SAP Financial Results

SAP announced their financial results this morning.

Key items are:

  • Total sales rose to 3.49 billion euros from 3.24 billion euros
  • Fourth-quarter net income climbed to 850 million euros from 756 million euros
  • License revenue fell to 1.32 billion euros from 1.42 billion euros a year earlier
  • Revenue from software and related services increased to 2.67 billion euros from 2.47 billion euros
  • Won’t forecast 2009 software and software-related revenue due to “the continued uncertainty surrounding the economic and business environment.”
  • Reducing workforce by 3,000 to 48,500 staff

Further details can be found by reading the following links:

http://www.sap.com/about/investor/financialnews/press.epx?pressid=10799

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a8wr_nTu6B80&refer=home

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Performance Point Server – Product Update

Microsoft confirmed that they are planning to stop development of Performance Point Server (PPS) as a standalone product after Service pack 3. It goes on to say to PPS features will become embedded as Performance Point Services within SharePoint Server. Video announcement (5m:12s).

To be honest, I half expected this announcement from Microsoft regarding their PPS product. I spent some time working with the PPS product and became MCTS certified in PPS. Based on the clients I worked with, PPS didn’t really take off as a standalone BI product. It now looks like PPS itself is set to follow a similar fate as that of ProClarity (a product which I really liked).

So where does this leave organisations that invested in PPS or looking for a Microsoft BI solution? Well, it will still be there in some form or another within SharePoint, so all is not lost. Microsoft have also stated that it will continue to be supported as per their licence agreements with end users. Users of SharePoint Enterprise will now find that Performance Point Services will come bundled for free as part of their licence. This may have the effect of increasing its usage and popularity. So if you were a Microsoft shop using the excellent SharePoint portal and were looking to use PPS, then this is good news.

For those companies looking for a standalone planning application, what else is available? Well, an option from the SAP Business Objects camp is the SAP Business Planning and Consolidation product which integrates the planning software developed by OutlookSoft (purchased by SAP in May 2007).

And for those that are looking for a good data visualisation tool, consider Xclesius.

For more comment about this announcement, take a look at the following blog entries:

http://cwebbbi.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!7B84B0F2C239489A!4133.entry

http://www.timoelliott.com/blog/2009/01/microsoft_kills_performancepoi.html

http://peterkol.spaces.live.com/Blog/cns!68755AEAC31F9A6C!992.entry

http://www.panorama.com/blog/?p=129

How to handle object conflicts with the XI 3.0 Import Wizard

The Import Wizard is a useful tool to migrate objects from a Business Objects source system to a new destination system. However, importing objects can potentially present the user with conflicts with existing object names or CUIDs.

To overcome this, the user can instruct the Import Wizard to import based on CUID or by object name. When checking by CUID, the Import Wizard will check the CUID of the source object and see if it exists in the destination system. Alternatively, it can check to see if the source object name and path exists in the destination system.

We are going to use the following scenario to demonstrate both import examples:

Source system

Monthly Store Sales.rep (CUID ID = 123)

Store Managers Report.rep (CUID ID = 456)

Destination system

Monthly Store Sales.rep (CUID ID = 123)

Store Managers Report.rep (CUID = 789)

Importing based on object CUID

If you are importing objects based on the object CUID, you need to let the Import Wizard know what to do if the CUID exists in the destination system already.

Three options are available to you:

  • Update the destination object. If the names differ you rename the object

In this scenario, Monthly Store Sales will copy across with no problem as they share CUID and name. The Store Managers Report shares the same name but different CUID. As the CUID differs, we are going to import the object, keep the CUID but give it a new name – Store Managers Report (2).rep

  • Update the destination object. If the names differ you do not import the object

In this scenario, the Monthly Store Sales will copy across. However, the Store Managers Report has a different CUID, so this will not be imported.

  • Do not import import the object

In this scenario, the CUID for the Monthly Store Sales already exists. The report will not be imported. There is also a CUID conflict with the Store Managers Report, so this also will not be imported.

The three CUID scenarios can be placed into a matrix:

import-wizard-scenarios-xi3-update-by-cuid

import-wizard-scenarios-xi3-update-by-cuid

Importing based on OBJECT NAME

Importing based on object name examines both the source object path and name. Three options are available to you:

  • Keep the destination object and import a renamed copy of the object

In this scenario, Monthly Store Sales will copy across with no problem as they share CUID and name. The Store Managers Report shares the same name but different CUID. Selecting this option creates a new object called Store Managers Report (2).rep with a CUID of 456.

  • Update the destination object

In this scenario, the Monthly Store Sales will copy across. The Store Managers Report has a different CUID. The destination CUID will be kept.

  • Do not import import the object

(In this scenario, the Monthly Store Sales and Store Managers Report already exist in the destination. The reports will not be imported.

The three name scenarios can be placed into a matrix:

import-wizard-scenarios-xi3-update-by-name

import-wizard-scenarios-xi3-update-by-name

So some care and consideration needs to be given when importing objects using the Import Wizard. If you are in doubt, it is always best to select the option that doesn’t overwrite existing objects.

Goodbye Business Objects. Hello SAP Business Objects

Business Objects, an SAP company, is now called SAP Business Objects. This also applies to its products – e.g. SAP Business Objects XI, SAP Business Objects EDGE, etc.

If you try to access the http://www.businessobjects.com website, you now get redirected to http://www.sap.com/solutions/sapbusinessobjects/index.epx.

I actually like the new name.

There is also an article on the intelligent enterprise website which discusses the integration of the Business Objects sales force with the SAP sales force. In my mind that makes perfect sense. Both product suites tend to pitch at the same level in the enterprise, so it makes sense to discuss both SAP and Business Objects solutions in the same conversation.

XI 3.1 Supported Platforms

I’ve been digging around the various SAP and Business Objects support websites trying to find a hardware requirement document for Business Objects XI 3.1

This is not as simple as it may first appear.

I did eventually find the correct URL:

https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/boc/businessobjects-articles?rid=/webcontent/uuid/3042e25c-a668-2b10-7fa7-a9d373687040

If you are looking for PARs and Platform Guides for other BOBJ products, use this link:
https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/boc/businessobjects-articles

For general Product Guides, use the following link:
http://help.sap.com/content/bobj/overview/index.htm

Having read the documents it is good to see that our development server far exceeds the minimum hardware requirement. It is worth noting that if you are upgrading from XIR2 toXI3.1, a faster CPU is required – a minimum of P4 2Ghx is recommended for XI 3+. RAM requirements remain the same at 2Gb. Hard disk issues aren’t really an issue nowadays.

I’ll be looking at installing XI 3.1 on our development server over the next few days and will post an update.

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