Feb 22 2011

Blogger Briefing

Categories: General Dave Rathbun @ 10:12 pm

I was able to crash a session for bloggers this afternoon (actually I was invited, but it sounds more fun to say I crashed the party). We had two hours to talk about everything coming in 4.0.

It wasn’t nearly enough time.

One interesting tidbit that came out of the meeting: there are over one million person-hours of effort into the 4.0 release! That’s a bunch of hours. Normally SAP would try to do a major release on an 18 month schedule, or in that ballpark at any rate. The 4.0 release has been in the works for almost twice that long.

What does that mean? It means there is a lot to talk about. However, I’ll try to summarize a few bullets for now and save more for the main event tomorrow.

First, every aspect of the suite has been touched. That means from the data collection / integration / cleansing all the way through to presentation and reporting. Anyone that is interested (as I am) in the semantic layer would of course know about the new IDT or Information Design Tool. We spent only a few minutes on that too this afternoon, and it’s one of the major components that got updated in this release.

We talked a bit about HANA, and how it will eventually be used not only to support in-memory analytics, but in-memory anything.

We talked about event-driven BI. In fact tomorrow we’re going to hear a customer success story about how a major railroad company is looking to use this technology to take the next step beyond their current BI.

We heard that Netweaver is not going away, and we also heard that there will be an EDGE release of the 4.0 platform coming.

Someone mentioned to me that the 4.0 release seemed to be “primarily for SAP customers.” That came up today, and the response was that over 90% of the enhancements in the products would be immediately usable by anyone, no matter what their environment happened to be. I don’t have a list :) but I don’t have a problem believing that statistic.

We saw more evidence that Web Intelligence (as well as the new semantic layer) now supports dimension data natively, rather than requiring any number of alternate solutions that have been used by various folks over the past few years.

We heard that there are around 30 customers participating in the 4.0 “ramp up” process, meaning they have 4.0 either deployed in production or are ready to do so. This came out after one of the bloggers asked how to respond to customers that say, “Skip 4.0, wait for 4.1.”

After our meeting we went to a reception. When that was done, several of us walked to Roxy’s Deli and had dessert. I had cheesecake. :-D It’s New York City, I have to eat cheesecake, right? I first discovered this place (they’re right on Times Square) when I was working for a client several years ago. I have been working my way through their cheesecake varieties ever since! Tonight I had triple chocolate brownie cheesecake. It was good, but not in my top two favorites. The deli itself is quite expensive, so I generally only get dessert. It’s plenty.

Tomorrow is a full day. We’re told that there are over 500 people in attendance physically here at the hotel, and another 6,000 registered to attend virtually. I will try to do live blogs from the floor of the event, but I’m not yet sure how the connectivity will be set up. At the very least I will post more when I get home.

4 Responses to “Blogger Briefing”

  1. Comment by Andreas (Xeradox)

    Only 30 customers particpating in the ramp-up for SAP BI 4.0? I am guessing this is North America only, perhaps?
    Regarding going to production: I would be cautious to go into PRODUCTION with a non GA release, one would have to weigh the benefits very carefully. In general I am SOOOO looking forward to SAP BI 4!
    The current patch is Patch 8 as of Feb 23, 2011 by the way for SAP BI 4.0

    I installed Dashboard Designer 4.0 a couple of days ago, nice nice.

    Keep it up, Dave!

  2. Comment by Ken Hartman

    I participated in a 4.0 ramp-up installation and saw the IDT up close and personal. all in all the new 4.0 platform is pretty impressive.

  3. Comment by Nidhal

    Hi Dave,

    I still don’t know when the 4.0 will be released. I thaught that this will be on february 23rd but seem to be not befaure May 2011.

    Do you have any idea?



  4. Comment by Dave Rathbun

    Nothing was specifically mentioned. But I heard more than one person “suggest” that the annual conference coming up in May would be a likely location for the announcement. Nothing has been confirmed one way or the other. If the ramp-up customers don’t like what they see, then the product will be held back until fixes are applied.

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