Evolution of the BO XI platform – from XI R2 to XI 3.1 SP2

With BO XI 3.1 SP2 out in July this year, it is probably time to make a trip down the years to find out how the XI platform has evolved and matured.

The timeline:

  • XI R2 SP2 – service pack release in March 2007 with productivity pack – QaaWS and LiveOffice connectors
  • XI 3.0 – new major release in February 2008 – the first release after SAP acquired BOBJ in October 2007
  • XI 3.1 – upgrade release in September 2008
  • XI 3.1 SP2 – service pack release on 24 July 2009 – with enhanced SAP integration

Where were we with XI R2:

  • Change to Crystal service-oriented platform (Crystal 10 architecture)
  • Ability to plug Crystal Reports, Web Intelligence, Desktop Intelligence, OLAP Intelligence, Dashboard Manager, Performance Manager directly into the framework
  • Single repository, security, system management, publishing, portal
  • Infoview (Replaced old BO Infoview and Crystal ePortfolio)
  • Central Management Console (CMC)
  • Import Wizard (upgrades from BO 5, 6, XI, Crystal 8.5, 9, 10)
  • Desktop Intelligence (new name for BO full client + ability to query and display Unicode data)
  • Publishing, Encyclopedia, Discussions, OLAP Intelligence, Performance Management
  • Changes to Data Integrator, Composer, Metadata Manager

XI 3.0 (Titan)

  • All administration moved to the Central Management Console – CMC – with new GUI
  • Bulk action support in CMC
  • Central Configuration Manager – CCM is still there (to manage multiple nodes) with 2 entries : Tomcat & SIA
  • Server Intelligence Agent (SIA) – handles service dependencies
  • Server Intelligence in CMC – clone server deployments
  • Repository Federation – replicate repository on other BO cluster
  • Repository Diagnostic Tool (Infostore vs FileStore – repair inconsistencies between CMS database entries and files in FRS)
  • Improved Import Wizard
  • Web Intelligence Rich Client (offline viewing of WebI reports, no session timeout)
  • Data change tracking in Web Intelligence
  • Designer – “Database delegated” projection on measures
  • Universe based on stored procedures
  • Prompt syntax extension (persistent/primary_key undocumented features, finally!)
  • Personal data provider – combine data from Excel, text, csv and get into a single report
  • Smart cubes – support for non-additive measures (percentages, ratios) and RDBMS analytical functions
  • Multi language support – dimensions, measures, prompts automatically localized to report viewer’s language
  • Native Web Intelligence printing (without PDF)
  • Enbed image in Web Intelligence report
  • Hyperlinks dialog box makes links easy to create – syntax generated by WebIntelligence (remember opendocument()?)

What’s new in XI 3.1

  • Support for multi-forest Active Directory authentication
  • IP v6 support
  • Lifecycle Management Tool (LCMBIAR files, replace Import Wizard)
  • Saving Web Intelligence documents as CSV (data-only files) – new sheets for every 65K rows of data
  • Web Intelligence Autosave
  • “Begin_SQL” SQL prefix variable
  • Prompt syntax extension (support for key-value pairs!)
  • Business Objects Voyager enhancements
  • Live Office enhancements
  • WebIntelligence – Automatic loading of cached LOVs, interactive drag-drop, report filter bar, cancel refresh-on-open

What’s new in XI 3.1 SP2

In one of my next posts, I’ll cover selected new features in detail.



8 responses to “Evolution of the BO XI platform – from XI R2 to XI 3.1 SP2

  1. Hi, I am working on migrating BO reports from 5.1 to XI R 3.1.

    In 5.1 I had one report where user had created 4 prompts ( 3,4,5,6) and when he runs the report he gets 6 prompts (1,2,3,4,5,6)
    But same report when I migrated to XI R3.1 and when I ran the report, I can see only 4 prompts (3,4,5,6) and prompts (1,2) am not able to see.

    I am sure prompts (1,2) in BO 5.1 are not cascading prompts, as cascading prompts was introduced in BO 6x and higher version.
    Please let me know, if anyone know from where could be these prompts (1,2) coming ( which user has not created in report himself) and why is it missing in XI R3.1



  2. ” In one of my next posts, I’ll cover selected new features in detail. ”

    Looking forward to this… any time frame on it?
    Really interested in web services-related topics, and Universe topics (Query on Query, Universe on stored procedures, multi-database / multi-universe universes…)


  3. Webi report XI R2 have multiple e-mail recipents each recipent receiving informaton particular to their location. When it runs it goes to all the recepe except the first on. I can change the order in which I call them to run and distribution and id doens’t matter the first onw will not go.


  4. Since you seem to be a very well informed BOE user, can you tell me, is it possible to deploy OLAP INTELLIGENCE reports developed with the final version of that design tool (XI R2 I think) under BOE 3.1 or 3.1 SP2? I realize the OLAP-I tool is kind of deprecated, but will the reports at least run under 3.1 in same cases? Target data is MS Analysis Services cubes under whatever version of SQLServer we need to use to make it work for now. We’d like to replace OLAP-I but haven’t figured out what to use yet.


    • Hi John,
      It is recommended to rebuild these reports in Voyager which is the new AJAX tool for OLAP on the BOXI platform. In XI R2 SP2, Voyager is available in the productivity pack. Once you create these reports in BOXI R2 Voyager, you can try the upgrade to BOE 3.x – Voyager workspaces created in XI R2 are automatically migrated when you upgrade to BOE 3.x



  5. Hi
    I have a few rpt files. My requirement is to edit these files using crystal reports xi r3. I have Business objects client 3.1 installed. I’m not able to open rpt files thro webi or deski editors. Am i doing something wrong. If these both are different technologies, how different are they? It’s really confusing when one product is bought by another and they all mess around with file extensions, let alone the versioning!!


    • Tim – you’ll need Crystal Reports client to edit .rpt files. WebI/DeskI open BOXI reports which have different extensions like .rep or .wid.


  6. Hi,

    Is SI_NEWITEM property added in BO XI 3.1 SP2?

    As we are getting error while BO Xi 3.1 sp2 server via SDK.


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