Feb 17 2016

“Working As Designed”

Categories: IDT, Rants Dave Rathbun @ 12:19 pm

Those three little words: “Working as designed.” I hate them.

I don’t know why it took me so long to experience this, as I found this topic on BOB that brought the issue to light years ago. That being said, here’s what’s going on…

In Universe Designer (UDT) a designer can change the state of an object from visible to hidden without impacting a report. I use this technique to create objects that have a specific purpose but keep them out of general circulation. For example, I will often create a class called “Report Objects” that contains objects with special exception handling or a unique purpose. That class is visible in the development environment only, which means my report developers have access to this class. Before the universe is migrated to the QA (and production) environments that entire class is hidden.

This allows me to create report-specific objects without risking an ad-hoc report using one of them incorrectly. It’s a great technique.

A secondary reason why I use the “hide” option is to retire old objects. I don’t want to break reports, but I don’t want any new reports to be created with these objects. Hiding them means existing reports continue to work.

In Information Design Tool neither of these strategies will work. Once an object is hidden, any report that includes that object fails. :evil: Based on information from SAP, that’s the expected behavior. They acknowledge that it’s a change in behavior, but so far I have not found the reason for the change. The bottom line is that it’s “working as designed” and will not be fixed.

Keep this in mind when you consider converting your UNV universes to UNX, as if you’re using the hidden object trick for any of the reasons I outlined above (or others that I may not have considered) that technique will fail in IDT.


Nov 05 2015

Downgrading from Multi-Source to Single Source

Categories: IDT, Universe Design Dave Rathbun @ 10:01 am

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had found a way to “downgrade” a multi-sourced universe to a single-source. I wanted to create a beautiful blog post with screen shots to walk everyone through the process, but have not managed to carve out the time. :oops: Rather than continue the radio silence, I’m going to write up the steps and hopefully come back and make this post prettier later on. I also have a request to make which will be at the end of this blog post, so please read to the end, and if you can help, please do so.

Background

We, like I am guessing many Business Objects legacy customers, have been slow to dip our toes into the “multi-source” waters offered by Information Design Tool (IDT). When we did our major upgrade to BI 4 a few years back, we evaluated whether we needed to convert all of our UNV universes to UNX, and decided not to, for a variety of reasons. But for new development we are typically looking at IDT as our universe creation tool. Continue reading “Downgrading from Multi-Source to Single Source”


Oct 12 2015

Yes, Virginia, You Can Switch a Multi-Source Universe Back to Single Source

Categories: IDT, Universe Design Dave Rathbun @ 10:07 pm

What’s the first decision you have to make when creating a new universe with the Information Design Tool (IDT)? You have to specify if you want a single-source or multi-source data foundation. Once that selection is made, it cannot be changed.

Well, sort of.

We had an odd performance challenge with a particular universe. It seemed that when it was created, the developer thought they might want to eventually (perhaps) use multiple sources, so they went ahead and created a multi-sourced data foundation. But the project never ended up needing a second data source, so for over a year they’ve been using a single-source multi-source universe. (Did you follow that?) As a diagnostic tool, I thought about recreating a new universe as a single-source data foundation and resetting the various reports and dashboards so they would use the new universe. That would have been a lot of work, and with no guarantee that it would fix anything, much less have an impact on the issue.

Then I wondered to myself, what if I could figure out a way to “downgrade” the existing multi-source universe to a single source? That way I could still test my theory that our data federator engine wasn’t working as well as it should without having to re-point each report and redo each dashboard.

“spoiler alert” … it worked. :) I was able to convert a multi-sourced universe to a single-sourced version without impacting the reports and dashboards, and we’ve been running on that version ever since.

How was it done? Well, I’m working on a presentation for the local DFW ASUG chapter meeting this coming Friday, and once I have that done I’ll post the details here as well. You’ll just have to wait a few days. :P

Update: I won’t be presenting at the DFW chapter meeting after all, but I will still be posting this solution soon, hopefully next week.

Secondary note: I have also done the process in reverse… converted a single-source universe to a multi-sourced version, but with significantly more work involved. If you have a large number of reports, however; it may be easier to rework the universe and not have to re-point every report. Time will show if I’m successful or not…


Aug 29 2013

BI4 UNV Versus UNX … Which Do You Choose?

Categories: IDT, Universe Design Dave Rathbun @ 7:54 am

When SAP released BI4 several years ago it featured a major upgrade to one of the core technologies used by Business Objects since the beginning of the company: the universe. What does this mean for you and how does it impact your intentions to move forward with the latest and greatest offering from SAP? Many of you know that I currently work for a fairly large company, and large companies are often slower to move on to new technologies as they’re released. I have not talked a lot about BI4 in my blog yet primarily for that reason. However, we’ve had over a year to review the new Information Design Tool (IDT) and the BI4 .UNX format, and I’m finally ready to share some thoughts. Continue reading “BI4 UNV Versus UNX … Which Do You Choose?”