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In previous versions of SAP BusinessObjects the search functionality was basic, with BI4.0 a higher level of search has been introduced, an application in itself with the name of Platform Search.

I am often asked what is the best configuration for Platform Search, the answer is not as simple as it seems, because this feature is extremely powerful and flexible, that needs to be adjusted according to each installation's business needs.

With this page I will try to provide some personal insights that can give a better understanding of the capabilities of this powerful feature.

Within Platform Search is possible to leverage the levels, type of content and the modality of indexing.

Levels of Indexing:

as from BI4.0 there are three levels of content indexing for the search functionality of BI Platform 

They are configured in the CMC >  Applications  > Platform Search Application > properties 
- Platform Metadata: only titles, keywords and descriptions of the documents
- Platform and Document Metadata : indexes Platform Metadata plus creation/modification dates, name of the author
- Full Content (default):  same as Platform and Document Metadata plus all the content in the document, including prompts and LOVs, as well as Charts, Graphs, Labels. 

Types of Objects:

the BI Administrator can also set the types of objects that can be indexed, both BI Content and agnostic documents (any non-SAP BI Platform object, including MS Office documents of any kind, PDF, text, etc.)

When the Full Content is selected, the Platform Search service, that is hosted in the Adaptive Processing Server, will index every object that that is published to the BI Platform. This indexing process is called crawling.

If the universe indexing is selected, when a universe is published the objects it contains are parsed  (tested  against the database), when this happens you may see activity in the reporting database, SQL statements are being run apparently by no apparent user,  they are actually being sent by the BI Platform. (see KBA 1625939 - Ghost queries are run to the reporting database from BO server)

As a consequence, when a  consistent number of content is published to the BI Platform, one may experience a high load on the reporting database, to not mention network traffic between the BI servers and the reporting database and the Platform Search database, which can result in performance and/or availability issues.

(You may also experience high memory and/or cpu usage by the processing servers that are used by Platform Search to validate the objects)

The solution in that case would be to schedule the crawling so that indexing can be done when times when there is a lower usage of the resources, taking into account also availability for scheduled jobs.

To configure the scheduling there are two steps:
1. In the CMC > Applications > Platform Search Application properties page, select Scheduled Crawling
then Save and Close
2. Go to the CMC > Folders > Platform Search Scheduling Object
in the properties page it is possible to specify the desired settings

In conclusion, the Platform Search application is extremely useful, and should be configured according to the business needs, after analysis and planning.

If the BI Platform has  a lot of content and there is the need to have a high level of indexing, the suggestion is to use scheduled crawling.

On the other hand, if there is no need of searching  throughout all content, it is preferable to tune the settings, so that the indexing affects only the level and type of content that is an acceptable compromise between performance and search capabilities.