Testing BO BI 4.x using the cloud (as posted on Raphael Branger’s blog)

Raphael Branger discusses testing and collaboration using CloudShare on his blog, which we have cross posted here.

Raphael’s post:

While I discussed general migration challenges in my previous blog, this blog addresses the fact that every new release (even just a service / support package) of SAP BusinessObjects needs intensive testing (by the way I’m not talking about versions in Ramp-Up but the regular available versions like currently BO 4.0 SP2). SAP seems to work based on the banana principle:

The product ripe with the consumer.

I could now elaborate on how bad this is and how much better other vendors do (do they really?). But I won’t. I would like to share an opportunity of how you can better cope with the circumstance that you have to test, test and once again test whatever you do with SAP BusinessObjects before you “go live”.

When SAP provided its HANA developer environment to partners and customers I came first to know cloudshare. In the meanwhile I’m quite enthusiastic about cloudshare! It was never easier (and cheaper) for me to create development and test environments having the choice out of a multitude of machine templates and afterwards full admin rights on all machines. But the best thing about cloudshare is that you can easily share a virtual server environment with others for free (at least for a first period of two weeks).

This inspired me to create what finally was named the “ITX BO 4.x Migration Assessment Environment”. This is a virtual server environment in the cloud. It allows for quick and easy to use «hands-on» tests of current and upcoming releases of SAP BusinessObjects BI products. You can import parts (or everything) of an existing BO content from your XI 3.1 system into the XI 3.1 system in the cloud (using BIAR-Files). Afterwards you can decide whether you want to test a migration to BO BI 4.0 SP2 or BO BI 4.0 FP3 (or you can use it of course completely out of the context of a migration). You can get your own copy of the environment for free during two weeks. Afterwards you need a cloudshare.com subscription to further use it.

The environment also includes an installation of the products 360View+ and 360Eyes from GB and Smith (www.gbandsmith.com). I highly recommend these two products in order to streamline your migration. There will be another blog where I will detail on this.

The 5 Available Machines

The Migration Assessment Environment consists of five machines:

  • BO XI 3.1 SP3 (Server + Client Tools)
  • BO BI 4.0 SP2 (Server + Client Tools)
  • BO BI 4.0 SP2 (Client Tools, Crystal Reports 2011, Crystal Reports for Enterprise, Dashboards etc.)
  • BO BI 4.0 FP3 (Server + Client Tools + 360View+ + 360Eyes)
  • BO BI 4.0 FP3 (Client Tools, Crystal Reports 2011, Crystal Reports for Enterprise, Dashboards)

Request your Free Copy

Please contact me to share with you a copy of the current migration environment. You’ll find my contact information in the PDF here or use Twitter with @rbranger.
Please give me some key words why you’d like to use the environment and allow up to two working days to grant you access to a copy of the system.

You’ll receive an invitation email directly from cloudshare.com including a link.

Register on Cloudshare.com

Afterwards you need to open a free account on cloudshare.com:

After your successful registration please log in to Cloudshare ProPlus. Your environment is already starting up… Click on «View environment» to see more details…

Wait until all machines are up and running. In the meanwhile read the description and get familiar with machine names etc.

Let’s «own» the environment. Click on the corresponding button! On the right side you have now much more options available. The cloudshare.com license is now valid for a longer time than only the original two days.

Testing BO BI 4.0 FP3

Let’s start with using the client tools and BI Launchpad of BI 4.0 FP3. Select «Fullscreen RDP» from the drop down menu of «CLOUDCLNT012»:

The password of the BOE Administrator is always IT-Logix32
The FP3 CMS is running on cloudsrv012 on default port 6400
Here some helpful links:
Open the BI Launchpad at http://cloudsrv012:8080/BOE/BI

Find shortcuts to the available client tools on the desktop or in the start menu.

Some Hints for BO BI 4.0 SP02

In the original setting the BO 4.0 SP2 installation is running only with 4GB RAM and a CMS and Tomcat. If you want to use SP2 instead of FP3, you should first modify your hardware settings and reduce the amount of RAM e.g. of the FP3 server and afterwards increase RAM for the SP2 server. As your trial account doesn’t have as much RAM as the original environment, you probably have to delete some unused machines first in order to free some space up.
Take a snapshot before you play around with the hardware settings. This way you can easily go back to the original state of the environment.
Finally you can start the second SIA on the SP2 server in order to bring up all BO servers.

Cloud Folders

If you need to upload files (e.g. a BIAR file with your own BO content), use «Cloud Folders» to upload files using FTP:

On the virtual machine you’ll find a shortcut on the Desktop to access your cloud folders:

Have Fun and Happy Migration!

This is it. I hope you find this new opportunity useful. At least for 14 days you can use the environment for free. Afterwards you need to purchase a subscription at cloudshare.com. By the way this is nothing expensive and I wouldn’t give back mine… Regarding BO and 360 licenses there are only temporary keys part of the environment. I recommend that you use your own keys. In case you have no keys but would like to test drive BO or 360 products please contact me for an extended trial period.

My own cloudshare.com environment which is the base for the Migration Assessment Environment is sponsored by my employer IT-Logix. Please consider IT-Logix if you need dedicated expertise for your next BO migration project.


About Raphael Branger:

I studied Information Management at the university of Fribourg, Switzerland. Since ten years I work for IT-Logix where I developed the Business Intelligence consulting business from two people (my boss and myself) to over 20 consultants today. I currently work as a Senior Solution Architect. My technical background is mainly (SAP) BusinessObjects and the add-on market around it. On the conceptual side I’m a pragmatic Kimball fan andHichert consultant. Currently I’m focusing on Agile Business Intelligence methodology and Requirements Engineering dedicated to BI projects.