Feature Pack 3, We Hardly Knew Ye

Forget Feature Pack 3, I’m waiting for Support Pack 4.

SAP business intelligence professionals everywhere have been anxiously awaiting the release of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 Feature Pack 3 (aka FP3) from nearly the moment BI 4.0 came out of ramp-up and into general availability (GA) last year. Formerly known as version 4.1 (which will be applied to some future release of the platform), Feature Pack 3 brings new features and stability that simply could not be accommodated into the launch of the dot-oh release.

The word from the keynote stage of last week’s SAPPHIRE conference was that Feature Pack 3 would be exiting ramp-up “within four weeks”. But coming closely on the heels of Feature Pack 3 is Support Pack 4, which combines Support Pack 2 fixes missing from Feature Pack 3 and fixes from Feature Pack 3’s into a single, coherent release. These details are summarized in SAP Support Note 1721866, “What Maintenance Releases Roll Up To BI 4.0 Feature Pack 03 and Support Pack 04?” (S-ID required). Here are the key details:

Feature Pack 03, when available on Service Marketplace, contains all fixes included in:

  • Support Pack 02
  • Critical Patch 2.9
  • Additional fixes that could not be included in a previous Support Pack or Critical Patch

Support Pack 04, when available on Service Marketplace, contains all fixes included in:

  • Feature Pack 03
  • Critical Patch 2.16
  • Critical Patch 3.5
  • Additional fixes that could not be included in a previous Support Pack or Critical Patch

Support Pack 04 also includes the new features in functionality introduced in Feature Pack 03

Note: Until Feature Pack 03 and Support Pack 04 are released, the fixes and features contained within them are subject to change.

One of my frustrations with the general availability of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 was that it was a full build of Support Pack 2 plus Patch 6. Because Explorer was a separate installation with its own patch, that meant four pieces of software needed to be installed on each node. Of course, we’ll eventually expect patches to Support Pack 4. But getting a single full build of Support Pack 4 that includes all the goodies of Support Pack 2 and Feature Pack 3 will be a welcome gift from SAP, and (if you’re listening, SAP) worth waiting for if it takes some extra time to pull it all together (see related article, Please Integrate the Integrated BI Platform).

According to the current release calendar, Support Pack 4 is scheduled for the first week of August 2012. But according to Christopher Vozella, Director, Active Global Support Americas for SAP, “hopefully sooner“, which I interpret as “wink, wink. nudge, nudge.”

So although we’ve been waiting for Feature Pack 3 to exit ramp up all this time, we should instead expect that Support Pack 4 will be the build that actually emerges, either for GA or shortly thereafter. In the meantime, my current customer and I are camping out with Support Pack 2 Patch 14 and waiting.

Thankfully the wait won’t be much longer!

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.

7 thoughts on “Feature Pack 3, We Hardly Knew Ye”

  1. Does FP3 require updates to the clients as well? Logistics are a pain if you package client distribution for your users (SMS etc).
    Am waiting for FP3 for the improved MoBi capability. Maybe SP4 is a better option IF its only 4 weeks post FP3 GA.

    BTW thanks for the insights. I get more info form you then our internal SAP SME 🙂

  2. Thanks Dallas

    We have been in limbo as long time Sap BW, bexweb in EP, frustrated with BI4 SP2 SP16 even and issues with integration, security, performance and bugs. At this point confused what is wrong on our system to what we hope is fixed in FP3. All docs are either xi3 or fp3

    Our project is months past due eagerly waiting fp3! Sp4!

  3. Pingback: Future Pack 3

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