Are you ready for Java 8? You wouldn’t be faulted for wondering “didn’t we just upgrade from Java 6 to Java 7?” (see related articles, The Future of Web Intelligence and Java and Are You Ready for Java 7?). Oracle is hosting a Java 8 Launch Webcast tomorrow, March 25, 2014 for the official launch of what went into general availability last week.
Java-curious individuals can download Java 8 from the Oracle web site. But most SAP BusinessObjects users probably shouldn’t. At least not yet (UPDATE: BI 4.0 SP10+ and BI 4.1 SP4+ provide Java 8 support). Apparently somebody already did because SAP recently published Knowledge Base article 1993468 documenting that the SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence Rich Client won’t launch when Java 8 is installed.
Thankfully, the Java.com web site and the Java Update on my PC still think that Java 7 is still A-OK (although Oracle will stop patching Java 7 in April 2015). What I hope to gain from Oracle’s formal Java 8 launch is an understanding of when Java.com and Java Update will begin recommending Java 8 to my users (UPDATE 01/07/2015: Oracle Java Update now recommends Java 8 to unsuspecting users).
From the Java 8 FAQ on Java.com:
Why is Java 8 not available on java.com?
Java 8 is the latest release for Java that contains new features, enhancements and bug fixes to improve efficiency to develop and run Java programs.
The new release of Java is first made available to developers to ensure no major problems are found before we make it available on the java.com website for end users to download. If you are interested in trying Java 8 it can be downloaded from Oracle.com.
Check with the app provider before upgrading to Java 8
Some application providers might require that you use a particular Java release and have not certified their applications with Java 8. If you experience problems running an application with Java 8, check with your application provider and confirm that it is certified with this version.
I’m not in a hurry for SAP to support Java 8 for Web Intelligence— I’d much prefer that they retire Java in client software— but I am curious when it plans to do so. Based on prior experience, it’s too soon to expect SAP to support Java 8 in the forthcoming SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence BI 4.1 Support Pack 3 (SP3), coming at the end of March 2014. It’s reasonable to expect that support will be added to a future patch level of SP3 with Support Pack 4 (SP4) being the first support pack to support Java 8 without need for additional patches.
On the SAP BusinessObjects server side, SAP embracing Java 8 could be interesting. Java 8 offers new multi-core extensions known as lambda expressions (See related article from The Register, Reality check: Java 8 finally catches a multi-core break). Perhaps these new SDK features will bring new performance levels to the Adaptive Processing Server and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer?
Until SAP does offer Java 8 compatibility to the SAP BusinessObjects platform, BICC help desks should— as always— verify with Web Intelligence users that their locally-installed Java JVM version is in alignment with currently installed SAP BusinessObjects patch levels.
- Java 8 is supported on SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.1 SP04 and higher
- Java 8 is supported on SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 SP10 and higher
- Java 8 is not supported on SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.1, not even the latest SP7
UPDATE January 7, 2015: Just noticed that Oracle’s Java Update is offering to automatically update to Java 8 Update 25 instead of the latest patch of Java 7. See Oracle article, Java 7 Auto-Update to Java 8.
UPDATE December 5, 2014: Java 8 is supported by SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 SP10 and higher. According to the Product Availability Matrix (PAM), the Java plug-in for Crystal Reports does not work with Java 8 but it is depreciated. Customers should use the HMTL viewer for Crystal Reports instead.
UPDATE July 8, 2014: Java 8 is supported by SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 SP4 and higher. According to the PAM, the Java plug-in for Crystal Reports does not work with Java 8 but it is depreciated. Customers should use the HMTL viewer for Crystal Reports instead.
UPDATE March 31, 2014: None of the recently released support packs (XI 3.1 SP7, BI 4.0 SP9, or BI 4.1 SP3) support Java 8. Refer to the Product Availability Matrix (supported platforms) below.
- Product Availability Matrix for SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 (includes SP3)
- Product Availability Matrix for SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 SP5 and higher (includes SP9)
- Product Availability Matrix for SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.1
- Web Intelligence and Oracle Java Runtime Environment Known Issues in SAP BI 4.1 via SAP Community Network
- Oracle Java SE Support Roadmap via Oracle Technology Network