There’s a Bright Future for SAP BusinessObjects 4.3 and Beyond

What’s ahead for SAP’s BusinessObjects? Customers currently on BusinessObjects 4.2 should know that it will go out of support at the end of this year. Which means that now is the optimum time to make the move to the latest supported BusinessObjects version. 

Early direction provided by SAP, valid through 2022, stated that SAP BusinessObjects 4.3 would be the last on-premises version, supported until 2027, while all future support would only come with SAP BusinessObjects Private Cloud Edition or must be rewritten into SAP Analytics Cloud.   

In mid-2002, after receiving considerable feedback from its customers, SAP updated its statement of direction, which now predicts a long-running future for the platform, both in the cloud and on-premises, with the announcement of SAP BusinessObjects 2025. This new release is scheduled for preview at the end of 2024 with a general release in 2025. The support for this new release includes an end-of-life of 2030 with plans for additional releases that will extend support even further.  

Source: SAP

Unlike prior releases, SAP is streamlining BusinessObjects 2025 to support Web Intelligence, Crystal Classic, Analysis for Office and Lumira Designer, so components such as Live Office, Crystal Enterprise, and Lumira Discovery are being deprecated. In addition, support for legacy UNV universes and multi-data source UNX universes will be removed.  

Source: SAP

The future now looks brighter for SAP BusinessObjects for years to come. However, with all these changes, including the major interface changes that began in SAP BusinessObjects 4.3, we see customers hesitant to invest in upgrades. We advise these clients that SAP will not support all versions forever. It is important to understand the mitigation options and the questions to be asked to minimize business risks. Earlier versions of SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 went out of extended support in 2020 and version 4.2 has been out of mainstream support for over a year, reaching end of life in December of 2024. 

While SAP Analytics Cloud and other products can provide very detailed visual dashboards and provide some formatted data output, many customers tell us that there is still nothing that can beat a Web Intelligence or Crystal Report to provide real report level or pixel-perfect report level data. Even though some customers will stay on version 4.2 after December, and some are on older legacy platforms like XI 3.1 and XI R2, if something goes wrong, SAP will not be able to provide support.   

BusinessObjects will remain viable well into the future

In an ever-changing analytics landscape where multiple platforms are competing for market share, it is essential to know that SAP BusinessObjects will be available for years to come. The deprecation of existing products and tools can provide opportunities for enhancement but does not require redeveloping existing infrastructure from scratch to accommodate established migration paths and tools being developed by SAP.

For clients that are still on BusinessObjects 4.2 and earlier, an upgrade to 4.3 or 2025 when it is released will need to be more in-depth. Besides the interface and tool changes that will occur with a typical upgrade, there are many questions to consider when planning and implementing. Some of these include:

  • Should SAP BusinessObjects 4.3 be utilized until its end of life in 2027 while implementing a consolidation and cleanup, or is it wiser to plan for SAP BusinessObjects 2025 now?
  • What content is used in the environment, and will any be impacted by deprecated features?
  • What are the steps to update that content to be compatible with the recent version?
  • Will this be an in-place or side-by-side upgrade in a new clean, updated environment?
  • What hardware or virtual platform will the new version utilize? Is this an opportunity to migrate to the cloud?
  • Does the organization want to manage the infrastructure, or should a hosted and managed solution be considered?

There are many factors to be considered around the future of SAP BusinessObjects and whether SAP BusinessObjects 4.3, 2025, or even a hosted Private Cloud Edition may be the appropriate next step for any organization. Protiviti can help answer these questions and be a partner to a successful upgrade and migration to these versions and beyond.

To learn more about our SAP consulting servicescontact us.

Nathan Truhan

Associate Director
Business Platform Transformation

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