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BusinessObjects XI R2

SPICA
DATA SYSTEMS

Architecture
SPICA Introduction
DATA SYSTEMS

• BusinessObjects Enterprise is a multi-tier system.


Although the components are responsible for different
tasks, they can be logically grouped based on the type of
work they perform.

• To provide flexibility, reliability, and scalability the


components that make up each of these tiers can be
installed on one machine, or spread across many.
SPICA Business Objects Architecture
DATA SYSTEMS

• There are five tiers

• The client tier

• The application tier

• The intelligence tier

• The processing tier

• The data tier


SPICA Client tier
DATA SYSTEMS

The client tier is the only part of the


BusinessObjects Enterprise system that
administrators and end users interact with
directly. This tier is made up of the applications
that enable people to administer, publish, and
view reports and other objects.
SPICA The client tier includes:
DATA SYSTEMS

• InfoView
• Central Management Console (CMC)
• Central Configuration Manager (CCM)
• Publishing Wizard
• Import Wizard
SPICA InfoView
DATA SYSTEMS

• BusinessObjects Enterprise comes with InfoView, a web-


based interface that end users access to view, schedule, and
keep track of published reports.

• Each BusinessObjects Enterprise request that user makes is


directed to the BusinessObjects Enterprise application tier.

• InfoView also serves as a demonstration of the ways in which


you can use the BusinessObjects Enterprise Software
Development Kit (SDK) to create a custom web application for
end users.
Central Management
SPICA Console (CMC)
DATA SYSTEMS

• The Central Management Console (CMC) allows you to perform


user management tasks such as setting up authentication and
adding users and groups.

• It also allows you to publish, organize, and set security levels for all
of your BusinessObjects Enterprise content.

• The CMC enables you to manage servers and create server groups.

• Because the CMC is a web based application, you can perform all of
these administrative tasks remotely
SPICA Import Wizard
DATA SYSTEMS

• The Import Wizard is a locally installed Windows


application that guides administrators through the
process of importing users, groups, reports, and folders
from an existing BusinessObjects Enterprise, Crystal
Enterprise, or Crystal Info implementation to
BusinessObjects Enterprise.

• The Import Wizard runs on Windows, but you can use it


to import information into a new BusinessObjects
Enterprise system running on Windows or on UNIX.
SPICA Application tier
DATA SYSTEMS

• The application tier hosts the server-side components that process


requests from the client tier as well as the components that
communicate these requests to the appropriate server in the
intelligence tier.

• The application tier includes support for report viewing and logic to
understand and direct web requests to the appropriate
BusinessObjects Enterprise server in the intelligence tier.

• The application tier includes:


– Application tier components
– Web development platforms
– Web application environments
SPICA Application tier components
DATA SYSTEMS

• For both the Java and .NET platforms, the application tier includes
the following components:
– Application server and BusinessObjects Enterprise SDK
– Web Component Adapter (WCA)
SPICA Web development platforms
DATA SYSTEMS

• Java platform
– All UNIX installations of BusinessObjects Enterprise include a Web Component
Adapter (WCA).
– In this configuration, a Java application server is required to host the WCA and
the BusinessObjects Enterprise Java SDK.
– The use of a web server is optional as you may choose to have static content
hosted by the application server.

• Windows .NET platform


– BusinessObjects Enterprise installations that use the .NET Framework, that allow
you to use theBusinessObjects Enterprise .NET SDK with ASP.NET, and a set of
.NET Server Components that you can optionally use to simplify the
development of custom applications.
– This configuration requires the use of a Microsoft Internet Information Services
(IIS) web server.
SPICA Web application environments
DATA SYSTEMS

• BusinessObjects Enterprise supports Java Server Pages (.jsp) and


ASP.NET (.aspx) pages.

• BusinessObjects Enterprise includes web applications developed in


.aspx, such as InfoView and the sample applications available via
the BusinessObjects Enterprise Launchpad.

• Java Server Pages (.jsp) and ASP.NET (.aspx) pages allow you to
develop cross-platform J2EE and ASP.NET applications that use
the BusinessObjects Enterprise SDKs in conjunction with third party
APIs
SPICA Intelligence tier
DATA SYSTEMS

• The intelligence tier manages the BusinessObjects Enterprise


system.

• It maintains all of the security information, sends requests to the


appropriate servers, manages audit information, and stores report
instances.

• It includes :
– Central Management Server (CMS)
– Event Server
– File Repository Servers
– Cache Server
Central Management Server (CMS)
SPICA
DATA SYSTEMS

• The CMS is responsible for maintaining a database of information about


your BusinessObjects Enterprise system, which other components can
access as required.

• The data stored by the CMS includes information about users and groups,
security levels, BusinessObjects Enterprise content, and servers.

• The CMS also maintains the BusinessObjects Enterprise Repository, and a


separate audit database of information about user actions.

• This data allows the CMS to perform its four main tasks:
– Maintaining security
– Managing objects
– Managing servers
– Managing auditing
SPICA Event Server
DATA SYSTEMS

• The Event Server manages file-based events. When you set up a file-based
event within BusinessObjects Enterprise, the Event Server monitors the
directory that you specified.

• When the appropriate file appears in the monitored directory, the Event
Server triggers your file-based event: that is, the Event Server notifies the
CMS that the file-based event has occurred.

• The CMS then starts any jobs that are dependent upon your file-based
event.

• After notifying the CMS of the event, the Event Server resets itself and
again monitors the directory for the appropriate file.

• When the file is newly created in the monitored directory, the Event Server
again triggers your file-based event
SPICA File Repository Servers
DATA SYSTEMS

• There is an Input and an Output File Repository Server in every BusinessObjects


Enterprise implementation.

• The Input File Repository Server


– It manages all of the report objects and program objects that have been published to the
system by administrators or end users (using the Publishing Wizard, the CMC, the Import
Wizard, or a BusinessObjects designer component such as Crystal Reports or the Web
Intelligence Java or HTML Report Panels).

• The Output File Repository Server


– It manages all of the report instances generated by the Report Job Server or the Web
Intelligence Report Server, and the program instances generated by the Program Job
Server.

• The File Repository Servers are responsible for listing files on the server, querying for
the size of a file, querying for the size of the entire file repository, adding files to the
repository, and removing files from the repository.
SPICA Cache Server
DATA SYSTEMS

• The Cache Server is responsible for handling all report viewing requests.

• The Cache Server checks whether or not it can fulfill the request with a cached report page.

• If the Cache Server finds a cached page that displays exactly the required data, with data that has
been refreshed from the database within the interval that you have specified as the default, the
Cache Server returns that cached report page.

• If the Cache Server cannot fulfil the request with a cached report page, it passes the request
along to the Page Server.

• The Page Server runs the report and returns the results to the Cache Server. The Cache Server
then caches the report page for future use, and returns the data to the viewer.

• By storing report pages in a cache, BusinessObjects Enterprise avoids accessing the database
each and every time a report is requested.
SPICA Processing tier
DATA SYSTEMS

• The processing tier accesses the data and generates the


reports. It is the only tier that interacts directly with the
databases that contain the report data.

• The processing tier includes:


– Job servers
– Web Intelligence Report Server
– Report Application Server (RAS)
– Page Server
SPICA Processing tier
DATA SYSTEMS
SPICA Job servers
DATA SYSTEMS

• A Job Server processes scheduled actions on objects at the request of the CMS.

• When you add a Job Server to the BusinessObjects Enterprise system, you can
configure the Job Server to:
– Process report objects
– Process program objects
– Send objects or instances to specified destinations

• If you configure a Job Server to process report objects, it becomes a Report Job
Server. If you configure a Job Server to process program objects, it becomes a
Program Job Server, and so on. The processing tier includes:
– Report Job Server
– Program Job Server
– Web Intelligence Job Server
– Destination Job Server
– List of Values Job Server
– Desktop Intelligence Job Server
SPICA Web Intelligence Report Server
DATA SYSTEMS

• The Web Intelligence Report Server is used to create, edit, view,


and analyze Web Intelligence documents.

• It also processes scheduled Web Intelligence documents and


generates new instances of the document, which it stores on the
Output File Repository Server (FRS).

• Depending on the user’s access rights and the refresh options of the
document, the Web Intelligence Report Server will use cached
information, or it will refresh the data in the document and then
cache the new information.
SPICA Report Application Server (RAS)
DATA SYSTEMS

• The Report Application Server (RAS) processes


reports that users view with the Advanced
DHTML viewer.

• The RAS also provides the ad hoc reporting


capabilities that allow users to create and modify
reports over the Web.
SPICA Page Server
DATA SYSTEMS

• The Page Server is primarily responsible for responding to page requests


by processing reports and generating Encapsulated Page Format (EPF)
pages.

• The EPF pages contain formatting information that defines the layout of the
report.

• The Page Server retrieves data for the report from an instance or directly
from the database.

• When retrieving data from the database, the Page Server automatically
disconnects from the database after it fulfills its initial request and
reconnects if necessary to retrieve additional data.

• This behavior conserves database licenses.


SPICA Data tier
DATA SYSTEMS

• The data tier is made up of the databases that contain


the data used in the reports.
• BusinessObjects Enterprise supports a wide range of
corporate databases.
Information Flow
SPICA
DATA SYSTEMS

Information Flow describes the interaction of the


server components in order to demonstrate how
report-processing is performed.
What happens when you schedule
SPICA an object?
DATA SYSTEMS

• When you schedule an object, you instruct


BusinessObjects Enterprise to process an object
at a particular point in time, or on a recurring
schedule.

• BusinessObjects Enterprise also allows you to


schedule jobs that are dependent upon other
events.
Flow of an object after schedule
SPICA
DATA SYSTEMS

• InfoView sends the request to the web server.

• The web server passes the web request directly to the application server, where it is evaluated by
the BusinessObjects Enterprise SDK.

• The SDK passes the request to the Central Management Server.

• The CMS checks to see if the user has sufficient rights to schedule the object.

• If the user has sufficient rights, the CMS schedules the object to be run at the specified time(s).

• When the time occurs, the CMS passes the job to the appropriate job server. Depending on the
type of object, the CMS will send the job to one of the following job servers:

– If the object is Web Intelligence document, it sends the job to the Web Intelligence Job Server, which sends
the request to the Web Intelligence Report Server.
– If the object is a report, it sends the job to the Report Job Server.
– If the object is program, it sends the job to the Program Job Server.
Flow of an object after schedule
SPICA
DATA SYSTEMS

• The job server retrieves the object from the Input File Repository
Server and runs the object against the database, thereby creating
an instance of the object

• The job server then saves the instance to the Output File
Repository Server, and tells the CMS that it has completed the job
successfully. If the job was for a Web Intelligence document, the
Web Intelligence

• Report Server notifies the Web Intelligence Job Server. The Web
Intelligence Job Server then notifies the CMS that the job was
completed successfully.
What happens when you
SPICA view a report?
DATA SYSTEMS

• When you view a report through BusinessObjects Enterprise, the processing


flow varies depending upon your default report viewer, the type of report, and
the rights you have to the report.

• In all cases, however, the request that begins at the web server must be
forwarded to the application server.

• The actual request is constructed as a URL that includes the report’s unique
ID. This ID is passed as a parameter to a server-side script that, when
evaluated by the application server, verifies the user’s session and retrieves
the logon token from the browser.

• The script then checks the user’s InfoView preferences and redirects the
request to the viewing mechanism that corresponds to the user’s default
viewer.
Different Type of Report Viewing
SPICA
DATA SYSTEMS

• Report viewing with the Cache Server and Page Server

– Uses the zero-client DHTML, ActiveX, or Java viewer.


– Upon receiving a report-viewing request, the Cache Server checks to see if it has the requested pages
cached. Cached pages are stored as Encapsulated Page Format (.epf) files.
– If a cached page for the report (.epf file) is available:
• The Cache Server checks with the CMS to see if the user has rights to view the cached page.
• If the user is granted the right to view the report, the Cache Server sends the cached page (.epf
file) to the application server.

• If a cached page for the report (.epf file) is unavailable: The Cache Server requests new
cached pages (.epf files) from the Page Server.

– The Page Server checks with the CMS to see if the user has rights to view the report. If the user is
granted the right to view the report, the Page Server retrieves the report from the Input File Repository
Server.
– If the report is an instance, and the user only has View rights, the Page Server will generate pages of
the report instance using the data stored in the report instance. That is, the Page Server will not
retrieve the latest data from the database.
– If the report is an object, the user must have View On Demand rights to view the report successfully
(because the Page Server needs to retrieve data from the database).
Different Type of Report Viewing
SPICA
DATA SYSTEMS

– If the user has sufficient rights, the Page Server generates the cached page (.epf
files) and forwards them to the Cache Server.
– The Cache Server then caches the pages (.epf files).
– The Cache Server sends the pages (.epf files) to the applicationserver.

• The application server sends the report to the user’s Web browser in one of
two ways, depending on how the initial request was made:
• If the initial request was made through a DHTML viewer
(report_view_dhtml.aspx), the viewer SDK (residing on the application
server) is used to generate HTML that represents both the DHTML viewer
and the report itself. The HTML pages are then returned through the web
server to the user’s web browser.
• If the initial request was made through an Active X or Java viewer
(viewrpt.aspx), the application server forwards the cached pages (.epf files)
through the web server to the report viewer software in the user’s web
browser.
Different Type of Report Viewing
SPICA
DATA SYSTEMS

• Report viewing with the Report Application Server (RAS)


– Uses the Advanced DHTML viewer.
– Upon receiving a report-viewing request, the RAS checks to see
if it has the requested report data in cache. (The RAS has its
own caching mechanism, which is separate from the Cache
Server.)
– If a cached version of the report (.epf file) is available:
• The RAS checks with the CMS to see if the user has rights to
view the report.
• If the user is granted the right to view the report, the RAS
returns cached pages (.epf files) to the application server.
SPICA Different Type of Report Viewing
DATA SYSTEMS

– If a cached page of the report (.epf file) is unavailable:


• The RAS checks with the CMS to see if the user has rights to view
the report.
• If the user is granted the right to view the report, the RAS retrieves
the report object from the Input File Repository Server.
• The RAS then processes the report object, obtains the data from
the database, generates the cached pages (.epf files), caches the
pages and sends the pages to the application server.
• If the user is granted View rights to the report object, then the RAS
will only ever generate pages of the latest report instance. That is,
the RAS will not retrieve the latest data from the database.
• If the user is granted View On Demand rights to the report object,
then the RAS will refresh the report against the database.
– When the application server receives the cached pages (.epf files) from
the RAS, the viewer SDK generates HTML that represents both the
Advanced DHTML viewer and the report itself.
– The application server sends the HTML pages through the web server
to the user’s web browser.
Viewing Web Intelligence documents
SPICA
DATA SYSTEMS

• The process for viewing a Web Intelligence document.


– InfoView sends the request to the web application server.
– The web application server sends the request to the application server,
which creates a new session with the Web Intelligence Report Server.
– The Web Intelligence Report Server checks if the user has rights to use
the Web Intelligence application.
– The web application server then sends the request to the Web
Intelligence Report Server.
– The Web Intelligence Report Server contacts the CMS to check
whetherthe user has the right to view the document, and to check when
the document was last updated.
– If the user has the right to view the document, the Web Intelligence
Report Server checks whether it has up-to-date cached content for the
document.
Viewing Web Intelligence documents
SPICA
DATA SYSTEMS

– If cached content is available, the Web Intelligence Report Server sends the
cached document information to the SDK. If cached content is not available, the
following happens:

• The Web Intelligence Report Server obtains the document information from
the CMS and checks what rights the user has on the document.

• The Web Intelligence Report Server obtains the Web Intelligence document
from either the Input or Output File Repository Server and loads the
document file.

• If the document is set to “refresh on open” and the user has the View On
Demand rights, the Web Intelligence Report Server refreshes the data in the
document with data from the database.

• The Web Intelligence Report Server stores the document file and the new
document information in cache.

• The Web Intelligence Report Server sends the document information to the
SDK.
SPICA Viewing Web Intelligence documents
DATA SYSTEMS

– The viewer script calls the SDK to get the requested page of the
document. The request is passed to the Web Intelligence Report
Server.

– If the Web Intelligence Report Server has cached content for the page,
it returns the cached XML to the SDK. If the Web Intelligence Report
Server does not have the cached content for the page, it renders the
page to XML using the current data for the document. It then returns the
XML to the SDK.

– The SDK applies an XSLT style sheet to the XML to transform it to


HTML.

– The viewer script returns the HTML to the browser.