The SAP BusinessObjects (BO) Business Intelligence (BI) Suite (SAP BO BI) is part of SAP’s on-premises BI portfolio, which incorporates various end-user business intelligence tools with a moderate level of integration. The suite contains a few strong individual products for reporting as well as several clients for various types of analysis. It also offers good capabilities for building customized guided BI applications that can be published to the web or mobile devices.

SAP was founded in Germany in 1972 as a business applications company. The vendor now employs more than 100,000 people worldwide and has a turnover of €27.34 bn. SAP is one of the largest business software vendors in the world.

The vendor’s analytics portfolio encompasses cloud-based and on-premises solutions for business intelligence, augmented and predictive analytics, and planning. Like other vendors, SAP is heavily investing in its cloud portfolio. SAP’s analytics solutions are spread across different product lines. For analytics and BI, the cloud-based SAP Analytics Cloud and the on-premises SAP BusinessObjects BI are the core offerings. Predictive analytics functionality for business users is covered in SAP Analytics Cloud while more extensive functions for data science are made available in SAP Data Intelligence.

SAP BO BI is based on a three-tiered architecture. Data modeling, settings for security and data access and metadata storage all happen in the solution’s central administration tools.

The SAP BO BI platform incorporates various front-end products. Some of these modules are web-based and can be opened from SAP’s BI Launchpad, the BI Portal. The full client front-end tools are SAP Crystal Reports Designer, SAP Lumira Designer (maintenance until 2025, extended until 2027), SAP Analysis for Office and SAP BO Web Intelligence (also available as a web client). The suite also includes further administration full client tools such as the Information Design Tool for creating Universes.

User & Use Cases

Customer data clearly shows that SAP BO BI is mostly used by large companies in mid-sized to large deployments. The typical usage scenarios reflect the fact that most of the responses we received in this year’s survey came from Analysis for Office and Web Intelligence users. This is also reflected in the high usage for ad hoc query as well as analyze/explore data and report/dashboard creation tasks performed by business users.

The mean and median number of users and products use on 5437,5 GB of data (grouped median) underlines suites ability and common usage in large scenarios.
The list of rival solutions evaluated in competition with SAP BO BI reveals one of its weaknesses: the lack of a mature business-user-oriented data discovery solution. SAP Analytics Cloud is the vendor’s recommended product for data discovery tasks. It should also be noted that other products of the same vendor are not listed here. Our projects show that SAP Analytics Cloud is the largest competitor at the moment, which is in-line with SAPs recommendation.

Current vs. planned use


5 products most often evaluated in competition with SAP BO BI


Percentage of employees using SAP BO BI


Number of users using SAP BO BI


Tasks carried out with SAP BO BI by business users


Company size (number of employees)


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Peer Groups Business Software Generalists (BI), International BI Giants, Large/Enterprise-Wide Implementations: (BI), Largest Enterprise BI & Analytics Platforms
Number of responses94
ProductSAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (SAP BO BI)
OfficesOffices in more than 130 countries worldwide
Customers>440,000 (in total, not only BI customers)