I've been working with the Business Objects platform since the days of Crystal Enterprise and been tracking with it to what it is today with BI 4.2 SP03. Having implemented this solution across commercial and public sectors and diverse industries ranging from retail to non-profits to defense, it's revealing to see the common struggles encountered with diagnosing issues and maintaining a well-run system.
Over the years, great improvements have been made to the installation and general performance/stability of the system. The challenge comes in when all isn't well and you need to delve deeper into the inner workings of the system. In the past, there were limited tools and it sometimes felt like black magic trying to figure things out. Fortunately, our colleagues in AGS have been diligent over the years and with such, we can be much better equipped to administer our systems.
If you are a well-seasoned administrator, I'm sure you can related to this and appreciate how far we have come. For those newer to the platform, I hope these tools will get you further down the road. For all, please share your admin tips and advice for starting the year well.
1. BI Platform Support Tools
The BI Platform Support Tool is a Java based utility designed for supporting many aspects of the BI platform administration. These include reporting on the landscape configuration, performing root cause analysis tasks, and delivering performance optimization and go-live services. For SAP Business Objects BI Platform 4.0 and above.
This utility provides real-time Webi-APS usage and relationship tracking. It offers an overview of current connections between WIReportServer and APS processes on each machine. It further allows analysis of what a user is actually running the report and has the open session with each server. For SAP Business Objects BI Platform 4.0 and above
It is found in the \Program Files (x86)\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\java\apps\WebiAdminTool directory and run via the command line "java -jar GenericContainer_AdminTool.jar" A 64-bit java/bin directory in the system PATH variable is needed.
Note: This is an unsupported tool, meant for use by SAP employees. However this tool provides good insight into the inner workings of the Web Intelligence server.
This is a tool for reading and analyzing text log files. It has powerful search and filtering options. You can scan for information relevant to the problem through the use of filters and tags. If you've ever used the Windows text editor to scroll through a log for relevant details, this is for you.
Introduced in BI 4.2 SP03, this is the modern day incarnation of the Query Builder. It will allow you to query the CMS database for information on you BI content, such as reports, universes, connections, schedules, users, etc. As the CMS repository stores metadata in the form of InfoObjects in virtual tables, it is not possible to browse this data directly using a conventional SQL query tool. With the development of this driver, you can use a universe with Web Intelligence to query the metadata of the CMS database. Sample Web Intelligence documents are provided with the universe and driver.
Long a requirement for customers, to gain insight into how their BI platform is being utilized for performance to compliance, there is a new comprehensive universe available for BI 4.1 and above. This comes with sample Web Intelligence documents compatible with BI 4.1 SP05 and above. This universe is currently available for SQL Anywhere, MS SQL Server, Oracle, SAP HANA, and DB2.