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350 Posts
Mike Griffiths

Chat Support for BI

Posted by Mike Griffiths Oct 9, 2015

Hi BI Community,


We are extremely pleased to announce the introduction of Chat Support for BI.  Chat Support is one of our Real Time support offerings that is available to our BI customers.  Customers who use Chat Support are instantly connected with an experienced SAP BI Support Engineer.  The SAP BI Support Engineer will provide immediate assistance in order to help resolve your BI support issue during the Chat session.


This initiative has started as a pilot for BI Product Support and has been rolled out to three Topic areas:


BI Administration (Component BI-BIP-ADM)


All security issues and issues pertaining to Rights and Permissions

Issues dealing with Encyclopedia

Problems with the various servers in the Business Intelligence Platform

BW Publisher

Security Viewer

All Enterprise printing and export issues with Crystal Reports on the Server

Crystal Report Refresh issues in Enterprise

Issues with Query as a Web Service (QaaWS) consumption in a Crystal report

OpenDocument issues with Crystal reports.


BI Publications (Component BI-BIP-PUB)


General scheduling, publishing, and exporting issues with publications

Issues with publications where the source document is a Crystal Report and the report itself fails to schedule.


BI Dashboards (Components BI-RA-XL*)


All Xcelsius/Dashboard install, design and refresh issues

Issues publishing Xcelsius/Dashboard models to Infoview, .swf, .ppt, etc.

Issues related to Query as a Web Service (QaaWS), Live Office, and BW consumption in an Xcelsius/Dashboard model.

Issues with Xcelsius/Dashboard and BI Widgets



Using the Incident Wizard, you will see a new "Chat Support" button when you select one of these components (BI-BIP-ADM, BI-BIP-PUB, BI-RA-XL)


Chat Button.png


Selecting the button will connect you to an SAP BI Support Engineer via a Chat session. To keep track of your chat, the SAP BI Support Engineer will create an incident on your behalf.


This Chat Button will only appear:

·         For the BI Components areas mentioned above

·         If a SAP BI Support Engineer is ready to take your Chat.


We have SAP BI Support Engineers online globally during the working week to assist you via Chat.  For further details on how this works, reference SAP Knowledge Base 2213344 - How to start a chat with SAP Support [video] which provides a video demonstration.


I encourage you to give this a try in order to get a faster resolution to your BI Product support topics.

Any feedback you have is very welcome. The best way to provide it is via the Chat, when prompted at the end of the session. Your feedback will help us to improve the Chat Support experience for the roll-out of this service across all of the BI components.


Thanks and regards,


Mike Griffiths

Global Director, SAP BI Product Support

I did not find any specific documentation for configuring Windows AD and SSO for only IS/DS components. Just thought of puttig all those steps together. I followed the below SAP Notes.


1631734 - Configuring Active Directory Manual Authentication and SSO for BI4


OS: Windows Server 2012

DB: MS SQL Server

Apps: IS/DS (Installed with IPS - Information Platform Service, no additional license required)


In our case we enabled SSO for InfoSteward and DS Designer. For DS console and CMC we are using Windows AD athentication only. But this article gives you steps to enable SSO for all components.



Section 1 - Planning your Service Account Configuration

Before configuring IS/DS for AD logins we must request AD service accounts. This service accounts should have 3 roles.

1.      Query AD

2.      Run the SIA/CMS and allow manual AD logins

3.      Allows SSO


Section 2 - Creating and preparing the service account

Instead for creating new AD account in Domain Controller, we decided to use already existing <sid>adm user as BI Service account.


Get it done these steps with the help of AD team:


It has been setup with “Password never expire" and "unlock"



Delegation for the Service Account


navigate to the properties of the service account and choose

Trust this user for delegation to any service (Kerberos only) under the Delegation tab.



Setspn Commands - Should be run on Domain controller server by AD team


setspn -a BICMS/<sid>adm.domain.com <sid>adm

setspn -a HTTP/host.domain.com <sid>adm

setspn -a HTTP/host <sid>adm


Once they run this commands you can view them from your IS/DS server by running below commands


setspn -l <sid>adm


Section 3 - Configure the AD Plugin Page in the CMC and map in AD groups

Login to CMC => Authentication => Windows AD


Check "Enable Windows Active Directory (AD)"


AD Administrator Name: Domain\<sid>adm

Default AD Domain: Domain.com


Mapped AD Member Groups: We need to add the required AD groups here who needs access.


Authentication Options:

Use Kerberos authentication

Service principal name: BICMS/<sid>adm.domain.com


Check "Enable Single Sign On for selected authentication mode.


New Alias options: Assign each new AD alias to an existing user account with the same name

Alias update options: Create new alias when alias update occurs

New User options: New users are created as concurrent users


On-demand AD update:

Update AD Groups and Alias now





Verifying users


Go to


CMC>Users and Groups>Group Hierarchy

and select the AD group you mapped to view the users for that group. This will generate a live query to AD (using the CMC query account) and display the current users in that group. It will also display any nested users in that group (users that belong to nested AD groups).



Do not proceed if users and/or groups are not mapping in properly!



Section 4 — Steps to start the SIA/CMS under the service account

In order for the service account to run the SIA there are specific operating system settings that need to be set.


      1. Add the service account to the local administrator‘s group on any server where the service account will be running a SIA/CMS.

          Open Computer Management > Local Users and Groups > Groups > Administrator > Properties > Add


      2. You should also grant the local policy Act as Part of the operating system as seen in the screenshot below.

          Open Local security Policy > Local Policies > User Rights Assignments > Act as part of operating system > Properties > Add User or Group


      3. After the above changes have been made the service account can now run the Server Intelligence Agent (SIA). Navigate to the Central Configuration Manager (CCM), stop the SIA and on the properties tab enter the account in domain\username format. And restart SIA.



1.   4. Verify the service account and AD logins are working


You should be able to login via DataServices Designer at this point. The next steps will test an AD login with the Central Configuration Manager‘s Manage Servers tool.

Add your user to Administrator group temporarily and login to server with your id and test it.

Add your user to Administrator group in CMC temporarily


      Open the DataServices Designer >

      System - host[:port]: host:6400

      User name: Blank

      Password: Blank

      Authentication: Windows AD

      Log on


      Then it should show the DS repositories.



Section 5 –Configuring Manual AD authentication to Java Application Servers


Two files need to be created when using java. These files need to be created from scratch and should be placed in the C:\windows\ directory on any windows application server.

Create the bscLogin.conf file

Note: Make sure the file is not a text file



com.businessobjects.security.jgss.initiate {


com.sun.security.auth.module.Krb5LoginModule required debug=true;




     Create the krb5.ini file




default_realm = DOMAIN.COM

dns_lookup_kdc = true

dns_lookup_realm = true

default_tgs_enctypes = rc4-hmac

default_tkt_enctypes = rc4-hmac

udp_preference_limit = 1




default_domain = DOMAIN.COM


Regfer OSS Note 1690665 - Unable to logon to BI Launchpad or CMC using Manual AD Authentication in BI 4.0 while creating krb5.ini file.


    Verify java can successfully receive a kerberos ticket


      1. From DOS command line navigate to the sapjvm\bin directory. By default this is:


E:\Program Files (x86)\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\win64_x64\sapjvm\bin


2. Run

kinit username hit enter and type your password


kinit <sid>adm



If the KDC and other configurations in the krb5.ini are correct you should receive a ticket.


Section 6 – Configuring CMC for manual AD login


Create CmcApp.properties file with below lines






Point your application server to the bscLogin.conf and krb5.ini files.


Add the following lines to the tomcat java options. Tomcat must be restarted to test.





Restart the Tomcat


Verify the bscLogin.conf has been loaded by your application server


To verify the bscLogin.conf has been loaded by your application server attempt to logon to CMC (with AD selected in the drop down).



Check the sdtout.log in ..\


tomcat\logs folder and you should see "Commit succeed"


At this point you will be able to login InfoSteward, DataService Console & CMC with Windows AD logins.


Section 7 – Configuring Active Directory Single Sign On



Increase Tomcat’s maxHttpHeaderSize



Take the backup of existing server.xml and add the maxHttpHeaderSize="65536" in Connector Port 8080 tag



Create and configure a global.properties file




Create a file named global.properties with the following text inside:












For the values in bold above replace them with the values for your service account from Section 2 above.


Create and configure a ICCExplore.properties file


Copy the ICCExplore.properties file from ..\tomcat\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF\config\default to ..\tomcat\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF\config\custom folder and modify it





Add additonal parameters to CmcApp.properties file - Optional

If you want to configure SSO for CMC as well? you can create CmcApp.properties file with below text inside. But it is not a good idea to enable SSO for CMC. Because if SSO doesn't work in order to troubleshoot you need to login to CMC first and also you might see security issues if some hacker get access to your domain.





sso.supported.types=vintela, trustedIIS, trustedHeader, trustedParameter, trustedCookie,

trustedSession, trustedUserPrincipal, trustedVintela, trustedX509, sapSSO, siteminder




Refer OSS Note: 2190831 - How to enable CMC SSO in BI 4.1 SP6


Configuring the application server’s Java Options for AD Single Sign On


1. Add the following lines to the tomcat java options. Tomcat must be restarted to test.





The wedgetail.sso.password is the password for your service account from Section 2 above.

The DJCSI.kerberos.debug options will enable a start up trace of the vintela filter.


Configuring the Data Services for SSO

Take the backup of existing web.xml file and modify the parameters which you have put in global.properities file.








Uncomment the auth filters and update domain & service account details. Disable the content related to keytab. We need to enable it later


<!-- start filter setting -->
















<!-- End filter setting -->



Verify the vintela filter has loaded successfully

Stop Tomcat

Delete or backup the logs in below folders



Remove the folder ..\tomcat\work\Catalina\localhost\DataServices

Restart Tomcat


Open the sdterr.log file in tomcat\logs and look for lines


INFO: Server startup in ###### ms


jcsi.kerberos: ** credentials obtained .. **.



Testing AD Single Sign On

Note: Do not test SSO on Tomcat server, so you should check on different server. When we hit the URL on browser it should automatically make you login without user/password since we logged into the server where we are testing with domain user.


Testing AD Single Sign On for InfoSteward



Testing AD Single Sign On for DS Designer


Login to IS/DS server with your id and start DS Designer

Open DS Designer

System - host[:port]: host:6400

      User name: Blank

      Password: Blank

      Authentication: Windows AD

      Log on

Select the repository and click OK


You should login to that repository.


Note: You should have access to that repository on DB level.


Testing AD Single Sign On for DS Management Console




You should be able to login to DS console with your domain without prompting for user/password


Section 8 – Encrypting your service account password with a keytab

An alternative to hard-coding the service account‘s password in the java options we can encrypt the password in a keytab file.


We need to run the below command on AD server.


ktpass -out bosso.keytab -princ <BI Service Account> -pass

<password> -kvno 255 -ptype KRB5_NT_PRINCIPAL -crypto RC4-HMAC-NT


Once you receive the file you need to perform the below steps


Copy the bosso.keytab to the C:\Windows\ directory of the IS/DS application server


Add the following line to ..\tomcat\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF\config\custom\global.properties


idm.keytab=C:/WINDOWS/bosso.keytab (note the FORWARD slashes)


Remove the wedgetail.passwords option from the application server‘s Tomcat java options.


Add the following lines to ..\tomcat\webapps\DataServices\WEB-INF\web.xml




Restart Tomcat and ensure you still see jcsi.kerberos: ** credentials obtained.. **. in the application server logs per the directions in the section above titled Verify the vintela filter has loaded successfully.


Test again SSO for IS, DS.


See KBA 1359035 to test the keytab separately if SSO stops working after these changes.


Disable debug mode in Tomcat java properites


Section 9 – Additional information and settings


Ensure your .properties files are not overwritten after a patch or redeploy

1. Copy the BIlaunchpad.properties, global.properties and ICCExplorer.properties files from:



2. Paste the .properties files in the folder below:

SAPBusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\warfiles\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF\config\custom


3. Copy the web.xml file from



SAPBusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\warfiles\webapps\DataServices\WEB-INF

Take the backup of existing file before copying it.

End of the Article


You can post your questions or comments here, so that I can clarify.

Hi All,

As most of you are aware that the Sample Auditing unx/unv along with the sample reports are available in SCN  @http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-53904

However there is a problem observed for one of the dimension part of Auditing universe.

This is for the users who are using the audit reports which are based out of Auditing.unx. where the Event status - successful/failed field is part of the audit report will show most of the status as failed despite they are successfully audited.

This is noticeable only when the users are trying to retrieve the Event status - successful/failed dimension from the Auditing.unx during that time almost all of them are showing it as failed.

The reason for this behavior is the query condition mentioned for the Event status - successful/failed is wrong and need an update.

Here are the steps to modify one of the dimension in the Auditing.unx.

1) Open the Universe using Information Design Tool (IDT) for BOE 4.x.

2) Traverse to the Events table and select the dimension Event status - successful/failed and double click on that, You can notice the query on the Query panel  as "ADS_STATUS_STR.Status_ID WHEN 0 THEN 'Successful' ELSE 'failed' END" which is not the correct condition.

3) Please replace the Query with "ADS_STATUS_STR.Status_ID WHEN 1 THEN 'failed' ELSE 'successful' END".

4) Save and Publish the Universe back to repository

5) Refresh the Report.

Note: This is required only to support the Event_Type_ID (1008) Save, the reason being Save has 3 successful status (0,2,3) and 1 failed status where as all other events has only one successful status (0)  and one failed status(1).

Best Regards,



Here I go again, yapping about performance. It's one of those topics that never really goes away. Inevitably, as a BI consultant, you will have to perform performance tuning either on your reports, or your back end. Fortunately, I've already covered a few back end tips and tricks on a previous blog post (Backend Performance Tips) . In this post, I will be covering a few performance tuning tricks that I've used in previous projects, to improve the performance of WEBI reports, connected to BW via BICS connection and BEx queries. There are a plethora of guides on SCN on how to improve WEBI performance, which uncovers some not so obvious places where performance can be improved.


This is by no means a comprehensive list of everything you can do to speed up those WEBI reports, but they are a few tips that have been very effective in my projects. These tips are valid up to BW 7.3 on HANA, and BOBJ 4.0 and above.


With BW 7.4 on HANA and HANA Studio, some of these tips might still be relevant, and some might not, as we have more back end modelling options, the HANA Views provide tremendous analytical capabilities, which in certain scenarios might just make these tips irrelevant.


For those of you who haven't yet taken the plunge into BW 7.4 on HANA, and HANA Studio, and are using BEx through BICS to connect to WEBI, hopefully these will be of use to you. So let's get to it.

Logical Partitioning

Although this is really a change to the back end data modelling, it is one that can improve significantly the performance of your reports. So much so, that in more recent versions of BW, SAP introduced a tool to automate the process of creating logically partitioned infoproviders, the Semantic Partitioned Objects. I have covered this in my previous blog (Backend Performance Tips) as well as referenced a great article by Rakesh Dilip Kalyankar on SPOs:


Focusing on the Front End, the reason logical partitioning improves performance is quite simple, as illustrated by the example below:

A user has a report that outputs current YTD key figures, and previous YTD key figures. All the data resides in a cube which has 10 years worth of data (say 2005 - 2015), sitting under a multiprovider. For simplicity, let's say that there's 50 million records, 5 million per year.

When the user runs the report for 2015, we expect to see 2014 and 2015 YTD figures. The SQL statement has to sift through 50 million records to identify only the 2014 and 2015 records and will take x amount of time.

Now let's imagine that in the back end, we have 10 cubes, identical in structure, logically partitioned by year (2005 cube, 2006.... 2015, 2016 etc.). Each cube will contain 5 million records, all of them sitting under a single multiprovider. When the user runs that same report, the multiprovider is intelligent enough to direct the read to the 2014 and 2015 cubes. Rather than sifting through 50 million records, we're now only going through 10 million records (5 million in each cube).

This will result in faster running reports due to less volume of data to read. This is an effective and recommended approach to improving query performance.

Aggregation Flag on HANA

BEx queries can be complex beasts. With aggregations, exception aggregations, counting documents, customers, items, restricted and calculated key figures, cell calculations, etc., they can become very onerous on the OLAP Analytic Manager. The OLAP manager has an orchestration role, in which it translates the BW query into an OLAP calculation graph. See below:


Source: openSap

With a non HANA DB, these are the steps taken to calculate exception aggregations:


Source: openSap

And here are the steps for a BW on HANA system:


Source: openSap

The performance gains from enabling this setting are huge.

For those of you running BW on HANA, there's a nifty little setting hidden in the multiprovider properties. It allows us to push the aggregation and exception aggregation functions down to the HANA DB.

1. Go to the multiprovider to be modified, and make sure you're in change mode. Once in the design screen, go to Extras > InfoProvider Properties > Change:


In the next screen, under SAP HANA/BWA Ops, make sure to select 6 Exception Aggregation. This will enable the push down of the functionality to the HANA DB


OSS note 2063449 - Push down of BW OLAP functionalities to SAP HANA provides the list of operations that can be pushed down to the HANA DB, and is constantly being updated. Below is the list of functionalities as of the publication of this post:


Analytic Manager operationRelease*
AggregationBW 7.0 + BWA 7.00
Cell-based calculations (FEMS)BW 7.0 + BWA 7.00
Hierarchy-processing (part 1)BW 7.0 + BWA 7.00
MultiProvider-UNIONBW 7.3 + BWA 7.20
Exception aggregation COUNTBW 7.3 + BWA 7.20
Exception aggregation for keyfigures w/o currency/unit conversionBW 7.3 + BWA 7.20
Exception aggregation for keyfigures w/ currency conversionBW 7.3 + BWA 7.20
Exception aggregation for keyfigures w/ unit conversion without reference InfoObjectBW 7.3 + BWA 7.20
Time-dependent currency conversionBW 7.3 (SP10) on HANA
Avoid intermediate result set materialization (Layer ”Q” virtualization)BW 7.4 (SP05) on HANA
“Current member” calculationBW 7.4 (SP05)
CompositeProvider (e.g. JOIN between fact data)BW 7.4 (SP05) on HANA
Stock coverage keyfiguresBW 7.4 (SP06)
Unit conversion with Reference InfoObjects  (see SAP Note 2001947 to switch off)BW 7.4 (SP08) on HANA
Parts of Handling of inventory keyfigures  (see SAP Note 2001947 to switch on)BW 7.4 (SP08) on HANA
Leverage HANA hierarchy processingplanned with BW 7.5(SP00) on HANA
List-based calculations (like conditions)under discussion
Time-Series calculationsunder discussion
Temporal Hierarchy JOINplanned
Internal Business Volume eliminationunder discussion
Formula exception aggregation for non-dimensional keyfiguresplanned
Formula exception aggregationplanned

Use Selection of Structure Elements

For queries that use many restricted and calculated key figures, BW provides a nice little checkbox, Use Selection of Structure Elements which will allow the SQL statement to only select and calculate the Key Figures or structure elements that are actually being used, which will result in less time for the select to run.

To access this, go to RSRT, enter the query name and then hit the properties button.


BEx - Free Characteristics

This is a really simple tip. Make sure all of your characteristics are in the Free Characteristics section of BEx. As we're simply passing along the data to BOBJ, we don't need the overhead of BEx calculating intermediary results by placing characteristics in the rows section. The final presentation will be done in WEBI, and that's where you will create the layout the end users are looking for.

BEx - Suppress Results

Very frequently, before the BOBJ days, we'd want to have fancy looking BEx reports, which included totals either by the end of the rows or columns. That was a legitimate requirement. However, similar to the Free Characteristics above, if we do not suppress the results, we have an overhead in the OLAP engine to calculate them. Even though we're putting all the characteristics in the Free Characteristics section, it's good practice to highlight them all, and suppress the results.

A quick example to show how performance is affected by having results, is to create a simple BEx report, put a couple of characteristics in the rows, and enable results for all of them. Run that report in RSRT with the debugging option, and note down the execution times. Then highlight all the characteristics in the rows and suppress the results, and re-run the report in RSRT, and compare the execution times. You should note a difference in the execution times.


BEx - Calculated and Restricted Key Figures

WEBI gives us the option to do a lot of calculations using variables and built in functions, somewhat similar to how you'd do formula calculations in Excel. It is very tempting to completely ignore BEx's OLAP capabilities, as we did, and do all the calculations to WEBI and the BOBJ server.

However, as described above, the OLAP Analytical Manager is very powerful, and with HANA in the mix, I would argue it's a pre requisite to push down if not all, the most complex calculations to BEx, via Calculated and Restricted Key Figures (CKF and RKF).

Although it might be simpler or easier to use variables in WEBI, performance will be significantly hindered using the BOBJ server. It is not made to handle huge volumes of data, and also does not have the same capabilities of the OLAP Analytical Manager.

Once we pushed all the calculations back to BEx, and used WEBI purely as presentation, with minimal logic in the variables, most of our complex reports began to run in under a minute, whereas they sometimes would simply timeout.

Key lesson - send it all back to BEx!

BEx - Variables

As a general rule, we the BW developers, instruct users to always filter the data they're running, so they don't try to run a report with wide open criteria, and fetch the entire table.

A way we enforce it, is by making some filters mandatory, say Fiscal Year, Fiscal Period, therefore limiting the amount of data users can run a report by, and improving performance that way.

When we have a scenario with WEBI using BEx via BICS connection, we are faced with the option of using BEx variables, or WEBI filters. We should always strive for the former (BEx variables).

If we simply set filters in WEBI, all the records from the cube will be selected, passed along to the BOBJ server, and then parsed for whatever values are in the filters. This makes for unnecessary data being transferred.

Conversely, if we have all the filters as variables in BEx, the records that will be passed to BOBJ are those which have been selected in the BEx selection screen. The illustration below might help to view this:


Using filters in WEBI, will result in the entire data in the cube being selected, and parsed within WEBI.



By using filters in BEx, only the filtered data will be passed to BOBJ, resulting in a smaller data set and better performance.

Navigational Attributes

One of the great functionalities of WEBI is that you can easily use Master Data Navigational and Display attributes. It's really a matter of dragging them in to the results area and then into the report itself once the report is executed. There are some functionality trade offs between the two, such as applying drill down and formula calculations to navigational attributes but not display attributes. That will not be covered here.

If we know that the user will have a requirement for reporting on attributes, and they will be a part of the standard layout, we've found that flagging them as navigational attributes will result in better performance.

The reason for that is, if we keep the attribute as Display, and add it to the report layout, the report has to go back and go through each parent characteristic of that attribute (Ex, color would be the display attribute and Material the parent characteristic) and then determine the output of the report.

If we flag the attribute as Navigational, the report treats it as it's own dimension, and therefore doesn't have the overhead of going to the parent characteristic to calculate the report output.

Query Stripping

This functionality within WEBI enables reports to 'pay for what they consume'. Many times, we design WEBI reports with many available fields, but only a selected few are part of the standard report layout, see below:


In the example above, all the available objects in the left are being retrieved from BW, although we're really only using a few in the default report.

Query stripping will optimize fetching of data to only the objects actively being used in the main report. With query stripping enabled, this particular report would only fetch the 5 fields actively used (Fiscal Year/Period, Material, Base Unit, Currency/Unit and Net Val. in stat curr).

By reducing the amount of objects being fetched from BW, we will improve report performance.

To activate this functionality, we must first do so at the WEBI query level, by going to Query Properties in the Query Panel, and selecting Enable query Stripping


And within the active document, under properties tab > Document


And then select Enable query stripping


Once these are enabled and you refresh the WEBI report, you will noticed that all the non active objects will be bold to indicate they have been 'stripped'


If you then add one of those objects into the report, you will get the message #REFRESH indicating that you need to refresh the report, so that it can go back to BW, and fetch the data for that object


The main challenged of using query stripping is educating the users of this functionality, why the report behaves the way it does, and why we're using it. Usually the performance trade-off of using the functionality turns users around the nuisance of having to refresh the report every time they drag a new object into it.


If end users aren't bugging you that WEBI reports are running slow, well then good for you, you've done a great job in creating awesome performing reports! For everyone else, hopefully this guide can help with the some simple yet highly effective and fast ways to get those slow running reports to run faster.

Like mentioned earlier, there are many blogs out there with more advanced ways in which you can create even better running reports.

Please post your comments to make sure I'm being kept true to all that's being mentioned here. Let me know what you've done in your projects and hopefully will can make this an interesting discussion on real world solutions to this never ending topic.

Happy reporting!


SAP TechEd Las Vegas (October 19-23) offers 5 days of learning (counting Monday, October 19th for the ASUG pre-cons) over a wide variety of topics to help you make the most out of your SAP investment.


This is a quote from a past SAP TechEd attendee:


"There's always a great deal to learn at the conference. But the key reason [Community: to attend SAP TechEd] each year is to focus on areas within BI, and to learn and understand the latest choices and direction that SAP is moving towards. We also often have the opportunity to meet with SAP executives to help guide future product direction" SOURCE




Source of comment by Raphael Branger


A subset of SAP TechEd BI agnostic sessions for SAP TechEd Las Vegas  is listed here - meaning those that do not rely on a BW/SAP ERP backend.


Platform developers, architects, and business users can take advantage of road map sessions to learn about the strategy, planning, execution, and collaboration available with solutions including:


Session ID



Road Map Q&A: SAP BusinessObjects Mobile


Road Map Q&A: SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence


Road Map Q&A: SAP Lumira


Road Map Q&A: SAP Predictive Analytics


Road Map Q&A: SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Suite


Road Map Q&A: The Cloud and SAP Lumira Software


With SAP TechEd, as SAP's premiere technical education conference, and experience hands-on workshops developed for SAP's platform agnostic customers.


Session ID



Explore SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio


Leverage a Business Intelligence Platform to Deploy SAP Lumira


Learn Best Practices, Tips, and Tricks for Upgrading from XI3 to BI4


Automated Predictive Analytics Integration and Scripting


Build Analytical and Planning Apps with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio


Create Connectors with SAP Lumira Software Data Access Extensions


The above picture is from last year's hands-on session by SAP TechEd photographer.


There are several lecture sessions for BI platform agnostic customers as well:


SAP Lecture Sessions – mostly Platform Agnostic:

Session ID




Enterprise Analytics Track Overview



Deploy Predictive Models in No Time with Rapid-Deployment Solution Content



Overview of the What, Why, and How of Analytics from SAP in the Cloud



Everything You Need to Know About SAP Lumira in Two Parts



Business Users Control and Drive Their Data



Leverage SAP BusinessObjects Mobile SDK for Your Analytical Needs



Tame Big Data with SAP Lumira Software



World Premiere of the Latest Release of SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio



Become a Data-Driven Business: Exploratory and Prescriptive Analytics



Analytics Partner Platform Play for Customers and Partners



Analyze Clinical and Genomic Data with Real-Time Medical Insight



It Isn't Only Brain Surgery: SAP HANA and SAP BusinessObjects BI Solutions



Apply a Fresh Face to Your BI Apps with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio



Location Analytics and SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio



Take a Deep Dive into Deploying BI in the Cloud



Guide to SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Improvements



Know How and Where to Fine-Tune Your Business Intelligence Platform



Extract Real Business Value from Big Data with a Rapid-Deployment Solution



Interactive Charting Using Shiny in Predictive Analytics and SAP HANA



Extend Your Systems with Analytic Applications in SAP HANA Cloud Platform



SDK Experiences: SAP Lumira VizPacker and SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio



Using SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio for Self Service BI



Faster SAP Lumira Extension Development with D3 Data Manipulation



SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence Software Innovations



Dr Pepper's BI Accelerated with SAP HANA: From Design to Production



So hopefully you see you can obtain a comprehensive education on SAP solutions for analytics, business intelligence (BI), and mobile BI, as well as SAP HANA. If you’re gearing up to upgrade to the latest release of the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform, or sizing and administering the servers, there’s plenty of content at SAP TechEd 2015 to help you select the right tool for the job.   You can take advantage of this unique opportunity to expand your skill base – to excel at your job.


Platform agnostic solutions covered in include SAP Lumira SAP Predictive AnalyticsSAP BusinessObjects Web IntelligenceBI Platform, SAP BusinessObjects Mobile and SAP Design Studio


You can view all BusinessObjects sessions here. Also view the 6 ASUG BI Influence Council sessions at TechEd below:

Session ID



ASUG Influence Council: SAP BusinessObjects Analysis


ASUG Influence Council: SAP Predictive Analytics


ASUG Influence Council: SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio


BIP Influence Council Live Meeting


ASUG Influence Council Open Meeting: SAP Lumira


ASUG Influence Council Update and Road Map: SAP Business Objects Mobile BI


ASUG Influence Councils allow you to "impact the future of SAP products".  See you next month in Las Vegas.


Consider joining ASUG next month at SAP TechEd Las Vegas, including someSAP BusinessObjects Design Studio hands-on sessions as well.

Related Items

September 15 ASUG Webcast - What is Coming in SAP BusinessObjects BI4.2

Upcoming ASUG Webcasts

#askSAP September 17 webcast  - open to everyone

ASUG SAP Analytics BusinessObjects Conference Presentations

Doing a Full install from BI 4.0.6+ to BI 4.1.6 and Retaining FULL content & Settings

Major Benefits:

  • Save an average of 5-8Gig per SP/FP applied to your original install
  • Installing NEW features of BI 4.1.6 with any corruption to your BI4 install
  • Consistent built of all DLL and library files, no mixed versions of DLL’s
  • Opportunity to cleaning up OS build and optimize base server Pre BI 4.1.6
  • Upgrade from Windows 200x to 2012 with FULL content retention
  • Move your install from Drive C: long name to any Drive with shorter path
    • D:\SAP BusinessObjects\
  • NO need for Promotion Manager to move any objects
  • NO need to re-configure any BI4 Server, all settings fully retained
  • No Size &/or Objects limit for FRS restore (restored up to 50Gig)


High-Level Steps:

  • The CMS database MUST be the correct version prior to connecting to BI 4.1.6
  • Do complete back-up of existing BI 4.0.6+ Server, including
    • CMS and Audit database
    • BOBJ Administrator password should be complicated
    • Reset / Validate Cluster Key password
    • D:\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\Data\Polestar
    • D:\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\Data\TrendingDB
    • D:\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\FileStore
    • Any other special customization done
    • Originally running on Windows 2003 Ent 64bit
  • Upgrade the current BI 4.0.6+ environment to BI 4.1.6
  • Upgrade any additional options being used such as:
    • BI 4.1.6 Explorer
    • Analysis 1.4 w/ SP13 BIP Add-In
    • Design Studio v1.5 Add-In
    • Lumira v1.0.27 BIP Add-In
  • All other options should be installed after BI 4.1.6 Cluster has been reinitialized



Our Restore Example:

Server Name:          PS01

CMS Name:             PS01

Administrator:         <Confirm password is complex>

Cluster Key:            Confirmed password

CMS_DB:                XI4_CMS (MS SQL Server 2012)

Audit_DB:               XI4_AUDIT (MS SQL Server 2012)

ORG BI4 ver:           BI 4.0 w/ SP2

  • Upgraded to BI 4.0 w/SP4
  • Upgraded to BI 4.0 w/SP6
  • Upgraded to BI 4.1
  • Upgraded to BI 4.1 Patch 02
  • Upgraded to BI 4.1 w/SP4
  • Upgraded to BI 4.1 w/SP6

New Windows 2012 RC2 64bit Install


FACT: You will save disk space when doing NEW full install

  • Using real world experience from supporting 50+ BI 4.x installs. With every patch upgrade BI4 Platform install directory increases in size.
  • The current clean-up processes after a patch is very poor, older files are NOT removed.
  • Clean move from Windows 2003/2008 to Windows 2012 with full retention
  • In install example, customer started with NEW Bi 4.0 w/SP2 install
    • Upgraded to BI 4.0 w/SP4 (Added ~ 7Gigs of overhead)
    • Upgraded to BI 4.0 w/SP6 (Added ~ 7Gigs of overhead)
    • Upgraded to BI 4.1 (Added ~ 7Gigs of overhead)
    • Upgraded to BI 4.1 Patch 02 (Added ~ 7Gigs of overhead)
    • Upgraded to BI 4.1 w/SP4 (Added ~ 7Gigs of overhead)
    • Upgraded to BI 4.1 w/SP6 (Added ~ 7Gigs of overhead)
    • Approx. added 40+ Gigs of overhead to your install


FACT: Move from Windows 200x to 2012 with full retention


This is an excellent opportunity to move your BI 4.1.6 install from Windows 200x to Window 2012 as long as the server name stay the same.

FACT: Repointing a newer BI 4.1.6 to an older Repository BI 4.xx is NOT valid

Starting with BI 4.x the CMS database now has full version signature.  You can’t take an older BI 4.0.6 CMS database and connect it to a BI 4.1.6 install, this will corrupt you install.



Step 1: Back-up Current BI 4.0.6 Environment

Complete Back-Up Process includes:

  • BOBJ Servers Image back-up by IT
  • CMS and Audit database
  • D:\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\Data\Polestar
  • D:\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\Data\TrendingDB
  • D:\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\FileStore
  • Any other special customization done


Step 2: In-Place Upgrade to BI 4.1 W/SP6

In-Place Upgrade involves:

  • NOTE: Confirm Administrator password is complex; otherwise you will have issues with SIA when doing FULL Install.  See NOTE – 2188271
  • We need to upgrade the current BI 4.x install to BI 4.1.6 in order to have the CMS database updated. 
    • Upgrade all the CMS Server in parallel
    • Next upgrade ALL the Applications servers within the cluster





Update - SAP Explorer to BI 4.1 w/ SP6 (Optional if installed)


Update – Analysis Add-On for BIP ver 1.4 w/ SP13 (Optional if installed)


Update – Design Studio 1.5 for BIP Add-On (Optional if installed)

Update – LUMIRA BI Platform add-on ver 1.27 (Optional if installed)

Step 3: Back-up In-Place Upgraded BI 4.1.6 Environment

Complete Back-Up Process includes:

  • BOBJ Servers Image back-up by IT
  • CMS and Audit database
  • D:\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\Data\Polestar
  • D:\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\Data\TrendingDB
  • D:\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\FileStore
  • Any other special customization done
  • Take NOTE of:
    • System DNS named and configuration
    • 64-bit Database drivers
    • Any other 3rd party software configuration
  • We will need the BI 4.1.6 signature upgraded CMS database & FRS as a SET to attached to NEW install.


Step 4: Doing NEW FULL-Build Install of BI 4.1 w/SP6

  • Get IT to do NEW installed Windows 2012 RC2 Server with same name as previous BOBJ server, in our example its “PS01”.  If running a BI4 Cluster, you will need IT do NEW installs of Windows 2012 with same name as previous server (SERVER_xx).



  • Install 64-ODBC Drivers required and configure properly. In our example it 64-bit MS SQL 2012 Native Client / Admin tool.
  • Configure the System ODBC-64bit with same names as original BOBJ server.  In our example XI4_CMS / XI4_AUDIT
  • Integrate other options, such as:
    • Joint NT Domain controller using proper NT Service Account
    • Integrate SAN / NAS as required
    • Install SUN JRE / JRK as required, set-up proper parameters
    • Install HTTP / JAVA Application as required
    • Install latest Windows Security updates, including .NET 4.5
    • Other miscellaneous application &/or configuration
  • Have IT take fully IMAGE / SNAPSHOT of system prior starting BI 4.1.6 NEW Install. Taking a full back-up of the NT Server PRE_BOBJ will come in handy in the future.


Install BI 4.1.6 w/SP6 NEW install












Install BI 4.1.6 w/SP6 Explorer Add-On (Optional):

Install Analysis 1.4 w/SP13 – Add-On for BIP (Optional):


Install Design Studio 1.5 w/SP00 – Add-On for BIP (Optional):


Install Lumira Server v 1.0.27 for BIP (Optional):


Validate NEW BI 4.1.6 CLUSTER Install with SAME Add-On’s




For a BI 4.1.6 Cluster, continue install of other servers

  • Install other CMS Servers within Cluster
  • Next install all other Application servers within Cluster
  • NEW base BI 4.1.6 Cluster is fully ready and on-line


Step 5: Doing Server Restore of ORIGINAL System:

Complete Restore Process includes:

  • STOP Tomcat & SIA
  • Restore CMS Database and Audit Database
    • In our sample it’s XI4_CMS & XI4_AUDIT
    • D:\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\Data\Polestar
    • D:\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\Data\TrendingDB
    • D:\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\FileStore
    • Any other special customization done


Server Restore Process Step-by-Step:















For more details on FULL restore, please refer to SCN post

How to Restore BI4 from FRS & CMS Backup


  • Continue installing any NEW add-on options as required to fully working cluster

Timehop is a popular mobile app that bills itself as "a time capsule of you." It allows you to review your historical social media activity from "this exact day in history" and re-share. The app is so popular, Facebook decided to copy the idea into its own "On This Day" feature. Today, September 2, was the last day of ASUG's SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects User Conference, or #SABOUC as we call it on social media. And on this day four years ago in 2011 (see what I just did there?), I wrote a blog entitled "Waiting on SAP BusinessObjects BI4" expressing both excitement and frustration at waiting for the general availability of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0. SAP BI 4.0 would go GA just a few short days later on Friday, September 16, 2011.


SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.2, the eagerly awaited update to the BI4 platform, quietly went into beta this week (see related SCN article, "SAP BusinessObjects BI4.2 Announced by Steve Lucas"). But there was barely a word of it breathed during SABOUC conference sessions. And not one word during conference keynotes. With mainstream support for SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.1 and SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 ending on December 31, 2015 (see related SCN article, "New Maintenance Dates for SAP BusinessObjects BI4.1"), all roads lead to the currently available BI 4.1 and its Support Pack 6. SAP will provide BI 4.1 Support Pack 7 near the end of 2015. But customers wishing to meet the deadline (and that's all of you, right?) will most likely use the current release.


Quite simply, SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.2 will not go GA in 2015 and is therefore not an appropriate upgrade path for organizations still using XI 3.1 or BI 4.0. Sadly, SAP reinforced that logic this week by not dangling any tempting carrots of BI 4.2 goodness in front of eager conference goers. As frustrating as the BI4 installer's “WaitForCMSForTheFirstTime” message can be, no doubt folks at SAP are experiencing a little frustration watching the "WaitForCustomersToUpgradeToBI41" message on their screens.


It's possible that SAP may have more to show and tell at the upcoming TechEd conference next month. Or possibly even the upcoming SAP Insider Reporting & Analytics conference. But it's also entirely possible that we'll be waiting until 2016. Instead of our usual New Year's Eve routine of watching Ryan Seacrest and the ball dropping in Times Square, SAP analytics customers may have to switch channels and watch Steve Lucas, President of SAP Platform Solutions, and a giant XI 3.1 logo dropping in Walldorf.


I will be watching.


Are you eagerly awaiting the arrival of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.2? Share your thoughts below.

I am just sharing my experience while doing impact analysis for one of my BI 4.1 assessment in a BusinessObjects environment that is running exclusively for SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and SAP Lumira applications. Here are few of my queries that could be handy for those who are doing similar type of activity. Here you go


     SAP Lumira


     To get the list of Lumira Dashboards published in to BI Platform



     For Scheduled instances of the Lumira documents



     To get the Universes and Managed connections used by Lumira documents




     SAP Design Studio


     To get the list of Design Studio dashboards




     To get the Bookmarks defined in Design studio Application


     SELECT * FROM CI_APPOBJECTS WHERE SI_KIND ='AAD.AnalysisApplication_Bookmark'


     To get the list of Design studio dashboards with atleast one Bookmark




     To get the bookmark metrics of the individual bookmark along with associated Analysis applications




     FROM CI_APPOBJECTS WHERE SI_KIND ='AAD.AnalysisApplication_Bookmark'


Analysis Office


     To get the list of Analysis Application for Office docs




Hope this is interesting. If you do have any specific requirement, please dont hesitate to comment here. I will try my best to bring the required information for you. Keep reading & Happy blogging!

Query Builder Blog series



             BusinessObjects Query builder - Basics

               BusinessObjects Query builder – Best practices & Usability

Sample Queries

             BusinessObjects Query builder queries

               BusinessObjects Query builder queries - Part II

               BusinessObjects Query builder queries - Part III

               BusinessObjects Query builder queries - Part IV

               BusinessObjects Query builder – Exploring Visualization Objects

              BusinessObjects Query builder – Exploring Monitoring Objects

              BusinessObjects Query builder - Exploring Lumira & Design studio Objects

Use cases

               BusinessObjects Environment assessment using Query builder

               BusinessObjects Environment Cleanup using Query builder

               BusinessObjects Query builder – What's New in BI 4.0   

If you are a German speaking customer planning to upgrade from BOE XIr2 or XI3, to BI 4.1 - then you could hugely benefit from a *free* 2-day hands-on workshop.


RIG Analytics can help steer your through the key planning considerations & upgrade tasks that are required for this kind of migration project.

This course will be held in Walldorf, Germany, on 1st and 2nd September 2015. Registration is simple


Customer Feedback, from the 20 previous workshops, is overwhelmingly positive! Examples from our recent United Kingdom, Spain, & South Africa workshops include:

  • "Upgrading is a lot less intimidating now"
  • "Amazing how much knowledge was shared in 2 days"
  • "The best session I ever received from SAP"

For more information please contact your local SAP representative.

Are you looking for visualization to strengthen your decision making?


Are you looking for predictive analytics to build strong economic growth for your organization?


Are you concerned about budget to convert crystal reports to BO?


Is timeline, duration & resources cost bothering you for migrating crystal reports to BO?


Brief Summary

Reporting today is every industry needs , every industry demands analytical reports to make decision on fly, drill down reports to get the details of cost factors, comparison reports to know my competitors, google maps with embedded graphs to know sales geographically.

         B2.png                                                                                                                                        B1.png

Most important is report to be available on web, mobile devices & tablets.

Today is the world of Business intelligence, where every industry wants to increase their sales, reduce the cost & improve operations.  Accessing heap of information in less time and present intelligently with visual modelling is what BI tool does.

There are many BI tools in market one of the most successful tool is Business Objects, An object which does great magic with visualization which are beyond imagination.

Business object is the company now owned by SAP. 

Business object is the next generation tool which provides many intelligence ways of presenting information on web, tablets & mobile phones on finger tips.

BI is not just limited to crystal reports, it’s been extended using BO with powerful & intelligence analytic's. 




Almost all industries uses crystal report for reporting, crystal report has very limited analytic's to present data and limited to only desktop users.

There are many customers worldwide for crystal report, some has 100-1000 reports already developed, developing crystal report with all formulae and rules is very exhaustive work & redoing it for visualization, extensiblity with another tool is like pain in the neck.

Crystal report to BO conversion is another project implementation, all reports developed in crystal again developing them in BO is like building another Rome, but as i said we can make things simple.


Learn in my next follow up blog about crystal report to BO migration.





Carsten Mönning and Waldemar Schiller

In this blog post, we present a pretty straightforward way of setting up an automatically refreshing BusinessObjects Business Intelligence document dashboard with the help of a conventional Raspberry Pi 2 Model B unit. You may take this as an inspiration for a lab project along the lines of "A Hadoop Data Lab Project on Raspberry Pi", http://bit.ly/1dqm8yO. However, the setup is robust and simple enough to maintain to use it, for example, for the operation of a war room terminal showing an automatically refreshing Web Intelligence key figure report within a BusinessObjects Business Intelligence production environment.


The basic idea is to force a database refresh of a BusinessObjects Business Intelligence document referenced via a standard SAP OpenDocument URL which is reloaded automatically with the help of an auto reload add-on to the Debian "Iceweasel" web browser. The OpenDocument URL will represent the browser's landing page. For this to be more than a totally meaningless exercise, it is assumed that the data source for the Business Intelligence document is updated at least as frequently as the web browser's landing page. We have been using this setup in context with the SAP CRM embedded Business Warehouse out-of-the-box "real-time" info providers configured to be updated at 15 minute intervals thereby ending up with a report dashboard of 15 minute accuracy using standard SAP technology (and a Raspberry Pi). With the browser and its landing page set to launch automatically upon Raspberry Pi boot up, this setup can be turned into something like a 'plug-and-play' solution for straightforward BusinessObjects document dashboard implementations.


We are assuming a basic knowledge of Linux commands. The installation and configuration process should take no more than 45 minutes in total.



The following Raspberry Pi 2 Model B bits and pieces are required to get things off the ground:

  • A Raspberry Pi 2 Model B (quadcore CPU, 1 GB RAM).
  • 8 GB microSD with NOOBS ("New Out-of-the-Box Software") installer/boot loader pre-installed.
  • Wireless LAN USB card.
  • Mini USB power supply, heat sinks and HDMI display cable.
  • Optional, but recommended: A case to hold the Raspberry circuit board.


Rather than purchasing all of these items individually, you may want to go for a Raspberry Pi accessory bundle at approximately € 60-70, as shown in the picture below.


Setup overview

The installation and configuration process consists of the following three main steps:


  1. Raspberry Pi software configuration
  2. Web browser installation and configuration (auto reload plugin and OpenDocument URL landing page)
  3. Autostart and display configuration


Raspberry Pi software configuration

Launch your Raspberry Pi device. If not triggered automatically, enter sudo raspi-config on the command line to start the standard Raspberry Pi software configuration programme and make the following selections:


  1. Enable booting into the Raspberry desktop environment.
  2. Overclock the device to the "Pi 2" setting, i.e. "1000 Mhz ARM, 500 Mhz core, 500 Mhz SDRAM, 2 overvolt".




With the help of setting (1), we will be able to configure the device in such a way that it launches a web browser immediately following the completion of its boot up sequence, whilst setting (2) simply makes full use of the remarkably powerful processing capabilities of the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B.

Web browser installation and configuration

Establish a LAN or wireless internet connection for your Raspberry device and download and install the "Iceweasel" web browser, the Debian distribution's fork from the Mozilla Firefox browser, https://wiki.debian.org/Iceweasel (and not to be confused with the GNU browser "IceCat", formerly known as "IceWeasel"):


     sudo apt-get install iceweasel

Following successful "Iceweasel" implementation, install any auto reload plugin for this web browser, for example, "Reload Every" at http://reloadevery.mozdev.org.


With both the web browser and the auto reload add-on in place, it is left to the set the browser landing page to the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) document you want to display and to get database-refreshed automatically in regular intervals within the browser. This is where the SAP OpenDocument URL functionality comes in handy, https://help.sap.com/businessobject/product_guides/sbo41/en/sbo41_opendocument_en.pdf.

OpenDocument comes with your BusinessObjects BI platform installation in the form of a deployed web application. (The web bundle is part of the BOE.war file.) What it does is to process incoming URL requests for BusinessObjects BI documents in the BusinessObjects Central Management Server and delivers the document to the end user. The supported document types include, amongst other things, Web Intelligence documents, Analysis workspaces, Dashboard objects and Crystal reports.

The OpenDocument default URL syntax reads as follows:


where <platformSpecific> is to be replaced with openDocument.jsp in the case of a Java deployment or with openDocument.aspx in the case of a .NET SAP BusinessObjects BI deployment. Note that there are not to be any spaces around the ampersands joining the parameters.

Refer to the SAP help document referenced above for the various OpenDocument parameters available. For our purpose of automatic database refreshing, the sRefresh parameter is the parameter of choice and is used, for example, as follows:




In other words, the BusinessObjects document with the CUID, i.e., cluster unique ID, Aa6GrrM79cRAmaOSMGoadKI will undergo a database refresh each time it is opened via this OpenDocument URL.


Set the browser landing page to whatever document of your BusinessObjects BI deployment you would like to refer to using the above OpenDocument syntax. (This is assuming, of course, that your Raspberry Pi device is granted the necessary network access privileges to resolve the OpenDocument URL.) You may want to finish this configuration step by setting the browser to full screen mode by pressing the F11 key.

Autostart and display configuration

Launch a Raspberry Pi terminal session and navigate to the autostart folder via

     cd ~/.config/autostart

Create the new file iceweasel.desktop with the contents as shown below.

That is:

     [Desktop Entry]







Finally, prevent your display from ending up in power save mode adding the line xserver-command=X -s 0 -dpms to file /etc/lightcm/lightdm.conf.


And that's pretty much it. Plug in your Raspberry Pi in the dashboard display of choice, restart the Raspberry device and the boot up process should result in your BusinessObjects document automatically getting shown and refreshed within the "Iceweasel" web browser. (Unless you have got a single-sign-on scenario for your BusinessObjects BI environmen up and running, you will need to enter the relevant BusinessObjects BI user and password credentials once and once only immediately following the launch of the web browser.) Set the required refresh frequency with the help of the web browser's reload tab and that's it.

A Web Intelligence ticketing KPI dashboard example featuring a 15 minute automatic report update frequency is shown below.




A Hadoop Data Lab Project on Raspberry Pi,http://bit.ly/1dqm8yO

Cooking up an Office Dashboard Pi - https://gocardless.com/blog/raspberry-pi-metric-dashboards

Iceweasel - https://wiki.debian.org/Iceweasel

"Reload Every" auto reload add-on - http://reloadevery.mozdev.org

Viewing Documents Using OpenDocument - https://help.sap.com/businessobject/product_guides/sbo41/en/sbo41_opendocument_en.pdf

I hope everyone is having a nice, relaxing summer.  The Vancouver summer so far has been full of great weather, and I've been enjoying every moment of it.

A question I am seeing frequently from our customers is "how do I secure my BI deployment?" - and for good reason.  The headlines in my RSS reader are still filled with security breaches and data protection incidents, and I don't anticipate that going away any time soon.


My colleague Greg Wcislo has written a three-part series on answering this question.


Part 1,  securing Identity Provider communication and a review on how the data is stored

Part 2,  configuring the web tier which is likely the most critical if you have your installation exposed to the outside world.

Part 3,  securing the BI servers, including ports, firewalls and database encryption

As a bonus, here's another excellent write up by Greg on Encryption and Data Security in BI 4.0.


I strongly recommend implementing HTTPS and CORBA SSL in your deployment, along with having a regular password expiration for your users, use complex passwords and regularly reviewing authorizations in your BI system, even if the web application is not public-facing.

In addition, don't forget about SAP's security note portal.  It's located here:



Other links of interest:

I want to share some of my findings on this mission 'possible - on the way from good old Deski to new brave WebI.


Still the customer users are fond of Deski and will miss the tool.


"Can we  set the timeout for 8 hours?" - - a user asks - since in deski you could keep the tool up and running the whole time. Webi in the browser has a timeout set!

We are testing 240 min timeout at the moment.


The RCT tool is still a bit  -ahm - could be better - let's phrase it this way:


Crucial it seems to run as administrator - which makes it tricky on the windows 2012 server...

Still it does not remember more the one login detail - I'll have to check if there is an ini file or sg.

Some RCT installation will not run properly - don't ask why!


Some features are already working but the RCT gives an error: e.g.: do not Update SQL. - gets converted pretty well, but the conversion log reports an error / warning: usupported option!. -


Strugling with FHSQL though - oracle works - investigation ongoing how to geht teradata FHSQL to be converted!


to be continued



This was an SAP webcast given by Maheshwar Singh, SAP, this month.  Below are my notes.  Note that things in the future are subject to change.


Figure 1: Source: SAP


Figure 1 shows the legal disclaimer that things in the future are subject to change.


Figure 2: Source: SAP


Figure 2 covers self-service BI on BI Platform as defined by SAP – this was not covered in the BI Platform roadmap.  BI Launchpad includes save, share manage content and self-service on BI Platform


Figure 3: Source: SAP


Schedules are subject to change


Purpose of roadmap is to give you short term and long term goals


Figure 3 shows the roadmap in three sections – today, planned innovations in 12-18 months, future innovation – forward looking


Today is BI4.1 SP6


Figure 4: Source: SAP


Integration kits are no longer a separate add-on; key capabilities are included


LCM console is integrated in CMC as promotion and version management


Planned Innovations


Planned innovations are in 12-18 months and anything could change based priorities


Figure 5: Source: SAP


As shown in Figure 5 plans include add-on audit improvements to include all clients – Lumira, Analysis Office, Design Studio.  For audit samples see Matt Shaw's post Unlock the Auditing database with a new Universe and Web Intelligence Documents for BI4.1


Admin broadcasting messages idea came from Idea Place.  For example, the admin send message to all users, some users, or certain user – downtime that IT plans.  Can also send by e-mail if e-mails are available for users.  It is also available as an alert


Recycle bin is a top-voted idea in Idea Place.  They plan to make it like Windows – CMC – admin can restore content – first focus is on public folders.  The admin defaults clean-up date; admin can change.  In first iteration it is not available for universe connections and personal documents

Admin cockpit is one central page to get information about what is happening with your system


Figure 6: Source: SAP


Migration improvements for the Upgrade Management Tool UI have an option to change log level instead of changing the INI file


Promotion management – selective retrieval from LCMBIAR – top voted idea


Performance improvements around promotion management


Manage Inbox – they are thinking – manage users’ personal space – today cannot restrict what user stores in personal space


BI Commentary – they plan to do – collaboration today with SAP Jam today

  • Context to your comment
  • Available as part of the platform so it is centrally stored
  • Plan is to start with Web Intelligence and then Design Studio / Analysis Office
  • Plan is to see the same content across all reporting tools


Figure 7 Source: SAP


Today the install takes up a lot of time; want to look at reduce install start up screen time for patches


Simplify language update support experience


Figure: 8 Source: SAP


Multitenancy was introduced in 4.1 with more improvements shown above


Promote content between tenant 1 and tenant 2


Figure 9 Source: SAP


Publications are planned for Analysis Office


Looking at scheduling to a printer as an idea


Figure: 10 Source: SAP


RESTful web services new things will be supported in BI4.2


Future Direction


Figure: 11 Source: SAP


Quick time to value with deployment and automation of software maintenance


In TCO reduction, SAP is looking at CMC has several applications; look at consolidation and making BI admin simple


Roadmaps are updated twice a year



Upcoming ASUG Webcasts:

What's new in BI4.1 SP06

What is new in BI4.2

Unprecedented Visibility: Bringing BI Auditing and Monitoring to your Mobile Device


Upcoming ASUG Business Intelligence Community W... | ASUG


Over the past six months we have been hard at work designing and developing a brand new supportability platform for SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform.  This product is the SAP BI Platform Support Tool version 2.0 which is an evolution and follow up of the original BI Platform Support Tool version 1.  Over 2014, we collected feedback from engineers, developers, and customers and implemented as much as possible into the new platform.  I believe with the new version, we will significantly reduce the number of incidents needed, reduce the amount of work for the BI administrator, and considerably reduce the time it takes to resolve support incidents raised to SAP support.


In this article, I will share the release schedule and provide details on all of the confirmed features coming soon in the version 2.0 release.


BI Support Dashboard

The home view now in version 2.0 is a BI supportability dashboard that brings together all of the resources that a BI administrator needs to support their BI Platform environments.  It is essentially a browser that displays useful SCN RSS feeds, hyperlinks to important maintenance, patching, and documentation, as well as a knowledge base search feature that searches KB Articles, SAP Notes, BOB Forum, and Google Search all simultaneously from a single query.  Once you have logged on using your S-USER account, the S-USER SSO certificate is stored within the BI Platform Support Tool client providing you a quick way to access important support content.





Landscape Analysis Report

One of the primary features of the product is the Landscape Analysis Report.  The Landscape Analysis Report is the name given to a collection of one or more analysis reports containing information about the BI Platform landscape.  The user can select which types of analysis should be included in the Landscape Analysis Report depending on the type of information that is needed for a particular service or root cause analysis task.




The criteria for including data in the Landscape Analysis Report are:


  • Data for an analysis type can be collected in less than 10 minutes
  • Information is useful to be reviewed on a re-occurring basis
  • Data can be collected without introducing a large performance hit on the target system
  • Change Analysis and Alerting can be applied to the collected data


The generation of a Landscape Analysis Report occurs in two separate phases, Extraction phase, and Report Generation phase.  This separation makes it such that historical report instances can be opened and saved data can be analyzed or compared separately from the actual data extraction.  As a result, it is possible for offline analysis to occur by SAP support or other consulting organizations that cannot connect directly to the live customer system.


CVOM Charting


We have implemented the same charting engine as used by other SAP BusinessObjects Analytics products such as Lumira and Design Studio.  The CVOM charting engine allows us to visualize more of the system metrics and properties making analysis quicker and more intuitive.



New Analysis Types


In version 2.0, we have both added new types of analysis and improved the functionality of the existing analysis that existed in version 1.x.  Refer to the table below for a list of the analysis types and information about that analysis.


Analysis TypeDescriptionData Source
1.pngServer and Services


Information about BI server configuration, settings, and metrics.  The configuration is also displayed in a side by side comparison report for quickly spotting differences in server settings or command line properties

2.pngContentDisplays information regarding the count of Info Objects in the system.  This is useful for understanding which products are in use and how large the InfoStore repository isInfoStore
3.pngSchedulePulls back scheduled instances and does analysis on why reports are failing, which instances are taking up most disk space, most common error messages for failed instances, and longest running instances.  You can also now add a date filter to view only the instances you need to analyzeInfoStore
4.pngLicense KeyAnalyzes the current keycodes in use and gives alerts if the keycode will expire soon or if there is missing functionalityInfoStore
5.pngPlatform SearchConfirms that best practices are being followed concerning the Platform Search feature. This is a common reason for performance degradation if not optimally configuredInfoStore
6.pngHardware SummaryInvokes the SAP Host Agent and returns information about the host and operating system for each node in the BI landscapeSAP Host Agent
7.pngAuthenticationDisplays information about the third party authentication setup and single sign onInfoStore
8.pngSemanticShows which Universes and Connections are being used the most.  Displays how many reports will be affected by changes to these semantic layer objects (UNX, UNV).  Checks for orphaned Webi documents (those without a linked universe)InfoStore
9.pngWeb Application ServerConnects to the Java Application Server and shows information and metrics about the Java Virtual Machine as well as the application server settings and configurationJMX
10.pngPatch HistoryCollects from each BI node the installation and patch history.  This is useful to see which patches have been applied, what order they were applied, who installed the patch, was it an install, uninstall, repair, etcSAP Host Agent



New Custom Alerting Framework

alle.pngOne limitation of the previous version is that all the alerts and thresholds were static and configured at development time.  In version 2.0, we have made a new extensible alert framework that allows the expansion and customization of the metrics and settings that are evaluated.  Additionally, the threshold values and logic used to trigger the alerts can also be customized to better align with the needs of a particular organization or environment.

The alerts themselves are evaluated during the extraction phase so that the triggered alerts are stored within landscape xml itself.  This way, if you are reporting on the landscape xml outside of the SAP BI Platform Support Tool or if you are sending the landscape xml to SAP for analysis, the alerts that were triggered at extraction time will always be able to be recalled and viewed in a historical manner.

There is some new alert terminology to be aware of in the 2.0 platform.

Simple Alerts - Allow user customization, changes to thresholds, delete or add new metrics.  Simple alerts are limited to evaluation of one metric/setting and one logic operator

System Alerts - These are system defined alerts which allow for more advanced logic and analysis.  System alerts include things such as keycodes expiring in the next 30, 60, or 90 days, nodes not at the same install patch level, or nodes not running the same support pack

Complex Alerts - Complex alerts are alerts which allow you to combine the results of two or more alerts and allow the use of AND and OR logic to determine the alert state.  Complex Alerts are not available yet in version 2.0 and are scheduled to be implemented in the next version (version 2.1)

Alert Definitions - Alerts are configured via the preferences UI and are stored in the file alerts.xml under the BI Platform Support Tool /resources/Alerting directory



Alert Summary Tab


Any simple or system alerts triggered in the Landscape Analysis will appear on the Alert Summary Tab.  This makes it possible to quickly review which alerts were triggered in a particular analysis so that actions may be taken where necessary.  The Alert Summary tab also contains information such as the user who ran the Landscape Analysis, how long the processing took, and what version of the SAP BI Platform Support Tool was used to generate the analysis.




Improved E2E Trace Wizard


One of the most common activities required for root cause analysis of a BI landscape is to generate an End to End Trace.  Using the included SAP Client Plug-in, each request sent from the BI client contains an SAP Passport which is intercepted by the application server and passed along to the backend processing servers and databases.  This feature automates this process by automatically configuring the BO_trace.ini on each BI node, recording a video capture of the trace session, and collecting the log files from each host in the landscape for the user.




The E2E Trace Wizard relies on the existing Landscape Definition to understand which BI nodes and Application Server nodes are defined for the target landscape.  For each BI node and Application Server node, the user has a choice of whether they want to use the SAP Host Agent or UNC Shared Directories to collect log files from the remote hosts.  This allows flexibility for cases where the customer cannot run a SAP Host Agent or share network folders on a particular node type.  After the logs are collected, the content is zipped up and stored in the E2E working directory of the BI Platform Support Tool user directory.  The user may then forward this required tracing information and video capture to SAP for quick problem resolution or code correction.  Once the trace session is complete, the E2E Trace Wizard will revert the BO_trace.ini back to default settings on each node in the landscape.



Change Analysis 2.0

A useful technique in troubleshooting the SAP BI Platform is to understand what changes have been made in the BI system as some changes may lead to performance problems and/or system crashes.  The Change Analysis feature builds on the existing Landscape Analysis Report feature and allows the end user to select two or more Landscape Analysis Report Instances for comparison.




When compared, each data landscape XML is loaded into memory of the BI Platform Support Tool.  Each property name, property value pair is compared using a comparator and when differences are found, the differences are displayed in the client in columnar format.  Values determined to be different are highlighted in yellow for quick and easy identification.  Although useful for identifying changes to the system, the Change Analysis tool can also be used to view a change in performance metrics over a period time (for example, Memory Usage on Saturday each week).



3rd Party Authentication Wizards


The procedure for setting up third party authentication and single sign on (SSO) tends to generate a lot of incidents and can be a fairly complex set of procedures.  This process requires the administrator to read the manual and follow instructions very closely for success.  Additionally, differences in environments can make understanding the setup guide a bit difficult since it is not tailored for their particular landscape.  This is where the Authentication Wizard comes in.  This wizard guides the BI administrator through every step of the process while customizing the setup depending on their own domain, LDAP, or SAP environment.  Furthermore, it even authors emails for the BI administrator to send to their domain administrators with instructions on the steps that need to be taken on the domain controller, BW system, LDAP server, etc.  This wizard is truly like having SAP Support helping you without ever needing to create an incident.




Landscape Toolbox

The new Landscape Tools section contains a number of Diagnostic Tools which are mostly used by SAP Support for specific troubleshooting tasks. This area is mainly for smaller applications that do not fit the criteria required for the Landscape Analysis Report.  Applications in this area are usually tools that have existed in support in the form of JSP pages or smaller Java console applications.  Refer to the table below for details on the included tools:


Publish Landscape to SAP (Reverse 911 Alerting)



Predictive Maintenance is a big initiative here at SAP Active Global Support and to help facilitate a more pro-active support service, we have built into version 2.0 the ability to safely and securely publish your Landscape Analysis Report directly to SAP.  If you choose to participate, your landscape XML is consumed on an internal SAP HANA system where a variety of analytics can automatically check for problems such as:


  • Landscapes not following best practice or not within PAM recommendations
  • Systems where tracing was accidentally not disabled
  • Systems that may be vulnerable to a new security vulnerability that was discovered
  • Systems that may contain a setting that was recently discovered to introduce a problem
  • Landscapes running a patch or SP that may contain a regression


The goal of this functionality is to identify problems before they occur and pro-actively reach out via email to those customers and administrators who may be affected by the problem or situation.





Release Dates and Beta


The SAP BI Platform Support Tool 2.0 will be released for free as an official product on the SAP Store.  Since it is an official product, we are subject to SAP Product Standards and as a result, the release has taken a bit longer than originally expected.  Prior to release to customer, we will be having a beta release.   We are in the final stages of the release process now and plan to release the beta in August 2015.  Release to customer will follow in September / October time frame after the beta program wraps up.


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