When I’m Sixty-Four (Bit)

SAP Lumira wonders “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four (bit)”?

Lumira Splash Screen

Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four (bit)?

Lennon–McCartney from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

New 64-bit engine leads SAP to sunset 32-bit Lumira Desktop

In a SAP Community Network article entitled 32-bit Lumira Desktop: Direction and Support Going Forward, SAP reveals that Lumira 1.25 (not yet released) will be the last edition of Lumira with 32-bit support.

SAP Visual Intelligence 1.0 (the original product name for what we now know as Lumira) was originally released as 64-bit. SAP Visual Intelligence 1.07 added 32-bit support based on customer feedback. I’m not surprised that SAP acted to meet customers wishes, but I was surprised that giving users, especially power users, a 64-bit operating system was such a large obstacle for SAP customers. Most of these same customers were deploying 32-bit Windows 7 on 64-bit hardware. Starting with the iPhone 5S and iOS 7, even pocket-sized smartphones sport 64-bit processors and operating systems.

SAP introduced its new “in-memory database engine”, formerly known as the much hipper “velocity engine”, in the latest 64-bit edition of Lumira Desktop, version 1.23 (see related SAP Community Network article, What’s New in SAP Lumira 1.23). The 32-bit edition of Lumira Desktop will move into its impending retirement with the older IQ-based database engine. However, Lumira has reached a point in its development where new features (on the Lumira 1.26 desktop and soon to be on the BI 4.1 server) will require this new engine.

The new in-memory database engine will soon come to the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.1 platform as an add-on, allowing visualizations created with SAP Lumira Desktop to be viewed and refreshed in the BI Launch Pad (see related SAP Community Network article, Planned Native Integration of Lumira into BI Platform Details).

Will SAP BI 4.2 Client Tools Go 64-bit?

With SAP Lumira, SAP Design Studio, and even SAP Data Services Designer already available in 64-bit editions, will SAP BI 4.2 introduce 64-bit editions of “go-forward” client tools like Crystal Reports for Enterprise, Information Design Tool, and Web Intelligence Rich Client? Or does “interoperability” in the SAP BI tool simplification diagram mean that future versions of Crystal Reports and Web Intelligence will receive an adrenaline boost and also take advantage of the in-memory database engine?

SAP BI Simplified Portfolio

At this point, nobody outside of SAP knows but I’m sure we’ll hear more details in the latter half of 2015.

Is Your Organization Ready for 64-bits?

One thing is clear. Now is the time to install 64-bit Windows on the workstations of your Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC) team and the power users you support. Let your SAP Lumira Desktop pilot act as a catalyst in discussions with your enterprise desktop support organization. And while Microsoft is planning a 32-bit edition of its upcoming Windows 10, offer to be guinea pigs for your organization’s Windows 10 pilot, insuring that 64-bit Windows 10 will be the operating system deployed to your core constituencies.

Resources

Are you ready to go 64-bit?

Still Having Fun with 64-bit Windows and ODBC

Copying ODBC DSN’s from XI 3.1 to BI4 need not be a tedious chore.

I’m still having fun with 64-bit Windows and ODBC. This time, I’m working with SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 SP2 Patch 10 (BI4) instead of my previous exploits with SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.1 (see related article, More Fun with 64-bit Windows and ODBC). My challenge was to easily copy ODBC DSN’s from a customer’s existing XI 3.1 environment to their new BI4 environment without hours of tedious typing in the Windows control panel.

The procedure is simple enough, as ODBC DSN’s are stored in the Microsoft Windows registry. Simply use the registry editor on the source machine to export the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ODBC tree. Move the generated registry file to the destination machine and load using the registry editor. But when moving between 32-bit Windows and 64-bit Windows, there’s a small catch.

In 64-bit Windows, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ODBC is where the 64-bit DSN’s are stored. 32-bit DSN’s are stored in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\ODBC.  This means that the 32-bit DSN’s that you import from the 32-bit XI 3.1  server automatically become 64-bit DSN’s on the BI4 server by virtue of their registry location.

SAP BusinessObjects BI4 is primarily 64-bit, so most services like the Web Intelligence Processing Server will be looking for 64-bit DSN’s. However, classic Crystal Reports 2011/2013/2016 are 32-bit (even on the BI4 server), so it will look for DSN’s in the second Wow6432Node. I ended up creating these 32-bit DSN’s manually using the ODBC panel on our BI4 staging server (see related article, SAP BusinessObjects BI4 is (Mostly) 64-bit).

However, once I have both 32-bit and 64-bit DSN’s created on the staging server, I can move them easily to other 64-bit Windows machines.  I just have to remember to export both the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ODBC and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\ODBC keys.

TIP: Remember that each set of DSN’s has its own control panel.  To avoid going insane during testing, take a moment to create separate desktop shortcuts to the 32-bit and 64-bit ODBC DSN panels on your 64-bit Windows server (see related article, More Fun with 64-bit Windows and ODBC).

Related Articles

For more information, check out this related thread on the BusinessObjects Board (BOB).

More Fun with 64-bit Windows and ODBC

All I can say is “SysWoW64! That’s really intuitive, Mr. Ballmer!”

This week, I helped a customer install SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1 SP3 on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 64-bit using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 for the system (CMS) and audit databases.  And once again, I was tricked by Microsoft’s ODBC Data Sources panel into creating 64-bit ODBC connections that were rejected by the XI 3.1 installation program.  XI 3.1 is fully supported on 64-bit operating systems, but it’s still a 32-bit application that requires 32-bit database connectivity.  The whole experience felt like deja vu, and sure enough, I blogged about this topic over two years ago when it burned me the first time.  So let’s review (from Microsoft Support article 942976):

The 64-bit version of the Odbcad32.exe file is located in the C:WindowsSystem32 folder.  This 64-bit version appears on the Windows Start menu.

The 32-bit version of the Odbcad32.exe file is located in the C:WindowsSysWoW64 folder.  This version does not appear on the Windows Start menu.

Got that?  64-bit code is stored in a folder named “System32” and 32-bit code is stored in a folder named “SysWoW64”.  And both ODBC panels are identical in appearance – there’s no real clue to which one you’re using.  All I can say is “SysWoW64! That’s really intuitive, Mr. Ballmer!”

During the XI 3.1 installation, the dialog box for establishing the BusinessObjects system and audit databases for Microsoft SQL Server will have the “Consume DSN created under WOW64” box checked by default.  You should see your 32-bit DSNs on the list of available DSN’s.  If your DSNs refuse to apper until you uncheck the “Consume DSN created under WOW64” box, that’s your clue that you goofed up and created 64-bit DSNs.  Attempting to proceed further will cause the installation program to generate a humiliating STW00225 (Audit connection) and/or STW00226 (system/CMS connection) error message.

SAP tries to warn us with the following note in the supported platforms document:

BusinessObjects products use the 32-bit ODBC registry on all versions of Windows. To administer 32-bit ODBC DSNs on 64-bit versions of Windows, run the 32-bit ODBC Administrator, located here: C:WindowsSysWOW64odbcad32.exe

Thankfully, the upcoming release of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 is fully 64-bit, allowing the use of 64-bit DSN’s to Microsoft SQL Server.  So it won’t be long before we can all put this ODBC controversy behind us. Well, all of us except for Mr. Ballmer.

UPDATE: Although the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 platform is 64-bit, it is not fully 64-bit (see related article, SAP BusinessObjects BI 4 is (Mostly) 64-bit).  In particular, Crystal Reports 2011 still requires 32-bit database connectivity (see related article, Still Having Fun with 64-bit Windows and ODBC).

Best Practices for SAP BusinessObjects and ODBC

To minimize some of the confusion, create clearly labeled desktop shortcuts to the 32-bit ODBC panel (C:WindowsSysWoW64 folder) and the 64-bit ODBC panel  (C:WindowsSystem32 folder) before even attempting your SAP BusinessObjects installation.  Then create your DSNs via the appropriate shortcut (32-bit for XI 3.1 and lower, 64-bit for BI 4.0 and higher).  On Microsoft Windows 2008 Server, I move these shortcuts to the hidden folder C:UsersPublicDesktop so the rest of the administrative team can use them.

I used to recommend adding _32 as a suffix to your DSN names to remind everyone that they are 32-bit connections.  But then SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 arrived. Crystal Reports 2011 is still 32-bit on the server, so I now prefer that the 32-bit DSN and 64-bit DSN share the same name.

Thank you, Mr. Ballmer.

Fun with 64-bit Windows and ODBC

Running 32-bit SAP BusinessObjects on 64-bit Windows OS

My current client is running Business Objects Enterprise XI 3.0 on Microsoft Windows 2003 R2 Standard 64-bit edition. This project is my first experience with a 64-bit Windows product.

Part of the project involves migrating Crystal Reports from Crystal Enterprise 10 to Business Objects Enterprise XI 3.0. Many of these reports use DataDirect ODBC drivers to the client’s Baan system. Business Objects provides free but limited versions of the DataDirect 5.3 drivers for Crystal Reports 2008, which we have installed on the Business Objects Enterprise server.

Windows 2003 Server 64-bit edition has two different ODBC data source administrators. The standard administrator via the Windows control panel only displays 64-bit system DSNs. This is not immediately obvious. Thankfully, somebody smarter than me pointed out that 32-bit system DSNs are accessed via a different version of the ODBC data source administrator.

The 32-bit version of the Odbcad32.exe file is located in the %systemdrive%WindowsSysWoW64 folder.
The 64-bit version of the Odbcad32.exe file is located in the %systemdrive%WindowsSystem32 folder.

I’m not aware of a standard shortcut to the 32-bit panel from the Windows Start menu, but of course you can easily create your own. For more information about this topic, read the Microsoft support knowledge base, article 942976.