I received a tweet today indicating that SAP has extended the support period for BusinessObjects XI R2 until June 30, 2011. You can read the scoop on the SAP Support Portal (S-ID required):
SAP will provide limited support for most BusinessObjects XI R2 products for a further year following the end of mainstream maintenance until 30th June 2011. This is in order to give customers a longer window of opportunity to migrate to a currently maintained and supported SAP BusinessObjects release family.
I think many customers feel that XI 3.0 was “too new”, that XI 3.1 was “alright” (with SP1 and its 8 fix packs installed), and XI 3.1 SP2 has some cool features but some key issues. FP 2.1 has just shipped but many customers are already anxiously awaiting the FP 2.2 already in the pipeline to address more issues. Let’s hope that a stable XI 3.1 SP3 isn’t far behind that customers will feel comfortable adopting. Aurora (XI 4, or whatever it will be called) isn’t coming until Q4-2010.
I’m currently helping a customer upgrade from 5.1.8 to XI R2 SP2, which may not seem like much of an upgrade. But it’s the patch level supported by the OEM despite the lack of Java 6 support (which requires XI R2 SP3 and higher). I’m sure my customer will appreciate the news of the XI R2 support extension.
I’ll be honest. I love new toys. I want to use the shiny, new stuff. But this week I’m training users to use Web Intelligence XI R2. And I still get a thrill watching new users’ eyes light up. A good definition of business information is “delivering the right information to the right person at the right time”. XI R2 is getting this customer much closer to that definition than 5.1.8 did. And I get much more personal job satisfaction from a happy user on an older version than a crabby customer on a new one.
So to SAP, thank you for a decision in the best interests of your customer base. And thanks for burning the midnight oil on the shiny, new stuff, too.