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Know Your BI Upgrade & Integration Options: Q&A with SAP on BusinessObjects BI 4.1 Migration, Interoperability, and Compatibility

January 29, 2015

Thank you to everyone who joined our online Q&A on SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1.

SAP's Sathish Rajagopal, Director, BI Solutions GTM and Harjeet Judge, Senior Specialist - Customer Experience Group, were joined by Maheshwar Singh and Ramu Gowda, SAP Product Management for BI, to take readers' questions on BI 4.1 integration, tools, and upgrades. They shared future updates coming to BI 4.1 and 4.2, as well as performance and integration tips.

To review the entire Q&A, view the chat replay and the edited transcript here.


Live Blog BI 4.1 Interoperability & Integration: Live Q&A with SAP

Bridget Kotelly:Thank you for joining our latest Q&A on SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1!   

From the SAP BI 4.1 product management team, joining us are:  Satish Rajagopal, Director, BI Solutions GTM;  Harjeet Judge, Senior Specialist - Customer Experience Group; Maheshwar Singh, SAP Product Management for BI; and Ramu Gowda Timma, SAP Product Management for BI.

Welcome back to you, Sathish and Harjeet, and thank you for joining us today, Maheshwar and Ramu!


Sathish Rajagopal: Hello... Looking forward for another great session today.   


Harjeet Judge: Hello everyone...looking forward to another lively Q&A session.


Ramu Gowda: Hello everyone…


Bridget Kotelly: We’ve had a great response to today’s Q&A and many questions coming in from readers. We’ll let you get to those now!


Comment From Vinodh

Will BW and BusinessObjects merge in the future? As HANA is positioning BODS as a primary component for data services and Lumira is on the horizon, what will BusinessObjects’ future roadmap look like?

Sathish Rajagopal: There will be more/tighter integration between these two - SAP BW and SAP BusinessObjects. There is no plan in the roadmap to merge these two technologies. SAP BusinessObjects will continue to be our enterprise BI platform, which will be the foundation for all future innovations around analytics, whereas BW will continue to leverage the power of SAP HANA to store and process enterprise data.


Comment From sid

Hi, Can a WebI report connect straight to a HANA view without need for a universe? Any plans to deliver this functionality?

Ramu Gowda: Direct access to HANA views from WebI is planned with BI 4.2.


Comment From RaviS

Can you talk about integration options with SharePoint 2013? Any major improvements in this space like new web parts, performance improvements, etc.?

Maheshwar Singh: BI 4.1 SP3 and greater supports SharePoint 2013. We plan to support additional content types like Design Studio and Analysis Office in a future release.


Comment From Kiran gangavaram

Does SAP Information Steward add value to BusinessObjects 4.1?

Sathish Rajagopal: Yes, when you are looking to analyze (such as impact/lineage analysis) your meta data end-to-end.


Comment From Wilfred

Is there a way I can find Analysis workspace query technical names for all Analysis reports? For example, can I find info by write code (like SELECT SI_ID, SI_CUID, SI_NAME, SI_AUTHOR, SI_OWNER, SI_KIND FROM CI_INFOOBJECTS)? We are building our analysis on BEx query. How can I get technical names of analysis queries?

Ramu Gowda: In Analysis Office you can drag and drop the technical name and other details from the information tab on the Analysis panel. In Analysis OLAP, you can see technical name while selecting a query.


Comment From Kiran gangavaram

Is there a straightforward approach to check which reports are created on a universe?

Harjeet Judge: Hi Kiran,

There is no straightforward approach to get this information. You will have to write queries in the Query Builder to find the reports that are associated with a universe. You may have to potentially write more than one query to get the information you need.
The other option would be to write a SDK script with some logic to run the queries. You can also explore the use of the Information Steward tool. It will add value in extracting metadata from BI system database.


Comment From Cathy

Are you aware of any issues with upgrading from BOBJ XI 3.1 to 4.1?

Sathish Rajagopal: It's a generic question, but the upgrade path is less complex compared to moving from XI R2 or the earlier release of BusinessObjects to BI 4.1. Let us know if you are looking for any particular area such as workflow, tools, etc. (BTW, there are thousands of 3.1 customers upgraded to SAP BI 4.1.)


Comment From Shaheen

We are currently upgrading to 4.1 SP5 and having issues with WebI reports against a BW universe. Users are getting "Incomplete log on data", but once the user gets in to UDT and refreshes the connection set to SSO and exports the universe, the reports work fine. This is not a feasible solution, as the end users do not have access to UDT.

Harjeet Judge: Hi Shaheen,

This is not normal behavior, and you may want to log a ticket with support to investigate further. I would expect this error to happen if you have your universe configured to use SSO but your users are not logged into BI system with SAP credentials.
If the userid/password to BW is hardcoded in the universe connection, the logon error should not happen, as it will always use the hardcoded credentials to authenticate to BW. Depending upon how your environment is configured, you may also need to set SNC authentication to BW for SSO.

Comment From Shaheen

Any suggestions on the best practices to uninstall BI 4.1 SP5 and install Bi 4.1 SP4?

Sathish Rajagopal: Can't think of a better or easier way to do it, Shaheen. Not sure why you have to do that, but the rollback is always tough. Take the backup, and try to do the repair and see if it works.


Comment From Zubair Khan

Is there solid documentation or a guide for monitoring in BOBJ 4.1?

Maheshwar Singh: The Admin guide has a section for monitoring. There are SCN blogs on this topic as well.


Comment From Guest

Our organization has been considering upgrading from 4.0 to 4.1 for some time, but a consultant told us that our MS-SQL datasources need to be at least MS-SQL 2008. Is this correct?

Sathish Rajagopal: SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 supports MS SQL Server from version 2008 R2. I would suggest you check the latest platform supported document, which is THE document for all the officially supported third-party software and releases.


Comment From Dallas Marks

Can you tell us more about the Freehand SQL capabilities added to BI 4.1 SP5?

Ramu Gowda: These currently support Deski fhsql document migration to WebI and refresh on WebI, supported via extention point framework. 
There is a plan to fully integrate in UI in the future releases with additional connection and query management capabilities.
Sathish Rajagopal: Part of Freehand SQL support was introduced in BI 4.1 SP05 release, but we are working on supporting the remaining parts in SP06 and 4.2 releases.


Comment From Markus

What is the best way to connect a Dashboard to the cubes?

Harjeet Judge: Hi Markus,

If you are using BW, my suggestion would be to explore using SAP Design Studio to build your dashboard. Design Studio is designed from the ground up to support BW scenarios. You can use SAP BusinessObjects dashboards as well using various connectivity options:

1) Direct BICS connection to BW if you plan on hosting the dashboard on NetWeaver Portal

2) Build a WebI report on the BW query and expose the block as a web service and use BIWS connection in dashboards


Comment From Cathy

Does the CMC security from XI 3.1 transfer cleanly to 4.1?

Maheshwar Singh: Upgrading usually is a good time to reevaluate your security. I would recommend you consider rebuilding it.


Comment From David BALLEY

What are the main benefits to move from BI 4.0 SP5 to BI 4.1 SP0?

Ramu Gowda: Depends on the usage of BI Platform. This SCN blog lists the enhancements on platform and client tools in BI 4.1 SP05.


Comment From Rob

Other than the Pattern Books, are there more detailed project planning guides for migrating from XI to 4.1?

Sathish Rajagopal: We have number of documents on how to best plan your upgrade, including best practices and recommendations. This is where we talk about generic considerations for a proper project plan. If you are looking specific/actual project plans, then SAP consulting can help.


Comment From Ingrid Cole

We are planning upgrade to BI4.1 sometime next year (fingers crossed). Anything in particular we should look out for?

Harjeet Judge: Ingrid, the answer would depend upon which version you are upgrading from. A few things to pay attention to:

1) Know that BI 4.x is 64-bit architecture, so the hardware requirements may be different.

2) Understand that BI 4.x offers 32-bit and 64-bit db connectivity depending upon which client you are using for reporting. You will have to configure both 32-bit and 64-bit db connectivity.

3) Pay attention to sizing your system. If you are on 3.x, don't expect to run your BI 4.1 system on the same hardware.

4) Split your Adaptive Processing Server, as this will impact system stability. You can find documentation on SCN on how to do this.


Comment From Daniel Llauger

Hello, We're on BI 4.1 SP3 and I'm trying to find a smooth way to promote universes with Promotion Management. With LCM, we used to have an option under Mapping and select the connection you needed and then promote. Now we cannot see that option anymore, and have to change the connection manually in the destination environment. Is there a new way of doing this?

Maheshwar Singh: Mapping is now called Overrides. You can find details about it in the admin guide.


Comment From David BALLEY

What is the exact frontend configuration to make WebI, OLAP Analysis, and Explorer work (IE, Java, ...)? Looking at the SAP PAM, it is quite large (example: Java 6, 7 and 8), but actually it seems to not work with all combinations. We are running a migration from BI 4.0 SP5 to BI 4.1 SP0.

Sathish Rajagopal: The supported versions mentioned in the official PAM should work. Can you be specific about what exactly is not working?


Comment From Shaheen

We have information from SAP that SNC is an issue in 4.1 SP5 patch 1, and patch 2 as well, and were asked to roll back to 4.1 SP5. We have a ticket open with SAP, but don’t seem to get a quick response. Does that mean even 4.1 SP5 has SNC issues?

Harjeet Judge: Hi Shaheen,

I am not aware of issues with SNC in SP5. If support asked you to downgrade to SP5 from a patch, it would suggest a problem specific in those patches. If it's a bug it should be escalated to development.


Comment From Abishek Parvathala

Most of the clients are on and will be in XI 3.1 and BI 4.1 parallel. The 3.1 Infoview supports 1.6 Build 32, but 4.1 BI Launchpad does not. This would mean developers and users can’t be logged in to both environments unless we do some manual overrides (which is not supported by Network/Security teams). Is there any alternative to this?

Harjeet Judge: Hi Abishek,

I assume you are referring to the Java version on the client. There is no easy to way to deal with this. Couple options:

1) Use Citrix and have some clients go through Citrix, which has a different version of JVM.

2) Explore the use of HTML query panel for Web Intelligence.

Comment From Abishek Parvathala

Thanks Harjeet. Citrix is good suggestion; we will explore that. With HTML View we lose some of the functionality and features from Applet to HTML, but we will definitely explore Citrix suggestion.


Comment From Adrian Egger

I would like to how to integrate the Design Studio applications in the NetWeaver Portal. I have some issues about the Quirks-Mode in IE. Are there any solutions to display in headerless Windows outside the Portal?

Harjeet Judge: Hi Adrian,

There is a discussion on SCN about this topic. See if this helps.


Comment From Shailendra

Are there any plans to support migration of BEx workbooks to Analysis for OLAP that are not in the BW repository and stored offline outside the system - without having to first bring them into the BW or BIP Repository?

Sathish Rajagopal: We don't have it in the roadmap today. But we are getting many similar requests these days and might revisit our plans for the future.


Comment From KIM

Crystal Enterprise 4 works only with UNX?

Harjeet Judge: Hi Kim,

Crystal Reports for Enterprise can be used to connect directly to a database table as well - similar to what you get with classic Crystal Reports designer.

Comment From Guest

I think the question was, does Crystal Enterprise only support the UNX format or does it also support the UNV format?

Harjeet Judge: Crystal Reports for Enterprise can only report from UNX universes or using direct-to-db connectivity. This information can also be gathered from the Supported Platforms Guide for BI 4.1.


Comment From Usha

We are planning an upgrade from 3.1 to 4.1 in next 2-3 months. We have 8 medium-size link universes. Should we go ahead, break the link and convert to UNX, or keep the link and use .UNV?

Sathish Rajagopal: Yes, that would be good if you can convert them to UNX already. The linking concept is lot different in IDT (.UNX) compared to UDT (.UNV).

Comment From Usha

So are you saying we can link universes in 4.1, i thought this feature is no more there in 4.1?

Maheshwar Singh: You are correct. It is planned for the future release, most likely BI 4.2.


Comment From Zubair Khan

When will the UNV go out the door and when will UNX take over? Should we panic now and convert all our UNVs to UNXs?

Harjeet Judge: Hi Zubair,

Our goal is to support innovation without disruption. We are not planning to end .unv support any time soon which is why you still see the universe designer in BI4.1. Having said that, most of the new functionality is only added to .unx universes to entice you to eventually make the conversion to .unx universe.
My advice is continue to use .unv universes for your existing content and do your new development on .unx. You should also have a mid- to long-term plan to convert your universes to .unx to take advantage of the new features.


Comment From Shaheen

Can we use the system configuration wizard to revisit our sizing? It does not seem to give any information on how the configuration is going to be changed, but just swaps out the old configuration and creates a new one based on the template.

Ramu Gowda: The summary of the changes applied will be available on Review tab under Details for each section.


Comment From Guest

We are on BEx 3.5 and trying to decide whether to move to BEx 7, Analysis for Office, or another product. We will likely not install the entire BOBJ suite, but have a ton of workbooks.

Sathish Rajagopal: I would suggest checking the differences and, importantly, the gaps between these options and then decide. Because you may be using unique or certain functionalities in your environment, it won't be wise to suggest one way or other here. But ultimately you need to upgrade from 3.5 for sure.


Comment From Zubair Khan

We use a portal to present our reports to customers using OpenDoc. We have one server with one WebI processing server. We are always running into issues where users' sessions are stuck and busobj is not timing out the sessions. We also have an issue with WebI processing server when, at a specific time at night, it’s always throwing warnings that it is high on memory or that maximum user connections are logged when there are zero users logged in and using the WebI processing server. Any advice or insight on these issues?

Maheshwar Singh: OpenDoc sessions timeout by default at about 20 minutes. This time is configurable. You could also use the kill session in the CMC to release the idle sessions. However you need to be on 4.1 SP3 or greater.

Harjeet Judge: WebI Processing is also used for scheduled documents. If you have several documents that are schedule to run you can run out of connections on the server. WebI server have parameters that control how much memory it can scale to so if you have lots of requests going to same WebI server it can run out of memory and throw the error. You can add another WebI server to help share the load. In BI 4.x the WebI server can scale to much higher memory because of the 64bit architecture.


Comment From Vladimir Shulga

Which BusinessObjects BI 4.1 tools to use for an access to Transient Provider?

Ramu Gowda: Tools like CR4E, WebI, and Analysis clients, etc., using BICS for Data Access can access Transient Provider.


Comment From Markus

I am missing a functionality to add comments to the reports, which can be entered by users. Is there a standard solution available?

Maheshwar Singh: BI 4.1 has collaboration feature that supports integration with SAP JAM.


Comment From Abishek Parvathala

In BI 4.1 SP5 when we use LCM to upgrade/update, if the object already exists with same CUID, the object (report/Universe) is not migrated. If I delete the reports in destination and use LCM, it works fine.

Maheshwar Singh: I assume the report has explicit edit rights and the user promoting it has only view rights? As a best practice possible do not use explicit rights. It is always preferable to inherit it.

Comment From Abishek Parvathala: I am using LCM as administrator on both source and destination.

Maheshwar Singh: Do you have this issue with all reports or specific report?

Comment From Abishek Parvathala: Thank you, Mahesh, for answering our questions. Yes, it’s happening with all the reports and in multiple environments as admin.

Maheshwar Singh: Can you create a support ticket for it?


Comment From Guest

Is there any way to embed a WebI chart inside a Design Studio dashboard?

Sathish Rajagopal: There is no direct inter-operability feature to embed WebI parts inside Design Studio currently (you can do it between SAP Lumira and Design Studio or A-OLAP to Design Studio). But we are working on an overall inter-op strategy as part of our tools convergence plan.


Comment From KIM

Do we have any document for BI 4 HTPPS: Configurations setting?

Maheshwar Singh: Have you looked at the Admin guide? It has the information.


Comment From Markus

I would like to put my results on a world map using Design Studio. Which tools do you offer?

Ramu Gowda: You can use SDK components delivered by partners.


Comment From Usha

Is audit functionality improved in 4.1 as compared to 3.1? If yes, what has improved?

Sathish Rajagopal: We introduced additional functionalities such as more events to capture, etc., in the BI 4.1 release. And the schema itself has been improved with a totally new structure for better performance.


Bridget Kotelly

Thanks again for all the questions! We had such a great response, we'll need to close off questions here while the panelists go through the remaining posts before the Q&A ends at 1:30ET.


Comment From Mihir Patel

Do you know the release date for Design Studio with offline data support?

Harjeet Judge: Hi Mihir,

We don't have a timeline for this, but this is a roadmap item for the future. I would encourage you to put this idea on Idea Place if it's not already there. You can also vote on the idea. The more customers that vote for the idea, the more likely you will see the feature in the product.


Comment From Raja

We are on 4.1 SP3 and the Explorer Information Spaces work fine in a single server environment, but behave differently in clustered environment. It works fine for a few times and then throws errors. If I stop all the Explorer-related services and just turn them on one server, behavior is ok. We have a parallel landscape in 3.1 which works excellent for Explorer. Any ideas when Explorer will be streamlined in 4.1?

Sathish Rajagopal: Raja, we are aware of this issue - Explorer not working properly in clustered environments because they get confused when it comes to load balancing, etc. We are working on it and hopefully in the next release we will have this improved.


Comment From Abishek Parvathala

Global Input Controls (one set of Input Controls controls all tabs) - is this happening in SP6? Or is it available in any earlier service packs? This should have been logical add-on feature in 4.1 as it was a Pending Idea in for a while. 

Ramu Gowda: Yes, Global Input Controls is planned for BI 4.1 SP06.


Comment From Usha

Is there a lot of difference in configuring 3.1 servers as compared to 4.1?

Harjeet Judge: Yes, there are differences in architecture in particular on how you split the Adaptive Processing Servers. I would familiarize myself with the admin guide for BI 4.1 and search for the wealth of information available on SCN. Take a look at upgrade resources available here.


Comment From Mihir Patel

When are there plans to have Design Studio with offline data?

Maheshwar Singh: It is a roadmap item for a future release.


Comment From Rene

SAP ME and SAP Business Objects combination: Are there any statistics as to the number of installations in the US (and worldwide) that are using SAP BusinessObjects for reporting from SAP Manufacturing Execution, therefore bypassing the SAP BI component altogether?

Harjeet Judge: Hi Rene,

We don't have any metrics to share via this forum. My suggestion would be to get in touch with your account rep and see if they can find reference customers for you. It's possible to report directly from SAP ERP system using SAP Business Objects.


Comment From Markus

Will there be a full map integration of Dashboards available with Google Maps or our own SAP world map?

Ramu Gowda: The full geo map support in Design Studio is planned for future release.


Comment From Shaheen

Is there a way to improve performance of report scheduling in 4.1 SP5? When we click on destinations on schedule it seems to take more than 10 seconds.

Sathish Rajagopal: Destinations click taking time could be because of few things like memory, your WAS resources issue, etc. But having dedicated job servers and scheduling during non-peak/off hours will improve your overall scheduling process. So you need to investigate (by tracing) further on why it takes 10 seconds to show the available/supported destinations.


Comment From Daniel Llauger

I'm trying to set up Auditing in our environment, and I see a DUMMYTRUSTEDUSER. Does this account come by default? And also, I see:  “Warning: There is no connection to the Auditing Data Store from the CMS Ourserver.CentralManagementServer.” We have a clustered and distributed environment. What would be the best approach to enable auditing?

Harjeet Judge: Hi Daniel,

The steps to enable auditing are documented in the admin guide. In BI 4.x, you can enable/disable auditing from the Central Management Console under Applications >> Auditing. You need to make sure you have the relevant database drivers installed and connectivity to the db working correctly. Steps for the 3.x system are different, so refer to the admin guide for steps.


Comment From Ingrid Cole

We're currently on BI 3.1 SP7 and have only been able to get Dashboards to work with IE. All other browsers fail to work. Any thoughts as to why?

Harjeet Judge: Ingrid,

Looks like dashboards are not supported on other browsers. Take a look at the supported platforms guide here for XI 3.1.  


Bridget Kotelly

Thanks again to Sathish Rajagopal, Harjeet Judge, Maheshwar Singh, and Ramu Gowda.

Thanks again to Sathish Rajagopal, Harjeet Judge, Maheshwar Singh, and Ramu Gowda. For more on the BI 4.1 upgrade and integration options, the SAPinsider Special Report on BI 4.1, check out, and replays from our four-part BI 4.1 Webinar series here.  

You can look for Sathish’s session at BI 2015 this March in Las Vegas, and Harjeet will be presenting some BI 4.1 hands-on labs onsite. I’m looking forward to seeing you there!



Thanks again to all our panelists - and to our audience for all your questions! You can review the discussion here at any time.  Looking forward to lots more BI discussions to come!

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