We are running a BW 7.0 system with BO XI 3.2 SP 3.
Though we have a quite stable base set of Webi reports (+50), we came accross a lot of limitations during the development/implementation phase of these.
These limitations come mainly from poor support of BEx queries functionalities into the Webi environment.
Though, we, most of the time, managed with workarounds, to achieve nice reports with some functions that Webi provides on top of BEx queries. But sometimes those workaround have strong impacts on performance or functionality itself....think about zero line suppression not supported, structures, hierarchy support...all of you that have experience with this release know what I'm talking about.
Looking at information regarding BO release 4.0, it looks like a whole bunch of nice functionalities will be supported and we are seriously thinking about upgrading...certainly since BICS connectivity does not force to create Universe between BEx & Webi. Nice thing also is that it looks like we don't need to upgrade all our Webi reports...which looks like very nice, otherwise upgrade would be very painful exercise.
What we are wondering is weather it is recommended to upgrade our BW system to 7.3 before even thinking about upgrade to BO 4.0.
Does BW 7.0 supports BO 4.0 ? This is information I have difficulties to find in SCN.
If you can give me your advices, and point me to more info, that'd be great. As I need strong arguments towards my management to plan such an upgrade.
Your experience in similar to my experience. The initial integration of BW with BO 3.1 is very poor and many customers suffered and suffering through it as of now. BW 7.0 absolutely works fine with BO 4.0. You don't need to upgrade to BW 7.3.
Please note that current available version of BO 4.0 SP02 may also disappoint you as the BICS connectivity lacks some nice things that Universe base connection have. For example, all the dimensions are mapped to text only. You don't have option to map them to the key. Hence, merging two WebI queries on a key will be a pain. Similarly, the measures are always database delegated. Hence, you have to keep refreshing every time you add or remove a dimension from the table or graph in WebI. Fortunately, most of these things are fixed in Feature Pack 3 which is in ramp up now and should be available as a general release in September 2012.
In summary, your options are
1. Upgrade to BO 4.0 now if the limitations are not a big deal for your users.
2. Join ramp up for BO 4.0 FP3 and start using it now.
3. Upgrade when BO 4.0 FP3 is generally available.
Thank you very much Ramana for your return of experience. It sounds indeed that without FP3, BO 4.0 lacks some important functionalities that are currently available in current Universe connectivity.
Can you tell more about compatibility of existing BO reports defined in XI 3.2 within BO 4 environment...Certainly more on the WEBI side ?
This is actually our bigest fear regarding upgrade....We want to make sure that before we take any decision regarding upgrade, that our current Webi reports will fully be working on the new release without much effort. then our scenario would be to progresively migrate the old Universe connectivity reports to BICS. Do you have experience in that type of scenario ?
Regarding upgrade of BW to 7.3, Even though it is not mandatory for a BO upgrade, doesn't it give a more stable layer regarding performance/compatibility with BO 4 ?
We are currently in BW 7.02 SP 8 and we are thinking of all possible activies that would be required on the Back-end side (OSS notes/upgrade to recent SP's...)..At the end maybe 7.3 bundles a more stable layer regarding BO 4 compatibility ? What is your thoughts on this ?
First, let me answer the BW 7.3 upgrade question. Practically speaking, BW 7.3 by itself does not affect the integration between BO and BW. It does not significantly improve or decrease the performance or stability of BO 4.0 integration. You need to check BW 7.3 data warehousing features to make the BW upgrade decision. Please remember that there are lot of BO customer who do not have BW as the data warehouse. Hence, BO 4.0 upgrade is not related to BW 7.3 upgrade. The upgrade does bring improvements to BW connectivity. Most of these improvements are on the BO side. There are few OSS notes related to this integration. However, they are applicable to both BW 7.0x and BW 7.3 versions.
As far BO 4.0 upgrade is concerned, all your existing investment is protected. Everything you have developed so far should run as is. You can perform a technical upgrade to B0 4.0 and not use any new features. After some time, you may choose to replace Universes with BICS connections in existing reports one by one. You can develop new reports directly on BICS connection to take advantage of performance improvements.
Please note that BO 4.0 upgrade is really "New Install of 4.0" + "Migrate content from 3.1 to 4.0" process. Hence, you can set up a sandbox environment that runs in parallel to existing B0 3.1 production environment for your initial testing. Please note that sandbox can be connected to BW production environment for your testing. Of course, common sense precautions must be applied.
Please access the wealth of information on SDN called "All you need to know before upgrading to BI4.0". The URL is "http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/BOBJ/All+you+need+to+know+before+upgrading+to+BI4.0#AllyouneedtoknowbeforeupgradingtoBI4.0-8%29IntegratingandLaunchingExistingBExWebApplicationsinBI4.x"
Thanks again Ramana for you feedback on experience in BO 4.
All these elements are very helpfull and I think that now, that is quite obvious that going to BO 4 does not make much sense without FP 3.
Your proposal of having a sandbox BO4 connected to our production system is indeed what we were thinking of as it seems secure enough regarding productive environment.