Below is a small subset of the Q&A edited, and reprinted with SAP Insider permission:
Question and Answer:
Q: Will BW and BO merge in the future? As HANA is positioning BODS as a primary component for Data services and Lumira is on the horizon, how will BO future roadmap look like?
A: There will be more / tighter integration between these two - SAP BW and SAP BusinessObjects. There is no plan in the roadmap to merge these two technologies. SAP BusinessObjects will continue to be our Enterprise BI platform, which will be the foundation for all future innovations around Analytics. Whereas BW will continue to leverage the power of SAP HANA to store and process enterprise data.
Q: Is there a straightforward approach to check which reports are created on Universe?
A: There is no straightforward approach to get this information. You will have to write queries in query builder to find out the reports that are associated with a universe. You may have to potentially write more than one query to get the information you are looking. The other option would be to write a SDK script with some logic to run the queries. You can also explore the use of Information Steward tool that you posted in your other question. I will add value in extracting metadata from BI system database.
Q: Can you tell us more about the Free Hand SQL capabilities added to BI 4.1 SP5?
A: Currently support deski fhsql document migration to webi and refresh on webi, supported via extension point framework.
Plan is to fully integrate in UI in the future releases with asstional connection and query management capabilities.
Part of Free Hand SQL support was introduced in BI 4.1 SP05 release but we are working on to support the remaining parts in SP06 and 4.2 releases
Q: I would like to know which is the best way to connect a Dashboard to the cubes
A: If you are using BW my suggestion would be explore using SAP Design Studio to build your dashboard. Design Studio is designed from group up to support BW scenarios. You can use SAP Business Objects dashboards as well using various connectivity options:
1) Direct BICS connection to BW if you plan on hosting the dashboard on netweaver portal
2) Build Webi report on BW query and expose the block as webservice and use BIWS connection in dashboards.
Q: What are the main benefits to move from BI4.0SP5 to BI4.1SP0 ?
A: Depends on the usage of BI Platform. the following SCN blog lists the enhancements on platform and client tools in BI 4.1 SP05.
Q: We are planning upgrade to BI4.1 sometime next year (fingers x'd), anything in particular we should look out for?
A: The answer would depend upon which version you are upgrading from. Few things to pay attention to:
1) Know that BI4.x is 64 bit architecture so the hardware requirements may be different
2) Understand the BI4.x offers 32 bit and 64 bit db connectivity depending upon which client you are using for reporting. You will have to configure both 32 bit and 64 bit db connectivity
3) Pay attention to sizing your system. If you are on 3.x don't expect to run your BI4.1 system on the same hardware
4) Split your Adaptive Processing Server as this will impact system stability. You can find document on SCN on how to do this
Q: Can a webi report connect straight to a HANA view , without need for a universe. Any plans to deliver this functionality ?
A: Direct access to HANA views from Webi is planned with BI 4.2
Q: We are on Bex3.5 and trying to decide whether to move to Bex7, Analysis for Office, or another product. We will likely not install the entire Bobj suite, but have a ton of workbooks
A: I would suggest you to check the differences and importantly gaps between these options and then decide. Because you may be using unique or certain functionalities in your environment. It won't be wise to suggest one way or other. But ultimately you need to upgrade from 3.5 for sure.
Q: Most of the Clients are on and will be in XI 3.1 and BI 4.1 parallel. 3.1 Infoview supports 1.6 Build 32 but 4.1 BI Launchpad does not. This would mean developers and users cant be login to both environments unless we do some manual overides (which is not supported by Network/Security teams). Is there any alternative to this?
A: I assume you are referring to the java version on the client. There is no easy to way to deal with this. Couple options:
1) Use Citrix and have some clients go through citrix which has different version of JVM
2) Explore the use of HTML query panel for Web Intelligence
Q: We use a portal to present our reports to customers using opendoc. We have one server with one webi processing server. We are always running into issues where users sessions are stuck and busobj is not timing out the sessions. We also have an issue with webi processing server when at specific time at night its always throwing warnings that its high on memory or maximum user connections are logged, when there are zero users logged in and using the webi processing server. Any advice or insight on these issues?
A: Opendoc sessions timeout by default at about 20 mins. This time is configurable. You could also use the kill session in the CMC to release the idle sessions. However you need to be on 4.1 sp3 or greater
Q: Which BusinessObjects BI 4.1 tools to use for an access to Transient Provider?
A: The tools like CR4E, Webi and Analysis clients etc.. using BICS for Data Access can access Transient Provider.
Q: I am missing a functionality to add comments to the reports which can be entered by users. ist there a Standard solution available?
A: BI4.1 has collaboration feature that supports integration with SAP JAM
Q: When will the UNV go out the door and when will UNX take over? Should we panic now and convert all our UNVs to UNXs?
A: Our goal is to support innovation without disruption. We are not planning to end .unv support any time soon which is why you still see the universe designer in BI4.1. Having said that, most of the new functionality is only added to .unx universes to entice you to eventually make the conversion to .unx universe. My advice is continue to use .unv universes for your existing content and do you new development on .unx. You should also have a mid to long term plan to convert your universes to .unx to take advantage of the new features.
Q: I would like to put my results on a world map using Design Studio. Which Tools do you offer? Will there be a full map Integration of Dashboards available with Googlemaps or an own SAP world map?
A: You can use SDK components delivered by partners
A: The full geo map support in Design Studio is planned for future release.
Q: Is audit functionality has improved in 4.1 as compare to 3.1 if yes what has improved?
A: We introduced additional functionalities such as more events to capture etc. in BI 4.1 release and the schema itself has been improved with totally a new structure for better performance etc..
Q: Do you know the release date for Design Studio with offline data support?
A: We don't have a timeline for this, but this is a roadmap item for the future. I would encourage to put this idea on idea place if it's not already there. You can also vote on the idea...more customers that vote the idea the more likely you will see the feature in the product.
Q: Global Input Controls (one set of Input Controls,controls all tabs) is it happening SP6? or is it avalaibel in any earlier Fix Packs. This should have been logical addon feature in 4.1 as it was Pending Idea in ideas.sap.com for very long
A: Yes, Global Input Controls is planned for BI 4.1 SP06.
Q: So are you saying we can link universes in 4.1, i thought this feature is no more there in 4.1?
A: You are correct. it is planned for the future release most likely BI4.2
Look for more in March at BI 2015