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Former Member

Today I would like to share an article our Principal Consultant Alex Palley has prepared:

How to: Plan a successful migration from pre XI BO to BI4.x

Since 2007 BusinessObjects Enterprise version 6.5 has been unsupported. The lack of support places the system in the legacy category. Planning the migration from pre-XI BO to BI4.x is essential to ensure smooth transition and conversion of reports, and security. In this article, Xoomworks BI outlines the practical steps and considerations to take.

A legacy system by definition is outdated and unsupported. Business Intelligence continues to be a dynamic sector with rapid development and innovation. The technology and the use have changed to reflect the demand for self-service, visualisations, fast reporting, and data governance. Up to date BI integrates tools such as Design Studio, Lumira, mobile, and SAP UI5. The outcome is legacy systems may still provide a basic output; they will lag behind supported modern systems in the return on investment, user welfare, security, and business decisions.

The plan – Engagement and testing

All your business departments must be engaged and involved. They should provide the list of their priorities along with the documents for the migration inventory.

Specify a test group of reports as a Proof of Concept (POC) group. The separate group allows identification of potential issues. The reports should reflect the full spectrum of data sources and functionality of your current deployment.

Prepare your XI 3.1 and BI 4.x migration environments using the supported middleware and client tools required for the migration. Also using patch levels required for supporting free hand SQL.

Test the migration path alternatives to discover which yields the best results on your POC reports. Any issues are then documented.

Fix or workaround each issue to define the migration fix run book. This can then be applied in the case of failure or issues while converting reports.

Estimate the level of re-work for each document based on the test group of reports. The level will range from zero to rebuilding in BI 4.2.

IT should perform the first pass on all converted reports. They should check for issues of connectivity, formula, or formatting.

Engage business owners for validation (completed documents to be migrated to a QA platform for user acceptance testing.)

Migration Pathways

A staging BO Xlr3.1 environment must be used to stage the Deski reports moved from your legacy system to newer SAP BI4.x releases.

Documents must be published in 6.5 for the import wizard in Xlr3.1 to access and import the documents to the staging environment.

Reports must be converted to Webi at this point due to the end of support for Deski in SAP BI4.x. There are various methods for the conversion:

  • Convert the reports using the Report Conversion Tool (RCT) in Xlr3.1. Then the reports are moved as Webis to SAP BI4.x.
  • Convert the reports using SAP BI4.x RCT directly from Xlr3.1 staging environment. First, migrate the Deski documents from 3.1 to 4.x using the 4.1 Upgrade Management Tool. Then use the 4.1x RCT to convert in the same environment.

Fix Conversion Issues

For each Deski report that fails to convert check the connections used. Change the connections to the newly created secure versions in 3.1 before running each query to ensure no errors are found. Re-migrate and most FHSQL reports will convert successfully.

Auditing to review partial conversions

Use the conversion audit database to store conversion results. You will then be able to pick the test reports containing a spread of conversion limitations to form the basis for the runbook.

Some errors may not be captured by the conversions. We recommend IT giving the first pass to all reports before handing over to business for validation. Especially the use of Multicube function in Deski converted to ForceMerge in Webi may not give the same results as before.

Other Migration Considerations

We recommend taking the opportunity to design your security model anew. Due to a radical change in the security concept from legacy BO systems. Requirements should be re-assessed and new tools and functionalities brought on board.

Schedules can be migrated or re-created. Publications should be considered to replace existing macros in the case of Deski due to the end of support for this function.

Staying within your BI product universe removes the need to re-train staff on an alien tool. At Xoomworks migrating 1000 Desktop Intelligence reports to WebIntelligence in SAP BI BO4.2 took us 60 days costing £100,000. We estimated a cost of over £750,000 had we used another tool.

For any question regarding a SAP migration or anything BI please drop us a line.

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