I would like to start my article by letting you know that at the beginning of the year, installing the whole BI package of the new XI 4.0 in a Virtual Machine (VM) wasn’t at all an easy task to accomplish. SAP had just come out with its new release and as you can easily imagine, finding the proper information and the complete package of the new installations, at this moment in time, required its efforts and was rather time-consuming. Nonetheless, as a business intelligence analyst I found it handy to have the new 4.0 release up and running in the VM in my laptop. So I would like to share this information with those of you who are really eager to start using the new release. These are some practical tips and tricks that will help you lift off and are most useful especially in the initial phase. In this article I’ll be using Windows 2008R2 as an operative system and MS SQL Server 2008 as a database engine.
Minimum specifications and programs
- The minimum memory in your laptop or computer should be of 2 GB of RAM, the space in your disk needs to be between 30 GB and 40 GB.
- Sql server, Oracle or any other DB you want to use to connect with the SAP Business Objects platform.
- 64-Bit OS ready to be installed in the VM.
Note: You should bear in mind that the architecture of the new release is based on 64-bits therefore you will need an OS of 64 bits. When I first heard this, it sounded pretty good to me but I encountered an error when I wanted to run it on a 64-bit machine.
As a matter of fact, it can be that the “hardware-assisted virtualization” option is disabled. In my opinion, the best way of fixing this issue is to make a BIOS update, if possible. Once this is done you have to get in to the BIOS before rebooting. Depending on the brand of your laptop you can do this by pressing F1, F2, F7, F9, F10, F12, SUPR or Crt+Shift+F2. The internal menu of the BIOS also depends on your computer brand; anyhow by following these easy steps, changing the Visualization Technology (VT) parameters shouldn’t be too complex.
- Search for “System configuration” option.
- Change the VT option from disabled to enabled.
- Save and exit (in my case F10).
- After that press “Save configuration change and exit now”
- Restart the machine.
Once the VM is ready, it’s time to download straight from the SAP Support Partner Portal the installation files. Below you’ll find a list of the main solutions. This way you can get started and enjoy the new features of the 4.0 release for SAP BO:
- SAP Business Objects Bussines Intelligence Platform
- SAP Client Tools
- SAP Crystal Report
- SAP Business Objects Dashboard Design
- SAP Business Objects Data services
- SAP Business Objects Live Office
- SAP Business Objects Explore
OS in a virtual machine
Once you have finished installing the OS, it is important to stop some services. The reasoning behind this is straightforward: we are about to run the whole Business Intelligence solution in a Virtual Machine. It is extremely important to ensure that the VM uses up the minimum amount possible of CPU processes and that of course the physical memory of your laptop or computer doesn’t suffer an over use. Any other approach to installing the files we previously downloaded would be extremely time-consuming; this would mean wasting your time and can be frustrating. There are quite a few services which are in fact unnecessary for this kind of VM since you won’t be using it in a conventional way. The list of services you can stop is quite long. To know a bit more about this, please check the following Websites:
Note: It is also very important that you install the SQL server before you start using the BO installations, to ensure the Super Administrator (SA) is active and, finally, to be in possession of the password in order to be able to proceed with the next steps.
Business Objects Installation
Before you get started with any of the installations, I would recommend you create an Open Database Connectivity (ODBC). This is a crucial step to take before you begin installing, because during the installation process, you will have to indicate which SAP BO connections you are going to use. For this purpose I highly recommend using these two packages:
- SAP Business Objects Bussines Intelligence Platform: Repository connection and Audit connection. The BO installation needs to relate these connections to create these databases for different purposes (i.e. Plt_Repository, Plt_Audit).
- SAP Business Objects Data services: This tool needs just one connection to manage the repository we’ll be using (i.e. DI_Repository).
In order to create the above mentioned connections you need to open “Data Sources (ODBC)” in the OS of your VM add them, indicate the method of authentication, name of the connection and of course the user and password for the database. Now that you have prepared the connections you are now ready to start using the installations.
Note: once installed you are almost ready to use the tools. It’s only a matter of time and taking the last few steps which I’m sure is adding to the excitement of the moment. SAP BO has a world renowned DB (eFashion) out for a trial session. This DB tests the various tools and is built in Access. Unfortunately, though, there isn’t yet an ODBC connection for Access (64-bits), so you can’t use the DB.
The only thing you can do, is transfer the DB to the SQL server and then modify the connections to the DB (i.e. Universe Design is one of the tools that forms part of the platform).
I hope you find my article useful and that these tips will come in handy for you. If you have any questions about installing the SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 release in a VM leave a message and I´ll get back to you as soon as possible.