What’s New In SAP BI 4.3 SP01

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What’s New In SAP BI 4.3 SP01

businessobjects-bi-4-3

The SAP BO New Features Have Arrived

2020 was an exciting year with the muchly-awaited release of SAP BI 4.3! It was also when 360Suite hosted its first LinkedIn Live upgrade to BI 4.3 with over 1,300 participants. The year ended on an even bigger high with the release of its first Service Pack, and so 360Suite decided to continue the LinkedIn Live success with one for the new SP01 release — again an amazing 1,300 participants. 

The SP01 of any new version is always an exciting one because a lot of organizations tend to wait for this before upgrading as it contains even more new features that were missing in the first release. BI 4.3 SP01 didn’t disappoint! With new features added to Web Intelligence, the Semantic Layer, and the BI Launchpad, BI 4.3 SP01 certainly meets expectations. Here we’ll show you the main highlights of this release. 

1, 2, 3, SAP BO New Features Are Now In

SAP BI 4.3 SP01 is here and there are three areas where enhancements have been made since the official version release last July. Let’s kick off with the first one:

Web Intelligence

WebI has had the most enhancements added to it for this release thanks to requests from current customers. So here we go!

Usability

  • Side panels have improved with the ability to open and close either of the MAIN and BUILD side panels independently. 
main-build-side-panels

Ability to open and close the MAIN and BUILD side panels independently.

  • Brand new icons across the interface, including new data source icons. 
  • The side panels come with sub-tabs and new icons:
    • Main panel: objects, structure, navigation map, comments, properties
    • Build panels: data, formatting
  • The COPY ALL button is back on the Commentary side panel allowing you to copy all the comments on a document, cancel them from this document, and paste them in a specific tab.
  • The metadata now has its own icons making it easier to find and manipulate them. Same for data sources (SAP BW, SAP HANA, HTTP connections…).
  • Settings can be saved and will be reused in a future session (size of the query panel, display or not of the side panels, etc).
  • Input control groups created are automatically added to the filter bar.
groups-input-controls

Groups of input controls are added to the filter bar.

  • Floating toolbars now available in the Contextual menu.
  • All chart types are now available in the Category menu.
chart-types

Chart types in the chart category menu. 

Hyperlinks

  • The dialog box is back where you can create and modify links. 
  • Improvements on the customization interface.
dialog-box-hyperlinks

The dialog box to enable hyperlinks.

User Interface Customization

Just like in BI 4.2, it’s now possible to customize the user interface in a much finer and more efficient way. For example, you can hide the read, edit mode, hide data sources to limit users to universes, limit export choices for your users… Be careful though, if you already use this feature in BI 4.2, you will have to do it again in BI 4.3.

Text Data Source

The “Text file” as a data source is back! Whenever you want to create a document or add a query to a document you can now choose the Text file option. It must first be exported to the BI Launchpad.

Export to CSV

There is now a column delimiter menu for when you want to export to CSV. 

column-delimiter-csv-export

A column delimiter now available when exporting in csv.

Improve Pos and RPos Formulas

The Formula editor has been reorganized to display more functions and objects. Spaces are now also added automatically.

Prompts

  • The prompt menu is now available in the Insert:
    • PromptSummary allows you to insert a summary of all the values entered for all your prompts for a given document (NB: this formula is not new).
  • Ability to sort the list of values (ascending and descending).
  • New display prompts for BW and HANA in the following order:
    • First by key dates,
    • Then the variables defined by the database,
    • Finally, the prompts created in the query panel or the universe.
location-prompt-menu

Location of the Prompt menu.

Rich Client 

You can now download the installation from the BI Launchpad and string capabilities. The Find has also been improved since it allows you to search for a string on the report viewed via ctrl+f.

Data Sources/Semantic Layer  

The main new SAP BO feature here is the two new added data sources: MongoDB (jdbc / odbc) and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud (already available in 4.3 GA from the SAP HANA Driver). 

BI Launchpad

New features have been added to three areas of the BI Launchpad in SP01:

Enhancements to the Scheduler

  • Ability to display instances in a list and/or calendar view to clearly distinguish between one-time and recurring tasks.
  • Add a reply-to text field in the email properties to allow for user interaction. 
  • Format message e.g. bold, italic, etc. 
view-your-instances
view-instances

Two different views of your instances.

Settings Dialog Box

There have been new capabilities added to the Settings Dialog box:

  • Modification of the data sources references in the database credentials tab.
  • These references can be used as secondary credentials for the authentication of connections.
database-credentials-menu

Database credentials menu in the settings dialog box.

Appearance

You can now change the appearance theme in the BI Launchpad to modify the look and feel, plus you can order the tiles in both Top line and Applications sections on the homepage. When browsing content, the folders and categories can be displayed as tiles or lists.

bi-launchpad-homepage

BI Launchpad homepage

And there you have it, all the SAP BO new features available in BI 4.3 SP01! For a deeper understanding of these new features, I’d recommend this blog post from SAP. If you’re curious to see how the installation works, I wrote this blog post about my experience in my test environment, along with all the documentation needed for this release. 

Q&A Round

As always during our events, we take time for a Q&A section and I wanted to highlight just a few important questions that came up during our LinkedIn Live. 

Is UNV still supported in BI 4.3 SP01?
UNV is still supported in SP01 but SAP experts strongly encourage all customers using UNV to migrate to UNX.

Do you need license keys for BI 4.3?
As for any new version, yes you will need a new license key for SAP BI 4.3.

Are there any key things for customers to upgrade to BI 4.3 from a platform point of view?
Not specifically, it’s the same as it’s always been in terms of going from BI 4.1 to BI 4.2 — a lot of the work is done automatically for you and the upgrading process hasn’t changed.

Does BI 4.3 support smartsheets?
Not yet, this will most likely become available in SP02 or SP03.

Will the BO mobile apps for android and ios support the SP01 features?
It is part of the plan to have both apps in SAP BI 4.3, in particular more features available for WebI such as all chart types, and to have what you see on the desktop on mobile as well.

What’s Next?

SAP BI 4.3 SP01 may have only just been released but I imagine some of you are already waiting for the next service pack (I know I am!). According to the SAP roadmap, the SP02 will be released in December this year with even more exciting new features.

sap-businessobjects-roadmap

SAP BusinessObjects roadmap for SP02 and SP03. 

Are You Ready To Upgrade?

Has SP01 incited you to take the bullet and upgrade your SAP BusinessObjects platform? With a bunch of brand new features and an all-around better user experience, you’d be silly not to. If you’re planning to upgrade, 360Suite has got you covered with an upgrade package to make sure it goes as easily and smoothly as possible for you.

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