In the company I work for, there are many users for Business Objects Reports and BO client tools. Since the platform version and the client tools version must match, we have to use different sets of machines to test, and then coordinate for over 100 users on installs of the client tools to match the platform.
While testing in our development branch, users/developers would be unable to use the tools on their PC for the production branch because of the version mismatch. This would cause a significant hindrance in the workload because users with the new version would not be able to connection to the development machines, likewise the users with the old version would not be able to connect to the production machines.
Is there someway to put backwards compatibility in the current packages (SP06) to enable step upgrades and testing before being released to production?
IE we are upgrading from SBOP BI 4.2 SP03 Patch2 to SBOP BI 4.2 SP06 (which I am sure will have more patches
There version match should be up to SP level.
Up to patch level in some circumstances only.
And to answer your question - there are no known plans to change compatibility rules. As usual - everything is subject to change, but that's how it is currently.
The other thing you need to be aware of is that the security libraries that the entire BOBJ system uses were upgraded at SP4. Any version earlier than 4.2 SP4 will NOT be able to connect to a 4.2 SP4 or later system and vice versa.
What we usually recommend to our clients for testing new versions is to install the new versions of the Client Tools, Crystal, etc. on a separate server from the BOBJ system that's being tested. a select set of users is then given access to use Remote Desktop to log in to that server to use the tools. That way there's a place to work with the new tools and fix things that didn't upgrade well while still having the older versions available on the developer workstations while still being able to test the new versions.