMWare ESXi 5:
http://www.sap.com/bivirtualization

Check it out!

«Good BI»

BusinessObjects XI 3.1 SP6 full build available…

March 27th, 2013 14 comments

I was reviewing my SAP Support Portal Newsletter after returning from vacation and discovered that SAP has released SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.1 Service Pack 06 – Full Build.  I really wasn’t expecting that — but I was happy to see it.  It sure beats worrying about the correct ‘upgrade path’ to such as the complications associated to moving to SP5.

XI 3.1 SP6 has released on all the standard platforms:  Linux on IA32 32bit,  HPIA_64,  HP-UX on PA-RISC 32bit,  AIX 32 Bit,  Solaris on SPARC 32bit.

Although I’ve been actively using v4.0 for a while, I know that many SAP Analytics customers haven’t yet made the transition to v4.0.

I would definitely like to hear from customers who are still waiting to make the move to find out where the hesitation is.  From what I understand most of the core stability issues have been resolved.

Highlights on XI 3.1 SP6

The big standout I saw was support for Windows Server 2012, which I had been asked about several times and I’m glad to see it’s there.

This release also fixes an outstanding issue with the length of the opendocument URL character limit of 2083 characters, which can be an issue if you are doing a lot of document to document hyperlinking.

If you are interested in additional details around what’s new, you can find that here:
http://help.sap.com/businessobject/product_guides/boexir31SP6/en/xi31_sp6_whats_new_en.pdf

You can also find the PAM document here:
https://websmp107.sap-ag.de/~form/sapnet?_SHORTKEY=00200797470000096350&_SCENARIO=01100035870000000202&

Other Notables for XI 3.1

Know your dates and deadlines.  You need to plan to be off XI 3.1 by the end of 2015 and that’s not very far away.

Release to Customer:09/30/2008
General Availability:09/30/2008
End of Mainstream Maintenance:12/31/2015
End of Priority One Support Phase:12/31/2017

It’s hard to believe it’s been 7 years already!  I’m feeling old.

Are You Getting Notifications?

If you have access to SAP Support, then you should also be taking advantage of regular alert notification emails that you can proactively receive from support.   You can sign up for them here:
http://service.sap.com/notifications

You can define exactly what products you want to receive notifications about.

Here is a video tutorial that walks you through it.

Don’t delay.  Sign up today.

«Good BI»

Visual Intelligence – Resolving Start Up Issues

January 10th, 2013 No comments

Enjoying Visual Intelligence?  I am.  Unfortunately however every once in a while something will go wrong.  Most of the time stopping and restarting Visual Intelligence will fix the problem but sometimes not.

One error I received recently was:  Open document failed / The engine failed to start before timeout.  Restart the application.  (HDB 10005)

Open document failed / The engine failed to start before timeout. Restart the application. (HDB 10005)

Here is a quick article about this topic from SCN about this error:  http://scn.sap.com/thread/3256250

Here is an SAP note which also has additional details:  http://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/1783894

These articles provide good information but didn’t solve my problem.

Sybase IQ Hiccups

As you probably already know that Visual Intelligence leverages an embedded Sybase IQ engine for data manipulation.

Here you can see both SAPVisualIntelligence.exe and the embedded Sybase engine, iqsrv15.exe, listed in the task manager.

… and sometimes there are problems.  I’ve found that assuming it ‘normally’ works okay (install was correct) and nothing else on your PC has changed (software/firewall conflicts), then it’s a memory issue.  Remember 8 Gig is recommended for this application.  (4 Gig minimum)

The problem is that sometimes when the Sybase Engine hiccups, it may continue to run in the background and make it impossible for Visual Intelligence to start-up again.

Resolving Issues with iqsrv15.exe

Here is what you need to do:

  1. After you shutdown Visual Intelligence, make sure that iqsrv15.exe is not still running.  You can kill the process via task manager if necessary.
  2. Delete the DataBase directory where Hilo.db is stored
  3. Restart application and it will recreate.
You will find the DataBase directory in your working directory.  By default this is located here:
C:UsersAdministratorAppDataLocalSAPSAP Visual Intelligence

Location of local Visual Intelligence Database

Hope that helps!

«Good BI»

 

Categories: Administrators, Help!, Lumira Tags: ,