By Dr. Berg
I just finished a session on how to do a BW 7.3 upgrade at the BI conference in Amsterdam (download your copy at SAP Insider), and had a lot of great questions. In this blog, I will address the most common ones.
h2>System Outage for BW 7.3
The upgrade from 7.0 to 7.3 is a bit different then the previous ones. In 7.3 we can minimize the system outage by creating a shadow system and use more system resources. This makes it feasible to have as little as 2-3 hours outage during the upgrade (however, most companies should plan for a bit more).
h2>BPC and NW 7.3
Yes, BPC 10 requires BW 7.3 and BPC 7.5 is according to SAP currently not supported for BW 7.3. So, some companies must wait for the BPC 10 release before planning the upgrade.
Yes, a security conversion is now required for all those who did not do it as part of their BW 7.0 upgrade (PS: password also becomes case sensitive).
While not required, you can use the NW upgrade as a great time to also upgrade the OS, DB and hardware. Doing so, does not increase the project risk, it actually reduce it. Take a look at my presentation on the BW 7.3 upgrade for more details and an example. If you doa Unicode conversion as part of the upgrade, you should seriously consider an hardware upgrade. Take a look at the EarlyWatch reports in Solution Manager and see if new hardware is warranted.
h2>In Memory processing and BWA 7.2
The new hybrid and composite providers are great for faster and more real time data access. The composite provider allows you to join in memory indexes and perform 'data modeling' in BWA. In BWA 7.2 on BW 7.3 six of the most commonly used OLAP functions are also placed in-memory (i.e. sum, max, min, average etc). This means less reliance on the BI analytical engine and the ability to performance tune the queries better (not only data fetch).
There are many other cool features in BW 7.3 and with the version being generally available as of June 2011, this summer is a great time to plan an upgrade.
Here in Amsterdam, I had a room full of people looking for 7.3 answers, and in a couple of hours I will do it again.. The interest has been tremendous and the conference has grown quite a bit since last year. Now I see people from East and West Europe as well as from the middle-East and some from Africa. Perhaps BW/NW/BI is no longer an Anglo/European thing anymore....
Hope to see you here next year!!