Exploring your SAP Mobile BI License

On the eve of SAP folding Explorer into Mobile BI, customers should review their mobile licensing.

Last week, SAP released SAP BusinessObjects Mobile BI 4.4.27 to the Apple iTunes Store.  I cannot find a release notes document and iTunes only reveals that the new release contains unspecified “technical improvements”.  This release is not the one that will integrate SAP BusinessObjects Explorer for iOS (see related article, SAP BusinessObjects Mobile BI 5.0), so I can only assume that the new 4.4.27 release fixes some important issues that couldn’t wait until the unified app is released, sometime in the second quarter of 2013.

The SAP BusinessObjects Explorer app, currently at version 4.1.7, allows iPhone and iPad users to connect to the BI Platform in two ways: either directly to the Explorer application or via the Mobile BI server components.  Back in April 2011, SAP released Explorer for iOS 1.0.1 which introduced the Mobile BI connection and removed the direct connection, requiring customers to license the redesigned Mobile BI server components. This action was disruptive to many customers who were using mobile Explorer (which existed long before Mobile BI started mobilizing the rest of the BI suite, beginning with Web Intelligence). The direct-to-Explorer connection option was quickly restored in Explorer for iOS 1.0.2 the following month.

However, when the unified SAP BusinessObjects Mobile app arrives in the next few weeks, I believe two things will happen:

  • SAP BusinessObjects Explorer as a stand-alone app will quietly disappear from the Apple iTunes store
  • SAP account executives will quietly appear on customer doorsteps to make sure they are paying for mobile BI server licenses

Hopefully your account exec will also bring a SAP HANA stress ball or some other cool swag.

UPDATE 06/27/2013: Mobile BI 5.0 Explorer functionality requires the BI 4.1 platform (see SAP KB 1870806), so SAP will have to keep the standalone Explorer app in the iTunes store a bit longer to support XI 3.1 and BI 4.0 customers.

UPDATE 10/08/2014: Mobile BI 5.1.6 and higher now support Explorer on BI 4.0 SP8 and higher (see related article, SAP BusinessObjects Mobile for iOS 5.1 or SAP KB 1958296), although there’s a lot of compelling reasons for BI 4.0 customers to upgrade to BI 4.1.

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Author: Dallas Marks

I am a business intelligence architect, author, and trainer. I help organizations harness the power of analytics, primarily with SAP BusinessObjects products. An active blogger, SAP Mentor and co-author of the SAP Press book SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, I prefer piano keyboards over computer keyboards when not blogging or tweeting about business intelligence.

4 thoughts on “Exploring your SAP Mobile BI License”

  1. Hi Dallas, any idea when SAP will start to support QaaWS connections in the Dashboard tool? We have a mobile requirement, but at the same time the architects are demanding that we use the QaaWS connections instead of the direct connections using the universe query panel from inside the Dashboard tool. Of course those QaaWS connections aren’t supported in the mobile apps. Brillant!

    1. Steve,

      Thanks for writing. At this time, only connections added from the Dashboards 4.0 Query Browser are supported in mobile dashboards. Connections added through the Data Manager (such as Query as a Web Service or Live Office) are unsupported. QaaWS is included in the BI 4.0 toolset, but only for backward compatibility.

      The path forward is UNX universes (either new or converted from the old UNV format) and the Dashboards 4.0 Query Browser.

      So although your dashboards migrated from Xcelsius 2008/XI 3.1 are supported on the BI 4.0 platform, some rework (both to your existing dashboards as well as architectural standards) will be required to mobilize them. There will be various enhancements in Dashboards 4.1 later this year, but I would not expect extending mobile support to QaaWS to be one of them.

      Regards,
      Dallas

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