Friday, September 30, 2011

Migration/Upgrade to SAP Business Objects XI 3.x - FAQs


Here are some of the frequently asked questions about migration/upgrade to SAP Business Objects XI 3.x:
1. What is an upgrade by the way? And what is the difference between an upgrade and a migration?
An upgrade is basically installation of a new version of the software that does not require any changes to the system architecture. So when you move from one version of the software to another which is architecturally different, it is a migration. If the new version has the same architecture with only few enhancements and new features, then it is an upgrade.
Here are a few examples:
Moving from Business Objects 5.x to 6.x is an upgrade.
Moving from Business Objects 6.x to XI(R1/R2/3.x) is a migration.
Moving from Business Objects XI R2 to XI 3.0 is an upgrade.
Moving from Business Objects XI 3.0 to XI 3.1 is an upgrade.
2. Which tool should I use to upgrade from Business Objects 6.5/XI R2 to Business Objects XI 3.x?
To migrate from Business Objects 6.5 to XI 3.x, you have to use Import Wizard. There is no other option unless you can afford to pay for a third party tool.
To upgrade from XI R1/XI R2, you can either use Import Wizard or backup CMS database & File Store on XI R1/R2 and restore it on XI 3.x.
3. Which method is best to upgrade from XI R1/R2 to XI 3.x? Can I just backup CMS database and File Store on XIR2 and restore it on XI 3.x to upgrade?
Yes you can. This option gives you the ability to copy entire CMS database from one environment to another, so you don't have much flexibility. Moreover, you might run into synchronization issues between CMS database and File Store when you restore them on the new version. The reason I recommend using Import Wizard to migrate is because it lets you choose objects to migrate(more granularity) unlike the CMS database and File Store method. Also, using Import Wizard is relatively simpler and easier.
4. Can I use an XI R2 BIAR file to upgrade to XI 3.x? 
No, BIAR can't be used to import content across different versions. You "have" to directly connect to the source CMS.
5. Can I migrate directly from 5.x to XI 3.x?
Sure, note that the calculation engine was changed in 5.1.4, that could be a reason for a few more issues. If you can, upgrade to 6.5 first and then to XI 3.x.
6. We are on 6.x, should we upgrade to XI 3.0 or XI 3.1?
You should always upgrade to latest version unless the latest version has any stability issues.
FYI - XI 3.1 is far more stable than XI 3.0.

7. When upgrading from XI R2 to XI 3.x, should I move the security as well or should I create the security from scratch on the new version?
There are quite a few differences in security between the two versions. So it is better to build it from scratch on the new version. Moreover, creating the security from scratch lets you utilize the nice new features like custom access levels etc.
8. Can we install both XI R2 and XI 3.x on same server?
Yes, but you will likely have performance issues. It would be better if you do a clean install on a separate server and then move your contents from XI R2 to XI 3.x using Import Wizard.
9. Can I upgrade the Auditing database from XI R2 to XI 3.x?
No, the table structure in XI 3.x is different than in XI R2.
10. Do I have to use the native Administrator account to use Import Wizard?
In XIR2, though a user in the Administrator group could login to Import Wizard to copy objects to a different server, many a times you will end up seeing weird results. So it is better to use the native administrator account.
But in XI 3.x, it has been mentioned in the official documents that you can let users in the Administrator group to use Import Wizard to move contents they have rights to.
11. Is there any extra licensing cost for upgrading from BOXI R2 to BO XI 3.x? 
If you have a valid maintenance/support contract with SAP Business Objects, then no. Please be sure to verify that with your account manager.
12. Can I upgrade my stuff by just saving the reports/universes locally and opening them in the new version?
Yeah, sure. But the recommended method is to use Import Wizard. Furthermore, you "have" to use Import Wizard to move web intelligence reports.
13. We are on 6.x, should we upgrade to XI R2 or XI 3.1? We were told that first upgrading to XI R2 then to XI 3.x will save us some time.
As already said, you should always upgrade to latest version unless the latest version has any stability issues. It makes no sense whatsoever to move to XI R2 first and then to XI 3.x.
14. Can I import all the content(reports, universes, users, connections etc) in one shot using Import Wizard or do I have to use an incremental approach for upgrade?
It depends on the magnitude of your content. I use Import Wizard to import 30 universes, 200 reports in one go without any problem.
15. How can I migrate Crystal reports from version 8/8.5/9/10 to XI R2/3.x?
If you have Crystal reports that are hosted on Crystal enterprise, then you can use Import Wizard to migrate them to XI 3.x. Please note that Import Wizard can only access objects that are on enterprise system. However, if the reports are embedded in a different application and are stored locally, then you can just open them in the XI version to convert them automatically. Please be sure to take a backup of the old version report before opening it in the XI version because once the report is converted(and saved) to XI, you can't go back to the old version.
16. Is there any tool to convert Business Objects 6.5 Desktop Intelligence reports to Business Objects XI 3.1 Web Intelligence reports?
Yes, there is a tool called Report Conversion Tool. But you need to migrate those 6.5 reports to XI platform first, then use Report Conversion Tool to convert them to WebI.
17. How efficient is the Report Conversion Tool? Can I convert all Desktop Intelligence reports to Web Intelligence reports without any tweaking?
It depends on how complex your Desktop Intelligence reports are. For complex reports, you will need to do some tweaking in odrer to get it converted to Web Intelligence format.
18. Do I have to install the Report Conversion Tool separately?
Report Conversion Tool is installed by default. If you did a custom install, you MUST select Report Conversion Tool.
19. Is it possible to convert a Web Intelligence report to Desktop Intelligence report ?
There isn't any tool available for such conversion as it kind of goes backwards. However, if you really want the report in Desktop Intelligence format, you can manually create it using Desktop Intelligence.
20. In XI R2, there is a tool called Security Viewer, is it available in XI 3.x?
No
21. I have a few Desktop Intelligence reports that contain stored procedures, will the Report Conversion tool convert them to Web Intelligence reports?
Yes, it will. The stored procedure will be converted to a universe with same name as that of the stored procedure.
22. I have a few Desktop Intelligence reports that use "Free Hand SQL", will the Report Conversion tool convert them to Web Intelligence reports?
Yes. The Report Conversion Tool will convert the free-hand SQL reports by creating a derived table for each free hand SQL query.
23. I have some Desktop Intelligence reports that are based on "Free Hand SQL" and some that are based on stored procedure. I used Report Conversion Tool to convert these reports to Web Intelligence format, but the reports were not converted. What went wrong?
To convert reports that use "Free Hand SQL" or stored procedure, you have to check select the option Convert documents containing free-hand SQL/Stored Procedures while running the Report Conversion Tool. That could be the reason.
24. We are converting Desktop Intelligence reports to Web Intelligence reports and we are on XI 3.x. Is there a way to compare the results of the conversion process?
Yes, you can use the Delta Viewer of the Report Comparison Tool to compare original and converted reports to view differences. Be sure to select the option Compare fully converted documents.
25. I used Report Conversion Tool to convert a Desktop Intelligence report to Web Intelligence format and it got "partially converted". Can I use the Delta Viewer of the Report Comparison Tool to see the differences?
No, you can use the Delta Viewer of the Report Comparison Tool for fully converted reports only.
26. We are on XI 3.x, can we copy Access levels from one server to another?
Yes.
27. We are migrating from 5.x/6.x to XI 3.x, what rights do I need in order to migrate contents from 5.x/6.x using Import Wizard?
You should be a General Supervisor to access 5.x/6.x using Import Wizard.
28. We are migrating from 5.x/6.x/XI/XI R 2 to XI 3.x, what rights do I need in order to import contents into the CMS? Do I need to use a native Administrator account? Or is it sufficient to just use an account in the Administrator group?
You SHOULD belong to the Administrator group and you need to have the rights to add objects to the destination folder where you intend to import objects.
29. While working on Web Intelligence reports, the server timed out and I lost all the development work. Is there a way to automatically save documents so that I don't loose my work?
Starting from XI 3.1, Web Intelligence automatically saves your documents at defined intervals while the document is open. For more details refer Auto save feature in Web Intelligence.
30. We are migrating from 5.x/6.x/XI/XI R 2 to XI 3.x. We have a few reports that are stored locally, can I use Import Wizard to import these reports into XI 3.x CMS?
No, you need to export the locally saved reports to the repository in order to copy them to the CMS using Import Wizard.
31. We are on 5.x/6/x. Can I migrate access restrictions to XI 3.x using Import Wizard?
Yes you can, access restrictions are called universe overloads in XI/XI R2/XI 3.x. There is an option in Import Wizard called Keep universe overloads for imported users and groups that lets you do this. Be sure to select the users/groups associated with the access restriction.
32. We just migrated to XI R2/XI 3.1 from 6.x. Can we setup a Development or Test server without paying for a new license?
You don't have to pay anything for setting up a development or a test server as long as you are not live with that. But please be sure to verify that with your account manager.
33. We are upgrading from XI R 2 to XI 3.x. The CMS database on XI R2 is MySQL and on XI 3.x it is SQL Server, would that be an issue when using Import Wizard to copy contents from XI R2 to XI 3.x?
That shouldn't matter at all.
34. We are on XI 3.x, can I use BIAR to migrate objects from Development to Production?
Lets get the terminology straight here, what you are referring to is called Promotion not migration.
To answer your question; sure you can use BIAR to promote objects from Development to Production. That being said, you should use CMS to CMS while promoting objects from one environment to another if you can. Refer to this post for more details.

35. Can I use Import Wizard to promote documents from one server to another(say development to production) if the two servers are on different service packs?
You should always have your servers(Development, Test, Production) at the same level of service pack to avoid deployment issues. The situation will become worse when you have your Development server more uptodate in terms of service pack than you production server.
Based on my experience, the result is unpredictable when you promote objects between servers that are on different service packs. For example if you promote a Web Intelligence report created on XI 3.1 to XI 3.1 SP2, it will just work fine. But when you promote a Web Intelligence report created on XI 3.1 SP2 to XI 3.1(without any service pack), it will not work.

36. Can I schedule a Web Intelligence report in CSV format?
Depends on which version you are on. You can schedule a Web Intelligence report in CSV format if you are on XI 3.1 SP2.
37. Do I have to connect to CMS in order to use Report Conversion tool?
In XI R2, yes you have to connect to the CMS to use Report Conversion Tool. But starting from XI 3.1, you can use Report Conversion Tool in a stand alone mode.
38. Can I use Report Conversion Tool to convert locally saved Desktop Intelligence Reports that don't exist in the repository?
Yes but in stand alone mode. You can use Report Conversion Tool in stand alone mode starting from XI 3.1.
39. When using Report Conversion Tool in stand alone mode, will I get to use all the features of the tool that I see when am connected to CMS?
No, there are some limitations when using Report Conversion Tool in stand alone mode. Here they are:
i. You can't convert reports based on "Free Hand SQL" or Stored Procedure,
ii. You can't audit report conversion actions
iii. You can't compare Desktop Intelligence .REP documents with their corresponding .WID documents after conversion.

40. We are migrating from 5.x/6.x to XI R2/3.x. What is the best approach to deal with security?
You need to create the security from scratch on XI R2/3.x as the security model is VERY different between the two versions.
41. Is fold/unfold feature available in Business Objects XI R2/3.x? I have some Desktop Intelligence reports that use this feature, will the Report Conversion Tool convert these reports as well?
The fold/unfold feature is only available starting from XI 3.1 service pack 2. If you have fold/unfold feature applied to a section in the report, then the Report Conversion Tool will fully convert the report. If this feature is applied on a table, crosstab or break, then the report will be partially converted and you will have to do some tweaking.
42. What is Web Intelligence Rich Client? How can I install it?
Check this out for more details.
43. We are migrating from XI R2 to XI 3.1. Can we use the XI R2 license keys for XI 3.1?
Nope, you will need to get a new set of license keys.
44. Is there a way to implement version control in Business Objects XI R2/3.x?
Starting from XI 3.1, Business Objects offers a web-based tool called Life Cycle Manager(LCM) that will allow you to manage different versions of the objects you work with. It can also be used to promote content(reports, universes etc) from one server to another.
45. Can I use Life Cycle Manager (LCM) to upgrade from older versions to XI 3.1?
No, LCM can't be used to copy objects between two servers that are on different versions. You need to use Import Wizard to upgrade.
46. Is Life Cycle Manager (LCM) built in XI 3.1 or do I have to download it separately?
LCM is a plug-in, so you have to download and install it separately.
47. Is there any separate license for Life Cycle Manager (LCM)?
Nope.
48. Is Life Cycle Manager (LCM) avaliable for Business Objects XI 3.1 Edge Series?
Yes.
50. Are there any third party tools that can assist me in the migration/upgrade process?
Yes, there are a couple of nice tools out there(like Version Manager) to ease the migration/upgrade process. But you have to find it out yourself whether the investment is worth. You can request the vendor for a free demo.
51. We just migrated from 5.x/6.x to XI R2/3.x, we were told that the CMS database can't be accessed directly, but why? What about the audit database? Is it encrypted as well?
The CMS database(also known as the system database) can't be accessed/modified directly as it is encrypted. You can however use the interfaces such as Query builder, CMC etc to access CMS database or use SDK. The audit database on the other hand, can be accessed directly.

3 comments:

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  2. Regarding the following points 5 and 6.

    SAP Business Objects recommend that you don't migrate directing to XI R3, but migrate to XI R2 then to R3.
    Please review SAP Migration Best Practices to confirm this, available via the SAP Help portal.

    ReplyDelete
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