TechEd Takeaways: What’s New with SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite
The first SAP TechEd event of 2018 took place in Las Vegas, NV from October 2 to 5. Five members of the 360Suite global team converged on the Venetian Palazzo Congress Center to teach visitors how 360Suite solutions can enhance the value of Business Objects and to learn about the future of the SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite. They came away with the impression that Business Objects will be around for the long haul, and that it’ll be better than ever with the release of BI 4.3.
Business Objects Timeline
SAP made some exciting announcements regarding the BusinessObjects BI Suite, including the fact that they will continue to support Business Objects (BOBJ) for the next decade or longer.
- BI 4.2: Mainstream maintenance will continue through 2022.
- BI 4.3: RTC (restricted shipment) will commence in late 2019, with GA (general availability) in mid-2020. Mainstream maintenance will continue through 2026 or longer.
SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite 4.3
BI 4.3 plans to incorporate significant changes. A major improvement is the new default Fiori launchpad, which will replace the existing BI LaunchPad and offer a user experience that is both beautiful and business friendly. Other key enhancements relate to Installer, security (SAML-based SSO), and commentary service. Crystal Reports may benefit from cumulative enhancements, including conditional formatting and geomaps. Webi will be modernized and rejuvenated, with new formatting and build panels, and a light menu bar. Most important, Webi will be simplified to enable self-service reporting and analysis, and to allow users to re-use existing Webi documents to build new information, share business semantics with others, and enforce consistency of information.
With BI 4.3, SAP is considering deprecating (removing) some old products and functionalities, including the Deski Compatibility Pack, Report Conversion Tool, and Web Intelligence Java Applet. Other products including Design Studio 1.6 and Lumira 1.x may be excluded from maintenance with the BI 4.3 release. Finally, products like the 32-bit versions of the Universe Designer Tool, Web Intelligence Rich Client, and Crystal Reports for Enterprise may be replaced with 64-bit versions.
Overall, BI 4.3 should optimize hybrid capabilities by improving interoperability between Webi and SAC. It will enhance the mobile experience for business users. And it is expected to have a slick new look that users will love.
The Future of Lumira
According to SAP, SAC is their primary data discovery tool for all customers. That said, SAP will support Lumira 2.x until at least 2024. The Lumira 2.2 release will include a number of enhancements related to the generic analysis template, variants, charts, and workflows (Lumira Discovery), and custom calculations, context menu, nesting of composites, and bookmarking support (Lumira Designer).
Hybrid Deployment Architecture
A key highlight of the session was hybrid deployment and the important role of SAC in integrating on-prem deployments with cloud infrastructure without having to move data out of the customer network.
SAP TechEd 2018 in Las Vegas was an opportunity for 360Suite experts to share and gain knowledge. Of particular interest was the session on the SAP analytics strategy and Business Objects BI Suite roadmap, which offered important insight into the future of SAP BusinessObjects, Lumira, and Hybrid Analytics. With BI 4.3, SAP seems poised to write an exciting new chapter in the evolving story of business intelligence. 360Suite remains committed to continue playing an important role.