How To, SAP Business Objects Enterprise, SAP Data Services, Technology

Building a SAP BI 4 Demo System

This article provides a summary of the high level steps involved with building a SAP BI 4 Demo System and provides guidance on hardware and software requirements and links to where software can be downloaded from. The Demo System will host SAP Business Objects 4.0 and SAP Data Services 4.0


The demo server consists of virtual machine running a Linux operating system on which is installed SAP Business Objects 4.0, SAP Data Services 4.0, Apache Tomcat web application server and Oracle database server. The desktop tools for SAP Business Objects and SAP Data Services are deployed directly to the desktop of the host system which is running Windows 7.



The host operating system which will be running the virtual machine (VM) needs to have enough system resources to run the virtual machine, the host operating system and any other applications running on the host system. The table below summarises the hardware requirements of the host desktop.

Component Recommendation
Operating System Windows 7 is the recommended host operating system however Windows XP is also suitable. Note the SAP Desktop applications to be deployed to this host environment.
RAM Minimum 8GB, Recommended 12GB
RAM shared between the host and the virtual machine. The VM running the demo server will need at a least 6GB or more if all Business Objects services (Web Intelligence, Crystal Reports and Dashboard services) need to be running at the same time.
The host operating system will also use RAM. This needs to be kept to a minimum so we quit all applications we aren’t using. A Windows 7 OS will use about 1.5GB RAM with no applications running.
CPU Dual Core 2.5 Ghz
RAM has more impact on the system than CPU however a fast CPU is recommended such as an Intel Core i3 or AMD Athalon X2.
Disk Space 80GB
You will need to have enough spare disk to hold the downloaded software and to allocate to the virtual machine.
The virtual machine will be created with a 60GB disk: installing SAP Business Objects and SAP Data Services requires a fair amount of disk space, especially if you plan to add patches and service packs – 40GB, Oracle database will also need about 10GB of disk space and the operating system will also use about 10GB.


The table below lists the required software and provides links to download web sites. Note, for most of these you will need to sign up to the web site and for the SAP products you need to be either a customer of SAP or a partner with rights to download the software and be able to download trial license keys. Right click to open the download sites in a new page or window.

Software Download
SAP Business Objects, SAP Data Services Also download the trial license keys from the “Keys & Requests” tab on the site menu
Download the following,

  • SBOP BI Platform Servers 4.0 SP06 for Linux on x86_64 64bit

Note, download the latest available service pack and patch but check that the service pack version of Data Services is compatible with Business Objects.
SAP Business Objects software can be found in the download catalogue under Analytical Solutions.
Also download the product documentation.

VM Player VM Player can be used to create non-commercial virtual machines.
SUSE Enterprise Linux 11 Linux is used as the operating system as you can download free versions. SUSE is recommended but Red Hat is also supported.
Download the 64bit AMD / Intel version. The download will be from the Novell web site and will be two iso files. At the time of writing these were,

  • SLES-11-SP2-DVD-x86_64-GM-DVD1.iso
  • SLES-11-SP2-DVD-x86_64-GM-DVD2.iso

Windows Server trial version is a suitable alternative however the trial is limited to 180 days.

Oracle Express 11g R2 Download the 11g R2 Linux version.
If using Windows Server then you can use SQL Server as an alternative.
Oracle 11g R2 Client This is required for the desktop applications. Select the Windows 32bit version.
Oracle SQL Developer Optional. Oracle SQL Developer is an application used for SQL development and is a suitable alternative to SQL Plus. This is used to create user accounts and schemas in the Oracle database but SQL Plus is equally suitable.
Java Development Kit This is required by Oracle SQL Developer. Download the latest version of “Java SE – Java Platform (JDK)”.


Building the SAP BI 4 Demo System

The following are the high level steps required to build the demo system. It is recommended that you make a note of the detailed steps as you go through the deployment and it is highly recommended that you write down all the user accounts and passwords that you create.

Once the required software above has been downloaded, build a demo system,

  1. Install VM Player.
  2. Create a new virtual machine using the iso files that were downloaded.
    1. Creating the VM with 6GB of RAM (or higher) and 60GB disk
    2. Make a note of the root password you define
  3. Configure the Linux operating system. Refer to the SUSE Online Documentation for further assistance
    1. Oracle Express requires that you have a swap partition of 2GB in size. This can be done using the YaST application and select Partitioner.
    2. Also using YaST create a new user account “boeadm” that BusinessObjects and Data Services will be installed with and run under
    3. And again using YaST enable the FTP server on the system
    4. Create a folder /opt/sapboe where BOE and SDS will be installed – make sure boeadm is owner and has full permission to this folder.
  4. Install and configure Oracle Express
    1. Follow the Oracle Express installation guide. Note use a different port for Oracle Application Express e.g. 9090 so that it won’t conflict with 8080 for Tomcat. Make note of the admin password you define.
    2. Create schemas required by SAP products as listed in the table below
    3. User Purpose Notes
      BOE_CMS User for the Business Objects CMS Repository This database holds the Business Objects security model and pointers to all the objects in the FRS.
      The size of this schema will initially be approximately 24MB
      BOE_AUDIT User for the Business Objects Audit database If enabled the audit database logs all events and activity on the Business Objects system as such it can grow large – about a million new audit events per month in a production system.
      The size of this schema will initially be approximately 11MB
      SDS_LOCAL User for the Data Services local repository. A local repository is created for each developer and holds all the ETL code written by the developer. Its size depends on how much code is written but this is typically small.
      The size of this schema will initially be approximately 40MB
      SDS_CENTRAL User for the Data Services central repository. The central repository is shared by all developers as version control for Data Services code.
      The size of this schema will initially be approximately 36MB
    4. Configure the Linux boeadm account to use Oracle by setting the oracle environment variables in boeadm’s profile.
  5. Install SAP Business Objects
    1. Use the boeadm account create above to do the installation – do not use root.
    2. When installing select to install the Web Tier components so that Apache Tomcat will be installed and configured for you.
    3. Do not install the Integrated Database as we’re using Oracle.
    4. The SMD Agent and Introscope Enterprise Manage are not required and can be skipped
    5. After installation, test that you can logon to the Central Management Console
  6. Configure Business Objects
    1. Create additional administrator accounts
    2. Optional: move File Repository Server (FRS) to a separate partition. This is recommended on production systems so that the FRS can be backed up and restored separately to the operating system and BusinessObjects deployment.
    3. Optional: move log folder. SAP BusinessObjects can produce a large amount of log data and it is recommended that this is also held on a separate partition.
    4. Split Adaptive Processing Server and Adaptive Job Server
    5. Install Desktop applications
  7. Install and configure SAP Data Services
    1. Install the desktop applications first and create required local and central repositories
    2. Install SAP Data Services on the Linux server
    3. Using SAP Business Objects CMC create one or more developer accounts and grant each account access to their local repository and to the central repository
  8. Creating demo servers is a great way to learn how to deploy SAP Business Objects and SAP Data Services and I hope you find the above informative.

    If you are new to Linux then I recommend obtaining a good Linux reference manual such as Linux Pocket Guide by Daniel J. Barrett.

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