BPC10 is now in Ramp-Up and we have been lucky enough to have been accepted to become part of that program. We'll be blogging on our progress throughout and pointing out interesting new features.
The first job is to install the software, I was delighted when I realised this would be much, much easier than version 7.5. In fact, the total number of servers required now for BPC has now halved!
So what has changed?
In previous versions of BPC NW, a CPMBPC software component was installed on the backend NetWeaver BW server, responsible for persistence and application logic. Client BPC applications (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Web, Administrator) all communicated via the backend NetWeaver BW server via web service proxies provided by a separate server, based on Microsoft ASP .NET technology; this became known, affectionately, as "the .NET server".
That's all great and makes sense, but the .NET server caused some real headaches for existing BW and SAP ECC customers. Firstly, customers with a non-Microsoft homogenous landscape (e.g. Linux or AIX) were forced to introduce a Wintel server into their landscape; the additional knowledge and framework required to support that should not be underestimated. Secondly, the .NET server could be tricky to maintain for BASIS consultants. A good understanding of Microsoft IIS, and Active Domains was required and, in particular, performance became a whole new realm to become familiar with. Overall, the .NET server just felt a little alien in SAP world.
The good news is that BPC10 NW dispenses with the .NET server and the installation now simply comprises installing the CPMBPC software component onto the NetWeaver BW ABAP stack. This will make the installation a lot quicker and easier, and will also mean that keeping the system patched will be that much easier. I'm guessing that the new web pages are delivered via the ICF, probably using ABAP WebDynpro technology. As a seasoned ABAP hacker it makes me more comfortable knowing that I'll be able to work through problems in the SAP ABAP debugger to really get to the route of any issues.
This is exciting stuff and now, with the release of the new EPM Excel add-in, it's clear that SAP have effectively re-developed the entire BPC solution to fit into the SAP landscape. That must have taken some investment, so hats off to SAP.