Is Web Intelligence Unsafe?

If you’ve updated your Java 7 runtime environment (JRE) lately, you may have noticed the following pop-up when running the SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence Java report panel applet.

Java Block Potentially Unsafe Components from Being Run

Block potentially unsafe components from being run? Java has discovered application components that could indicate a security concern. Contact the application vendor to ensure that it has not been tampered with.

Clicking on “more information” reveals the following message.

Web Intelligence Unsafe Java details

The Web Intelligence Java applet has been recently disparaged as an unattractive companion for SAP BW. And it has been a wallflower at the SAP Lumira dance. But is it unsafe? No more than usual (See related article, The Future of Web Intelligence and Java). The only change is that the Java runtime is now more cautious. Click “Don’t Block” and continue using Web Intelligence as usual.

I’ve noticed that sometimes the Web Intelligence application appears to “lock up”, only to discover that the Java security warning is lurking under my browser window. So I looked in the Java control panel to see if I could find a way to get rid of the warning.

Security Level in Java Control Panel

Unfortunately, the lowest and “least secure setting” is now Medium, which still flags Web Intelligence as unsafe. I almost miss the days when the Java control panel had a “Throw Caution to the Wind” setting.

The new behavior of the Java JRE is noted in SAP KB 1851792:

When using the web intelligence java viewer in BI4 or XI 3.1 along with Java 7 update 21 you will see a Security Warning popup… This issue has been tracked under ADAPT01691965 and is targeted for a future support pack on BI 4.0 and Fixpack for XI 3

It appears to be similar to the issue Apple Safari users have been experiencing with Web Intelligence for some time, as noted in SAP KB 1754269:

In Apple’s Java plug-in for OS X, for reasons related to platform security, Apple has blocked some of the APIs used by the BI 4.0 Web Intelligence Rich Internet Application (Java Applet). We are working with Apple to design and implement a fix.

The bottom line? Although the security warning pop-up is annoying, it’s still business-as-usual for Web Intelligence users. We’ll be following this issue closely and write a follow-up article once it has been resolved by SAP.

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