SAP BusinessObjects BI (also known as BO or BOBJ) is a suite of front-end applications that allow business users to view, sort and analyze business intelligence data.

The suite includes the following key applications:

  • Crystal Reports - Enables users to design and generate reports
  • Xcelsius/Dashboards - Allows users to create interactive dashboards that contain charts and graphs for visualizing data
  • Web Intelligence - Provides a self-service environment for creating ad hoc queries and analysis of data both online and offline
  • Explorer - Allows users to search through BI data sources using an iTunes-like interface. Users do not have to create queries to search the data and results are shown with a chart that indicates the best information match.

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence platform can be thought of as a series of conceptual tiers:

  • Client tier: The client tier contains all desktop client applications that interact with the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence platform to provide a variety of reporting, analytic, and administrative capabilities. Examples include the Central Configuration Manager (BI platform installation program), Information design tool (BI platform Client Tools installation program), and SAP Crystal Reports 2011 (available and installed separately).
  • Web tier: The web tier contains web applications deployed to a Java web application server. Web applications provide SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence platform functionality to end users through a web browser. Examples of web applications include the Central Management Console (CMC) administrative web interface and BI launch pad. The web tier also contains Web Services. Web Services provides SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence platform functionality to software tools via the web application server, such as session authentication, user privilege management, scheduling, search, administration, reporting, and query management. For example, Live Office is a product that uses Web Services to integrate SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence platform reporting into Microsoft Office products.
  • Management tier: The management tier (also known as intelligence tier) coordinates and controls all of the components that make up SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence platform. It is comprised of the Central Management Server (CMS) and the Event Server and associated services. The CMS provides maintains security and configuration information, sends service requests to servers, manages auditing, and maintains the CMS system database. The Event Server manages file based events, which occur in the storage tier.
  • Storage tier: The storage tier is responsible to handling files, such as documents and reports. The Input File Repository Server manages files that contain information to be used in reports, such as the following file types: .rpt, .car, .exe, .bat, .js, .xls, .doc, .ppt, .rtf, .txt, .pdf, .wid, .rep, .unv. The Output File Repository Server manages reports created by the system, such as the following file types: .rpt, .csv, .xls, .doc, .rtf, .txt, .pdf, .wid, .rep. The storage tier also handles report caching to save system resources when users access reports.
  • Processing tier: The processing tier analyzes data and produces reports. This is the only tier that accesses the databases that contain report data. This tier is comprised of the Adaptive Job Server, Connection Server (32- and 64-bit), and processing servers such as the Adaptive Processing Server or Crystal Reports Processing Server.
  • Data tier: The data tier consists of the database servers hosting the CMS system database and Auditing Data tore. It also consists of any database servers containing relational, OLAP, or other data types for reporting and analytic applications.

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence platform consists of collections of servers running on one or more hosts. Small installations (such as test or development systems) can use a single host for a web application server, database server, and all BI platform servers. Medium and large installations can have servers running on multiple hosts. Large installations can have several BI platform server hosts working together in a cluster. The term server is used to describe an operating system level process (on some systems, this is referred to as a daemon) hosting one or more services. For example, the Central Management Server (CMS) and Adaptive Processing Server are servers. A server runs under a specific operating system account and has its own PID. A service is a server subsystem that performs a specific function. The service runs within the memory space of its server under the process ID of the parent container (server). For example, the Web Intelligence Scheduling Service is a subsystem that runs on the Adaptive Job Server. A node is a collection of BI platform servers running on the same host and managed by the same Server Intelligence Agent (SIA). One or more nodes can be on a single host.


Figure 1 : Architecture of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform

If a single server/service on a node fails or processes requests slowly, then the user experience with the corresponding front-end application will suffer, making analysis of business intelligence data difficult and delaying crucial business decisions. If this is to be avoided, then every server/service running in a node should be closely monitored and administrators should be proactively notified of performance setbacks that the servers/services experience. This is what exactly the eG Enterprise offers!

For more details on SAP Monitoring, refer to