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Auditing III: How to enable auditing for Crystal Reports and WEBI viewing

Posted by Hemanta Banerjee on November 4, 2010


A couple of weeks back I had written an article on enabling auditing in BOE. The same functionality is available in Crystal Reports server as well. However I had missed out what activities can be audited. So writing this post to complete my previous posting. Below are the most of the common scenarios that the administrators want to audit.

Crystal Reports Cache Server: Viewing of Crystal reports is audited by Crystal Cache Server.

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Crystal Reports Jobs: Can be turned on by enabling auditing for Crystal reports job server.

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Destination Job Server: Will audit all jobs that output to emails, ftp, and file system.

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Event Server: Audits all events that are registered on the BOE or Crystal Reports server.

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Publication Job Server: Will audit all publication jobs.

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WEB Intelligence: Audits access to all WEBI reports.

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For steps on how to turn on auditing and how to look at audit data you can go to my previous posts on the same topic.

Auditing I: How to enable audits logging in BOE XI 3.1 

Auditing II: How to import the auditing reports in BOE

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Auditing II: How to import the auditing reports in BOE

Posted by Hemanta Banerjee on October 18, 2010


In my last post here I had explained how to enable auditing in BOE. This post focuses on using the provided universe and reports that give a great jump start to analysing the audit database.

Thankfully SAP provides a universe and some sample reports. While they are not exactly 100% of what you would need it is a great start. The universe is bundled with the BOE samples and can be found in “Program Files\Business Objects\BusinessObjects Enterprise 12.0\Samples\universe”.

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Open the Activity.unv file using your universe designer. You will have to set the database connection to point to your auditing database. This can be done by setting the connection information in the properties for the universe.

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Export the universe to BOE repository. I have created a separate folder called “Audit” for placing the universe as well as any reports that I will subsequently create against the audit database.

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The key folders in the universe are

Class/Object Purpose
Activity Captures all the activity details including name, duration, object accessed (universe/document),
Job Time Frame This is used for scheduled jobs
Session Analysis Used to analyze the logon session, duration, client IP
Server Information Used to analyze the BOE services such as job server, RAS used to respond to end user queries.

 

There are some reports also bundled with the samples (D:\Program Files\Business Objects\BusinessObjects Enterprise 12.0\Samples) which can be imported using the BIAR tool. Unfortunately the reports have not been updated and you are probably better off developing your own (unless you are just demo’ing). Some key reports that you might want to develop:

Number of User Sessions – This metric will allow you to trend the adoption of the system based on number of user sessions by week, month, quarter.

Peak Usage – Analyze the number of users accessing the system by hour to determine peak usage patterns.

Average Refresh Time – Will allow you to report to the stakeholders the average refresh time for each report and also the system wide refresh time. Will keep the whiners away.

Top 5/10 Longest Average Refresh Time by Document – Will help pinpoint reports that probably need some work

Top 10 Longest Refresh Instances By User – The report would help you to proactively identify which users are experiencing bad performance and proactively try to address their requirement.

Least/Most Accessed Documents

Posted in Administration, Audit, BusinessObjects | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Auditing I: How to enable audits logging in BOE XI 3.1

Posted by Hemanta Banerjee on October 18, 2010


One of the great new features in XI 3.1 is the auditing capabilities. The following new capabilities have been included in :

  • Provides client auditing for all two- and three-tier clients.
  • Captures IP address and machine name, if the name can be resolved.
  • Tracks which service triggered an event, rather than the server.
  • Audits the folder path so that, even if you have multiple reports with the same name, you know to which report the event refers.
  • Audits the parent-child relationships and parent CUID, which enables you to build reports that aggregate all operations to the level of a common parent.

What is the benefit of auditing – it brings BI administrator of the BOE environment enabling them to understand how the system is being used and make improvements in areas such as unused reports, long running reports etc. that need additional focus.

The first step is to turn on auditing and set the location of the audit database. The DSN for the audit database can be set on the CCM

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You can verify the configuration in the “Configuration” tab for the SIA.

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With the auditing database set, now you can logon to CMC and enable auditing for logon events by enabling auditing in the CMC properties.

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Similarly you turn on auditing for other applications such as Desktop Intelligence, WEBI as shown below.

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Note: You need to restart the services after you enable auditing

You can view the audit events in the auditing tables in the database. The key tables to watch are :

Table Purpose Description
APPLICATION_TYPE Metadata Applications
EVENT_TYPE Metadata English description of the event types
DETAIL_TYPE Metadata English description of the event detail
AUDIT_EVENT Data Table that captures all the events
AUDIT_DETAIL Data Detail table for Audit events

To test whether it is working open up Desktop Intelligence and see how it shows up in the audit trail.

For example the code below shows all the user generated events on my system

select AUDIT_EVENT.Event_ID,
          Event_Type_Description,
          User_Name,
          Detail_Type_Description,
          Detail_Text,
          Object_Type

from AUDIT_EVENT, AUDIT_DETAIL, DETAIL_TYPE, EVENT_TYPE
where
AUDIT_EVENT.Event_ID = AUDIT_DETAIL.Event_ID and
AUDIT_DETAIL.Detail_Type_ID = DETAIL_TYPE.Detail_Type_ID and
AUDIT_EVENT.Event_Type_ID = dbo.EVENT_TYPE.Event_Type_ID
and User_Name <> 'System Account'

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The CMS acts as the system auditor; the BusinessObjects Enterprise server that you monitor is an auditee. As the auditor, the CMS controls the overall audit process. Each server writes audit records to a log file local on the server. At regular intervals, the CMS communicates with the auditee servers to request copies of records from the auditee’s local log files. When the CMS receives these records it writes data from the log files to the central auditing database.

The CMS also controls the synchronization of audit actions that occur on different machines. Each auditee provides a time stamp for the audit actions that it records in its log file. To ensure that the time stamps of actions on different servers are consistent, the CMS periodically broadcasts its system time to the auditees. The auditees then compare this time to their internal clocks. If differences exist, the auditees correct the time stamps that are recorded in their log files for subsequent audit actions.

In a next post I will describe how you can use WEBI to generate reports and perform analysis on this data.

Posted in Administration, Audit, BusinessObjects | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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