SAP BusinessObjects In-Place vs Side-by-Side Upgrade!

The rapid advancements in Business Intelligence (BI) technology beckon organisations to update their platforms continually for enhanced functionality. One such upgrade that organisations often deliberate over is the SAP BusinessObjects BI4.3. However, the question remains: Which upgrade method is better - In-Place or Side-by-Side? This article will dissect both upgrade strategies, weighing their pros and cons, and ultimately help you make an informed decision.

Understanding SAP BusinessObjects BI4.3

Before delving into the upgrade strategies, let's first understand what SAP BusinessObjects BI4.3 is. SAP BusinessObjects BI4.3 is a business intelligence platform offered by SAP that provides flexible, powerful, and user-friendly analytics capabilities. It is designed to help organisations transform data into actionable insights, enabling them to make informed business decisions.

The Upgrade Dilemma

When it comes to upgrading to SAP BusinessObjects BI4.3, organisations typically have two options:

1. In-Place Upgrade
2. Side-by-Side Upgrade

Both options have their unique benefits and challenges. Let's delve deeper into each upgrade approach to understand their workings better.

In-Place Upgrade to BI4.3

An in-place upgrade involves updating the existing BI4.x installation to SAP BusinessObjects BI4.3 on the same machine. This approach may seem straightforward, but it does come with its unique set of challenges.

The Process

The in-place upgrade process involves the following high-level steps:

1. Download the software to be patched (server, client tools, addons, etc.)
2. Install everything on top of the existing server(s) and workstation(s)
3. Perform additional platform configurations
4. Test and repair any issues that arise

Pros and Cons of In-Place Upgrade

One of the primary benefits associated with an in-place upgrade is the ability to utilise existing hardware and dependencies. This obviates the necessity for extensive involvement from the IT team, except for tasks such as creating backups and being prepared to address any significant issues that may arise.

Conversely, there are notable drawbacks to consider with an in-place upgrade. Chief among them is the downtime it incurs. The process of downloading and installing all components onto an existing server renders the environment inaccessible for an extended duration. This downtime can vary significantly, spanning from several hours to potentially several days, or even weeks if complications arise unexpectedly or several additional configurations need to be organised—thus, presenting a less than ideal scenario for business operations.

Moreover, it's essential to recognise that not all versions of SAP BusinessObjects are compatible with in-place upgrades approach due to technical limitations inherent to specific versions. Additionally, issues stemming from the existing platform, such as those related to log4j, remain unresolved as the core framework remains unchanged during an in-place upgrade.

Side-by-Side Upgrade to BI4.3

A side-by-side upgrade involves installing SAP BusinessObjects BI4.3 on a separate machine and using migration tools to migrate content from BI4.x to BI4.3. Although this approach requires more effort and resources, it offers several benefits.

Full Stack of SAP BusinessObjects Components

When you migrate to SAP PCE, you'll have the same full stack of SAP BusinessObjects components that you have on-premise but simply hosted on the Cloud. This includes operational and interactive reporting tools like SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence, powerful semantic layer supporting complex semantic use cases and hundreds of data sources, dashboards and analytic applications with SAP Lumira, designer edition, and multidimensional data analysis in Excel with SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office.

The Process

The side-by-side upgrade process involves the following steps:

1. Obtain new server(s) and dependencies like System and Audit databases
2. Download, install, and configure the software
3. Promote content from the old to the new server
4. Carry out testing for as long as needed and repair if necessary
5. Promote content that has changed since the first promotion
6. Go live

Pros and Cons of Side-by-Side Upgrade

The side-by-side upgrade approach offers several advantages. Firstly, you can take as long as you want to upgrade, as the old environment remains available for users. Secondly, you can test for as long as you like, reducing the risk of problems arising once it goes live.

However, one drawback of this method is that it requires help from your IT team to provide new servers and dependencies. You may also need to carry out other architecture changes such as firewall and single sign-on (SSO).

Comparing In-Place and Side-by-Side Upgrades

When comparing the two upgrade methods, we can draw several conclusions. In terms of risk, the in-place upgrade carries a much higher risk as it involves upgrading the existing environment within a limited time window. On the other hand, the side-by-side upgrade carries a lower risk as you have a new platform to set up with no constraints on downtime.

In terms of effort, the in-place upgrade requires less effort as you're upgrading "like a service pack", while the side-by-side upgrade requires additional effort in testing and fixing reports since the code base changes in SAP BusinessObjects BI4.3.

The Role of a Specialist

When undertaking an upgrade to SAP BusinessObjects BI4.3, employing a specialist like BiTech Group will be beneficial. BiTech Group is a renowned name in the field of SAP BusinessObjects services, offering expert guidance and support throughout the upgrade process. Our team of professionals can help navigate the complexities of both in-place and side-by-side upgrades, ensuring a smooth transition to SAP BusinessObjects BI4.3. We have done it before and multiple times!

Wrapping Up

Both in-place and side-by-side upgrades have their advantages and drawbacks. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your organisation's specific needs, resources, and risk tolerance.

However, from a risk perspective, the side-by-side upgrade seems to be a safer option. It allows for extensive testing, ensures minimal downtime, and offers a straightforward rollback plan.

Regardless of the upgrade method you choose, remember that a well-planned and thoroughly tested upgrade process is crucial to ensure a successful transition to SAP BusinessObjects BI4.3. And with the help of a specialist like BiTech Group, you can make this transition even smoother.

Remember, an informed decision is the best decision.

Further Information

See our SAP migration services

Contact Us to discuss your options!

Related Posts