Upgrading to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.3

The new and current SAP BusinessObjects release, BI 4.3, seems to come up in almost every conversation I have with customers these days so I thought I should blog about it.

The last service pack of BI 4.2, SP09, was just released and will remain fully supported through to Dec. 31, 2022 and then priority 1 support through to Dec. 31, 2024.

So, based on either the BI 4.3 new functionality or the lifecycle for BI 4.2 or both, there are reasons as to why people will consider upgrading to BI 4.3.

The question as to when to upgrade your SAP BO really depends on two main factors :

  1. Is there a compelling feature/function you need as soon as possible in BI 4.3?
  2. What is the best time to move with the least amount of disruption to your operation?

Right now, BI 4.3 is at Service Pack 1 after an initial release at Service Pack 0. Both releases have had some issues and there is still some missing Web Intelligence functionality in a few areas before full parity with BI 4.2. The next service pack, SP02 is due for release in December this year and will deliver both the missing Webi functionality and a slew of new features too. For this reason, most customers are choosing to wait to move to BI 4.3 until after the release of SP02 so are planning to upgrade in 2022.

However, some customers need some of the BI 4.3 functionality now and some use Crystal Reports and not Webi, so these customers may choose to move to BI 4.3 SP01 this year.

Either way, it looks like 2021 is shaping up to be the year that customers start planning and preparing for BI 4.3.

This brings us to the final question of how to upgrade to BI 4.3.

The good news is that the underlying services and infrastructure of BusinessObjects is the same for both BI 4.2 and BI 4.3. This makes the upgrade relatively simple and can be performed “in place”. In addition, regression testing is not really needed for your reports since there were no changes to calculation engines or other underlying services.

Of course, some customers may decide to change the underlying server operating systems, repository databases or even move to the cloud as part of their upgrade to BI 4.3 in which case, regression testing will be needed.

In terms of impact to users, even with new user interface, report consumers will see little to minor change outside of a new, more intuitive launch pad if they interface with BusinessObjects that way now. The bigger impact will be for the Web Intelligence report developers as they will need to learn the new Webi interface and workflows.

To avoid these individuals pulling their hair out (they will not like and probably resist the change at first), we recommend planning and training.

It is for this reason that we have developed new Web Intelligence BI 4.3 hands-on courses that will be launched and offered at IBIS 2021 in June.

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