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BOBJ BI Suite 4.1 – Upgrade Experience and New Features

by Dr. Berg and Michael Barker

October 7, 2013

Recently ComeritLabs updated one of our servers running the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 suite to BI 4.1 SP1.

This update to the application suite provides enhancements with the System Configuration Wizard, SAP Jam, SAP HANA Business Layer Wizard, and with OLAP integration for SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio.

In this blog, we take a quick look at what we learned...  

New System Configuration Wizard

After the SAP BOBJ BI 4.1 installation has completed, you’ll want to take a look at the new System Configuration Wizard.

The System Configuration Wizard is a tool that assists with the configuration of the SAP BusinessObjects Intelligence suite. The wizard helps reduce the likelihood of configuration problems by guiding you through a set of post-installation configuration steps.

During this process you will select which product services to start, configure the system resources for balance between performance and resource utilization, select a deployment template, and configure the system data folders. This is a major improvement from XI 3.1 and BI 4.0 where this type of information and configuration options was ‘hidden’ and hard to find inside the environment(s).

To make it even easier, the System Configuration Wizard is opened each time the Central Management Console (CMC) is accessed with an Administrator account.

Berg Capacity 7Oct2013

SAP Jam

SAP Jam is a new feature included with the release of BI 4.1 that provides a secured social media site to enhance teamwork and collaboration. This feature is configured within the Central Management Console along with SAP Jam’s cloud services.

This service is very similar to most social media sites providing options to setup personal profiles, invite colleagues to join, post news feeds, and share files on the site. There’s even an app called BizX Mobile for smartphones which will allow team members to stay in touch while travelling.

SAP Jam has enormous potential for deployment within the SAP community, but at this time there is no option to deploy it to a company’s internal web server, so adoption by the business community at large is less likely unless the package is adapted by SAP in the future to also be hosted on company servers instead of the SAP Cloud.

Berg 7Oct2013 Central Management Console

 

SAP HANA Business Layer Wizard & OLAP integration with SAP BOBJ Design Studio

The new SAP HANA Business Layer Wizard automatically creates a data foundation and business layer based on selected SAP HANA views. This provides easier migration to the SAP HANA environment.

For example, when multiple SAP HANA views are present in the data foundation, any dimensions and attributes that are common to different views are created as a single business layer object, and special aggregate-aware objects are generated to make queries on multiple views possible.

Analysis for OLAP has been enhanced in BI 4.1 to provide integration with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio allowing the creation of a workspace in Analysis based on SAP BW or SAP HANA data. This workspace can then be exported to a Design Studio analysis application for flexible use by mobile or desktop users.

Thanks to this integration with Design Studio, an OLAP report can be accessed from your mobile devices!

Some 4.1 issues with Analysis OLAP in workspaces and BO Explorer Information Spaces

It was discovered during our deployment of SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 that workspaces containing AOLAP that were previously working in BI 4.0 environment now fail to load.

It should be noted that AOLAP projects continue to work when they are not loaded into the workspace layout. The error that we experienced is related to the SAP “Note # 1767025 - Unable to open OLAP Analysis report with a BI Workspace. HTTP Error 500”.

At the time of this writing there was no immediate patch. However, service pack 2, which is due to be out in November, we hope will address this issue. For, now we will look for an alternative workaround and if one is found we will update this blog.

We also had unexpected errors in running our Information Spaces in BO Explorer after we upgraded from BI 4.0 to 4.1. We see no reasons why we should not be able to run this in both versions, and will keep looking for root-causes on what happened. The issues seem to be contained to Information Spaces where extensive use of facets was used.

Summary and BI Bootcamps

BI 4.1 is a great step in the right direction for SAP and the BI tools, and the developer team at ComeritLabs was very impressed with the Design Studio integration and the new configuration wizards. I personally liked the SAP Jam and cannot wait to see if SAP is going to make this available for non-cloud clients.

Meanwhile, after completing the SAP BI bootcamp in Chicago last week, I will be facilitating at the hands-on BI bootcamp in Copenhagen, Orlando and Las Vegas in the next couple of months. More information is available here: http://biseminar.wispubs.com. I look forward to see you at any of these locations.

Thanks,

Dr. Berg

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