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How to setup report scheduling and report distribution for BusinessObjects

Posted by Hemanta Banerjee on October 29, 2010


I came across this posting on the BOBJ board asking how to setup report distribution, but the reports should run only if the ETL process is successful. This ofcourse can be done using event based scheduling in BusinessObjects. So here you go – in this post I will talk about scheduling including event based scheduling. I will also talk about how to setup report distribution using EMAIL or to a folder.

Setting up Calendars

Let us first look at the various options for scheduling reports. BusinessObjects allows for scheduling reports either based on time, custom calendars or events. The simplest is to use the built in schedules provided out of the box.

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These cover most of the common scenarios such as “1st day of the month” etc. For example the screenshot below shows that the report will run on the 3rd Monday of every month.

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If none of these meet the requirements you can also setup custom calendars. For example let us say I want to run a report on the 3rd day of every quarter except Q4 where I want to run it on the 9th day of the quarter. This cannot be met by any of the standard calendars, so I will go ahead and define a custom calendar.

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After setting the name I can go ahead and select the days when I want to run the report. I can either select specific days as shown below

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I can also choose by day of the month. For example below the report will run on the 3rd and 10th day of every month.

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Similarly I can also schedule for day of the week. For example below the report will run on the 1st thursday and third thursday and friday of every month.

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While we can do a lot of fancy things I would recommend that we keep it simple. After defining the calendar we can go any report and schedule it using our custom calendar that we have defined.

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Setting up Events

We can also schedule reports to be triggered on events. There are 3 kinds of events.

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Custom Events: They have to be raised by calling the BusinessObjects SDK. Used to integrate reporting with other applications. We can have any application/web service use the BOE SDK to raise an event to trigger generation of a report.

File Events: BOE will looking for specific files, for example below the BOE will wait for a file called etl_complete.txt on d:\temp and will trigger the event if this file is found.

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Scheduled Event: This is usually defined to define event chains. For example I want to run report 2 only if report 1 was successful.

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Scheduling

Now let us setup a scenario. I want to run the P&L report only if the ETL is complete. And if the P&L report is run successfully then I will run the Balance Sheet report as well. Right click on the P&L report and select Schedule.

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Since I want to test this I am scheduling it to “Now”. I am also setting the retry for 20 and retry interval to 60 seconds. This essentially means that the server will wait for 20 mins for the ETL Complete event to occur. 

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I also setup the events as part of the scheduling setup. I want to wait for the ETL complete event. This event will be triggered by the ETL application by placing a file in d:\temp folder. Also if the report generation is successful I will trigger the P&L Complete event which can be used to trigger the Balance Sheet report.

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Last few steps are setting the format and the destination which I have set as PDF and the report will be delivered to the default enterprise location for the user. Checking the status of the job I can see that it is waiting for the ETL complete event.

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As soon as the ETL process places the file BOE automatically picks it up and kicks off the job.

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And successfully completes the job.

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Event Chaining

As discussed earlier I can also chain events. For example I have scheduled the Balance Sheet Report to run when the P&L Complete event is triggered.

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The P&L report is waiting for the ETL to complete and the Balance Sheet report is now waiting for the P&L report to be complete. This is what I mean by event chaining.

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As soon as the ETL process places the trigger file it first kicks off the P&L report and if that is successful will trigger the balance sheet report.

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If both are successful they will be delivered based on the settings for the job which in this example was the inbox for the user in infoview.

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In a separate post I will talk more about how to configure other destinations such as email and FTP servers.

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One Response to “How to setup report scheduling and report distribution for BusinessObjects”

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