SAP BusinessObjects migrations need not be a step into the unknown

19 January 2018

When you are consistently working under tight deadlines on business-critical systems, any product that consistently delivers on the promise to “Save Money, Save Time, Decrease Risk” gets my vote, particularly when it comes to SAP BusinessObjects migrations and system consolidations. Here’s how a suite of products from GB&Smith has unfailingly added value to some of the largest global SAP BusinessObjects deployments.  

Easing the pain

When planning a migration or upgrade there are numerous technical considerations to bear in mind; supported platforms, system sizing, bug fixes and dependencies, in addition to the myriad of manual tasks required for a successful large-scale migration and the inherent time costs associated with these. When faced with a deployment on a global scale, the task of assessing the ‘as is’ can be as time-consuming as the migration itself. With 360Suite, it doesn’t have to be a slow and painful exercise.
 

Pre-migration landscape audit 

“How many reports of each type do we have?”
“How many reports are duplicates?”
“How many reports haven’t been used in the last x months?”
“Do Dev, Test, Prod all have a consistent security model?”
“Who has access to what?”
“How many reports will be affected by code line changes in a new Service Pack?”

These are questions typically asked during the scoping phase of a migration. Within SAP, you’d have to manually query the Audit database, get to work writing queries in Query Builder to find the answers, or simply come up with an informed best guess. With 360Suite. you can combine Audit, CMS and Filestore data in one metadata repository, resulting in actionable data.
 

Don’t transfer trash

You don’t take your trash with you when you move, so why lift and shift junk content in a migration?  

During one project, we identified thousands of unused and duplicate reports, and deleted them prior to migration.  Not only would these reports have taken up space in the Filestore, adding unnecessary rows in the CMS database, but a team would have had to manually test for regressions, adding significant time to the project. 

360Suite enabled us to perform detailed impact analysis across reports, BEx queries and universes. We were able to identify numerous unused objects in universes, delete them and significantly streamline the universe design prior to migration.

Cut out the nasty surprises - proactively identify issues to focus post migration effort efficiently

The ability to evaluate all reporting content in your system and flag anything that may be affected by calculation engine changes is relevant to anyone migrating between major product versions. It’s far better to know that a huge number of reports will be affected than to have an unpleasant surprise during regression testing.

With 360Suite, you can specify a specific formula or calculation function (e.g., runningsum) and flag all reports that use it.


Migrating a moving target–or when users ignore a change freeze

In an ideal world, we’d build a new BusinessObjects system, impose a change freeze on the current one,
migrate all the content, regression test it and perform the switch over from old to new.

I’ve never seen this happen.

What is more a reality is that the new system will be running in parallel to the old, with blocks of users and reports migrated in stages. Meanwhile, users will still access the old system and continue to add, amend or remove content despite a freeze being in place.

In migrations where we’ve used 360Suite’s compare functionality, reporting on the delta between landscapes has been invaluable. We can quickly identify missing reports, universes, connections, users and groups, and migrate them into the new landscape.
 

Bulk repointing of connections

One of the simplest features of 360Suite, but one of my favourites.
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Of the more challenging projects I worked on was the creation of BusinessObjects satellite systems residing in different geographic locations, primarily for performance and data governance reasons. Each of the system landscapes was a clone of part of the central primary system; users, reports, universes and connections were all federated out from the central system. The Data sources, a mix of relational and BW, were also cloned in country, however the system names were different from that in the main system.

Manually editing and repointing hundreds of Olap connections (each taking circa 3 minutes to edit via the CMC) would have taken a few days of my time. Using 360Suite I was able to bulk export all the connections, bulk update them and re-import them back into the new system in less than 5 minutes.

I was delighted to discover that Bluefin partnered with GB&Smith. In my experience, anyone considering an SAP BusinessObjects migration or consolidation, or who has the desire to take their day-to-day system administration to a new level, will find that 360Suite from GB&Smith saves time and money, and instills greater confidence in the system.

As a consultant, 360 Suite enables me to guide our clients through a project with far greater clarity and certainty to ensure a successful outcome.
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