Thursday, March 21, 2013

WebI LOVs and BEx queries

When you create WebI reports on BEx queries the static filters in the BEx query are propagated to the WebI LOVs. Which means that when you filter on year 2011 in the BEx query and prompt for year / period in the WebI report you will only see the periods for 2011.
It gets even better, when variables are used in the BEx query, the selections made at runtime are also propagated to the WebI LOVs.

Here's an example:
  • I created a BEx query with on year / period and added a static filter on 2011 to the query.
  • Then I created a WebI report on top of the BEx query and created a prompt on year / period
  • When this report is executed, the prompt windows is presented and the LOV only shows values for 2011
  • Then I replace the static filter in the BEx query with a variable
  • and go to the Query Panel in the WebI report. There is now a small button where I can set the BEx variables
  • I select 2011 and remove the Set as prompt selection, which means that this variable / prompt will not be refreshed when the report is refreshed
  • When the report is executed, the prompt window is presented and the year prompt is fixed on 2011 and greyed out
  • and when the LOV for year / period is presented, again only values for 2011 are displayed

If I hadn't switched of the Set as prompt en the Set Variable windows the BEx variable would still be  active when the report is executed. Even the year selection made during runtime is propagated to the year / period LOV.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Setting BI Launch pad preferences from the CMC

Each user can change his or her BI Launch pad preferences. But in BO 4 the administrator can also change BI Launch pad preferences for user groups.

Let’s say you want users to start on a different home page, a custom made BI Workspace, and when they switch to the folder tab, they should see the category pane. To achieve this follow the steps below:

1.       Go to the User and Groups area in the CMC

2.       Select the user group you want to adjust

3.       Right click and select “BI Launch pad Preferences” 

4.       Unselect the checkbox “No Preferences Defined”

5.       Select Documents tabs and then Categories

6.       Then select “Home tab” and “Select Home tab:”.

7.       Push the button “Browse Home tab…” and search for the BI Workspace.
8.       Click Save & Close

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Auditing Publications

Being able to audit your BusinessObjects environment is very important. You can start doing capacity management on your environment or you can combine audit data with monitoring data to check for bottlenecks on your systems. But before you can start creating auditing reports you need to understand the audit data.

To help you understand how BusinessObjects processes a publication and which audit data is created during this process I created a WebI report, a profile and a publication. I scheduled multiple instances of the publication (but for this blog I will focus on just 1 of them) and examined the audit data.

The Action ID field
One off the things you need to know about publications related audit data and which will make life much easier is how to use the Action ID field. This field uniquely identifies a publication instance. So if you schedule a publication, the instance is assigned an Action ID and this will never change. If this instance runs weekly for 8 months all instance runs, all deliveries, all errors will have the same Action ID. This field is the key to auditing your publications. 

The profile
I have created a very simple profile on the efashion universe, 1 target, 4 recipients and 3 values. (the value " Mark, Michelle" is used 2 times)

The publication
Then I created a very simple publication which runs 1 WebI report and sends a WebI report and a PDF file to the BI inbox of the 4 users. I left all the names, titles, subjects blank so all default are used, which is nice because these default values use PIDs and thus are easy to trace.

This is what happened:
  1. Run the publication instance
  2. Run the report
  3. Slice and format the report for PDF, 3 times
  4. Slice and format the report for WebI, 3 times
  5. Deliver the report in PDF format, 4 times 
  6. Deliver the report in WebI format, 4 times
Here’s a WebI report showing the result:

SP4 New Feature: 1 database fetch per recipient

There is this new advanced setting in SP4 which changes the way the publication is executed. This setting runs the WebI report for each recipient.

When the publication is rescheduled with this advanced setting, the WebI report is executed 4 times (because there are 4 recipients).

This is what happens in the BO system:

  1. Run the publication instance
  2. Run the report, 4 times
  3. Format the report for PDF, 4 times
  4. Format the report for WebI, 4 times
  5. Deliver the report in PDF format, 4 times 
  6. Deliver the report in WebI format, 4 times

Here is a WebI report on this result:

The results are different and for large publications it can make a difference.

One database fetch for all recipients:
  1. 1 query
  2. 6 slicing and formating runs (1 WebI run and 1 PDF run per profile value)
  3. 8 delivery runs
One database fetch per recipient:
  1. 4 queries
  2. 8 slicing and formatting runs (1 WebI run and 1 PDF run per recipient)
  3. 8 delivery runs

Thursday, January 17, 2013

UNX Universe documentation

Creating documentation is not one of my favorite tasks. Luckily there is a way to generate documentation on UNX universes from IDT. When you select a data foundation or a business layer you can right click to goto the context menu and select save as.

When you do that you will get a nice screen where you can select which Metadata Elements to print. For the business layer these are the elements:

And for the data foundation:

Here an example of the PDF that is created.

Of course you can also print the business layer and use a PDF driver. The output looks a little bit nicer, but the selection of the metadata elements is gone.