SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Review

Considerations for Upgrading from Business Objects Enterprise 3.1 to 4.0

I recently performed an upgrade from SAP Business Objects 3.1 to the SAP BI Platform 4.0. In the process, I noted a few idiosyncrasies you should consider if you plan to upgrade your 3.1 environment. Not all of these items may pertain to everyone but you should at a minimum consider them when planning your upgrade. These three items include Connections, Excel and Life Cycle Management (LCM).

The first topic is Connections and only need addressed if you are using Universes in your current 3.1 environment. For those with only Crystal Reports in the environment that do not access Universes, this does not apply. Specifically, it addresses Custom Access Levels that you may currently have in the environment. In order for users to access Universes in 4.0 you need to ensure the following rights are granted within the Custom Access Level. Under the System category, you should see Connections and Relational Connections. Under these subheadings, ensure that Data Access is granted for both of these items. The migration will only enable rights to Connections, not Relational Connections. You will need to grant Data Access to the Relational Connections otherwise users will not be able to refresh Universes.

The second topic is Excel. If you current 3.1 environment includes reports that are scheduled with a format of Excel, consider the following. During the upgrade, these reports get transformed to use the new DLL’s in the 4.0 environment. The reason this may present an issue is that the 3.1 environment saves to an .xls format whereas the 4.0 environment will save to an .xlsx format by default. You will have to determine if the organization has Microsoft Office 2007 or above in to order to read these files. If not, then you should note all of these schedules and change to the prior Excel format, or ensure that all of the client machines have the ability to read and open .xlsx formats.

The final topic is relevant to almost everyone in the 4.0 environment, since LCM needs to be installed on the 4.0 environment. However, this specific ‘gotcha’ only occurs if you change the default port for LCM. The default port for LCM is 3690. In Support Pack 4 and above, Version Management is an item in the Central Management Console under Manage. If you changed ports and click on this item you will be prompted for a system, user name, a password and authentication mode. As part of the SAP Business Intelligence Platform installation using Windows, it installs a service called LCM_Repository which uses port 3690. The port number you enter during the installation of the Platform is only the port number that the platform looks for and not the port number in which the subversion tool gets installed by default. In order to change this port so that it can start the LCM_Repository server at the correct port number you need to use the regedit tool. Note that any time you edit the registry there are profound implications. Please only do so if you are sure you’ve exhausted other issues and know for a fact that this is your problem. Peform a search for the LCM_Repository service and you should see the command line as one of the registry items. Add the following item to the string in the registry key –listen-port PORT. Where PORT is the port number that you told the platform to look for during the installation.

These are but three specific items to keep in mind when upgrading your SAP Business Objects Enterprise platform. Ideally you will provide ample time and attention to planning your upgrade prior to diving it. It will make your journey to the newest version much smoother and reduce downtime and other negative impacts.

Disclosure: My company is partners with SAP Business Objects, Microsoft & QlikView

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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