At the ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference 2012 in Orlando, we announced the Desktop Intelligence Compatibility Pack (DCP), a solution that will allow customers to continue to use DeskI XI 3.x, while moving to the BI 4 platform.
While many customers are well advanced in, or have completed, their conversion from Desktop Intelligence to Web Intelligence, there are a few reports that are still hard to convert to Web Intelligence 4. For these reports, we want to give time to our customers to migrate them, while not having to support 2 platforms: a BI XI 3.x platform for your DeskI users and a BI 4 platform for the rest.
The full presentation made at ASUG BOUC Orlando Sept 2012 is available here. (The solution has since evolved and the above demo and latest presentation captures the latest information)
I heard rumors that Desktop Intelligence was coming back. Is it true?
No, DeskI is not "back". We have no intention of building a 4.x version of Desktop Intelligence. We have announced the planned end of life of Desktop Intelligence with the BI XI 3.x line. The end of maintenance for Desktop Intelligence 3.x is the same as BI XI 3.x in 2015, and the end of support is in 2017. you can read about maintenance here
Customers have asked us whether we can support .rep content in BI 4 so that they can start moving to BI4, even if they haven’t converted all of their Desktop Intelligence reports. We are working on this project, known internally as the “Desktop Intelligence Compatibility Pack”. This may sometimes get misinterpreted as "bringing Desktop Intelligence back", but this is not the case.
What is the “Desktop Intelligence Compatibility Pack”? When will it be released?
The “Desktop Intelligence Compatibility Pack” will be delivered in Fix Pack (FP) 6.1 which is to be installed over Desktop Intelligence XI 3.1 SP6 desktop product. When installed, it will allow the Desktop Intelligence reports, users, universes and database connections to be managed by the BI 4.1 platform. The estimated release date is mid-year in 2013.
Our goal is to allow Desktop Intelligence users and content to move to BI 4 as easily as possible. The Desktop Intelligence Compatibility Pack helps in scenarios with reports are difficult or costly to convert to Web Intelligence.
If my Desktop Intelligence users hear about this, won’t they put pressure on me (IT) to keep supporting Desktop Intelligence reports?
DCP should make it easier for IT to move to BI 4, even if Desktop Intelligence users haven’t converted all of their reports to Web Intelligence yet.
Most of our customers have now migrated a majority of their Desktop Intelligence reports. When the DCP is released around mid-year in 2013, so there should be even less Desktop Intelligence reports at that time. It will help IT to move to BI 4, so that the vast majority of users can have access to BI 4 and its new features.
Since BI 4.1 doesn’t have Desktop Intelligence server components, it doesn’t really help Desktop Intelligence users to keep using Desktop Intelligence in BI 4. If anything, it puts the work on them to be able to schedule their documents or to publish to other users (for instance in pdf or HTML).
When SAP releases the Desktop Intelligence Compatibility Pack, will this extend the support of Desktop Intelligence?
No the DCP is simply an add-on to Desktop Intelligence 3.1 SP6. It does not change end of support date for Desktop Intelligence.
When will SAP deliver the “catch-up” features in Web Intelligence?
Each new version of Web Intelligence delivers a few additional features to ease the migration. The latest Web Intelligence 4 has added the Data Manager, show/hide, fit to page features.
We’ve also run a council of Desktop Intelligence customers last year. We've worked with these customers to identify the top requirements to help ease the conversion of their reports to Web Intelligence. We now have a list of critical enhancements and are working on the highest priority ones as we speak. Some of our priorities include Free Hand SQL and Custom Grouping which we plan on releasing in upcoming releases.
How can I reduce the migration effort?
What we see is that many of our customers have planned this migration over long periods of time. An effective method to reduce the migration effort is to “quarantine” some Desktop Intelligence reports in a folder from which they will be deleted after let’s say 2 months, unless the users perform an action to move them back to another folder to indicate they are still using them.
Converting from Desktop Intelligence to Web Intelligence has some licensing implications. What is SAP doing to help?
We've eased our licensing to allow you to run BI XI 3.1 systems explicitly for Desktop Intelligence while bringing BI 4 systems online. What this means is that you can go ahead and convert your Desktop Intelligence licenses to Web Intelligence and begin your BI 4 deployment (and utilize your new Web Intelligence licenses). If you cannot convert all of your Desktop Intelligence content to Web Intelligence immediately, that's ok. You are now allowed to keep your BI XI 3.1 system running explicitly for use with Desktop Intelligence so that your existing Desktop Intelligence content can continue running and your users can access it, while you migrate to BI 4 and Web Intelligence. For example, if you had 10 Desktop Intelligence users, you can convert those to Web Intelligence and begin deploying BI 4. These 10 Web Intelligence users can use the new BI 4 system for Web Intelligence while still using the BI XI 3.1 system for their Desktop Intelligence needs. We are allowing this until Desktop Intelligence goes out of maintenance (end of maintenance in 2015 and end of support in 2017).