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SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence platform

BI 4 How To: Identifying Necessary Changes for Web Intelligence Upgrade

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Upgrade Series

Why Planning is Important

By using Upgrade Management Tool (UMT), BI administrator is able to migrate Web Intelligence (WebI) document from XIR2/XI3.1 to SAP BusinessObjects BI4.x system.

Please not that it is not mandatory to convert the underlying metadata from the legacy universe format (.unx) to the new universe format (.unx) in order for WebI to run in SAP BusinessObjects BI4.x platform.

When upgrading, it is important to provide the the same functionality as the legacy system.

It is also important to introduce new innovations and to enhance user experience with least amount of disruption to business users.
That is why planning takes significant part when you upgrade to SAP BusinessObjects BI4.x.

This article will focus on the following points:

  • Identifying changes to be made, in order to keep the the same functionality as the legacy system.
  • Identifying changes to be made, in order to take advantage of new capabilities in SAP BusinessObjects BI4.x.

Identifying Changes

Migrated WebI documents are designed to work in SAP BusinessObjects BI4.x system as it has been designed in the legacy system.
In some cases, you need to consider modifying WebI document, custom application, or universe be based on following requirements.

  • Calculation Engine Changes
  • SDK Custom Application & SDK Customization
  • Embedded Images in WebI Documents
  • OpenDocument URL
  • Metadata (UNV, UNX, or BICS)
  • Web Intelligence Rich Client Deployment
  • Web Intelligence Security Rights
  • Charting Engine

Calculation Engine Changes

There has been corrections and changes to Calculation Engine in SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.x compared to XI R2, XI3.0, or XI3.1.

In some cases, you need to edit the formula definition in order to calculate in the same way.

Please refer to SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.1: Calculation Engine Changes for the detail steps on how to identify and how to change the calculation behavior.

You can also utilize our partner solution from EV Technology to identify and list document(s) which requires manual change(s) in BI 4.x.

Engage with SAP Services, whom have a services solution for report comparison to further assist you in gaining insight what reports require to be updated.

SDK Custom Application & SDK Customization
You may be taking advantage of our SDK libraries in legacy system.
When planning an upgrade to BI 4.x, you need to make sure that same level of functionality is supported in the target platform.

Functional ExampleSDK Library Used in XI3.1Migration Path in BI4.x
Programatically create WebI documentRebean SDK

RESTful Web Service SDK in BI4.1

Grab SQL Statement from WebI documentRebean SDKRESTful Web Service SDK in BI4.1

Programatically set or execute WebI document

scheduling with prompt value

Rebean SDKRESTful Web Service SDK in BI4.1
Customize UI and add custom functionalities

Extension Points

Validate Extension Points in BI 4.0 SP7+ or BI4.1 SP2+, if current SDK meets the requirement.

  • Upgrading Rebean SDK application

    If you are using Rebean SDK in XI3.1, you need to plan your upgrade for custom application by taking advantage of RESTful Web Services SDK in SAP BusinessObjects BI4.1 (or later).

        BI 4.x Rebean SDK does not provide the same functionality as Rebean SDK in XI R2 or XI 3.1.

        BI 4.1 RESTful Web Services brings back the legacy Rebean capabilities in a modern technology.

        Main benefits are:

    1. Allows development of applications for both computer or mobile devices and with any kind of programming language (Java, .Net, Jscript, etc)
    2. Support for open and popular standards – REST, AJAX, OData, JSON, XML etc.
    3. Easier integration with Could solutions

        Please refer to &, the RESTful Raylight Web Services for more detail.

  • Upgrading Extension Points application

    We have started to support Extension Points SDK again in BI4.0 SP7+ or BI4.1 SP2+.
    Please be aware that that there is still some functionality gaps against XI 3.1 Extension Points, thus it is necessary for you to validate if current capability meets your requirement prior to the upgrade.

        What is available from BI4.0 SP7:

    1. Extension Points provides functionality to add a new panel in the side panel of the HTML Client in WebI.
    2. Extension Points SDK are leveraging WebI RESTful Web Service API and some Java Script API in order to manipulate
      the viewer and in order to ensure consistency between the WebI document and
      what is manipulated programmatically
    3. Extensions that are developed has to be deployed/enabled/authorized on the server/CMC.
    4. Packaging of extension is simple and better integrated/managed within the BI Suite based on new architecture.

        Migration Impacts:

    1. Not all extension points available in XI 3 are available
    2. In BI 4.0 only the side panel extensions are available (i.e. Not able to extend toolbar menu items )
    3. Only the HTML client can be extended
    4. It is necessary to re-develop extensions since APIs are based on the new REST architecture.
    5. Extension Points is not available in BI4.1 SP1 (GA).


         Please refer to for more detail.

Embedded Image in WebI Documents
It is possible to embed image in WebI document by specifying boimg://<image file name> in a cell.

The physical location of the image file setting is different between versions, so it is necessary to copy files from the legacy system in order for WebI to work in the same way.

XIR2 image file location: <Install_Dir>\BusinessObjects Enterprise 11.5\images

XI3.1 image file location: <Install_Dir>\BusinessObjects Enterprise 12.0\images

BI4.x image file location: <Install_Dir>\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI4.0\Images

OpenDocument URL

The OpenDocument URL has changed between versions, so you can either manually update your OpenDocument URLs in WebI documents to the following:

http://<server>:<port>/BOE/OpenDocument/opendoc/<platformSpecific>?iDocID=<doc ID>...

You can also take system wide approach to configure your Web Server to redirect URL requests.

If upgrading from XI3.x to BI4.x:

If upgrading from XIR2 to BI4.x migration:

Metadata (UNV, UNX, or BICS)

Within SAP BusinessObjects BI4 a new Sementic Layer has been introduced, designed via Information Design Tool (IDT). The Universes generated by IDT will have the extension UNX.

There is no direct need to convert all your universes (.UNV) into the new format unless you have needs to leverage the new features introduced in IDT. For the full list of features within IDT, please refer to the What’s New in BI4 document available on

SAP BusinessObjects BI 4 WebI introduces new functionality:

  • Enhanced hierarchical data navigation and hierarchical charting is available through BICS.
  • Multi-source functionality is available through UNX
  • ECC data access is available through UNX
  • Improved HANA data access is available through UNX

In order to take advantage of new features in WebI, it is necessary to change the underlying metadata in WebI documents.

The following article explain the benefit of BI4.x BICS connectivity to BW backend system.
How to Performance Optimize SAP BusinessObjects Reports Based Upon SAP BW using BICS Connectivity

The next article explains steps necessary to convernt UNV to UNX and steps necessary to change the data source in a WebI document.,+from+UNV+to+UNX

If you are interested in the bulk conversion from unv to unx, you can also take advantage of our partner solution from APOS technology.

Web Intelligence Rich Client Deployment
SAP BusinessObjects BI4 provides Web Intelligence Rich Client, for business users to utilize to view and edit WebI documents stored in the platform..
Please note that XI3.1 Rich Client & BI4x Rich Client (desktop) cannot coexist on one machine.

If a user is interested in connecting to both XI3.1 platform and BI 4.x platform, BI4.x Web Intelligence Rich Client also support connecting to XI3.1

platform in http mode.

Please refer to the following Knowledge Base Article for more detail.

1571922 - Compatibility between SAP BI4.0 and previous version SAP BO tools.

Web Intelligence Security Rights
There are changes made to security settings for Web Intelligence in BI4.x platform and Web Intelligence in XI3.1 platform.
This is one of factors that affects your upgrade process.

Please read the following white paper for the detailed information.

Charting Engine Change

SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.x is providing common charting engine, which our client tools utilize.

Web Intelligence on BI4.x uses this charting engine called CVOM.

The chart in the WebI document may look different due to this architecture change.

Once WebI document is exported as Excel, the chart is exported as an image.

Until XI3.1, Web Intelligence was providing charting capability with third party library.

In order for SAP to continuously enhance charting capability in BI4 platform, SAP has selected CVOM as the main charting
engine, going forward.

Please refer to the following Knowledge Base Article for more detail.

1640240 - What are the main benefits of the new common charting engine in BI4.x aka CVOM

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