Sherlock 3 – General Availability and Getting to BI4

The team at EVtechnologies is excited to announce the general availability of Sherlock 3 for the SAP BusinessObjects Platform. This release brings with it the ability to capture historic changes to your BI deployment in near-real time. Allowing you to leverage the proven power of the Sherlock platform to track what is happening within your deployment, when it happened, and what impact the change may have.

A few months ago we announced the Sherlock 3 beta program where we outlined each of the major new features that are being delivered with this release. Since that time, we have installed Sherlock in several real customer environments. We have put it through some challenging scenarios and it has turned out better than when we started. The result is a product that we are happy to say is ready to help improve and streamline BI operations that are using SAP BusinessObjects.

Rather than re-hash the features of this release or talk about the minute details of how we’ve improved the product based on our beta program, I thought it would be more interesting to talk about real scenarios where Sherlock 3 can help better leverage the investment that you have made in your BI landscape. As I don’t want to make you read through a blog post that is a million lines long, I’m going to break this up over several posts. As such, you will see a series of posts coming out over the next week that will talk about each of these scenarios.This first up on our list is how Sherlock 3 can help with the move to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.

Deploying SAP BusinessObjects BI 4

Our team has been through many upgrades to BI 4. In every one of these engagements, we use Sherlock as it gives us factual details about how the customer’s current BI deployment is being leveraged by the user community. This allows us to focus on the critical content, remove the unused content from the scope of the upgrade, and ensure that the end result is a BI deployment that is useful, stable, and sized appropriately for the customer’s needs.

Because Sherlock 3 can now capture real-time, historic information about how a BI deployment is changing over time, we can now gather more in-depth information about how users are leveraging the environment. Rather than just seeing that 125 Desktop Intelligence reports were modified during the last 6 months, we can now determine how they were modified. If most of those changes were the addition of new report level calculations or returning more rows from queries, then perhaps we can have conversations with those users about how Explorer or Lumira may better fit their needs as the organization deploys BI 4.

This detailed, historic data will allow us to track how every piece of content in the SAP BusinessObjects deployment is being viewed, refreshed, created, modified, or scheduled to fit the needs of the BI community. We can inform customers about:

  • which reports consistently have the most errors and what they should do to fix those reports before the BI 4 upgrade
  • the frequency of service restarts or modifications in an attempt to provide short term bandaids to stability problems
  • the frequency of user logins and what they are doing while they are logged in
  • specific reports, report tabs, and report parts that will be impacted by a changes in the Web Intelligence calculation engine between XI 3.1 and BI4
  • non-Universe data sources that can cause headaches during the upgrade to BI4: those using custom SQL in their reports (i.e., command objects for Crystal Reports, free hand SQL for Desktop Intelligence, and SQL overrides for Web Intelligence) or that are using personal data providers
  • the transition from UNV to UNX as we track how many of their Universes have been converted and how many reports are now leveraging the new UNX-based Universes
  • the transition from Desktop Intelligence to Web Intelligence along with the impact that the conversion will have on the content and the user
  • the transition from Crystal Reports to Crystal Reports for Enterprise and how current Crystal Report structure can impact which reports are successfully upgraded and which ones are not

There are many other scenarios where the Sherlock Inspector Suite can assist with planning and executing the move to BI 4. The ones listed above are those new capabilities that have been added or enhanced with the release of Sherlock 3. To find out more details about the usefulness of Sherlock please check out the Sherlock product page, our BI 4 assessment services page, and our blog. You can also register to view our past webcast on the topic of “Smoothing the Migration to BI4”.

Next up, we will talk about how Sherlock 3 can help with Capacity Planning.

Thanks for reading!

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