“360Suite, or how to save time and money, is a must for all SAP BI customers.
Working for a Financial company, we had to upgrade from BO XI 3.1 to the new SAP BI 4.1.x platform. It was a huge project as we had to migrate around 1’500 DeskI reports to WebIntelligence… The biggest time-consuming task was the report comparison. Each report was exported as PDF and as CSV on both platforms. Both files were then compared using an existing file comparison tool… As soon as a difference was found, the required correction was deployed and the comparison process re-executed a second time…
After this big migration project, the users, who saw all the problems we can have after any changes in the BI environment, wanted to increase the security of their BI Platform by having a comparison and a validation process as soon as any changes on the new BI Platform were returned. It means that for each universe change, for each database change, which include any changes in the Database structure and/or a database upgrade, and of course for each SAP BI 4.1 Service Pack and Fix Patch deployment, the whole comparison process should be executed before getting their ‘Go live approval’…
We did investigate thoroughly to find the easiest way to automate the comparison process… After several analyses, we got in touch with GB&Smith to get more information regarding their 360 Suite. What was the surprise when they started to speak about 360Bind… after a quick demo, we were able to see the full potential of this product.
Also, we requested a trial key to test 360Bind on our environment, and as we planned to deploy the SAP BI 4.1 SP7 to production, we had a very good environment for the POC before moving to this new BI 4.1 version.
After having deployed 360Bind on our environment, we were able to run our first comparison of 10 documents after only 20 minutes ! Again we were surprised when the tools returned 3 mismatching documents…
Before using 360Bind, these 10 documents were successfully compared and validated by users, going through the comparison process in place. Nobody was able to see any differences… The reason is easy to understand: data extraction was made and successfully compared. The PDF comparison was fine and the last visual comparison was not able to highlight any differences either… (note that each documents contained multiple queries and had at least 10 tabs each…)
As mentioned, 360Bind was able to find differences, but only on 1 or 2 tabs from each report… After having analysed the reports more in detail, we were able to find the differences and there… surprise… 360Bind found a bug in BI 4.1 SP7 !
The result of the POC was presented to the users. Their reaction was unanimous: 360Bind would significantly increase efficiency and reduce the operational risk of user-run testing of BI Reports as soon following a BI Platform, Universe, Database or server upgrade. As they realized that the ROI would be extremely fast, they all confirmed that they would fully support the purchase of the tool.
Once 360Bind was deployed, we had to answer a few new questions. What, where, how, when and by whom are used specific SQL fields, universe objects, reports …
First, we tried to use the BI Audit database, but we were not able to fully answer those questions. Again, we had a look at GB&Smith’s solution, and again, they were able to help us really quickly. The proposed solution gave us the possibility to fully address our users’ requests and much more.
Also, with GB&Smith support, we installed 360Eyes. Once the tool installed and the jobs started and completed, we were able to find all required information after just 1 hour: is the SQL Field (or the universe object) used, in which report is it used, from which universe does it come from?
When we saw the information which have been collected, we performed a deeper analysis of our BI Environment. The set of reports provided along with the tools is extremely useful. 360Eyes is able to highlight identical or similar reports (same query, same parameters). Just with this report, we were able to find that it give quite a lot of similarities. Then, we tried another report, highlighting object usage, again we were surprised to see that, for some universes, between 30-40% of the objects were not used!
Based on just these 2 analyses, we agreed that a clean-up is really recommended. This tasks should simplify report and universe maintenance quite a lot.
To conclude, we were frustrated about not having both tools (360Bind and 360Eyes) 2 years ago when we started the migration from BO XI 3.1 to SAP BI 4.1. By using these tools earlier we would probably have saved quite a lot of time.
But it’s never too late… From now on, 360Bind and 360Eyes will help us with all future changes in our BI Environment. Business users are more than happy: as we can greatly reduce operational risks, save quite a lot of time and we are now able to quickly give positive answers to all their questions.
With 360Suite and 360Eyes, we can guarantee that you, and your BI Users, will never be frustrated. We highly recommend these tools.”
Senior Business Intelligence Manager
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