I cannot believe I first wrote about BI4 in May of 2010. It was a mythical creature at the time…we were still calling it “XI4”. At the time, it was such a huge shift that it made customers re-evaluate the entirety of their investments in SAP BusinessObjects to date. It was the beginning of the end for Desktop Intelligence. It was a signal that buckets of aging infrastructure had to be swapped out as 32-bit became legacy and 64-bit became the new normal. It was an era of promise of integrations and new products that would allow customers to fully realize this tight coupling of reporting, dashboarding, and exploration all in one user experience (lolz).
11+ years later, SAP BusinessObjects customers still hanging out are coming up to another inflection point – the upgrade to BI4.3 (or not). This blog’s purpose is not to tell you about features that should make you feel compelled to upgrade….whether they are there or not. I’m here to get real that when the end of 2022 arrives, you will be at the end of mainstream maintenance on BI4.2. That’s important. Compounded by that, the SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 code line has been around long enough that some that were still being deployed on aging operating systems like Windows Server 2012 are put further at risk. In a world where vulnerabilities are regularly preyed upon, this creates even greater risk for customer landscapes with access to sensitive data.
So what do you do? A few weeks ago, I dropped some heavy stuff with the team at Sherlock Meta contemplating the forced choice in retiring SAP BusinessObjects. In it, I reflected on where the Statement of Direction from SAP takes us with the eventual end of the road for SAP BusinessObjects. I had a chat yesterday with a long-time customer of ours – a 20+ year customer of SAP BusinessObjects, grappling with that very question. They’ve already concluded that the end is nigh for their SAP BusinessObjects investment, having already struck the decision to transition all that historical workload to other analytics products in the coming years, but are carefully weighing the move to BI 4.3 to maintain the steady state.
Whether you make the move to the BI4.3 code line, or ride this out until it’s time to shut it down once and for all, there are two thing I know we can help with:
- Let EV Technologies help you with our 10 Steps to BI4 while you move to BI4.3. Bah, I know, these are old posts. There are many common themes here. Scratch the end of Desktop Intelligence from that series and insert the end of Explorer and Dashboards. Maybe instead of a conversation on SAP BW we should talk a little about supported versions of SAP HANA you might struggle with here. We don’t know what we don’t know until we can talk about it. Our playbook is quite modernized and we’ve helped customers all over the planet get these changes done gracefully.
- Let Sherlock Meta help you plot the end of the road for SAP BusinessObjects. It’s possible you’ve already drawn that line and are making your move to another analytics platform. You need a strategy that is backed with facts. With nifty, data driven tools just like our Sizing Estimator we can right-size your investment and address the need to identify Valued Content and know what to do with it while you make the needed adjustments to your analytics strategy.
My best advice: don’t go unsupported. It’s not a pleasant conversation to reach out for help on a production outage only to find that you are out of luck because you can’t get support any longer. Educate your users on the big changes and milk every dollar of value out of it while you still have it.
While you work on that decision, please enjoy this list of products that have either come and gone, are maybe “just there”, or in general, just defunct, that didn’t outlive the SAP BI Platform (composed with a little help from my friends). Did we miss anything?
- Analytics Hub
- BEx Report Designer
- BI Widgets
- BW Accelerator
- Crystal Reports Enterprise
- Data Federator
- Design Studio (LOL j/k Lumira again)
- Desktop Intelligence
- Event Insight
- Intelligence Question
- KXEN -> SAP Predictive Analytics
- Lumira on HANA (or whatever it was called)
- SharePoint Integration
- Sybase IQ
- Sybase Unwired Platform
- The UNX universe
- Visual Composer
- Visual Intelligence/Lumira
- Writeback as a Service