Promotion Management gets a Promotion

SAP is listening to our concerns about promotion management on the BI platform.

It’s generally not a good idea to tweet when you’re angry. And I really try hard not to. But sometimes- in a moment of weakness- I’ve been known to say unkind things about SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 Promotion Management.

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Or try to laugh through my tears with some humor (see related article, Do I Feel Lucky? Musings on Promotion Management). If you’re not familiar with Promotion Management, I’ll try to describe it. Without using four letter words.

Promotion Management is a feature of the Central Management Console that, along with Version Management and Visual Difference, business intelligence administrators use to move content through a software development lifecycle (SDLC) from one environment to another. For example, from development to test to production. Promotion Management is usually one of the last things that you use in a BI4 migration project. All eyes are watching you. And it’s a really unpleasant feeling to be diagnosing why your job failed to promote properly in the 11th hour. Trust me, I know from experience.

Promotion Management was introduced in 2008 with SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.1 as Lifecycle Manager or LCM (see related article, Business Objects Lifecycle Manager – first impressions) but many customers continued to rely on the Import Wizard for content promotion. In 2013, it’s easy to forget that back in 2005 the original Import Wizard wasn’t without its own flaws. Particularly for those classic BusinessObjects customers upgrading from BusinessObjects 5.1 or 6.x. But after listening to users gripe at each annual conference, the Import Wizard gradually improved. So much that early adopters of BI 4.0 are asking for the return of the Import Wizard, which is no longer part of the platform (see Please bring back the Import Wizard on the SAP Idea Place).

While nobody has gotten fired for using Promotion Management (at least to my knowledge), neither has anybody gotten a promotion by using it.

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Promotion Management can drive you to your knees in prayer

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Or more fervent demonstrations of religious expression

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Promotion Management can drive you to drink

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Or it can lead you to wonder what the Promotion Management development team has been drinking. Or smoking.
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This week, ASUG sponsored webcast What is New in BI 4.1 Promotion Management with Kai Chan of SAP. Promotion Management has officially been given a promotion in SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1, which should go into general availability (GA) later this year. Beyond roadmaps and features, the most important thing that Kai said was that SAP was listening to customer concerns about lifecycle management and working to resolve them. SAP has even taken the bold step of reassigning development of Promotion Management to a new team in Vancouver, BC.

BI41 Promotion Management Roadmap
I’m grateful that SAP is taking these steps (see related article, Collaboration). As you can see from the roadmap above, it’s unlikely that all of our concerns will be addressed by the time of 4.1 GA. But like the SAP Lumira team, the Promotion Management team will be taking small steps with each minor release and not making us wait for a major one.

With Promotion Management working better than ever, perhaps I’ll earn a promotion, too.

How do you feel about SAP’s recent announcements about Promotion Management?

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.

One thought on “Promotion Management gets a Promotion”

  1. At the moment I don’t see a bright future for BO LCM if SAP is continuing with “small steps”.
    It’s not that I wouldn’t like to use the LCM, but something so unstable that you have to visit a therapist after the amount of cryptic error-messages and abortions SHALL NOT BE USED!!!
    Of course it works – sometimes, with luck, somehow replicable, slow, inaccurate…..
    So since BO XI 3.1 we are using 360plus from GB&Smith as the main promotion-tool for XI 3.1 and BI 4.1 without having the mentioned problems – really saves us from going mental 😉

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