Dec 23 2009

Foodmart 2000 Universe Review – Part I: Introduction

Categories: Foodmart, Universe Design Dave Rathbun @ 1:54 pm

Earlier this year I attended SAP TechEd 2009. Many of their sessions were lecture only, but they also provided a number of two or four-hour hands-on sessions. I selected one specific session in order to learn about improvements in the process used to build universes against SAP data sources like BEx queries. But of course I could not leave it at that. :) I got to the session a bit early and started poking around on the laptop to see if I could get some hints as to what we were going to cover. While poking around I found a universe named “Foodmart” so I opened it. It was… interesting.

Regular blog readers might remember I had posted something about a “universe review service” that I was thinking of offering. I have not posted anything further about that service, mainly because I got a real job instead. But since this universe is a new one (at least it was new to me, I had not seen it used in training sessions or demonstrations before) and since it has a number of interesting mistakes, I decided to go ahead and talk about that process. I will use this universe as my subject and along the way talk about various things that I make sure to cover during a universe review. I got permission to take a copy of the universe from the session laptop and placed it on the memory stick that they had provided with all of the session presentations. (That was handy.) Unfortunately the connection was pointing to a Microsoft SQL Server database so I could hardly grab a copy of that.

Later on I asked around to see if anyone knew what the Foodmart universe was used for. One of the responses I got back included a link to another blog where they had a Microsoft Access database that matched the structure from the universe perfectly. After downloading (and testing) that file I now have a copy of the universe and the matching database. I can work with that.

After further investigation it seems that the Foodmart database is yet another demonstration database, much like the Northwind or Summit Sporting Goods or (dare I say it) Island Resorts Marketing. ;) There should not be any license issues with distributing or using this database.

Since I expect that this universe will be new to most folks I decided to use it for this series of posts detailing the process I go through to review a universe. I am going to start the more detailed blog posts next year but figured that I would go ahead and post the universe and the associated database for folks to be able to download now. Download links are at the end of the post.

And Now, The Rules

I really hope that this series of posts will be useful. In order to provide the most effective use of these materials, I have a few ground rules.

  • No spoilers in comments please
    I expect that many blog readers who download the universe and start looking for mistakes are going to find some. I found many in less than five minutes, and I expect no less from some of you. :) Please don’t spoil the process by posting comments about additional mistakes that I have not covered yet. I have a specific order that I want to cover things in and spoilers will, well, they’ll spoil the process.
  • Please keep questions on topic
    This is a standard request that I make for all blog posts but I wanted to repeat it here.
  • Don’t ask if you can send me your universe
    Unfortunately I cannot review your universe for you for free (or for a fee) right now. I simply do not have the time to perform this service at the moment.

That’s it. I hope this will prove to be a valuable series of posts for both new and experienced designers, and these few requests will help that happen.

You can follow all of the posts related to the Foodmart universe review using the “foodmart” cateogry tag.

Download Links

Here are the links to download the database and universe. This universe was created in non-secured mode which means anyone should be able to open it. You do not even have to have a CMS running in order to use this universe; you should be able to switch to Standalone (no CMS) mode on the Designer login screen and still be able to use this resource. The database is in Microsoft Access format and is over 20MB when unzipped.

I am not going to cover how to set up the database and connection. I don’t want to sound rude but if you don’t already know how to do these basic steps then the discussions that follow this one are going to be way over your head. :)

This will be my final blog post for 2009. Happy holidays, and I will see you next year. 8-)

7 Responses to “Foodmart 2000 Universe Review – Part I: Introduction”

  1. Comment by Miss Universum ;-)


    I’ve been looking into this a bit and I think I found some issues but as I’m just coming back to BO after having been “abstinent” for about 3 years, I’m very much looking forward to your analysis!


  2. Comment by gobinath

    please post how to configure that food mart with that post more about rapidmart. I am cofusing rapidmart and foodmart are same or different please clear it


  3. Comment by Dave Rathbun

    Foodmart is just the name of this database, it’s not a product. Rapidmarts were pre-built universes on top of various system modules, like General Ledger (GL) or Purchasing. I won’t be posting anything about rapidmarts.

    As mentioned in this post, I do not plan to post instructions on how to install or configure the database. If you don’t know how to do that, consider it a research project. :) As mentioned, the posts that will (eventually, hopefully) follow in this series are going to assume that you are already an experienced universe designer.

  4. Comment by Lucas

    I can not find any continuation on this lesson. The “foodmart” cateogry tag only brings up this page.

  5. Comment by Dave Rathbun

    Hi, and thanks for your interest. Unfortunately I never did much more with this and at the moment don’t intend to.

  6. Comment by Miss Universum

    yeah, I sort of noticed ;-) but still looking forward to it.

  7. Comment by A. Dzulfikar Adi Putra

    I’ve been searching for a week to get this data, because I can not found any microsoft sql server 2000 analysis service. Finally I can open foodmart data in access and then export to mysql. thank you for providing foodmart_2000.mdb.

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