First Impressions of SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1

Any chance we could sneak in a couple of enhancements before BI 4.1 GA?

After kicking the tires of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 for a few months, I wrote back in January 2012 about the Ten Features That Absolutely Must Be in Feature Pack 3 (FP3) that was released in mid-year 2012. Although the feature set of FP3 was already set by then, I hoped that some of the items were either no-brainers or good enough ideas to get into the product before the end of 2012.

I’m really glad that BI 4.1 is almost GA and promises more features and more stability. But here are some of the high-level items that I identified after just a few hours with the new release.

BI41 Default BI Launchpad

Top Ten Annoying Features of SAP BI 4.1

  1. Lack of single installation program – SAP BusinessObjects Explorer installation is still separate from BI Platform
  2. MOBIServer web app is still lurking about.  Can’t we get everything into MobileBIService? I’m looking right at you (again), Explorer team
  3. Lack of currency formatting in Information Design Tool for UNX universes
  4. Poor UI for universe selection in Web Intelligence (see #1 & 2)
  5. An Information Design Tool “project” should remember where a universe should be published, but doesn’t. My customers and I routinely (and mistakenly) publish UNX universes to the root folder.
  6. Sample content is still a disorganized mess (see #10)
  7. Apache Derby still lurking about in monitoring and promotion management (see Greg Myers’ Derby, Maybe?)
  8. After a brief hiatus, Desktop Intelligence has returned
  9. Platform Search default setting is still “Zombie BI” (see Greg Myers’ Ghosts in the Database)
  10. The 23-year-old BusinessObjects brand is nearly completely scrubbed from the product.  I know, I know – get over it.  Just being honest.

I’d love to see some of these opportunities rectified by the time BI 4.1 goes GA.  But if not, I’ll be revisiting these topics when we all start talking about BI 4.2 next year.

Which features do you think are still missing from SAP BI 4.1?

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.

6 thoughts on “First Impressions of SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1”

    1. So far, I really like the System Configuration Wizard for splitting the Adaptive Processing Server. And it’s much easier to change command line settings like Java heap space. There’s lots of nice little improvements.

      I haven’t spent a lot of time with development tools yet.

  1. Hy Dallas Marks!

    Thanks for your excellent post … I am pretty deceived by SAP BO BI 4.x roadmap … with all those over-bugged versions : are they trying to kill the product?

    1. Bruno,

      Thanks for writing. I’m glad I’m not the only SAP BI conspiracy theorist. I had the same thought yesterday while resolving an issue with the BI 4.1 monitoring engine.

      Regards,
      Dallas

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