You are on page 1of 17

Business Objects Tips and Tricks

· Business Objects at Penn

The following are tips and tricks for using Business Objects Desktop Intelligence more effectively, and for working around commonly experienced errors. If you have questions which are not answered by the tips below, or have suggestions for additions to the list, please contact Data Administration. · Retrieving Data · Saving and Exporting Queries and Data · Report Formatting · Password issues · Installation issues · Other error messages Retrieving Data

When using the "in list" feature in Deski, if you are typing items in yourself (rather than picking them from a list of values), the items in your list should be separated by commas. Do not type in any quote marks -- Desktop Intelligence will add them itself -- and do not put a space after a comma. However, if you are filling in a list of values in response to a prompt, you should separate the values with a semicolon, rather than a comma (but still no space between values). If you notice that the objects in your universe aren't refreshed, be sure that when you first log on to Desktop Intelligence that the box labeled "Use is Offline Mode" is not checked. If you get a "No data to fetch" message, and you're pretty sure you should be getting something, check to make sure you have configured your conditions correctly. For example: everything in the student data collection uses upper case letters. Another example: if you are entering a condition for a date in any of the financial data collections, use the full year, in other words, 06-01-2008 (instead of 06-01-08) If you get a "Table or View does not exist" message, check to make sure the data collection is available on the warehouse status page. To determine how many rows your query retrieved, choose "View" from the Data menu, then click on the Definition tab of the Data Manager window. The most recent execution of the query will be listed first, by date and time the query was executed, along with the number of rows retrieved, and the amount of time the database took to execute the query (please note that this time is not the time elapsed on your desktop machine).

) User Defined Objects all live on your local computer. you will have to re-create them. You can do this by clicking the Options button at the lower left corner of the Query Panel." button to display a list of all other universes to which you have access. you'll have a better idea of what data you'll be retrieving." directly to the right. They reside within one file per universe.) You can re-use queries between similar universes.. the Universe field will display the universe against which the query is currently directed. "FINQUERY. and select "View Data" to display the Data Manager window.udo" holds your local User Defined Objects for the FINQUERY universe. you may want to rename your queries to better describe their use. To do this. When you first display this window. 9142 and 9152. • • • • .e. or Deski suddenly quits) try this: Log out. For example. If you have multiple queries in one report (one . If you are trying to create a User Defined Object (UDO).5\Universes\ (where <user_name> is your user name on your computer) The file names will be <universe_name>.udo file for that universe.. For example.udo (where <universe_name> is the name of the universe. which has a small button with ". using a percent sign ( % ) in the condition COA_Fund Matches Pattern 5% will retrieve all funds (to which you have access) from 500000-599999.• When first testing a query you may wish to limit the number of rows retrieved to determine if your results are as expected.. Choose the one to switch your query to. The General section of the Definition tab contains a field called "Universe". but the universe you are in won't let you (in the Query Panel. Similarly. and select "View Data" to display the Data Manager window. clicking on User Objects does nothing. Remember to return the setting to "Default Value" when you are ready to retrieve all rows matching your query criteria. you can use an underscore ( _ ). COA_ORG Matches Pattern '91_2' will retrieve ORG values 9132.. Click the ". for example. The General section of the Definition tab contains a field called "Name". which you can reuse to rename the query from the default "Query x with Universe" (i. log back in and try creating the User Objects again. Select "10 Rows". "20 Rows" or enter another value by clicking "Other" in the Partial Results area of the window. (Caution! doing this will remove any user objects you previously created for this universe. so long as all the result objects and conditions from your query exist in the universe to which you'd like change. go to the Data menu. "Query 1 with FINQUERY"). so that when you go to edit or refresh them. go to the Data menu. delete the .rep file). rather than exactly equal to it.. in the following path: C:\Documents and Settings\<user_name>\Application Data\Business Objects\Business Objects 11. To do this. if you're trying to match almost the exact syntax. You can use use wildcards in conjunction with the "Matches Pattern" operator to retrieve data that is like a value.

Desktop Intelligence will then save your file with the data as it appears on the screen. click on the File menu and select Save As. You can then open the query and simply click the Refresh button to retrieve your data.the work around was to use the Business Objects Edit menu and select "Copy All". save it instead to different file name.1. filters. not underlying formulae.4 . special formatting. • If you want to export the data you've retrieved for use in another application. If you do this. but want to be able to save your work without running it. you may find it convenient to create subfolders within that directory to better organize your work. and click the "Do Not Retrieve Data" checkbox. Alternatively. each tab will appear as a separate worksheet within one workbook. Adobe Acrobat PDF or CSV formats. then open a . in the location you wish. that you must uncheck the Do Not Retrieve Data checkbox before you choose to run the query in the future. Similarly. that universe name will now appear in the Universe field. multiple tabs will be accessible indidually in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files. If you experience undesired changes in Excel color formatting when overwritting a Excel file previoulsy saved from Deski. and you choose to save as Excel. though. (This is convenient for switching from the FINQUERY to FINQUERY Template Universe. Once you've refreshed a report. and then click Run. If your report has multiple tabs. be sure to then use "Save As" to save it with a distinctive name. This means the output will be saved and reflect section breaks. etc.rep files) in \My Documents\My Business Objects Documents\userDocs. (Note: This feature was not available in Business Objects 5. The results of any variables or calculations will be saved as text.) Saving and Exporting Queries and Data • If you have taken the time to create a query. only the structure of your report will be displayed. • By default. The most convenient is to use click the "Save and Close" button in the Query Panel to simply save the structure of your report. Desktop Intelligence saves queries (. As long as all the objects in your query are available in the new target universe. InfoView users can perform a similar action. Keep in mind. Again. If you work with several universes.and click ok. you have two options. Select the file format you'd like from the "Save as type" drop-down list. for example. click OK. you have a couple options: Save As: Desktop Intelligence allows you to use the "Save As" feature to save documents in Excel. once you've built your query. which you can then save. you can click the Options button at the bottom left of the Query Panel.

) Export: You can also export the raw data retrieved in your query (retaining no Business Objects post-query formatting or calculations). Count. in a variety of file formats. This is particularly useful when working with a large data set that you wish to manipulate many ways before deciding upon the final report format. and designate file name and path. check to see whether the image is part of a table with other elements. Filter the data: Once you have retrieved all the data meeting your conditions you may wish to further filter the data. [A word of caution about using the . Average. and then use the Excel Import Wizard to bring the data into your speadsheet. Minimum. try it again with either the All Files or the Text Files format. • To minimize the processing time for your query. Click the Export button at the bottom of the Results tab. You may set. You may also add breaks or report sections based on objects. select "View Data" to display the Data Manager window. If it is. Available calculations are dependent upon the datatype of the object. Filtering via the Slice and Dice Panel enables you to include or exclude specific values retrieved. Maximum and Percentage. and file format (options include text formats. and you have an image of some sort as part of your report layout. If you choose the All files (*. More advanced calculations are also available using report Variables. From the Data menu.*) format. If you encounter an error when exporting/importing using the Excel format. This allows you to both view the data at the level of detail retrieved by your query and calculate at break levels you have designated. you can also control the field delimiters used.xls format: some versions of Excel object to the field names used in the Business Objects classes. Perform calculations: You may add calculations to result objects. change and remove filters as often as you wish without having to rerun the original query.xls for Excel).] Report Formatting • If you're having a problem displaying or printing pages after the first page of a report. . and then sort those as well. move it outside the table and see if this fixes your problem. consider using the Desktop Intelligence toolbar icons or the Slice and Dice panel (rather than the query itself) to perform the following operations on the desktop once your query has finished: Sort the data: You can place sorts on multiple objects using the Slice and Dice panel. such as Sum. Choose the "Unformatted Text" option and click Ok to paste your data into the worksheet. and .blank worksheet in Excel and choose "Paste Special" from the Excel Edit menu.

and select Format Table. In other words. then Deski will only display one row in the resulting table on the report. your query attempts will return errors: o o If you check only the Business Objects boxes in the PassWord Changer application. and not the Data Warehouse and other database boxes.• Duplicate rows . Data Warehouse) and only one of the Business Objects boxes. However. Business Objects will return duplicate rows if they exist in the database. (The same applies if you are using Business Objects to query other Oracle databases. you will get this error: Connection or SQL sentence error: (DA0005) Exception: CS. Business Objects and Business Objects DB Credentials each time you change your Data Warehouse password. If you check the database boxes (i. Desktop Intelligence will by default show the aggregate of those rows in the report.e. Unexpected behavior The resolution for all of the above situations is to go to the password change application and reset your password. but if everything on two rows is identical in every column. to force Deski to show all rows. If this isn’t what you want it to do. such as Penn Community. On the General tab.) If your passwords are not synchronized. and be sure to check ALL of the boxes. when you submit a query you will get a message saying your access is denied for password show or not to show Unless you intentionally go to the Options in the Query Panel and select “no duplicate rows”. do the following: o o Right click on the table in your report. the report may not be showing you all the underlying data. However. you must be sure to use the password change application to synchronize your Data Warehouse.. check the box that says “Avoid Duplicate Rows Aggregation” and then click OK. Password Issues Desktop Intelligence and InfoView do check your password when you log in. You can see all the rows if you go to the “View Data” tool. Installation Issues .

" This probably means you are trying to use an older version of Business Objects (for example.version 5. Resolution: You must log in to InfoView to activate Desktop Intelligence the first time you use it following installation. and close it. if possible. See the "Configure the Client" step in the Installation instructions for details.. and then subsequently deleted the one on the Repository.1. 2) If this is a document you created yourself on your local computer using the old version (or modified and saved on your local computer using the old version).• • • Symptoms are: You retrieve the installation files and unzip them. If you attempt to open a report and you get an error: You are not authorized to use this document. make sure you are actually using Business Objects Enterprise XI release 2 / Desktop Intelligence. double-click the installer. do not try to open the local copy. Try downloading and unzipping to the user's desktop. You get an "Operation TimeOut" error and the message that "Your internet server is not responsive. use the old version -. For example. make sure you're entering the date in 4-digit year format. 3) You can also get this error if you created this document yourself on your local computer. You should now be able to open it using Deski. and when you click on the error message "details" it says that the DBDriver failed to load. and get a message: "Please go to the control panel to install and configure system components. before you delete a report on the Repository. rather than entering "7/1/07" (for July 1. always make a backup copy of your local document. but instead go to File->Import from Repository." This can happen if you downloaded the installation files to a drive that is different from the one on which you are trying to install the BusinessObjects Deski client.bat. Other Error messages and error conditions • • Reports with date prompts returning no data: If you're not getting data back when running reports with date prompts (and the same values worked in Business Objects 5). or 2) you are installing Deski on a remote computer and you get an "openSessionLogon" error telling you it cannot establish a CMS connection. then exported it to the Repository (for example.or anyone else! To avoid this problem. Symptoms are: You either 1) get a DA0005 error. this can happen when your desktop shortcut is still pointing to the old version). .. The local one will no longer be available to you -. 2007). Then click on Save.. Go to File>Save As. click the box next to "Save for all users" in the lower left corner of the screen. then. and before you save it.4 -. and use the new one from the repository.bat from there. and run the open it. (FRM0008) try one of the following solutions: 1) Is this a Corporate Document? In which case.. to your "Favorites" box in InfoView). When you launch. enter "7/1/2007".

Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Interne t Settings. 2. It is necessary to extend the time-out limit on Internet Explorer 7. Using the Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall the Microsoft Windows operating system. but get: "Error During SQL Execution: (DA0003) . if the required time out duration is eight minutes. Exit the Registry Editor. select 'Run'. (Check the View menu. If Fold there is unchecked. For some queries. set the ReceiveTimeout data value to 480000 (<480>*1000). this is not enough time to refresh the entire query. Use the Registry Editor at your own risk. accessible from the Tools menu. (First check the old checkbox on the General tab of the Standard Report Styles window. The Registry Editor appears. (Click on any cell that you can see. rather than the actual data retrieved. 4. Strucure setting.) ·The report is folded.) To resolve the error message (if you are using IE 7) 1. 6. Type “regedit” in the Open: text box. From the Windows 'Start' menu. but are not seeing any results on screen other than the column header cells. try the following steps: 1. and choose Filters from the Format menu. Job already in use". Click Start > Run. Restart the computer. For example.CS.) ·There are Filters in your report. 5. End users should NOT attempt this without first consulting with their Local Support Providers. Type "regedit" in the 'Run' dialog box. you may want to check to see if any of the following features are set: ·You are viewing the Structure of the report. • You log in to Deski and try to refresh a report. since the client is connecting using an HTTP protocol to the server. It is strongly recommended that you make a backup copy of the registry files before you edit the registry. you may also want to check the same setting in Format/Table. Add a ReceiveTimeout DWORD value with a data value of (<number of seconds>)*1000. 2. .• If you've run a query. The Run dialog box appears. • If your Business Objects menu bar disappears. Click OK. 3. This can be done by adding a key to the registry. to see if the report is folded there. so that only headers appear. (CAUTION! The following resolution involves editing the registry. One possible cause of this error message is because Internet Explorer 7 has a default time out of 30 seconds compared with the Internet Explorer 6 time out of 60 seconds.

5\default\BusinessObjects\Application Preferences\BusinessDesigner 4. 3. . Locate and delete this folder in the registry: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Business Objects\Suite 11. select 'Run'. 2. Type "regedit" in the 'Run' dialog box. and. click the Slice and Dice button again. try the following steps: 1. From the Windows 'Start' menu.5\default\BusinessObjects\Administrator User Prefs  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Business Objects\Suite 11.5\default\BusinessObjects\Application Preferences\BusinessReporter\Desktop Intelligence • 6. Locate and delete these two registry keys:  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Business Objects\Suite 11.5\default\BusinessObjects\Application Preferences\BusinessReporter\Desktop Intelligence 4. Restart Desktop Intelligence • If you're having problems accessing the Slice and Dice window. Restart Desktop Intelligence 5. Restart Desktop Intelligence If the Classes and Object pane disappears from the Query Panel. when the window doesn't appear. If the steps above do not resolve the issue. try deleting the Desktop Intelligence folder under HKEY_USERS & the user's SID: HKEY_USERS\<user's SID>\ Software\Business Objects\Suite 11. hit Alt+space.3. and then Maximize the window.

you have several components: sections. Within the main section. as you try to format the report or add information to it. BusinessObjects supports different types of blocks such as a simple table. the author selects objects from the universe. blocks. Blocks A block is a set of data that contains column headings. Cells that contain fixed text such as a title or a picture are referred to as constants. Figure shows a report with section headers for each different color of wine. different from a title that applies to the entire report (main section). these are different from page headers and footers that appear in printed reports. the contents of the cell never change no matter which data you are viewing. The report title “Average Wine Ratings By Country and Decade” appears in the main section. row headings. or report variables. Sections Every report has a main section. or chart. it’s important to understand which component you are altering. formulas. and data values. crosstab. These objects . however. As you explore information within a report. Cells whose contents change may be either a formula or a report variable. and cells. you can have a section header and a section footer. Main section headers typically hold the title of the report but also may contain a picture or logo. A block also may contain titles for an individual table or chart. these components are not particularly important. Variables and Cells A cell contains either fixed text.Components of a Report Within a given report. A block is one component within a section. Reports also may have subsections if you create a Master Detail report. Report variables are pointers to the columns of data. When a report author builds a query.

For example. the cell contains either the constant value or a formula that tells BusinessObjects where to find the data value. and Rose: = is the name of the report variable for this particular dimension object. The first cell is a text cell whose contents do not change. and country are all dimension variables. White. A detail provides additional information about a particular dimension. it is denoted by a pink sphere or circle. vintage. In a spreadsheet. The column and row headings (. By viewing the report structure. You may want to see the information in a list report but will not want to use it to analyze measures by. All the other cells show formulas that are used to retrieve the data values for each report variable. In the wine reports shown thus far. Average Rating and Average Price are measure variables.become variables in a report. you can see the true contents of each cell. Phone number and street address are typical detail variables. In a BusinessObjects document. color. each cell contains the actual value. There are three types of report variables that correspond directly to how the universe designer defines an object: A dimension object is denoted with a blue cube and is typically textual information by which you sort and analyze numeric measures. use the pull-down menu to select View | Report Structure. varietal. ) as well as the measure variable that will display individual data values () make up the block. . All these components together make up the report. the following formula will retrieve the individual colors of Red. referred to as a constant. A measure is a number that you want to analyze. as shown in Figure To view the report structure.

each report may contain a limited number of columns or rows of data as you remove variables and apply filters. even if you don’t have a central data warehouse. or crosstab. one result set. Figure gives a conceptual overview of a document that is made up of two data sources: a SQL query and a spreadsheet. You can view the results through Data Manager. The document contains three reports. Each report tab may contain a view with the full data set but in a different block type such as table. In many documents. A result set in which the results of the queries are stored as a microcube. One report may have multiple report types. . The structure of the BusinessObjects document allows you to explore information from multiple perspectives without ever having to requery the database. A document contains the following components: One or more data providers that are typically SQL queries that extract information from source databases. or chart. you may have one query. such as a chart. one result set. table. Alternatively. a set of components that eventually present a report.Components of a Document One of the hardest concepts with BusinessObjects is the document itself. crosstab. two that are tabular reports with a view to each result set and a third that displays a chart with data from both result sets. and one report. One or more formatted reports. but rather. the microcube technology allows you to seamlessly combine information from multiple data sources into one report. Similarly. Alternatively. A document is not a simple report. Each report may be a different type. and multiple reports. you may have only one query.

Home BusinessObjects is a powerful ad hoc reporting and analysis tool. . The universe is the most important component to get right. If your universe becomes a glorified entity relationship model. keep it in the same universe. If your universe includes every data element any user may possibly want from now to eternity. As your target user group expands. you must stay focused on that purpose: business representation. Universes can become unwieldy for end users. if they need many additional objects. thus defeating the flexibility and empowerment offered by an ad hoc query tool and causing unnecessary data reconciliation. The universe should be useful for a clearly defined group of users and should not have much more than 200 objects in it. Poorly defined joins will result in unnecessarily slow queries. However. Casual users would ask an IT expert to create MS Access data marts that were easier for them to use. To build a successful universe. your project will fail. BusinessObjects often refers to this as the semantic or metadata layer. A universe is a business representation of your data warehouse or transaction database. Bigger universes are technically feasible but not user friendly. constantly ask yourself if the needs are distinct enough to justify a separate universe. Having more universes to build and maintain may result in slightly higher maintenance costs but will significantly increase end-user productivity and satisfaction. It shields users from the underlying complexities of the database schema. The result? End users often created invalid queries and blamed the data warehouse for bad data. The single greatest component of BusinessObjects that will make your implementation succeed or fail is the universe. your project will fail. Keep It Simple This universe was difficult for the administrator to maintain and was overwhelming even to expert BusinessObjects users. create a separate universe. If some users need only a handful of additional objects. keep it simple. In all your development efforts.

Therefore. however. As shown in Figure. and contexts. This is an example in which it may make sense to have one universe that meets the needs of both user groups (marketing and customer service representatives). a Salary universe will only have information from this one fact table. Marketing people may need information on sales but will rarely need information on the individual order numbers that customer service representatives need. Sometimes these relate closely to the tables in a database but should be regrouped into business topics. these appear with a folder icon. Human resources is one group of users that needs access to salary details but does not need product sales and order information. Objects become individual columns in a report. joins. A director of the marketing group is most likely a people manager and may need salary and employee details. objects. customer service representatives need both order detail and summary sales. tables. In Figure.Figure illustrates how different user groups will need access to different information. In the sample EFASHION universe. Classes Classes are a way of grouping individual objects. Objects . The key components of a universe are classes. the class Product is a more meaningful business term than Article and includes items from multiple tables ARTICLE_LOOKUP and ARTICLE_COLOR_LOOKUP. as including three subject areas in one big universe would potentially be overwhelming for the majority of users who don't need this information. classes and objects are the main items a business user sees when building a query. classes never appear in a report. the director would use two universes. Universe Components BusinessObjects administrators build universes using Designer.

.Objects refer to columns of data. sphere. joins. Joins allow the use of more than one table in a report. There are different types of objects (as explained further in Chapter 8) denoted with a square. Universe designers use tables to map data from fields to objects in the universe. or triangle icon in Figure 5-2. and Contexts Report authors never directly see several core elements of a universe: tables. This is one example of why Business Objects universes are so powerful and a much better alternative to providing users with direct access to tables. the object Sold At (Unit Price) includes a calculation of revenue/quantity. to avoid divide by 0 errors. it also includes an if-then-else statement to check for 0 quantities. Joins. For example. Objects can include a significant amount of intelligence and may not relate directly to one column in the database. However. and contexts (see Figure). All three of these components are then combined to dynamically build SQL statements in BusinessObjects. and contexts resolve which join path to take when more than one path is possible. if-then-else statements in SQL are implemented differently for each RDBMS and are not something most users would know how to write. Tables.

referred to as a snowflake design. Dimensions and hierarchies often do not exist in the OLTP (note in Figure that there is no Time or Plant table. There can be multiple fact tables and star schemas within a universe. Designer provides functionality to create aliases that are treated like tables. just the . is used in some data warehouses that have extremely large dimensions as well as certain ROLAP tools.Tables Tables are individual database tables that provide data. Dimension tables are also referred to as lookup tables or reference tables. order information may exist in both an ORDER_HEADER table and an ORDER_LINES table. For example. The fact table can have millions of detailed rows of data or can be smaller. time. In a normalized OLTP. or geography. The groupings and product hierarchy for the material IDs may reside in a separate table such as PRODUCT_GROUPING. The dimension tables can be broken into more than one table. A table may be a physical table in the RDBMS. One fact table together with its associated dimension tables is referred to as a star schema. detailed material IDs may reside in a MATERIAL_ID table. you will have two types of tables: 1) a fact table that contains numeric information and 2) dimension tables that allow a user to analyze the numeric data from different perspectives such as product. Further. both the fact tables and the dimension tables may be spread across many tables. for example. This type of structure. with summary numbers. In a data warehouse or data mart environment. or it may be a view or synonym.

no data is stored in the universe itself. This is a drastically different approach than a full MOLAP tool such as Hyperion Essbase. Users then would have to build two queries. Without this join. There are no joins to the SUPPLIERS table. Cognos Powerplay. without the user having to manually stitch the two result sets together. if this is not immediately possible. views. Joins Joins specify how tables. so having data that users want to analyze together generally calls for a data warehouse or data mart. Joins allow a user to combine information from two or more tables. You. BusinessObjects does not allow a universe to point to two different databases.individual facility that produced the product). the results will be nicely displayed in one table. Data gets replicated only when a BusinessObjects user launches a report and the RDBMS sends results back to the report. synonyms. However. as long as the detailed key information is named consistently between the universes. Contexts . a user is not able to determine which suppliers provide various products. however. populating a micro cube in a . For example. Instead. you are basically creating pointers to tell BusinessObjects where to find the data.rep file on either the WebI middle tier or the Windows client. There are many types of joins. or Microsoft Analysis Services. customer IDs. are stored with detailed records. there are joins between ORDERS_FACT and the dimension table PLANT as well as between ORDERS_FACT and the dimension table PRODUCTS. BusinessObjects provides a workaround in the end-user tool. Only the individual material IDs. you are not replicating any data from these tables. as the designer. and so on. can create two separate universes: one that points to the OLTP and one that points to the dimension database. in the following diagram. When you build a universe. or aliases relate to one another.

As contexts were generally confusing for end users. one with all the joins for the star schema with a SALES_FACT table and a second context with all the joins related to INVENTORY_FACT. Loops generally result in incorrect queries with fewer rows returned than expected. they were best avoided. Without contexts. .Contexts group related joins. Earlier versions of BusinessObjects supported queries that contained only one context. one for each context. This allows users to query multiple star schemas to create powerful business reports. this query would involve two contexts. Two examples follow. BusinessObjects would generate SQL that contained a loop. A context may group a set of joins together for each star schema. BusinessObjects now allows one query to generate multiple SQL statements. Days Sales Inventory (DSIs) How many days worth of inventory do you have according to the daily sales volume? As shown in Figure.