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Posts Tagged ‘Crystal Reports server’

How to setup report bursting (data driven publication) in BusinessObjects

Posted by Hemanta Banerjee on February 23, 2011


One of my favourite features of BusinessObjects is the data driven publication or report bursting. This allows the administrator to very easily setup personalized reports to be delivered to the users at scheduled intervals. For example if I want to send out a pipeline report with all of their active opportunities to all my sales managers every week the report publication feature would allow me to do this with just 1 single report as opposed to creating multiple reports, one for each sales manager.

So how do we set it up. It is quite simple. Let us say we have a report that shows the internet sales orders by country as shown in the report below.

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Now I want to create a publication such that the sales administrators for each of the regions get the report for their respective territories. So first I set up another report (called recipient report) which list all the users and their email addresses as shown below.

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Instead of hardcoding the users I have decided to make it very parameterized by using the database and crystal reports. In a database table I maintain the contact details for each of sales administrator and the territories that they manage.

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This approach allows me to change the distribution at any time without having to worry about modifying any of the reports or scheduled jobs. Now using Crystal reports I have developed the report shown above, which is what I am going to use as the input for the scheduled job.

Now comes the process of setting up the scheduled job. In CMC (or Infoview) right click on the folder where you want to save the job and create a new publication job.

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Now give the job a name and also select the report that you want to send to your users.

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The next step is setting up the recipients of this report. You would use Enterprise Recipients if you wanted to send the report to the users of the BusinessObjects system. However this is not mandatory. As shown below you can also email the report to other users who do not have access to your BusinessObjects server. These could be your employees or even your customers/business partners.

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With Dynamic recipients I can email reports to anyone as long as the mail server information is setup correctly in my BOE system. You would need to set this up in a couple places and I will cover this in a later post. For now assuming it is setup we can use the recipient report created earlier and map the user name and emails from that report.

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The next step is personalization. I want the sales administrator for Australia to only get the orders from Australia. This is setup in the personalization section of the job. In this case the report is grouped by DimGeography.EnglishCountryRegionName and I use that split the report.

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As shown above I can use the country name from the report and mapping to the country name for the recipient I am instructing the job to split the report by  DimGeography.EnglishCountryRegionName and use the Recipient Mapping column to deliver to the right user.

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After setting the other aspects such as format and schedule, you can go ahead and test this publication job. You can either deploy it directly or you can test it first. I would recommend testing it, whereby you can give your email address and the job would run but instead of emailing the reports to the users it would be delivered to you.

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That’s all there is to setting up publications. Now coming to setting up the mail servers, there are a couple of services for which we would need to set the email servers. The easiest way to get it to work is to first use a local email server to test the functionality and then moving to the corporate mail server. You would need to setup email as a destination for the following

  • Adaptive Job Server
  • Destination Job Server
  • Program Job Server
  • Publication Job Server
  • Crystal Reports Job Server

For each of the service right click and select destination as shown below

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And set the details for the email server.
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Posted in Administration, BusinessObjects, Distribution, Publication | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Building Live Dashboards using Live Office

Posted by Hemanta Banerjee on February 3, 2011


In my previous post Creating Live Dashboards using QWAAS I had shown how you can use QWAAS (query as a webservice) to build live dashboards. While QWAAS is very powerful it has 2 drawbacks

  1. It is only available as part of BusinessObjects Edge/Enterprise (BOE). Crystal reports server (CRS) users do not have access to it.
  2. Can be confusing for the end user

Live Office is a great utility that comes as part of CRS and BOE and allows embedding reports or report parts within Microsoft Office documents. It is compatible with excel, word and PPT and allows creating live refreshable documents directly within MS Office.

Click here to download video

Using Live office to create refreshable office documents

 

As shown in the video above the process of creating a live document is quite straightforward. Now we know that XCelsius works with excel documents and using live office we can create a live excel documents. So putting these together we can now create a live dashboard which uses an existing crystal reports to fetch data from the database.

Click here to download video

Using Live Office and Excel to create connected dashboards

 

Using this technique it becomes quite easy for end users to pickup existing reports that already contain the data needed by the dashboard and quickly create live dashboards.

To download HD videos of this post please vi

Posted in BusinessObjects, Dashboard Design, XCelsius | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

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

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

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.

Posted in Administration, BusinessObjects, Custom Calendar, Distribution, Event | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

How to configure NTLM for Crystal Reports Server/BusinessObjects Enterprise/Edge

Posted by Hemanta Banerjee on October 28, 2010


To simplify administration, BOE supports user and group accounts that are created using external directories such as LDAP, Active Directory and NT. In my previous post I had described the process for configuring LDAP authentication. Similar to setting up the authentication for LDAP the administrator needs to perform some basic setup to configure the server with the information needed to connect to the NTLM server.

Before I go to the setup needed in CMC, let me walk through some of the key concepts in a NTLM deployment. For my testing I am using the local windows users and groups. In order to make the administration simpler define a group in your NT server that will hold all the BOE users. I am calling it BOE_Users.

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With that done now I can go to my CMC and enable NTLM authentication. The only difference between LDAP and NTLM is that in NT all I need to specify is the NT domain for user authentication.

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For the meaning of the other settings please refer to the details on the LDAP post here. After selecting update the user and group will be added to the repository and now you can setup the access control for the user/group.

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For details on how this works and how to enable the drop down allowing the user to select the authentication mode you can go to the LDAP posting. In a subsequent posting I will explain how to enable SSO and trusted authentication with NTLM which will allow the user to logon to Infoview without having to enter their user name and password.

Posted in Administration, Authentication, BusinessObjects, Installation, LDAP, NTLM | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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