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SAP BO Design Studio – deploy on Netweaver BW or BO BI platform?

Deploying Design studio on a server can be done on two platforms. Integrated with SAP Netweaver BW and integrated with the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform.  When the BI applications have been mainly build on the Netweaver BW BEX environment, and Design Studio is planned to replace the Netweaver BEX WAD reports, both options are possible and need consideration.

There are three main differentiators that help decide which platform to use:
–        Current situation
–        Performance
–        Required functionality

The current situation influences this choice in the sense that additional effort is required if an BO BI platform needs te be installed. If an BO BI platform is already is in place, this also means that experience with working with the BO platform is available and thus will not need additional administration and maintenance effort. When there is no BO BI platform this means that deploying on the Netweaver BW platform is more desirable, since this saves additional installation and maintenance costs.

Performance of the system is critical in the acceptance of the new front-end. SAP will tell you that there is no difference in performance on either platform you choose. However, this is probably only the case if the conditions are precisely right. At the customer site I am working at the moment it takes 20 seconds to save a Design Studio on the BO BI platform and only 1 second to save the same application on the Netweaver BW platform. Also when running the report, the icons that need to be retrieved from the BO BI server sometimes do not show, just because the server is too slow in presenting them. It is still under investigation what is causing this, but several consultants have confirmed that the software settings are correct, thus it might have something to do with the hardware configuration. All in all, the assumption that performance is not a differentiator in this matter should be verified carefully as every installation is different.

The required functionality is probably the most decisive differentiator. Most functionalities are similar, but on the BO BI platform there are currently more functionalities:
–        Apart from BW BEX  queries others datasources can be used as SAP HANA and universes.
–        Mobile access requires integration with the BO BI platform
–        Custom build components with the SDK cannot be deployed on the Netweaver BW platform in the current DS1.2 version (this will be possible with DS1.3 version)
–        The promised favorites features in DS1.3 need the BO BI platform

So far the patron is that the BO BI platform gets new functionality before the Netweaver BW platform. Also it is never guaranteed that all functionality will be developed for the Netweaver BW platform. As a final remark, the BO BI platform has other tools that might be of interest and future development of SAP is done mainly on that platform.

My personal advice would be to go for the Netweaver BW option as preferred choice,  and only if you really need functionality that is not available on that platform to go for the BO BI platform. When building the SAP BO Design Studio applications, it is wise to build them with both options in mind (i.e. use dynamic links to pictures on the server). Transferring the applications from one server to the other is easy (downloading and uploading), and if most things are dynamically, requires not a lot of rework.

In conclusion: when choosing the environment to deploy SAP BO Design Studio applications take into account: the current situation, performance and required functionality.