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:

SAP Note Explaning Versions and Patches included in SP4:

What’s New (Including Support Packages):

What’s New (Feature Pack 3):