"Business Objects 4.0 will be available this (2010) year" - SAP teases own customers at ASUG. It became a habit for SAP - to say something about a product they did not release yet. For example they did pre-announcement of HANA (in-memory analytics appliance) in May 2010, see http://www.infoworld.com/d/applications/sap-build-new-in-memory-database-appliances-392 and now they are saying that HANA will be released in November 2010: http://www.infoworld.com/d/applications/saps-in-memory-analytics-boxes-set-november-release-117 . It is very funny to see how 3 (SAP, IBM, Oracle) or 4 (if you include the mindshare leader SAS) BI behemoths trying to compete (using money instead of creativity) with DV leaders like Qlikview and Spotfire who has in-memory columnar DB for years. E.g. IBM recently bought Netezza, SSPS and Applix and trying to marry Applix with Cognos. Or Oracle (after buying Sun) releasing Exadata and Exalogic to compete with... IBM's Netezza and SAP's HANA. SAP actually owns now (after they recently bought Sybase) the best collection of BI and DV-related technologies, like best columnar DB Sybase IQ (ok, Vertica too, but Qlikview, PowerPivot and Spotfire have it in-memory).
Back to BO4: it will be 64-bit only, Desktop Intelligence will not be included in this release, BO4 will be more dependent on Java (SAP, IBM, Oracle and SAS - all 4 making a strategic mistake by integrating their product with dying Java), BO4 will have "data federation", BO4 will be integrated with SAP Portfolio (e.g. NetWeaver), Bo4 has now multi-dimensional analytical ability,
SAP Explorer allows in-memory Analytics etc. It took SAP 4+ months from pre-anouncement to release of BO4 - I guess they learn from Microsoft (I am not sure how it helps).
Update as of 7/27/11: BI 4.0 still not released yet and SAP is planning to release it now in August 2011, basically 10 months later then it was pre-anounced! Among other updates: on 7/25/11 SAP released interesting video with Demo:
Update as of 8/31/11: It took SAP 11 months from pre-announcement of BO4 to officially release it, see http://blogs.sap.com/analytics/2011/08/31/update-on-sap-businessobjects-bi-4-0-general-availability/ SAP said today: "Based on efforts over the last several weeks, BI 4.0 is targeted to become generally available starting September 16, 2011." Also "For customers and partners currently using BI 4.0, new eLearning tutorials are now available on the SAP Community Network. Check out the latest tutorials and take advantage of the new capabilities BI 4.0 has to offer." It is very funny and very sad RELEASE process.
Enterprise Deployment of SAP BO may look like this: