Customizing the new portals in SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 SP4 and higher

There are some familiar customization options for the new yet unfamiliar Fiori-inspired BI Launch Pad and BI Administration Console.

SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 SP4 introduced a new Fiorified BI Launch Pad. And SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 SP5 introduced a new Fiorified BI Administration Console. These new portals will eventually supersede the current BI Launch Pad and Central Management Console, respectively. But today, they each implement a subset of functionality.

The new launch pad is located at http://[webserver]:[port]/BOE/BILaunchpad and has its own properties file, FioriBI.properties. You’ll want to copy the original from the [Install Directory]\SAP BusinessObjects\tomcat\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF\config\default to the [Install Directory]\SAP BusinessObjects\tomcat\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF\config\custom folder.

The default file contains many of same properties as the old BI Launch Pad’s BIlaunchpad.properties file; however, not all properties are yet supported. At a minimum, you’ll probably want to customize these:


# You can specify the default Authentication types here. secEnterprise, secLDAP, secWinAD, secSAPR3
authentication.default=secWinAD
# Choose whether to let the user change the authentication type. If it isn't shown the default authentication type from above will be used
authentication.visible=true
# You can specify the authentications that are supported in this field.
# By default all the authentications listed below will appear. You can add or remove values from the field, based on the authentications which are supported.
# Authentications List --- secEnterprise,secLDAP,secWinAD,secSAPR3,secOraApps,secPSE1,secpsenterprise,secSiebel7
logon.authentication.visibleList=secWinAD,secEnterprise
# You can specify the default CMS machine name here
[email protected]
# Choose whether to let the user change the CMS name
cms.visible=true
#You can specify the default administration email_ids in semicolon separated format here.
#The specified Email ids will be used when user will click on Contact Administrator on BILP Login screen
[email protected]

The new BI Administration Console is located at http://[webserver]:[port]/BOE/BIAdminConsole and has its own properties file, BILogon.properties. You’ll want to copy the original from the [Install Directory]\SAP BusinessObjects\tomcat\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF\config\default to the [Install Directory]\SAP BusinessObjects\tomcat\webapps\BOE\WEB-INF\config\custom folder.

Remember that the logon.authentication.VisibleList parameter is new starting with SAP BI 4.2 SP5 and higher (see related article, New BI Launch Pad Customization in SAP BI 4.2 SP5)

As with the new BI Launch Pad, the default properties file contains many of same properties as the Central Management Console’s CmcApp.properties file; however, not all properties are yet supported. At a minimum, you’ll probably want to customize the same properties:


# You can specify the default Authentication types here. secEnterprise, secLDAP, secWinAD, secSAPR3
authentication.default=secWinAD
# Choose whether to let the user change the authentication type. If it isn't shown the default authentication type from above will be used
authentication.visible=true
# You can specify the authentications that are supported in this field.
# By default all the authentications listed below will appear. You can add or remove values from the field, based on the authentications which are supported.
# Authentications List --- secEnterprise,secLDAP,secWinAD,secSAPR3,secOraApps,secPSE1,secpsenterprise,secSiebel7
logon.authentication.visibleList=secWinAD,secEnterprise
# You can specify the default CMS machine name here
[email protected]
# Choose whether to let the user change the CMS name
cms.visible=true
#You can specify the default administration email_ids in semicolon separated format here.
#The specified Email ids will be used when user will click on Contact Administrator on BILP Login screen
[email protected]

The new admin.user.email property is interesting, as both portals have a link to contact the BI Administrator. Although the link is labeled “BI Administrator” it may make more sense to put the email address of your corporate help desk or whomever is your first line of support for logon issues.

Branding and theming is not yet possible with these new portals, but both will continue to receive enhancements in the support packs leading up to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.3.

Things Can Only Get Better

The roadmap of the SAP BusinessObjects platform makes me scared. But I won’t stop and falter. Here’s what Howard Jones taught me about SAP analytics strategy. And growing older.

Earlier this year, my wife and I got to see Howard Jones in concert from the second row. The last time I saw him in concert was way back in 1989, so I was grateful for the opportunity.

I discovered Howard Jones in my teen years. His groundbreaking use of synthesizers as a “one-man band” was a big inspiration for me. After all, there are so many guitar heroes but so few piano heroes. He was definitely mine. Known for the positive messages in his lyrics, Howard expressed my thoughts when SAP announced revisions to its analytics roadmap just a few days after the concert (see related article, Everything Must Change).

And do you feel scared? I do!
But I won’t stop and falter.

Change can definitely be scary. And sadly, you can’t stop it. Just like you can’t stop having birthdays.

I’m grateful to artists like Howard Jones because at age 63, he’s not only riding his past success like No One Is To Blame. He continues to tour and create new music like the autographed Engage CD that I picked up at the concert. His success doesn’t magically wipe away the rampant ageism that is in modern IT. But it does give me hope as I grow older.

Howard Jones Engage CD with autographed cover

Treating today as though it was the last, the final show
Get to sixty and feel no regret
It may take a little time a lonely path, an uphill climb
Success or failure will not alter it

Don’t be fooled by what you see. And don’t be fooled by what you hear- especially from Microstrategy. They posted this FUD gem during SAPPHIRE last month.

Things have actually gotten better during the past few months. SAP has moderated its tone when messaging its analytics customers, committing to delivering SAP BusinessObjects 4.3 in 2019 (see related SAP blog by Mike Flannagan, SAP Customers Champion the Intelligent Enterprise with SAP Analytics Innovations). And SAP is making smaller batches of improvements in the forthcoming SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 SP6, expected later this month. In his aptly-named song Those Who Move Clouds, Howard Jones sings:

I wish that I could offer you a chance to change direction.
But you know that pathways must be followed to near destruction.

Sadly, “You can look at the SAP analytics roadmap, but you can’t change it” doesn’t rhyme. But I’ll continue to work on that. In the meantime, this old dog is committing himself to learn new tricks with SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP Cloud Platform, SAP HANA, and even non-SAP technologies. Because things can only get better.

In the meantime, don’t crack up. Bend your brain. See both sides. Throw off your mental chains. And don’t always look at the rain.

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