Today is June 30, 2010, a day that will live in infamy. It is the last day of patch support for SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2. Limited tech support will continue for an additional year, until June 30, 2011. But it means that XI R2 Service Pack 6 (XI R2 SP6 and a few fix packs, Fix Pack 6.4 being the latest) is the end of the XI R2 distribution. With the recent release of XI 3.1 Service Pack 3 (XI 3.1 SP3) and the highly anticipated BI 4.0 coming at the end of this year, SAP is signaling that it is time to move on (see related article, Customizing SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0). I can still remember the excitement of the 2004 acquisition announcement of Crystal Decisions by a then-independent BusinessObjects, followed by road shows and road maps. XI Release 1 was to ship in early 2005 with XI Release 2 following later in the year. XI R2 indeed shipped in late November 2005 and I started my first BusinessObjects migration project in January 2006. It brings a smile to my face when I think of how my career as a business intelligence professional has changed since those days.
What does the end of patch support mean for XI R2 customers? It means that although tech support is still available to assist with issues over the next 12 months, the standard approach to anything resembling a software bug will be “upgrade to XI R2 SP6, apply its fix packs, and hope the problem disappears.” Otherwise, move to XI 3.1. XI 3.1 thoughtfully implements many of the enhancements customers requested for XI R2, including a completely redesigned Central Management Console (with new security features), a slightly redesigned InfoView portal for users, a desktop edition of Web Intelligence (the Web Intelligence Rich Client), and more. Beginning with XI 3.1 SP2, SAP introduced additional Web Intelligence features to help customers continue the migration away from Desktop Intelligence, which will either have limited or no support in BI 4.0. BTW, I have no inside knowledge here – we’ll all learn Desktop Intelligence’s fate together when SAP introduces BI 4.0 in fall 2010 (see related article, Desktop Intelligence, Back for a Limited Time).
The table below contains product end-of-life (EOL) dates courtesy of the SAP Support Portal. If your enterprise is still using classic BusinessObjects 5.x or 6.x, now is the time to begin planning your migration to XI 3.x. Customers on XI R1 or XI R2 should also begin making plans to upgrade to a fully-supported release. Because of the CMC’s redesign and its new security features, I highly recommend that organizations budget training dollars for their administrators. Although upgrading from XI R1 or R2 is not as complex as a classic BusinessObjects migration, the new XI 3.x security features, particularly the custom Access Levels (CAL) are much easier to maintain than the Advanced rights available in XI R1 or R2.
|Product and Version||GA Date||Patch Support EOL||Tech Support EOL|
|BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2||24-Nov-2005||23-Apr-2007||30-Jun-2011|
|BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 SP1||30-Mar-2006||31-Aug-2007||30-Jun-2011|
|BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 SP2||23-Apr-2007||31-Mar-2008||30-Jun-2011|
|BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 SP3||20-Nov-2007||30-Sep-2008||30-Jun-2011|
|BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 SP4||31-May-2008||30-Nov-2009||30-Jun-2011|
|BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 SP5||31-Dec-2008||30-Jun-2010||30-Jun-2011|
|BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 SP6||16-Dec-2009||30-Jun-2010||30-Jun-2011|