How Can I Detect a Server’s Exact Version of Business Objects?

It is great when everything works and nothing needs to be changed or updated. In my world, these moments are rare, but I suppose that is a good thing or I might not have a job. I hope that this is not true, but I guess that is the way things work. I mean, if everyone were healthy and had no accidents then the only doctors we would probably need would be Obstetricians. Wow, I digressed there. The point is more often than not things don’t just work for long periods of time.

Confirming the Basics: BO Version

I have seen many errors diagnosed by just learning the exact version of the Business Objects software installed on each machine in the cluster and discovering that one of the machines (or one of the user PCs) is not running the same version of BO as the rest of the BusinessObjects cluster. The truth is that Business Objects does not do its own validation to be sure that every server in the cluster is running the same patch-level of the application. Further complicating things is the fact that patch installs (service packs and fixpacks) can silently fail to install completely without any error presented to the administrator. In fact this has happened to me on several occasions. In such cases it helps to know how to detect the exact version and patch level of the software you are running.

Two Ways to Skin a Cat

There are two very different ways to detect which version of Business Objects software is running on a machine (server or client PC). In most cases you will want to check both if there is any doubt as to the machine’s patch level. If you find that the information gathered from each method differs then you know for sure that you have an issue with your machine’s patch level.

Look at Add and Remove Programs

First you can look at the uninstaller for the machine. On Windows this will be the application available through the Control Panel that is called something like “Add and Remove Programs” or just “Programs and Features”. The initial full install of Business Objects will be listed as will each of the patches installed. The highest patch visible will be the patch level of the BO software on the machine. On Unix or Linux the principal is the same, but you will need to look for the “” GUI which is under the BusinessObjects installation directory.

Find the ProductID.txt file

Second you can look for the “ProductID.txt” file. This file is generally located in the \bobje\enterprise… (needs update) folder. This file will have the exact patch level represented in a product number, not in the semi-user friendly service pack and fix pack/patch format. For example, you may find the following in the “ProductID.txt” file:
These product numbers translate to the Business Objects XI 3.1 product with the service pack 3 installed without any fix packs. The format of the BuildVersion is “XX.YY.ZZ.###” where “XX” identifies the major product version, “YY” specifies the latest service package/pack put on the machine, and “ZZ” represents the latest fix pack installed. The “###” portion of the format represents a minor build version corresponding to the last installed patch. When comparing the contents of these files across servers and client PCs used with a cluster you want to see that all match perfectly.

More about the patching Business Objects can be read in the article “BO XI Patching, An Introductory Deep Discussion“.

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