Future Pack 3

The wait is finally over. The future of SAP BI is here.

The wait is finally over. On Friday, June 15, 2012, SAP released SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 Future Pack 3. No, that isn’t a typo. Future Pack 3 (and its already generally available successor, Support Pack 4) is finally here. The latest iteration of SAP’s business intelligence platform isn’t intended to merely warm over your current business intelligence infrastructure but instead extend the reach of your corporate BI platform to places in the organization it could never go before.

The worst thing you could possibly do in an upgrade kickoff meeting is send your business users the message that “the upgrade will be long and painful but the charts will be prettier”. In my first article written for the EV Technologies blog, I examine three ways that you can reinvent the typical business intelligence upgrade and use SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 Feature Pack 3 and Support Pack 4 to take your business into the future.

Read Future Pack 3 and Reinventing the Business Intelligence Upgrade on the EV Technologies blog.

Read Feature Pack 3, We Hardly Knew Ye

 

Feature Pack 3, We Hardly Knew Ye

Forget Feature Pack 3, I’m waiting for Support Pack 4.

SAP business intelligence professionals everywhere have been anxiously awaiting the release of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 Feature Pack 3 (aka FP3) from nearly the moment BI 4.0 came out of ramp-up and into general availability (GA) last year. Formerly known as version 4.1 (which will be applied to some future release of the platform), Feature Pack 3 brings new features and stability that simply could not be accommodated into the launch of the dot-oh release.

The word from the keynote stage of last week’s SAPPHIRE conference was that Feature Pack 3 would be exiting ramp-up “within four weeks”. But coming closely on the heels of Feature Pack 3 is Support Pack 4, which combines Support Pack 2 fixes missing from Feature Pack 3 and fixes from Feature Pack 3’s into a single, coherent release. These details are summarized in SAP Support Note 1721866, “What Maintenance Releases Roll Up To BI 4.0 Feature Pack 03 and Support Pack 04?” (S-ID required). Here are the key details:

Feature Pack 03, when available on Service Marketplace, contains all fixes included in:

  • Support Pack 02
  • Critical Patch 2.9
  • Additional fixes that could not be included in a previous Support Pack or Critical Patch

Support Pack 04, when available on Service Marketplace, contains all fixes included in:

  • Feature Pack 03
  • Critical Patch 2.16
  • Critical Patch 3.5
  • Additional fixes that could not be included in a previous Support Pack or Critical Patch

Support Pack 04 also includes the new features in functionality introduced in Feature Pack 03

Note: Until Feature Pack 03 and Support Pack 04 are released, the fixes and features contained within them are subject to change.

One of my frustrations with the general availability of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 was that it was a full build of Support Pack 2 plus Patch 6. Because Explorer was a separate installation with its own patch, that meant four pieces of software needed to be installed on each node. Of course, we’ll eventually expect patches to Support Pack 4. But getting a single full build of Support Pack 4 that includes all the goodies of Support Pack 2 and Feature Pack 3 will be a welcome gift from SAP, and (if you’re listening, SAP) worth waiting for if it takes some extra time to pull it all together (see related article, Please Integrate the Integrated BI Platform).

According to the current release calendar, Support Pack 4 is scheduled for the first week of August 2012. But according to Christopher Vozella, Director, Active Global Support Americas for SAP, “hopefully sooner“, which I interpret as “wink, wink. nudge, nudge.”

So although we’ve been waiting for Feature Pack 3 to exit ramp up all this time, we should instead expect that Support Pack 4 will be the build that actually emerges, either for GA or shortly thereafter. In the meantime, my current customer and I are camping out with Support Pack 2 Patch 14 and waiting.

Thankfully the wait won’t be much longer!