What’s new in SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 SP4?

On Friday June 15th SAP made available one of the most anticipated updates for SAP BusinessObjects in recent memory in releasing SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 SP4. But wait, I thought FP3 was the most anticipated update for SAP BusinessObjects. FP3 has been in ramp-up for a few months and those fortunate to participate in the FP3 ramp-up process were marginally impressed with its features and fixes. FP3 was touted at conferences and on social media sites for months and just about every BOBJ customer was waiting (patiently and not so patiently) for its release. Well the wait is over, but there is a twist. SAP has not officially released the FP3 build but instead they are releasing it under a new name in SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 SP4. For legacy BOBJ customers, the new SAP service pack (support pack) and FP (Feature Pack) release strategy is very confusing. I’m not sure I understand their strategy myself, but it appears that FP3 was the ramp-up build and SP4 is the GA build of the features found in FP3. I will likely be proven wrong in this regard, but the short answer is that all the features of FP3 are now available in the form of SP4.

What can you expect from SP4? You will find all the “What’s New in FP3 features” plus fixes up to SP2 Patch 2.16 or FP3 Patch 3.5. It can be installed on an existing BOE 4.0 SP2 or BOE 4.0 FP3 install but be aware that Patch 2.16+ and Patch 3.5+ fixes will not be available until the middle of July when Patch 4.1 is released. There will also be a release in August of Patch 4.2 which will bring all the fixes for the three SP versions (SP2, FP3 and SP4) up to date.

You will also find the following Application Enhancements:

Web Intelligence

  • The new Purge last selected prompt values feature (See What’s New for more information)
  • BEx variables with the same technical name can be merged or unmerged (See What’s New for more information)

Analysis, edition for OLAP

  • Hierarchies and prompts are now supported for SAP HANA data sources.
  • You can connect to Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services data sources

Support for Microsoft SQL 2012

Should I install SP4? Without question you need to start planning for this update. The number of features, fixes, enhancements and usability updates in SP4 will more than justify the time and cost associated with the update.

Should I remove previous patches before installing? Earlier this year I posted an article on Patch Management in SAP BusinessObjects 4.0. In the posting I mentioned that previous patches create a large “Install Cache” to maintain all revisions of previous BOBJ 4.0 install binaries. If you are short on storage on your current SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 server, I would recommend removing all the patches for SP2. However, I would thoroughly test the un-install and subsequent install of SP4 before jumping right into Production with this strategy.

Should I update the client tools to SP4? You should update all your client tools. When participating in the FP3 ramp up, I discovered that many of the client tools in the SP2 build did not work correctly when connecting to a FP3 build server. I would assume the same is true with SP4.

Should I update SAP BusinessObjects Explorer to 4.0 SP4? You should update Explorer as well. The Exploration Views found in FP3 and SP4 will be well worth the update.

Links and References (May require SAP S-ID Logon)

Forward Fit Plan Document: https://service.sap.com/~sapidb/011000358700000272572011E

SAP Note Explaning Versions and Patches included in SP4: https://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/1721866

What’s New (Including Support Packages): help.sap.com

What’s New (Feature Pack 3): help.sap.com


  1. That is how it appears. The only remaining question is “what happens to the FP3 14.0.3.xxx build?”. We will have to wait and see if it ever shows up in SMP.

  2. AT LAST!!!!!!

    I don’t care about the numbering anymore. I know that the “strategy” is to change the strategy at each release (XI R2, XI 3.1, BI 4.0, MHF, Service Pack, FixPack, Feature Pack, Patch). The model is probably Microsoft (Win 95, 98SE, Millenium, XP, Vista, 7…).

    I’m just wondering about the number of bugs & corrupted reports that will remain through the update or will crash the update.

  3. Jon…thanks for clearing some doubts of mine on this…it includes up to 2.15 + 3.5 only not 2.16 as mentioned above…may be a typo..:-) !

  4. Have you tried SPS 4 with Data Services SPS 2 Patch 5? I SPS 4 and Data Services connection is broke now.

  5. I have not configured Data Services 4.0 SP2 with BOE 4 SP4. However, Their is a version of the IPS including SP4 available on the SMP. I would assume that Data Services 4.0 SP2 is compatible with SP4 based on the available products but I would need to research the PAM to understand if there is an issue with DS 4.0 SP2 P5 and BOE 4.0 SP4.

  6. Looks like Data Services will be supported with SPS 4 only with DS SPS 3 which is due mid-July (as of now). OSS note 1733905 has more details.

  7. Cool, I can’t wait for version 4.1 that was the first version of BusinessObjects that I started with, man the good old days when Full Client was around! Oh how I live for those days again 🙂

  8. Bob,

    I believe Web Intelligence rich client was created just for you. It’s mentioned in the release notes as “Just for Bob Zenker”. 🙂

    Hopefully SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 will be just as wiz-bang as BOBJ 4.1 was all those years ago.

  9. Hi, I am at the SAP support portal looking at the latest available downloads for SBOP BI PLATFORM SERVERS 4.0 -> Windows on X64 bit… and all I see is (ENTERPRISE02P_19-20007504.EXE SBOP BI Platform Servers 4.0 SP02 Patch 19 2156805kb)….last changed date of 7/12/2012…is that the latest available…can you please let me know where to download the SP4 version you are referring to above?

    Thanks much,

  10. Five Files are required for Full Install (Windows)

    Name: SBOP BI PLATFORM 4.0 SP04 (incl. FP03) SERVER WIN 64B 1 of X (X= 1 through 5)
    File Name: 51043404_X (X= 1 through 5)

    Follow this path:
    SAP Software Download Center, Installation and Upgrades, SAP BusinessObjects portfolio, SBOP BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE PLATFORM (SBOP ENTERPRISE), SBOP BI PLATFORM (ENTERPRISE), SBOP BI PLATFORM 4.0

    One File Required for the Upgrade Install (Windows):

    Name: “SBOP BI Platform Servers 4.0 SP04 (including FP03)”
    File Name: ENTERPRISE04_0-20007504.EXE

    Follow this path:
    SAP Software Download Center, Installation and Upgrades, Support Packages and Patches, SAP BusinessObjects portfolio, SBOP BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE PLATFORM (SBOP ENTERPRISE), SBOP BI PLATFORM (ENTERPRISE), SBOP BI PLATFORM 4.0

  11. Hi
    for some reason after i updated the SP04 on a SP02Patch17 system, the two new options didn’t appear: *Version Managment *Promotion Managment under CMC home.
    do you know what is the possible reason??

  12. The most likely or common cause is that the WAR files were not properly re-deployed. I have not had this issue with SP4 on Windows or Linux. There is a tool called WDEPLOY on the server, that you can use to redeploy the WAR files.

  13. I am unsure what “forward fitted” means. I am currently on BI4.0 SP2 Patch 7 and wondering if I can update to BI4.0 SP4 and then update to BI4.0 SP4 Patch 2?

  14. Kelly,

    “Forward Fit” documents tell us what the equivalent Support Pack and Patch versions are when comparing new updates to existing available updates. It is important to know this before moving from one Support Pack to the next. In your case you are ok. BOE 4.0 SP4 is the same as SP2 patch 16. That is newer then SP2 patch 7. You will get more fixes upgrading to SP4.

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