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BusinessObjects XI 3.1 SP3, SP4 and SP5 - What is in them?

by Dr. Berg

February 6, 2012

In the last two weeks I have been working with several clients who are experiencing performance issues in their BusinessObjects XI 3.1 environments and are looking for ways to improve this with ServicePack ugrades while planning for their BI 4.x implementations. in this blog we look at what the different servicepacks contain.

By Dr. Berg

There are FixPacks (smaller fixes) and Service Packs (major fixes and previous fixes).

The Old Service Packs (1 & 2)

FP1.2 was released March 2009, and had major fixes for performance issues of the MDX interface for the OLAP Universe.  This included a new ‘row API’, memory management and sort controls.   FP1.6 contains fixes to WebI refresh, Prompts and row level restriction, Webi publishing and single pass bursting.  FP 1.7 is a critical hot fix to Qaaws to fix a timeout issue. While, FP 1.8 includes updates to the WebIProcessServer settings and more.

SP2 Was released in June 2009 and was a composite of  FP 1.5 + new features. However, you need to know that  an issue exists around SP2. Since it only contained FP1.1 through 1.5, is excluded all FPs such as 1.6, 1.7 and 1.8 (these are found again in 2.1).

ServicePack  3

SP3 was a really big ServicePack and contained many changes and fixes. This incuded:

  • WebI Query stripping for removing fields not used is supported (performance)
  • Auto-scaling of WebI charts (y-axis)
  • Auto-merge dimension can be controlled (turned off)
  • Display query name and context for drilled dimension (in merged dimensions)
  • URL refresh for personal data providers
  • Diagnostics for WebI C++ components
  • Fixed ranking formula for given dimension
  • Improved measure calculation for context operators (ForAll/In)
  • Support for Table filters on smart measures
  • Formulas with “where” operator ignores table filters In Report context
  • Universe Designer have a Pre-defined filter editor (for query/object definition)
  • Universe Designer SDK have new lov classes and methods
  • Support for ‘stick this report’ feature in SharePoint
  • Support for Italian in SharePoint
  • Installer support for integration to SharePoint (patch and install)
  • Lifecycle Management support for Enterprise XI 3.1
  • New Xcelsius cache server and process server (Qaaws performance)
  • Support for connectivity to Informix dynamic server 11.5, Teradata 13 and HP Neoview
  • Improved monitoring options using CA Wily Introscope workstation
  • Documentation of SSO (data access guide)
  • Documentation of store procedures limitations
  • New universal web services connector for Crystal report
  • Link tag in HTML is supported in Crystal 2008 ()
  • Suppression of empty rows from SAP BW (MDX)

ServicePack  4

SP4 was somewhat smaller and contained support for more soruces, reporting features and retirement of a couple of BOBJ tools:

  • WebI OnDemand (publish and import now possible)
  • Can save the WebI report as a text file
  • Control on how long report is kept on server (CloseDocument)
  • Offsetting ti me (dimension) – TimeDim for use on top of a date type universe object.
  • Can turn off “From” field in email scheduled report (security)
  • Environment Load balancing support via cookie based affinity
  • Debugging via Thread dumps are supported
  • Lifecycle management supports command line input for promoting objects
  • Access to subversion repository using HTTP (web)
  • Waterfall chart is supported for Xcelsius (new)
  • Voyager support for Essbase 11
  • Automatic mapping of tables in XML and web services
  • Proxy support for XML and web services
  • Updated API for Salesforce
  • Crystal report 2008 – support for SA

  • Crystal report 2008 – compatible with compound variables in BEx
  • Support for iViews on Enterprise Portal 7.3
  • End of support for BOBJ Performance manager
  • End of support for BOBJ Predictive Analysis (Technical support until March 2012).

ServicePack 5

SP5 is somewhat smaller in content and have no major features except for HANA support.

  • SQL Anywhere is default CMS database
  • Wrapped text is supported in Xcelsius Scorecards
  • Enhanced Alerts for Xcelsius bubble charts
  • Can now exclude hyperlinks in Crystal 2008 for Excel & Word (1997-2003) and PDF.
  • Can display parameter descriptions in Crystal 2008 report
  • Support for Arabic and Hebrew for PDF exports on BI platform
  • SAP HANA (JDBC & ODBC) as a data source (v. 1.0 SP2)
  • Publishing to multiple clients


There is lots of great documentation on  that allows you to drill down to more details, install guides and benefit statements. Personally, I have recommended to my XI 3.1 clients to get to at least SP3 to take advantage of the query stripping in ‘3.5’. Anything less than this has performance implications.

Naturally, the latest and greatest version is preferred and organizations that are ready and have the resources should implement BOBJ 4.x as soon as possible.

In the next blog we will look at the SAP NetWeaver 7.3 upgrade..

Dr. Berg

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