Hey Import Wizard, Good Job!
Anyone who has spent some time around Business Objects before BI 4 should be familiar with Import Wizard. It has a little clunky and hard to control, but once you learned to follow and few rules and respect its limits Import Wizard became a powerful tool in your hands. I heavily used Import Wizard to migrate/promote content between development, integration/testing, and production environments. I also used Import Wizard to pull content out of lower versions of Business Objects and into my beloved BO instances. I used Import Wizard as a tool to synchronize BO object CUIDs across environments and I even used Import Wizard to make an exact copy of an entire environment into the itself (giving each copied object a new CUID). I truly grew comfortable with this great tool and I even loved its ability to create archives into BIAR files.
R.I.P Import Wizard
With the release of BI 4, Business Objects has shifted a lot of fundamental pieces around. One of these shifts is the retirement of Import Wizard. However, I believe that many parts of Import Wizard continue to live on in the Upgrade Management Tool (UMT). The UMT, unlike Import Wizard, is restricted to the migration of Business Objects content from a lower version of BO into the CMS of a higher version of BO. UMT cannot be used to migrate content between to BO environments of the same version (although, I believe I heard that someone once tricked it into allowing this). Clearly the intention of UMT is to help you upgrade your BO objects, but many parts of UMT do feel like Import Wizard with a facelift.
In the early versions of BI 4.0 the functionality of migrating BO content between two BO environments of the same version is handled by a new-ish tool called Life Cycle Manager (LCM). To be honest, LCM exists in XI 3.1, but I always found it to be more trouble than working with Import Wizard so I mostly ignored it. LCM was optional in BO XI 3.1. However, in BI 4.0, LCM became the only tool available to promote content from one environment to another environment of the same patch level.
The details escape me, but at some point in BO BI 4.1, LCM was renamed “Promotion Management” providing yet one more contender for the “PM” acronym. I find this name more fitting, because I already used the verb “promote” to describe the main function of “Promotion Management”. Early on LCM and Promotion Management had a limit of about 100 objects. In other words, Promotion Management could only handle jobs with 200 or less documents, folders, security objects, etc. in total. However, I am now told that the limit has been increased with the release of BI 4.1 to 2000 objects. This is wonderful news.
Self-service through Promotion Management
One of the best features about LCM and Promotion Management is that non-administrative users can be granted the right to define promotion jobs. These same users may also be granted the right to run/execute those Promotion Management jobs. Contrast this with Import Wizard and you will see that Promotion Management enables many opportunities to allow “developers” to easily promote their work across the different environments and the Business Objects administrator can decide what level of access is needed.