I have a new laptop. That's the good news. It's a most up-to-date machine, using Windows 7 and Excel 2010 (64bit). As you all know the maintenance for SAP GUI 7.10 ends in April 2011. So I downloaded the latest SAP GUI 7.20 version for Windows 7 (64bit) and the BI AddOns for Software distribution center on Service marketplace. But my question and doubt was, is Office 2010 (64bit) supported for BEx? I searched OSS notes and found note 1425805. This states clearly Office 2010 (64bit) is not yet supported, only 32bit versions are. I searched for further notes to find out when Office 2010 (64bit) will be supported. As result to this search I found note 1442028. It states: "SAP plans to create a 64bit version of SAP GUI for Windows that will be compatible with Office 2010 64bit. However since the effort required to create such a version is very high the expectation is that this version might be available in 2013."
Well, it seems to me, that I have to stay without BEx for the next 2 years or that I have to install a 32bit version of Office 2010. My company is a front-runner! Hey, sounds good, but what do I do in the meantime! 2 years are a very long time...
I know from the latest BI congresses that SAP BEx will emerge into SAP BO Analysis. SAP BO Analysis is positioned as Premium Alternative to BEx. I searched for OSS notes for supported Office versions for BO Analysis. I found note 1466118. This note states "Note that the 64 bit MS Office version requires a different installer for Analysis than what is used for the 32 bit MS Office version. This 64 bit Analysis version is only supported and available as of SBOP Analysis, edition for MS Office, release 1.1.". Well, next question: When will version 1.1 of Analysis be in Global Availability?
If you search PAM at service.sap.com you will find a statement for 1.0: Mainstream Maintenance End: 31.05.2011.
Hey, that is next month. So I looked for active Ramp-ups. But unfortunately I couldn't find it, only BI 4.0 which is still in ramp-up. Thanks to Michael Devine, I found a note for the release plan of BO Analysis in note 1518359. You can also look in BO Analysis, support package overview.
Now I was interested in the release plans for SAP GUI 7.20 and BI Frontend- patches. Note 147519 will give you a release plan for SAP GUI 7.20 and note 1085218 a release plan for BI Add-ons for GUI 7.20. Note 147519 states " 7.20: Up to April 9th, 2013. On April 9th, 2013 the used development environment Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 will transit to Microsoft's "Extended Maintenance" mode. This means that Microsoft will not create any corrections for components which belong to this development environment anymore (unless the issue is security relevant).
Therefore no extension beyond this date is possible.". Well, it looks like I will get a brand-new GUI 7.30 with support of Office 2010 (64bit) in 2013!
Ok, leave these hints and let's try to install. Maybe it will work in an unsupported mode. I installed the latest GUI 7.20 patches and the latest BI add-ons. Installation went fine, no hint or warning that I use a not supported Office 2010 version. So I started Excel 2010 and BEx appears under AddIns. All buttons are visible, but if you click on any, nothing happens. It seems that macros have not been loaded into memory and are not executed.
What to do now? For me as single user and developer by heart there two options:
- Wait for BO Analysis 1.1 for the next months, pay a license or rental fee and use it as preferred tool to display BW reports in Excel.
- I will install a Visual Studio 2010 Professional edition on my laptop and start developing a 64bit version of "BEx" using BICS API for access to my SAP BW system. By the way, I didn't find any API documentation for BICS. Did you?
But what do you do as an end customer?
- You have to stay on Office 2010 (32bit), SAP GUI 7.20 and Windows 7 until 2013 or later. You will get a new GUI 7.30 with support of Office 2010 (64bit) with all errors and problems a new release has.
- The other option: If you have migration plans to Windows 7 and Office 2010 (64bit), get rid of BEx and use Analyzer 1.x on Office 2010 (64-bit) .
What is your choice?