SAP BusinessObjects customers using the Oracle database as their CMS and Audit database might want to budget an upgrade for 2020. According to Oracle’s Lifetime Support Policy, extended support on the 10-year-old 11g R2 database ends in December 2020 and premier support for Oracle 12 R2 ends in November 2020.
The latest SAP BusinessObjects BI platform 4.2 Platform Availability Matrix, published on September 3, 2019 indicates support for Oracle 19c in its latest Support Pack 7 release.
Oracle-based SAP BusinessObjects customers have three paths to consider in 2020:
Upgrade now to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 SP7
Customers can upgrade now to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 SP7 now, then move their CMS and Audit DB to Oracle 19c once the upgrade is completed. BI 4.2 SP7 can provide a significant bang for your upgrade buck depending on which version you are currently using. Beyond Oracle support, additional reasons to upgrade include new Web Intelligence charts, support for the latest browsers, a Java plug-in free experience for Web Intelligence, and a Adobe Flash plug-in free experience for the BI Launch Pad and Central Management Console.
Upgrade to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 SP8 in February 2020
A second option for Oracle database users would be to plan your upgrade around SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 Support Pack 8, which is currently scheduled (see SAP BusinessObjects release calendar) to be available in February 2020. Support Pack 8 will not contain any new features; however, it will contain the latest bug fixes and supported platforms like browsers and databases.
Upgrade to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.3 in 2020
The third option for Oracle database users would be to upgrade to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.3 which will be entering beta “soon” and is scheduled to be generally available in the first half of 2020. SAP BI 4.3 will sport a brand-new Fiori inspired user interface, so it may be more of a learning curve for users than leaping from your current version to either BI 4.2 SP7 or SP8.
Other Upgrade Considerations
Technically, the path to any of these three options is an “in-place upgrade” for customers already on the BI 4.x platform, not a “migration”. However, if your current platform is on an aging operating system like Windows Server 2012, you’ll probably want to consider deploying on new hardware and Windows Server 2016 or Windows Server 2019.
Also, you’ll want to take a second look at browser support. It used to be that Internet Explorer was both the most prevalent browser in the enterprise and the best experience for SAP BusinessObjects. But in 2019, SAP BusinessObjects customers should make sure their users are getting the best experience, which is now found on Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. It doesn’t hurt that these are also the preferred browsers for SAP Analytics Cloud.
Finally, with Adobe ending support of Flash at the end of 2020, SAP BusinessObjects customers using Explorer or Xcelsius/Dashboards should stop new development on those tools immediately and look at alternative solutions to port existing applications.
The good news is that there are multiple paths to move forward. An upgrade assessment from EV Technologies powered by Sherlock®️ technology can provide your organization with a fact-based, customized roadmap focused on how your users are using your current SAP BI platform. Give us a call to discuss your SAP BI situation today.