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Best practices for creating a sound strategy and a thorough plan for your SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence upgrade. Dr. Bjarne Berg MyITgroup Ltd. A VIP consulting company. What We’ll Cover …. Why upgrade End of support New support strategy & NetWeaver New features and capabilities
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Dr. Bjarne Berg
A VIP consulting company
SAP has now created a 5-1-2 maintenance system that consists of:
- mainstream maintenance
- extended maintenance
- customer-specific maintenance
End of mainstream
3/31& 8/30 2003
12/31/2013Why Upgrade – end of support…
#1 reason for upgrade:
“Because I had to!”
Going forward, SAP will provide five years of mainstream (standard) maintenance, with the option to extend their maintenance coverage for a period of up to three years for small premiums over the standard maintenance rate.
Five years of mainstream maintenance at the standard maintenance fee
One year of extended maintenance at an additional two percent maintenance fee*
Two more years of extended maintenance at an additional four percent maintenance fee per year*. After these eight years, customer-specific maintenance begins, providing a program of support and services uniquely tailored to individual customer requirements.
The plan covers SAP solutions based on the SAP NetWeaver platform including mySAP SCM, SRM, PLM, CRM, and industry add-ons.
*check with your account executive to see what your fee may be
NetWeaver is a set of solution components that provides a comprehensive architecture.
All components of NetWeaver can use the same operating system release, and the same database release. All components can be run within a single physical server if it is a small configuration, thereby reducing the management of many systems & databases
One of the major reasons for upgrading your BW environment is the availability of new content and features in the next release. Let us take a look at some of the major new features of version BI 7.x:
We will now take a quick look at these features
The Web Application Designer is improved with new chart types (Heat Map, GANTT & Milestone Trend Analysis), as well as new layout elements such as ‘tab strips’.
WAD also has new step-by-step wizards for maps, command editing to create Web API Commands and charts, as well as a simplified wizard for layout elements such as radio buttons, action buttons etc.
This reduce the amount of custom coding required with the help of Command wizards, Auto complete and support for HTML tags.
WAD is a key tool for all SAP BI shops and in BI 7.x the tool is simplified and more powerful.
New: Integration with NW BI 7.x BEx Report Designer.
The SAP BI accelerator makes query response time 50-10,000 faster.
You use process chains to maintain the HPA engine after each data load
HP, Sun and IBM have standard solutions ranging from $32K to $250K+ that can be installed and tested in as little as 2-4 weeks (+ SAP license fees)
Breaking news: Blades with 32 Gb are now certified by SAP (July 2008)
New Object TypesYou can broadcast BEx query views and formatted reports (“reports”) in addition to Web applications, queries and workbooks. Reports are a new BEx object type developed within the new BEx Report Designer tool.
New Output FormatsNew output formats are based on the distribution type you select. But, you now can broadcast web documents as PDF files.
New Distribution Types
You can broadcast to any printer using Adobe’s PDF, Printer Common Language (psl) or Post Script (ps). (hint: Set up the printers under tools CCMS print).
You to broadcast user-specific information based on attributes in the master data attributes using a distribution list in BI (bursting of emails). The information can be controlled by the system so that users only see data related to them.
Exception broadcasting is now available in the Broadcaster. Create the exceptions in the query designer and select distribution type in the broadcaster. You can also use additional distributions types (subordinate) and create rules for when the exception report is “monitored”/ executed. Exceptions can be based on single events or levels of any performance measure.
You can use multiple distribution types to create a setting that broadcasts over many channels (e.g., the printer and the portal).
NOTE: To manage all alerts and workflow tasks from a single location, an alert is integrated with the portal’s universal worklist in the “central alert framework” of NW application server.
To increase the performance of key queries, you can fill the OLAP Cache, or the MDX Cache. This is useful if you have large numbers of users accessing a query, or you have a query that accesses a high volume of data.
The Fill Precalculation Store distribution type allows you to precalculate Web templates, and the Precalculate Value Set option allows you to fill precalculated value set variables with values for characteristic values. The precalculated value sets are then available as variable values in BEx queries.
Old Reporting Agent scenarios still run in NetWeaver BI 7.x. However, the Reporting Agent will not be developed any further and is removed from the BI 7.x Workbench. You can now only reach the Reporting Agent using transaction code REPORTING_AGENT
The 3.5x BEx Query Designer
This new property pane makes it easier to format and control displays than in the past.
You can choose if you want the old or the new look after the upgrade
The BI 7.x BEx Query Designer
This new 7.x tool was created to simplify the formatting of reports and fix many of the printing issues in previous versions of BW.
We now get color control, header-footer control and many new features such as location control of cells and integration of pictures, charts and fixed text.
Source: SAP AG, 2008
For many, this tool may reduce the need for 3rd party tools to address structured reports.
In BI 7.x you get a new tool to add characteristics and key figures to your model.
In older BW versions, if you forgot to include a field in your infocube , the rework was quite substantial and often involved reloading the infocube as well.
In the first releases of BI 7, you could not transport the new models, now you can. You can also:
Remove, exchange, replace, add & fill dimension characteristics and key figures.
NOTE: during (dictionary-based) conversion process, queries are not possible; aggregates will be automatically deactivated and must be rebuilt afterwards
Source: SAP AG, Richard Brown, Aug. 2008
NW BI 7.x goes a long way to address the complaints that BW is a hard to maintain environment with ‘forever’ fixed models.
There are many new security features in NW BI 7.x, and a conversion is needed (all or nothing).
Role menus are displayed in the portal and passwords becomes case sensitive. If you want to have downwards compatibility with old passwords set the parameter login/password_downwards_compatibility >= 3
(SAP Notes 862989 & 1023437)
Authorizations are fundamental building blocks of the new reporting concept and security contains both the data value and hierarchy restrictions.
The new security can be built using new “RSECADMIN” transaction
Source: SAP AG
Authorization objects for the Data Warehousing Workbench:
S_RS_DS: For the DataSource or its sub objects (BI 7.x)
S_RS_ISNEW: For new InfoSources or their sub objects (NW BI 7.x)
S_RS_DTP: For the data transfer process and its sub objects
S_RS_TR: For transformation rules and their sub objects
S_RS_CTT: For currency translation types
S_RS_UOM: For quantity conversion types
S_RS_THJT: For key date derivation types
S_RS_PLENQ: Authorizations for maintaining or displaying the lock settings
S_RS_RST: Authorization object for the RS trace tool
S_RS_PC: For process chains
S_RS_OHDEST: Open Hub Destination
Authorization objects for the Business Explorer:
S_RS_DAS: For Data Access Services
S_RS_BTMP: For BEx Web templates
S_RS_BEXTX: Authorizations for the maintenance of BEx texts
Authorization objects for the Admin of analysis authorizations
S_RSEC: Authorization for assignment and administration of analysis authorizations
S_RS_AUTH: Authorization object to include analysis authorizations in roles
Changed Authorization Objects:
S_RS_ADMWB (Data Warehousing Workbench: Objects):
New sub objects:
CONT_ACT – Installing Business Content; USE_DND - Drag & Drop to InfoAreas and application components; CNG_RUN - Attribute change run
You get the ability to use much lower security granularity for developers and users!!
Source: SAP AG July 2008
SAP has created an ABAP migration tool in SA38 (RSEC_MIGRATION) to help you upgrade security in NW BI 7.x.
Customer exit variables for the object 0TCTAUTHH does not migrate, and you will have to manually reassign all hierarchy nodes.
New BI authorizations are set in SPRO (maintained in RSECADMIN).
After technical upgrade, you can select new Concept (Notes: 820183 & 923176)
If you used an authorization concept in SAP BW 3.x, switch back to “Obsolete Concept with RSR Authorization Objects”.
NW BI 7.0 has a new transformation concept that replaces transfer and update rules. Migration to new data flow is not mandatory, but assistance is available for several key objects.
A migration the complete data flow will require a significant effort. To do so, convert the DataSources and the Persistent Staging Area to the new DTP process, follow SAP Note 906789.
To test the conversion of the DataSources you should also run:
RSSM_HASH_ENTRIES_CREATE for all requests
More work: To redefine BI Statistics, see notes 934848 & 964418. Also, use SM37 in production to find any other jobs that are scheduled, and make sure they are also tested
A step-by-step approach to moving to new data flow architecture usually makes the most sense. Identify key data flow scenarios and plan migration for those first.
Existing data flow scenarios are unchanged after the technical upgrade
BI 7.0 objects use background processes and 3.x objects use dialog processes
The objects can co-exist but can potentially cause problems with batch windows and performance optimization
DataSource “emulation” allows mixed mode. It provides 3.x DataSources in the form of new runtime objects in 7.x
DataSource “migration” is optional
You can now create planning templates using the web based planning wizard to create models using patterns in the data (tool: “Road map Pattern”). Queries based on aggregation levels can now also write back to the InfoProvider
Source: SAP AG, 2008
You can also use the PDF to create reports based on BEx web applications, queries and reports using the Adobe DS (comes with BI 7.x).
The only Gotchas.. Your users now need to install Acrobat Reader
(free at http://www.adobe.com/ products/acrobat/readstep2.html).
The PDF document can also be Broadcasted through BEx Broadcaster
The PDF options allows companies to protect reports from changes by employees by taking a ‘snapshot’ of the data regardless of subsequent updates to the data warehouse.
Risks: no link back to SAP BW is needed and security is not validated.
PDF based BEx Web printing now include a variety of functionality, such as:
NW BI 7.x has more features for updates that does not follow the typical asynchronomous (batch) updates. This include:
1. We can use XML to fill the PSA directly
2. Daemon-based update from delta queue (BW API)
3. Daemon-based update of the ODS and minimal logging
Note: XML documents creates many tags that will slow down large data loads due to the size of each XML record (relatively large)
However, it works great for smaller streams of data.
The Excel integration in the BEx analyzer is far better.
Unlike the old days of dynamic HTML, you can now use the BEx analyzer more like a real application without refreshing the whole page every time you click on something (this is due to the Java component in BI 7.x)
Source: SAP AG, 2008
News: BEx browser went away in BI 7.x
You can drag a characteristics into a filter area and automatically filter on that value, and you can also drag it into a column header or a row.
Building conditions and activating them was often confusing in earlier versions and exception based reporting was sometimes not easy to create for beginning users. BI 7.x has now simplified this with more wizards that helps users to build this step-by-step.
BEx web analyzer is a better user tool than in the past. You now get the best world of Java & the web instead of the more ‘clunky’ user experience related to Dynamic HTML
Use transaction RSA1OLD to access the old Administrator Workbench
SAP Acquired Business Objects in 2007/2008 and is working on integrating BOBJ into the core SAP BI offerings.
Source SAP AG, June 2008
Many of the tools we mention here goes in to standard maintenance in 2009, and can be leveraged until 2014-2016
The new upgrade strategy from SAP is to provide BW technical releases as part of NetWeaver and BI content add-ons,
You do not need to perform a technical upgrade to update the business content.
We now have SAP BI 7.0 and the content releases 7.0.1 and 7.0.2 and 7.0.3 are now available. Planned upgrades should also include the content release 7.0.3.
Details around each content release is available at http://help.sap.com
The current content (7.0.3) is available at: http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw04s/ helpdata/en/ 44/16e6f7a6f30d19e10000000a114a6b/RN_703_en_final.pdf
Apply content when you need it, to the technical release you have!!
Technical upgrades have a set of activates that can be separated from a functional upgrade
Source: SAP AG
How much disruption and training can your organization absorb?
A technical upgrade is the “safest” way to proceed
It is also the fastest and the least expensive
Your user community will notice little to no change UNTIL you start rolling out the new functionality
Source: SAP AG
A functional upgrade (which includes all the technical activities) will make the biggest impression on your user community
This will take longer – and cost more money
You will be able to sunset other solutions sooner
You will get the most benefits – from usability and management
Source: SAP AG
We are in a transition period, when some items of BI 7.x are separate engines, some are clients, and other are usage types.
Key question: is you organization committed to java and the new BI 7.x direction? -- if so, go java ‘all the way’..
PS! SAP recommends having Java AS on dedicated servers
Note: standard system copy and SAP migration tools have no standard support for splitting or merging systems with different usage types
Source: SAP Installable software units May 2007
Note: Depending on your current installation of SAP BW, you have different upgrade options
SAP official delta training at the client site (DBW70R, DBW70E) seems to be valuable for many clients.
You will need to install the NetWeaver Application Server Java and the specific user type, before you can use all the features of BI 7.x (i.e. Business planning and analysis services, Enterprise data warehousing, Reporting and analysis scenarios etc). You can install this as a separate system or as an add-in to the upgraded ABAP server.
SAP provides a software program called SAPup to help you upgrade the WAS (ABAP) and SAP BW. It is called a “system switch upgrade”.
Note: if you already have java installed, you can also use the upgrade program called SAPjup, to upgrade the WAS-java.
If the WAS-Java was installed on the same system as the WAS-ABAP (as an add-in) you need to run both the SAPup and SAPjup programs in parallel (see the Master upgrade guide for more details).
Unicode has been available since BW version 3.5.1. and is now highly recommended as part of the upgrade (hint web application designer is now also Unicode compliant).
Some things to remember and plan for:
This west coast company reallocated their Sun-6900 box (on Oracle) and have 3 Appservers on the production box..
More memory allows them to take better advantage of the parallel load of the BW system as well as to cache many of the frequently run queries (BEx Broadcaster)
The hardware also allows them to have a system where performance between the boxes are comparable.
Key numbers: 3.1 Terabytes of data; 2810 named users and about 620 active users
The duration is driven by:
1. The number of BW systems in your landscape.
2. The new functionality your are rolling out
3. The support technology needed
The more content you have the longer the upgrade
(the more you have to regression test)
You need to have the SAP solution Manager to generate the key during the upgrade to NW2004 SR1, and you will need to be on Solution Manager release 3.2 SP8 or higher to make it work (note: 805390).
Hardware requirements changed if you also did Unicode conversion (recommended)
In this real example, we are also installing new Hardware. This gives us lot of flexibility…
First, we copy the old development system to the new Sandbox (new HW)
At this stage you should document and test all work that occurs. Some time has to be set aside for notes research and unforeseen issues.
We want to creating a repeatable process, so no ad-hoc activities are allowed.
You now freeze the development and can take copies of the BWD and BWQ system and prepare for upgrades.
The old BWP is still running as the productive system..
We now repeat the process. Remember, you have already upgraded BWD once (in step-1) and should know the need for any post processing.
Don\'t ignore the need for technical and functional testing.
Notice, we refreshed the new BWQ from BWP, so this is really a BWP upgrade…
Go/no-go decision was on April 17th!!
Contingencies should be made. I.e. notice that is any showstoppers occur on 20th, the old BWP can be renamed back, or if the time becomes too short the Unicode can be done the next weekend.
1. Web Templates
A semi-automatic conversion is possible using the BI 7.0 Web
Application Designer. (SAP Notes 832713, 832712, 1074997 & 1026591)
Since Web templates are neither overwritten nor changed during migration, you can migrate templates as often as you want. Be prepared for manual intervention and fixes.
2. InfoSets can become inactive after the upgrade
Use program RSQ_ISET_MASS_OPERATIONS to activate all InfoSets after the technical upgrade prior to running any queries
3. Transfer rules can become inactive after the upgrade
Use program RS_TRANSTRU_ACTIVATE_ALL to activate all transfer rules after the technical upgrade prior to running any data loads
4. Query Conversion and Activation
Recommendation: Once you decide to move to the new BEx tools, perform a one-time conversion of all queries in the system to BI 7.0 to avoid having two query designer tools in use at the same time
Use WinRunner or a similar tool to open all queries in the BI 7.0
query designer and save them. This will converts query to BI 7.0.
Run program RSR_GEN_DIRECT_ALL_QUERIES to regenerate all queries in the system
Dr. Bjarne Berg\'s web page -- 85+ presentations, tutorials &
The document “NW BI 7.x Upgrade master Guide“ is available at http://www.sdn.sap.com/
“Business content and extractors SAP BI 7.0.3” available at http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw04s/helpdata/en/44/16e6f7a6f30d19e10000000a114a6b/RN_703_en_final.pdf
“Component upgrade guide SAP NetWeaver BI 7.x ABAP” available at http://help.sap.com