Aug 29 2011

Universe Compare Tool – How It Came To Be

Categories: VBA Tools Dave Rathbun @ 9:02 pm

At the 2010 SAP BusinessObjects User Conference (also known as SBOUC) I did a presentation titled, “Don’t Lose Control: Change Management Strategies for Universe Designers.” The slides from this presentation are available as a PDF download on my conference presentations page or via a link at the end of this post. I said I would post a download link last week; I didn’t yet. :oops: It took longer than I expected to write up the documentation that I felt was required prior to the release. Part of that documentation has been extracted and published as this post instead as I don’t expect everyone will care or need to know about the background as to how this utility came about. However, it was important to me, so I wrote it. :)

Which brings up the philosophical question: if a blogger writes a post and nobody reads it, does it make the sound of one hand clapping? Or something like that… Continue reading “Universe Compare Tool – How It Came To Be”


Aug 24 2011

Jamie Oswald aka oswaldxxl Preparing For SBOUC Conference

Categories: 2011 SBOUC Dave Rathbun @ 1:14 pm

I’m sure no child labor laws were violated during the filming of that video… ;)


Aug 22 2011

System Requirements and Support Plans For Universe Compare Tool

Categories: VBA Tools Dave Rathbun @ 8:00 am

This post details the system requirements and support plans for my universe compare tool which will be posted for downloading later this week. Comments are off for this post; any questions should be posted in the release topic, once it’s available.

System Requirements

Continue reading “System Requirements and Support Plans For Universe Compare Tool”


Aug 19 2011

What is GPL software?

Categories: VBA Tools Dave Rathbun @ 8:53 am

Wordpress (the software that powers this blog) is released under the GNU GPL license. So is phpBB, the board software used to run BOB. The essential purpose of the GPL license is to provide software authors the rights of copyright and to provide software users with the freedom to do whatever they want to with the software. There is a FAQ provided by the FSF (Free Software Foundation) that addresses many questions related to the GPL but I would like to call attention only to a few specific items.

I want to get credit for my work. I want people to know what I wrote. Can I still get credit if I use the GPL?
You can certainly get credit for the work. Part of releasing a program under the GPL is writing a copyright notice in your own name (assuming you are the copyright holder). The GPL requires all copies to carry an appropriate copyright notice.

Simply put, this means that even though I am releasing code under the GPL I still retain the copyright to the code. Releasing it under the GPL ensures that anyone who downloads the code for use has the right to do so, and that those rights cannot be removed by someone else. If someone were to download my code and modify or improve it in some way, then the modified / improved version must also be released under the GPL, so that everyone can benefit.

If I add a module to a GPL-covered program, do I have to use the GPL as the license for my module?
The GPL says that the whole combined program has to be released under the GPL. So your module has to be available for use under the GPL.

That restates what I was saying earlier. By releasing my code under the GPL it protects everyone. Someone could take my program and turn around and try to sell it, but anyone who buys a copy – even if there are improvements – has the right to then distribute the software for free. Code based on GPL software must be licensed under the GPL, which grants the user the right to decide what to do with it, not the owner of the copyright.

What does this have to do with anything? :) I just finished a project where I reworked a very large universe. During that project I used my universe comparison tool quite extensively, and I think the final testing is done. I will be posting a copy of the VBA code for download next week here on my blog. The software will include the GNU GPL license so that anyone is free to use it in any way they see fit.

Keep in mind that – unfortunately – there is already an expiration date on the software, as the BI 4.0 Information Design Tool does not initially ship with an SDK, and even when it does start to provide one it will likely be in java rather than visual basic. So enjoy it while it lasts. 8-)


Aug 12 2011

Quick Tip For Universe Designer ABENDS…

Categories: Rants Dave Rathbun @ 12:01 pm

Not too long ago I had a very frustrating run where certain events (and I was never quite sure what the connection was) would cause my designer session to crash. For a while it was just exporting a universe. The universe would get exported successfully and then Designer would immediately crash. Then I started having problems with Desktop Intelligence where I could not edit documents related to a specific universe. The universe itself was fine, as I verified by going into the Infoview portal and creating documents. And others were able to use the universe just fine.

Ultimately I found a post on BOB that pointed me in the right direction. The seemingly “random” events all had to do with accessing the security areas of the repository, and that pointed to a corrupted .lsi file. These files have been around for many versions of the Business Objects software. Although I don’t remember ever getting a confirmation one way or another I have always called them the “local security information” files. This file is what lets Desktop Intelligence users work in offline mode as it contains a list of universes and documents and so on that the user has rights to. It makes sense that exporting a universe works because that’s not related to security. It’s only after the export was complete that the local security information file was updated, and since my file was corrupted in some fashion that update failed.

Removing the .lsi file for that particular environment solved the problem. There’s no harm in removing this file as Business Objects will automatically regenerate it the next time it’s needed when the program realizes that it is missing.

Where are the .lsi files? The location may be different based on how the software is installed, but they should be within the application folder that is contained within the Documents and Settings parent folder. Here’s the path for me under XI 3.1:

D:\Documents and Settings\username-here\Application Data\Business Objects\Business Objects 12.0\lsi

Once I deleted the .lsi file for the offending environment – I could have removed them all because they’re automatically regenerated if they’re missing – everything worked again. That being said, there are two files in that folder that should not be deleted, and those are pdac.lsi and sdac.lsi. Those files are used to store information related to personal (pdac) and shared (sdac) connections that have been defined on the client computer.

If you’re wondering what ABEND means, it’s short for “abnormal ending” and dates back to mainframe days. :)