SAP sunsets NetWeaver BI tools

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SAP has confirmed that, following its acquisition of Business Objects, all business intelligence tools based on its NetWeaver technology will be gradually phased out.

Users that have already bought into SAP’s NetWeaver BI tools, which include Business Explorer, Web Application Designer and Report Designer, will be encouraged to make the potentially costly transition to Business Objects XI.

But SAP insisted it would aim to minimise customer disruption.

"Customer’s investment is protected by NetWeaver being upgradeable; we will change with the customer to make sure [migration] as painless as possible," promised David Keane, SAP European marketing vice president.

SAP's post-acquisition strategy is in stark contrast with rival Oracle. Oracle has opted to continue supporting the products it has acquired, including those from Hyperion, PeopleSoft and Siebel, to assuage customer fears.

"SAP and Business Objects have been a lot bolder and are openly discussing which products in performance management and BI they will phase out," said Ovum analyst, Helena Schwenk.

That boldness could hurt SAP in the short run, as customers using the NetWeaver are forced to consider migrations, she said, but in the long term, SAP would be able to focus its investment on a single product portfolio.

One of the big changes resulting from the new roadmap will be in extract, transfer and load tools. SAP had previously favoured ETL tools from third parties such as Informatica.

“Even though we could still use Informatica for integration, there is a value in deploying a Business Objects and SAP solution together because of the tight integration that exists between them,” said Donald MacCormick, Business Objects' chief transformation officer.

Business Objects has its own set of ETL tools thanks to its 2002 acquisition on Acta Technologies.
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