Last week we sat down with Doug Greer, Clarity PPM (CA PPM) Solutions Architect, to talk about reasons and strategies for upgrading Business Objects when you know Jaspersoft is in your future.
Doug talked about Service Pack 1 and 2 and the incredibly underutilized ad hoc reporting service that’s already included (and paid-for) with your Business Objects package: Webi.
Now That There’s Jaspersoft
It’s been a long haul for Business Objects, but in the latest Clarity PPM 14.2 release, CA introduced the Jaspersoft reporting option. "For now, Business Objects operates side-by-side with Jaspersoft, but this is the only release that will include both," said Doug.
The next version of CA PPM won’t support Business Objects.
“Naturally, your company can continue to use it, but you’ll need to purchase and support the product separately," said Doug. "And even if you plan to make the switch to Jaspersoft, as most will, it may still be worth the investment to roll out Webi.”
Business Objects Fix Packs
“We realize a lot of people are looking toward Jaspersoft, but many companies will still benefit from getting their Business Objects up to the latest version,” said Doug. Every major release of Clarity PPM includes a Business Objects update, and the two latest fix packs could really benefit you.
“If you don’t have Service Pack 1 and 2, you can update both without reinstalling Business Objects. And the service packs can actually be applied without upgrading Clarity PPM,” said Doug. Because they’re fix packs, you can do the upgrade in place and keep everything on the same server.
What’s Included in CABI Release 3.3 SP 1
CA Business Intelligence (CABI) Release 3.3 SP 1 (SAP Business Objects 3.1 Service Pack 6) brought support for Java, Version 7—“which is a big deal to those using Webi,” said Doug. “Previous versions of Business Objects only supported Java 6 and below.”
It also added browser support for Internet Explorer 10 and Safari 6, as well as Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, and SQL Server 2012. “Another improvement,” said Doug, “is Webi began support for exporting in the EXCEL 2007 format, which is the XLS X format (rather than XLS).”
What’s Included in CABI Release 3.3 SP 2
CABI Release 3.3 SP2 (SAP Business Objects 3.1 Service Pack 7), “includes support for Internet Explorer 11, Windows 8.1, and on the back end, support was added for TOM CAT 7,” said Doug.
Timeline | Webi, Business Objects
“It’s a shock that more people don’t know about Webi, first of all because it’s free and already included with Clarity PPM, and secondly because it outshines Crystal Reports in many ways,” says Doug.
It integrates with Clarity PPM, the reports are as customizable as Crystal reports, and it’s browser-based, so you don’t have to install anything, said Doug. It’s also ad hoc, so non-technical users can make complex reports, and you can make those reports a lot faster than any other reporting method—with scheduling and exporting options you won’t find elsewhere.
“If you’re on a release schedule where you won’t be upgrading to Jaspersoft for a year or two, it’s still a very worthwhile investment to roll out Webi,” said Doug. “It’s a great, great tool, and it’s actually very easy to use.” We’ll go into more detail in an upcoming post.
Tips & Assistance for Upgrading
If you’re going to upgrade and apply these service packs, be sure and backup your database.
Doug also recommends using the Import Wizard installed on the Business Objects server. “With the Import Wizard, you can export everything—server content, reports, users, security groups, universes, database connections—to a BIAR FILE. And if anything goes wrong, you can easily reimport all your content,” said Doug.
If you’re looking for a little more help or assistance with these packages or your Webi roll out, use this free training document, Business Objects Best Practices to guide you while you upgrade. It’s available from the nonprofit Clarity Educational Library, the regoXchange.
You can also contact Doug Greer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the Clarity PPM world shifts toward Jaspersoft, remember that if your release schedule has Jaspersoft awhile out, Webi could make an incredible investment. After all, you already own it. And even if you’re updating to Jaspersoft soon, you can still benefit from the functionality of Service Pack 1 and 2.
If you liked this post, stay tuned for Doug Greer’s return visit when we’ll take a deeper look at Webi and Jaspersoft. And if you’re moving to Jaspersoft, watch this Google + Hangout: Moving to Clarity PPM 14.2 & Jaspersoft.
Doug Greer is a business technology consultant with over 13 years of experience in IT business management, IT financial management, IT transformations, strategic consulting, project/program management, and professional services delivery. He's an expert in bridging the gaps between the people, process and technical aspects of complex business technology needs.
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