Better Late Than Never – Upgrading to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2

With all of the excitement surrounding SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.3, it’s sometimes easy to forget that not every organization has the luxury of being the early adopter. For a variety of reasons, some organizations find themselves as late adopters to new releases of enterprise software. The reasons vary, from small, overworked IT teams to “if it ain’t broke…”. But then a new version of a browser or data source throws the old BI platform a curve ball and it’s time to move forward.

We recently helped an organization migrate their aging SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 Edge Edition SP6 Patch 3 (14.1.6.1805) landscape to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 SP8 Patch 3 (14.2.8.3550). Windows Server 2012 R2 was replaced with Windows Server 2016, SQL Server 2012 was refreshed with SQL Server 2019, and a single-server installation of Edge became a two-server architecture with a dedicated web server. We encouraged the customer to start using the HTML edition of Web Intelligence, even though SAP BI 4.2 still includes the Java-based edition. We also retired some obsolete Xcelsius/Dashboards content that was no longer used.

Because the UI between 4.1 and 4.2 share so many similarities, not all of the enhancements between 4.1 SP6 and 4.2 SP8 are apparent. But there are many. On the architecture side, significant improvements include the Web Intelligence performance improvements from BI 4.1 SP7, the removal of Adobe Flash from the BI Launch Pad and CMC UI from BI 4.2 SP6. And the HTML edition of Web Intelligence isn’t merely just a face lift, there are dozens of enhancements, all carefully documented by SAP’s Christian Ah-Soon in a series of SAP Community blogs.

SAP BI 4.2 SP3: What’s New in Web Intelligence and Semantic Layer?
SAP BI 4.2 SP4: What’s New in Web Intelligence and Semantic Layer?
SAP BI 4.2 SP5: What’s New in Web Intelligence and Semantic Layer?
SAP BI 4.2 SP6: What’s New in Web Intelligence and Semantic Layer?
SAP BI 4.2 SP7: What’s New In Web Intelligence and Semantic Layer?

Note that BI 4.2 SP8 was the first version of the BI 4.2 platform to not include new features, but only bug fixes and enhanced platform support.

New adopters of SAP BI 4.2 should also look at the What’s New document on the SAP Help Portal, which covers back-end as well as front-end enhancements.

And of course, we’ve encouraged all of our SAP customers to start taking a look at SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.3, which shipped at the beginning of this year. BI 4.3 SP1 will ship by the end of December 2020 and we recommend that customers at least stand up a single-node sandbox for evaluation and compatibility purposes. In addition to its Fiori-fied makeover for Web Intelligence, Christian Ah-Soon has continued to document new features on the SAP Community site.

SAP BI 4.3 SP0: What’s New in Web Intelligence and Semantic Layer?
SAP BI 4.3 SP1: What’s New in Web Intelligence and Semantic Layer?
What’s New in SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.3 from the SAP Help Portal

SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 mainstream maintenance (patch support) ended on December 31, 2018 and Priority One support ends soon on December 31, 2020. Mainstream maintenance for SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 is provided until December 31, 2022 with Priority One support through December 31, 2024. SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.3 became generally available this year with mainstream maintenance through December 31, 2025 and Priority One support through December 31, 2027. 

Is your organization still using unsupported versions of SAP BusinessObjects like version 4.1? Are you currently using version 4.2 but looking to adopt version 4.3 in 2021? We can help your organization leverage the new features of the SAP BI platform – contact us today!

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