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Generating Universes and Report Templates

This section provides information about the workflow for Angles Generator for SAP Business Objects (Angles Generator ), the prerequisites, and procedure for generating universes and report templates (NoetixAnswers).

Workflow of Angles Generator for SAP Business Objects

The following diagram shows the workflow of the Angles Generator during an initial generation.

The diagram shows the three basic steps involved in the generation process (Import Existing Universes and History, Generate Universes, Export Generated Universes and History, and Generate NoetixAnswers) and the different objects that are generated into the Central Management Server. For more information about the generation steps and the generated objects, see “About the Generation Steps” and “Working with Generated Universes and Report Templates” respectively.

Prerequisites

There are a few tasks that are required to be completed before running a generation.

  • A universe connection pointing to the NoetixViews schema, Noetix Analytics ODS or data marts, or RapidDecision data marts must be manually created in Universe Designer prior to the initial generation. This connection will be used by the generated universes. This connection can be configured to use any account that has access to the appropriate database objects, but is typically configured to use the NOETIX_SYS schema for NoetixViews.
  • If the Noetix Analytics ODS or data marts reside in SQL Server, the universe connection must be configured to use ODBC. Data Source Names (DSNs) that point to the SQL Server instance must be set up on the BusinessObjects server and any client machines where Universe Designer is installed.

  • For Noetix Views (NoetixViews), ensure that the Answer Builder stage (Stage 5) of NoetixViews Administrator has been run before the initial generation of Angles for Oracle Generator. For more information, see the Noetix Views Administrator Guide.
  • For Noetix Analytics/RapidDecision, ensure that:
    • The IDS schema has been populated with Noetix Analytics or RapidDecision metadata.
    • The appropriate Noetix Analytics patches have been applied. Contact insightsoftwareSupport if you are unsure of which patches to apply or how to apply them.
    • Index and constraint metadata has been refreshed through Metadata Manager.
  • Columns of LONG data type are not supported by SAP BusinessObjects and therefore are suppressed by the Angles for Oracle Generator. If you need to generate such columns into your reporting layer, convert them to a data type that is supported by your business intelligence (BI) tool.

About the Generation Steps

Using the Angles for Oracle Generator, you can choose to perform one or all of the following steps:

  • Validate Metadata
  • Import Existing Universes and History
  • Generate Audit
  • Generate Universes
  • Create Lists of Values (as part of “Generate Universes”)
  • Export Generated Universes and History
  • Generate NoetixAnswers

Validate Metadata

The Validate metadata step is available for NoetixViews, Noetix Analytics, or RapidDecision generations. In Noetix Analytics or RapidDecision generations, this step duplicates some of the validation functionality in Metadata Manager, but reads metadata specific to the Angles for Oracle Generator, and takes into account any generator hook scripts which may be in place.

The generator validates metadata by running a series of SQL queries embedded in the XML files found in the [Generator install folder]\Metadata Validation folder. If any of these queries returns one or more records, the generator will log detailed warning information and query results to the debug log in the [Generator install folder]\logs folder. It will then cancel all remaining steps in the execution plan.

You may extend this step by adding your own custom validation checks. For each check you add, create a new XML file in the [Generator install folder]\Metadata Validation folder, mirroring the structure of one of the existing XML files installed with the generator.

If the Validate metadata step fails in your environment, you will need to resolve the underlying issues using Metadata Manager or with the help of insightsoftwareSupport before continuing.

It is strongly recommended that you keep the Validate metadata option checked for all generations. Bypassing this step may lead to errors in generated universes.

Import Existing Universes and History

During the Import Existing Universes and History step, Angles for Oracle Generator will attempt to import existing universes and universe history files from a Angles for Oracle Generator History Objects folder on Central Management Server. This is helpful for multi-administrator environments where the tasks of generating and exporting universes are shared by two or more people. This step will also recover universe history files if they were lost after a prior regeneration.

 

Generate Audit

During the Generate Audit step, an XML file with the name <universename>.unv.audit is generated for each universe. The file contains the following information related to a universe and Noetix Analytics, NoetixViews, RapidDecision metadata:

  • Metadata additions
  • Metadata deletions
  • Manual additions
  • Manual deletions
  • Collisions
  • Synchronization
  • Manually synchronized deletions

The information can be used to analyze error conditions and may be used with a source control system to track changes to the metadata and the universe. For more information, see “Intelligent Regeneration in Regenerating Universes and Report Templates”.

Generate Universes

During the Generate Universes step, universes are created that contain a class for every Noetix view or Noetix Analytics alias and an object for every view column or field. For NoetixViews, separate universes are created for each NoetixViews role and for each organizational unit. For Noetix Analytics or RapidDecision, universes are created for each relationship set. Universe files are stored locally in a folder specified by the administrator.

Create Lists of Values

The Create Lists of Values checkbox extends the functionality of the Generate Universes step to also create and/or overwrite list of value (LoV) mappings on columns for which LoV mappings are defined in the NoetixViews metadata. LoV mappings are available only in NoetixViews.

Export Generated Universes and History

During the Export Generated Universes and History step, the universes that were previously generated are exported to the specified BusinessObjects Central Management Server. Universe history files are also exported to a Angles for Oracle Generator History Objects folder in CMS. In addition, groups are created in Central Management Server for each of the exported universes to make security management easier. These groups are granted access to the corresponding universes.

Generate NoetixAnswers

During the Generate NoetixAnswers step, report templates are created in the Public Folders in BusinessObjects InfoView. These report templates utilize the classes in the NoetixViews Role universes that were exported during the Export Generated Universes and History step. They are meant to be a starting point for report authors when creating new Web Intelligence documents against the NoetixViews-based universes.

The generated report templates are organized into folders by their associated organizational unit and NoetixViews role. The security groups that were generated during the Export Generated Universes and History step are configured to provide access to the generated report templates as well. Users will automatically be given access to the NoetixAnswers report templates that are associated with the universes they have been granted.

NoetixAnswers are currently not generated for Noetix Analytics or RapidDecision content.

BusinessObjects 4.1 SP2 or higher (SP4 is preferred) is required to generate NoetixAnswers into SAP BusinessObjects 4.X. SAP did not make the SDK that is necessary to generate NoetixAnswers available in earlier versions of BusinessObjects 4.X.

Generating Universes and Report Templates

The initial generation and export of universes will normally be done using the Angles for Oracle Generator for SAP BusinessObjects tool. This tool may also be used to create input scripts for later unattended regenerations with the ng.exe command line utility.

Before performing the first generation, create a universe connection using Universe Designer that points to the NoetixViews schema, Noetix Analytics Operational Data Store or data marts, or RapidDecision data marts that you wish to generate against. For more information, see “Prerequisites”.

The generator reads NoetixViews or Noetix Analytics metadata through its own set of metadata tables in the NoetixViews, Noetix Analytics, or RapidDecision metadata repository. At the start of each generation, the generator will determine if this metadata layer needs to be built or rebuilt. If necessary, the generator will use Oracle SQL*Plus to execute scripts that prepare the generator metadata layer.

Generating Large Universes or a Large Number of Universes

Angles for Oracle Generator utilizes advanced algorithms to minimize the amount of time it takes to generate or regenerate universes. During the generation process, Angles for Oracle Generator interacts with SAP BusinessObjects to create and publish universes, create security groups and generate NoetixAnswers. These interactions may significantly increase generation times for large universes or large numbers of universes.

insigihtsoftwarecontinues to increase the breadth of reporting capabilities in NoetixViews, Noetix Analytics, and RapidDecision which has a direct effect on universe and report template generation times. As an example, NoetixViews 6.5 includes significantly improved LoV capabilities to improve the performance of parameter prompts in reports and dashboards built on NoetixViews. This significant increase in the number of LoVs available directly increases the amount of time required to generate universes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Increased generation times can be mitigated in the following ways:

  • Generate universes for NoetixViews Global Extension instead of Standard or Cross-Operations: NoetixViews Standard and Cross-Operations creates one set of views for each organizational unit, such as an operating unit or general ledger. This results in a large number of universes in SAP BusinessObjects. NoetixViews Global Extension creates a single set views that can be used to report against all organizational units, which results in a significantly smaller number of universes to generate and maintain.
  • Generate and publish universes iteratively: Instead of generating universes and NoetixAnswers for all of the available NoetixViews roles at one time, perform this task iteratively. Universes and NoetixAnswers report templates can be generated in subsets in a phased roll out based on business requirements. This enables users to start reporting before the entire set of universes and report templates is available.
  • Suppress unneeded views before generating universes: NoetixViews is designed to provide broad operational reporting coverage across a large number of Oracle E-Business Suite modules. Certain Noetix views may not be as useful to one organization as they are to another. Noetix Views Workbench (NoetixViews Workbench), NoetixViews or Angles for Oracle Generator hookscripts can be used to suppress any views that are deemed unnecessary, resulting in smaller universes that require less time to generate.
  • Suppress unneeded LoVs before generating universes: Similarly, NoetixViews provides a broad set of List of Value views and mappings to ensure that parameter prompts perform well in many reporting scenarios. NoetixViews Workbench, NoetixViews or Angles for Oracle Generator hookscripts can be used to suppress any LoV views or mappings that are deemed unnecessary, minimizing the amount of time required to generate universes.
  • Avoid generating the “HR_HUMAN_RESOURCES” role universe: The HR_HUMAN_RESOURCES role (commonly referred to as “HR ALL”) is a single Human Resources role within NoetixViews that contains views from all other HR roles. Since this universe spans all functional aspects of HR, it tends to be very large in size which may cause the universe to take a significant amount of time to generate. In addition, it may open very slowly in BusinessObjects WebIntelligence when selected by report authors. insightsoftware recommends generating the other HR universes and making them available to report authors instead of HR_HUMAN_RESOURCES.
  • The time necessary to regenerate a universe will be significantly smaller than the initial generation time. Angles for Oracle Generator will identify the specific items within a universe that needs to be updated to minimize its interaction with SAP BusinessObjects. This results in decreased regeneration times relative to the original generation. See “Intelligent Regeneration in Regenerating Universes and Report Templates for more information.

To generate and export universes and report templates:

  1. Select Start > All Programs > Angles for Oracle Generator for SAP BusinessObjects > Angles for Oracle Generator for SAP BusinessObjects. The Angles for Oracle Generator tool is displayed with five tabs. The Execution Plan tab is displayed by default. This tab is used to specify the major steps of the generation that you wish to perform.
  2. On the Execution Plan tab, provide the following information:
    1. In the Generation Target box, select the edition of BusinessObjects that you wish to generate universes for.
    2. In the Metadata Source box, select the metadata source that you wish to generate against.
    3. Under Generator Steps, select the steps that should be performed during the generation. The following steps are available:
    • Validate Metadata: This step runs a series of SQL queries against the source metadata to trap for inconsistencies likely to cause problems later in the generation. It is recommended that you keep this box checked for all generations.
    • Import existing universes and history: This step imports existing universe and history files associated with the NoetixViews, Noetix Analytics, or RapidDecision content before launching a regeneration. This step should be selected if the current universe and history files on the local administrator PC may be out of date and newer versions exist on the Central Management Server. This step is also useful if the local copies of the universe or history files were lost.
    • This step should always be selected, unless one or more universes was changed locally without also being exported to Central Management Server.

    • Generate Audit: Creates a XML file for each universe. For more information, see “Generate Audit”.
    • Generate universes: Creates the selected universes and saves them to the local computer. For more information, see “Generate Universes”.
    • Create lists of values: As part of the “Generate Universes” step, also create LoV mappings to improve performance of report filters. LoV mappings are available only in NoetixViews. For more information, see “Create Lists of Values”.
    • Export generated universes and history: Exports the generated universes and universe history files to the Central Management Server. For more information, see “Export Generated Universes and History”.
    • Universes that were previously generated can be exported by choosing the Export generated universes and history step only.

    • Generate NoetixAnswers: Generates pre-built report templates into the BusinessObjects Central Management Server. For more information, see “Generate NoetixAnswers”.
    • Report templates will only be generated for the NoetixViews role universes selected in the Universe Selection dialog that have already been exported to Central Management Server. Be sure to execute the Generate universes and Export generated universes and history steps before executing the Generate NoetixAnswers step.

      SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 SP2 or higher (SP4 is preferred) is required to generate NoetixAnswers for BusinessObjects 4.X versions.

      The Generate NoetixAnswers step of the generation process makes a large number of requests to the BusinessObjects Web Intelligence service. insightsoftware recommends attempting the generation in a test environment prior to generating into a production system in order to gauge the effect generating report templates has on the service.

  3. Select the Source Parameters tab. This tab is used to specify the location of the NoetixViews, Noetix Analytics, or RapidDecision metadata that will be used as the source for the generation as well as which objects should be generated.
  4. On the Source Parameters tab, type the following information:
    1. User Name: The name of the NoetixViews schema or Noetix Analytics/RapidDecision Active Metadata Repository schema.
    2. Password: The password of the user.
    3.  

       

    4. TNS Name: The Transparent Network Substrate (TNS) name for the Oracle instance that contains the NoetixViews, Noetix Analytics, or RapidDecision schema. This value will be identical to the value you enter to connect to the schema via Oracle SQL*Plus. This value can typically be found in the tnsnames.ora file found in your Oracle Client installation.
    5. For NoetixViews, do the following in the Generator Filter section:
      • Select the <Edit List> button to display a dialog containing a list of the universes that can be generated or exported.

      Select All can be checked to select all universes and roles.

      The Universe Selection dialog will display the two universe types available:

      • NoetixViews role universes provide a report author with visibility into a specific Oracle E-Business Suite module. In NoetixViews, this grouping is known as a NoetixViews role. For clients with Standard views, NoetixViews roles will be limited to a specific organizational unit.
      • These universes are intended to be used by BusinessObjects Enterprise users that have more restricted data access or have less need to create reports that span NoetixViews roles.

        Report templates are only generated against the NoetixViews role universes. If one or more NoetixViews role universes are selected and the Generate NoetixAnswers checkbox is selected on the Execution Plan tab, then report templates will be generated for those universes.

      • Organizational unit universes provide a report author with visibility into an entire organizational unit (set of books, inventory organization, business group, etc. for Standard views and subject areas such as Financials or Supply Chain for Global views). These universes contain all of the NoetixViews roles associated with the organizational unit.
      • These universes are intended to be used by advanced report authors that have access to an entire organizational unit and desire to create reports that join together views from different NoetixViews roles.

      Organizational unit universes tend to be much larger than NoetixViews role universes (discussed above). These universes may be too large to use in Web Intelligence, depending on your Oracle E-Business Suite and NoetixViews configurations. insightsoftware recommends using the NoetixViews role universes instead of the organizational unit universes, unless there are specific business requirements that can only be met by the larger universes.

      While organizational unit universes are typically the only universes that contain multiple NoetixViews roles, the “Human Resources (View All)” role (sometimes displayed as HR_HUMAN_RESOURCES) is a compilation of all other human resources roles. As a result, this universe may be too large for BusinessObjects XI to work with, depending on your Oracle E-Business Suite configuration. If that is the case, the other human resources role universes should be used instead.

    6. For Noetix Analytics, do the following in the Metadata Source Environment section:
      • Angles for Oracle Generator will display the environments configured in the Active Metadata Repository in the Environment drop down. Select the environment you wish to generate against from the list.
      • In the System drop down, select the system associated with the environment that you wish to generate against.
      • Select Choose Reporting Areas to display a dialog containing a list of the universes that can be generated or exported.

      The Universe Selection dialog will display a list of the universes that can be generated against Noetix Analytics or RapidDecision, in the same tree structure that is displayed in the Business Manager interface of Metadata Manager.

    7. Select the universes you wish to generate by checking the appropriate checkboxes. Select OK to accept your selection or Cancel if you wish to discard it.
    8. The Universe Selection dialog will keep track of which universes have been generated or exported. Universes that have been generated but not exported will display “(Generated)” next to their names and universes that were generated and exported will display “(Exported)”. The dialog will continue to show “(Generated)” or “(Exported)” until the Clear universe state indicator link is Selected. Selecting that link will clear the state of all universes on the dialog.

       

       

       

    9. Maximum wait time: If the metadata source is NoetixViews, specify the time (in minutes) the generator must wait if the NoetixViews generation is in process. This feature is useful when you want to schedule unattended regeneration of NoetixViews and Angles for Oracle Generator in sequence. If the NoetixViews generation completes before the set time, then Angles for Oracle Generator continues its generation. Otherwise, the generation by Angles for Oracle Generator fails with an error message stating that the process timed out waiting for the NoetixViews generation to be completed.
  5. Select the Target Parameters tab. This tab is used to specify the location of BusinessObjects Enterprise, as well as additional information necessary to generate universes.
  6. On the Target Parameters page, enter the following information:
    1. In the SAP BusinessObjects Connection Information section, enter the following information:
      • System: The name and port of the Central Management Server (CMS) to connect to, in the form [server name]:[port] (for example: busobj_dev:6400 would connect to Central Management Server, listening on port 6400 of the busobj_dev server).
      • User ID: The name of a BusinessObjects Enterprise user that has sufficient permission to build universes in Universe Designer, export them to CMS, and create groups in CMS.
      • Password: The password associated with the User ID specified earlier.
      • Authentication: The type of authentication provider that should be used to process the login request.

      After specifying this connection information, Select Connect to create a connection with CMS. A pop up will appear, signaling that a connection was successfully created or displaying an error message if a connection could not be established.

      A connection must be established in order to enable the Universe Connection and Universe Subfolder controls near the bottom of the tab. These controls will be disabled until a connection is created.

    2. In the SAP BusinessObjects Universe Parameters section, enter the following information:
      • Universe Connection: The list of universe connections available in CMS will be displayed. Choose the universe connection that connects to NoetixViews, Noetix Analytics, or RapidDecision.
      • Universe Subfolder: Enter the name of the folder that you wish to save the generated universes to. The universe files will be saved to this folder locally and will also be uploaded to a corresponding folder in CMS when exported. If this folder does not exist, it will be created during the generation.
      • If you wish to browse to the folder instead of typing one in, Select the […] button to the right of the textbox. A dialog will appear, displaying the existing universe folders in CMS. Select a folder or use the buttons in the upper-right-hand corner of the dialog to create a new one. Select OK once the desired folder is selected.

        Folders that contain other folders or universes cannot be deleted.

        The Local Universe Path box will display the local path where the universes will be saved, including the subfolder specified. This value is for informational purposes only. The base path displayed in this box is based on the Default Universe Folder configured in Universe Designer.

        If you wish to change this value, open Universe Designer and navigate to Tools -> Options. The Default Universe Folder can be modified on the Save tab.

        Generating a new schema into an existing Universe Subfolder will cause all existing universes with similar names to be overwritten. Magnitude strongly recommends using separate BusinessObjects Enterprise servers for test and production to avoid this scenario.

      • User Group Prefix: BusinessObjects Enterprise does not provide a way to organize user groups into separate sets. This makes it difficult to see all of the groups created during a generation because they will be listed alphabetically with other groups that are not related to the generation.
      • Enter a prefix to uniquely identify each group that is created in CMS. This step is optional, but helpful to differentiate groups from ones not created by the generator or groups that were generated, but belong to a different NoetixViews, Noetix Analytics, or RapidDecision schemas.

        Using a prefix that is the same as the Universe Subfolder will make it easier to relate the associated universes to the generated groups in the future.

      • Universe Designer Parameters:
      • Select Edit to open the Universe Parameters dialog. This dialog enables you to set universe-wide parameters for Angles for Oracle Generator to use when generating universes.

        The settings on the Controls tab can be used to modify the query row limit and execution timeout. The settings on the SQL tab can be used to modify the type of SQL statements that BusinessObjects will issue to the underlying data source.

        Each of the settings on these tabs has a Do not update option that instructs the generator to leave the setting untouched in existing universes, causing them to retain their existing settings.

        The Parameters tab can be used to set any universe parameters available on the corresponding Parameter tab in Universe Designer’s Universe Parameters dialog. Select a parameter in the Name drop down, provide a value and then apply it using the Add or Replace buttons. The Do not update button can be used to preserve any existing value that exists in a previously generated universe. If Selected when an existing parameter is selected, that parameter is removed from the list, signifying that it will not be modified.

        The BEGIN_SQL parameter is ignored by BusinessObjects’ List of Value (LoV ) refresh process and should normally be left blank. See “Row Level Data Security in Managing Security” for details on configuring row level security in a way that is compatible with LoV mappings.

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    3. In the SAP BusinessObjects Security Options section, enter the following information:
    • Security Group Access Level: Specify the access level to assign to the generated universes and report templates. The security groups generated will be granted this access level to the appropriate universes and report templates during the generation process. Refer to the BusinessObjects documentation for more information on the specific access levels available.
    • Inherit Universe Permissions From Above: Check this box if the generated universes should inherit permissions from their parent folders. If left unchecked, groups and users that have previously been granted access at the parent folder level will be explicitly denied access and the generated security groups should be used exclusively to provide access to the generated universes.
    • This checkbox is left unchecked by default because BusinessObjects is an open system by default, possibly providing some users with unintended access to the generated universes.

      Check this box only if you have configured BusinessObjects to be a closed-system or desire the default open-system behavior. This checkbox only governs access to universes. Access to the generated report templates must always be provided through the use of the generated security groups.

  1. Select the Script tab. This tab allows you to inspect and validate input arguments, and, optionally, save them in an XML file for later unattended regeneration using the command line utility, ng.exe.
  2. Select the Validate button to confirm that the source and target information provided is valid.
  3. The script displayed can be saved as a generation arguments file for later use, if desired. Check the Include passwords when saving box if you want the Oracle and BusinessObjects connection passwords to be saved to the file and then Select Save. The Save As dialog box opens and you can save the script as an XML file with the default file name GenerationArguments.xml.
  4. Validating and saving the generation arguments to a script file is optional. The arguments will always be validated after launching a generation. This step is useful, however, if you intend to save the file for later use. If Include passwords when saving is checked, passwords will be encrypted before being saved to the file.

  5. Select the Execute tab. This tab allows you to start and monitor the generation process.
  6. On the Execute tab, Select the Generate button to start the generation process. During the generation, the generator status and errors will be logged to the screen. A message will appear confirming that the generation has completed successfully.
  7. If you want to stop the generation at any time, Select the Abort button. The Angles for Oracle Generator will stop the generation after completing the current task. During the generation, if you try to Select the Close button at the upper right of the window, an error message will be displayed stating that the application window cannot be closed when the generation is in process.

After the generation completes, the exported universes should be visible in BusinessObjects Central Management Console. You can view the contents of a generated universe using Universe Designer. Universe Designer can also be used to export the generated universes. The generated report templates should be visible in the Folders section of BusinessObjects Central Management Console and also under Public Folders in BusinessObjects InfoView.

Security groups that govern access to the generated universes and report templates are created during the export step. These groups will not be created if the universes are exported manually through Universe Designer. In addition, universe history files will not be exported to the server. The local copies should be backed up to ensure that future regenerations work properly.

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Generating Universes and Report Templates

This section provides information about the workflow for Angles Generator for SAP Business Objects (Angles Generator ), the prerequisites, and procedure for generating universes and report templates (NoetixAnswers).

Workflow of Angles Generator for SAP Business Objects

The following diagram shows the workflow of the Angles Generator during an initial generation.

The diagram shows the three basic steps involved in the generation process (Import Existing Universes and History, Generate Universes, Export Generated Universes and History, and Generate NoetixAnswers) and the different objects that are generated into the Central Management Server. For more information about the generation steps and the generated objects, see “About the Generation Steps” and “Working with Generated Universes and Report Templates” respectively.

Prerequisites

There are a few tasks that are required to be completed before running a generation.

  • A universe connection pointing to the NoetixViews schema, Noetix Analytics ODS or data marts, or RapidDecision data marts must be manually created in Universe Designer prior to the initial generation. This connection will be used by the generated universes. This connection can be configured to use any account that has access to the appropriate database objects, but is typically configured to use the NOETIX_SYS schema for NoetixViews.
  • If the Noetix Analytics ODS or data marts reside in SQL Server, the universe connection must be configured to use ODBC. Data Source Names (DSNs) that point to the SQL Server instance must be set up on the BusinessObjects server and any client machines where Universe Designer is installed.

  • For Noetix Views (NoetixViews), ensure that the Answer Builder stage (Stage 5) of NoetixViews Administrator has been run before the initial generation of Angles for Oracle Generator. For more information, see the Noetix Views Administrator Guide.
  • For Noetix Analytics/RapidDecision, ensure that:
    • The IDS schema has been populated with Noetix Analytics or RapidDecision metadata.
    • The appropriate Noetix Analytics patches have been applied. Contact insightsoftwareSupport if you are unsure of which patches to apply or how to apply them.
    • Index and constraint metadata has been refreshed through Metadata Manager.
  • Columns of LONG data type are not supported by SAP BusinessObjects and therefore are suppressed by the Angles for Oracle Generator. If you need to generate such columns into your reporting layer, convert them to a data type that is supported by your business intelligence (BI) tool.

About the Generation Steps

Using the Angles for Oracle Generator, you can choose to perform one or all of the following steps:

  • Validate Metadata
  • Import Existing Universes and History
  • Generate Audit
  • Generate Universes
  • Create Lists of Values (as part of “Generate Universes”)
  • Export Generated Universes and History
  • Generate NoetixAnswers

Validate Metadata

The Validate metadata step is available for NoetixViews, Noetix Analytics, or RapidDecision generations. In Noetix Analytics or RapidDecision generations, this step duplicates some of the validation functionality in Metadata Manager, but reads metadata specific to the Angles for Oracle Generator, and takes into account any generator hook scripts which may be in place.

The generator validates metadata by running a series of SQL queries embedded in the XML files found in the [Generator install folder]\Metadata Validation folder. If any of these queries returns one or more records, the generator will log detailed warning information and query results to the debug log in the [Generator install folder]\logs folder. It will then cancel all remaining steps in the execution plan.

You may extend this step by adding your own custom validation checks. For each check you add, create a new XML file in the [Generator install folder]\Metadata Validation folder, mirroring the structure of one of the existing XML files installed with the generator.

If the Validate metadata step fails in your environment, you will need to resolve the underlying issues using Metadata Manager or with the help of insightsoftwareSupport before continuing.

It is strongly recommended that you keep the Validate metadata option checked for all generations. Bypassing this step may lead to errors in generated universes.

Import Existing Universes and History

During the Import Existing Universes and History step, Angles for Oracle Generator will attempt to import existing universes and universe history files from a Angles for Oracle Generator History Objects folder on Central Management Server. This is helpful for multi-administrator environments where the tasks of generating and exporting universes are shared by two or more people. This step will also recover universe history files if they were lost after a prior regeneration.

 

Generate Audit

During the Generate Audit step, an XML file with the name <universename>.unv.audit is generated for each universe. The file contains the following information related to a universe and Noetix Analytics, NoetixViews, RapidDecision metadata:

  • Metadata additions
  • Metadata deletions
  • Manual additions
  • Manual deletions
  • Collisions
  • Synchronization
  • Manually synchronized deletions

The information can be used to analyze error conditions and may be used with a source control system to track changes to the metadata and the universe. For more information, see “Intelligent Regeneration in Regenerating Universes and Report Templates”.

Generate Universes

During the Generate Universes step, universes are created that contain a class for every Noetix view or Noetix Analytics alias and an object for every view column or field. For NoetixViews, separate universes are created for each NoetixViews role and for each organizational unit. For Noetix Analytics or RapidDecision, universes are created for each relationship set. Universe files are stored locally in a folder specified by the administrator.

Create Lists of Values

The Create Lists of Values checkbox extends the functionality of the Generate Universes step to also create and/or overwrite list of value (LoV) mappings on columns for which LoV mappings are defined in the NoetixViews metadata. LoV mappings are available only in NoetixViews.

Export Generated Universes and History

During the Export Generated Universes and History step, the universes that were previously generated are exported to the specified BusinessObjects Central Management Server. Universe history files are also exported to a Angles for Oracle Generator History Objects folder in CMS. In addition, groups are created in Central Management Server for each of the exported universes to make security management easier. These groups are granted access to the corresponding universes.

Generate NoetixAnswers

During the Generate NoetixAnswers step, report templates are created in the Public Folders in BusinessObjects InfoView. These report templates utilize the classes in the NoetixViews Role universes that were exported during the Export Generated Universes and History step. They are meant to be a starting point for report authors when creating new Web Intelligence documents against the NoetixViews-based universes.

The generated report templates are organized into folders by their associated organizational unit and NoetixViews role. The security groups that were generated during the Export Generated Universes and History step are configured to provide access to the generated report templates as well. Users will automatically be given access to the NoetixAnswers report templates that are associated with the universes they have been granted.

NoetixAnswers are currently not generated for Noetix Analytics or RapidDecision content.

BusinessObjects 4.1 SP2 or higher (SP4 is preferred) is required to generate NoetixAnswers into SAP BusinessObjects 4.X. SAP did not make the SDK that is necessary to generate NoetixAnswers available in earlier versions of BusinessObjects 4.X.

Generating Universes and Report Templates

The initial generation and export of universes will normally be done using the Angles for Oracle Generator for SAP BusinessObjects tool. This tool may also be used to create input scripts for later unattended regenerations with the ng.exe command line utility.

Before performing the first generation, create a universe connection using Universe Designer that points to the NoetixViews schema, Noetix Analytics Operational Data Store or data marts, or RapidDecision data marts that you wish to generate against. For more information, see “Prerequisites”.

The generator reads NoetixViews or Noetix Analytics metadata through its own set of metadata tables in the NoetixViews, Noetix Analytics, or RapidDecision metadata repository. At the start of each generation, the generator will determine if this metadata layer needs to be built or rebuilt. If necessary, the generator will use Oracle SQL*Plus to execute scripts that prepare the generator metadata layer.

Generating Large Universes or a Large Number of Universes

Angles for Oracle Generator utilizes advanced algorithms to minimize the amount of time it takes to generate or regenerate universes. During the generation process, Angles for Oracle Generator interacts with SAP BusinessObjects to create and publish universes, create security groups and generate NoetixAnswers. These interactions may significantly increase generation times for large universes or large numbers of universes.

insigihtsoftwarecontinues to increase the breadth of reporting capabilities in NoetixViews, Noetix Analytics, and RapidDecision which has a direct effect on universe and report template generation times. As an example, NoetixViews 6.5 includes significantly improved LoV capabilities to improve the performance of parameter prompts in reports and dashboards built on NoetixViews. This significant increase in the number of LoVs available directly increases the amount of time required to generate universes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Increased generation times can be mitigated in the following ways:

  • Generate universes for NoetixViews Global Extension instead of Standard or Cross-Operations: NoetixViews Standard and Cross-Operations creates one set of views for each organizational unit, such as an operating unit or general ledger. This results in a large number of universes in SAP BusinessObjects. NoetixViews Global Extension creates a single set views that can be used to report against all organizational units, which results in a significantly smaller number of universes to generate and maintain.
  • Generate and publish universes iteratively: Instead of generating universes and NoetixAnswers for all of the available NoetixViews roles at one time, perform this task iteratively. Universes and NoetixAnswers report templates can be generated in subsets in a phased roll out based on business requirements. This enables users to start reporting before the entire set of universes and report templates is available.
  • Suppress unneeded views before generating universes: NoetixViews is designed to provide broad operational reporting coverage across a large number of Oracle E-Business Suite modules. Certain Noetix views may not be as useful to one organization as they are to another. Noetix Views Workbench (NoetixViews Workbench), NoetixViews or Angles for Oracle Generator hookscripts can be used to suppress any views that are deemed unnecessary, resulting in smaller universes that require less time to generate.
  • Suppress unneeded LoVs before generating universes: Similarly, NoetixViews provides a broad set of List of Value views and mappings to ensure that parameter prompts perform well in many reporting scenarios. NoetixViews Workbench, NoetixViews or Angles for Oracle Generator hookscripts can be used to suppress any LoV views or mappings that are deemed unnecessary, minimizing the amount of time required to generate universes.
  • Avoid generating the “HR_HUMAN_RESOURCES” role universe: The HR_HUMAN_RESOURCES role (commonly referred to as “HR ALL”) is a single Human Resources role within NoetixViews that contains views from all other HR roles. Since this universe spans all functional aspects of HR, it tends to be very large in size which may cause the universe to take a significant amount of time to generate. In addition, it may open very slowly in BusinessObjects WebIntelligence when selected by report authors. insightsoftware recommends generating the other HR universes and making them available to report authors instead of HR_HUMAN_RESOURCES.
  • The time necessary to regenerate a universe will be significantly smaller than the initial generation time. Angles for Oracle Generator will identify the specific items within a universe that needs to be updated to minimize its interaction with SAP BusinessObjects. This results in decreased regeneration times relative to the original generation. See “Intelligent Regeneration in Regenerating Universes and Report Templates for more information.

To generate and export universes and report templates:

  1. Select Start > All Programs > Angles for Oracle Generator for SAP BusinessObjects > Angles for Oracle Generator for SAP BusinessObjects. The Angles for Oracle Generator tool is displayed with five tabs. The Execution Plan tab is displayed by default. This tab is used to specify the major steps of the generation that you wish to perform.
  2. On the Execution Plan tab, provide the following information:
    1. In the Generation Target box, select the edition of BusinessObjects that you wish to generate universes for.
    2. In the Metadata Source box, select the metadata source that you wish to generate against.
    3. Under Generator Steps, select the steps that should be performed during the generation. The following steps are available:
    • Validate Metadata: This step runs a series of SQL queries against the source metadata to trap for inconsistencies likely to cause problems later in the generation. It is recommended that you keep this box checked for all generations.
    • Import existing universes and history: This step imports existing universe and history files associated with the NoetixViews, Noetix Analytics, or RapidDecision content before launching a regeneration. This step should be selected if the current universe and history files on the local administrator PC may be out of date and newer versions exist on the Central Management Server. This step is also useful if the local copies of the universe or history files were lost.
    • This step should always be selected, unless one or more universes was changed locally without also being exported to Central Management Server.

    • Generate Audit: Creates a XML file for each universe. For more information, see “Generate Audit”.
    • Generate universes: Creates the selected universes and saves them to the local computer. For more information, see “Generate Universes”.
    • Create lists of values: As part of the “Generate Universes” step, also create LoV mappings to improve performance of report filters. LoV mappings are available only in NoetixViews. For more information, see “Create Lists of Values”.
    • Export generated universes and history: Exports the generated universes and universe history files to the Central Management Server. For more information, see “Export Generated Universes and History”.
    • Universes that were previously generated can be exported by choosing the Export generated universes and history step only.

    • Generate NoetixAnswers: Generates pre-built report templates into the BusinessObjects Central Management Server. For more information, see “Generate NoetixAnswers”.
    • Report templates will only be generated for the NoetixViews role universes selected in the Universe Selection dialog that have already been exported to Central Management Server. Be sure to execute the Generate universes and Export generated universes and history steps before executing the Generate NoetixAnswers step.

      SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 SP2 or higher (SP4 is preferred) is required to generate NoetixAnswers for BusinessObjects 4.X versions.

      The Generate NoetixAnswers step of the generation process makes a large number of requests to the BusinessObjects Web Intelligence service. insightsoftware recommends attempting the generation in a test environment prior to generating into a production system in order to gauge the effect generating report templates has on the service.

  3. Select the Source Parameters tab. This tab is used to specify the location of the NoetixViews, Noetix Analytics, or RapidDecision metadata that will be used as the source for the generation as well as which objects should be generated.
  4. On the Source Parameters tab, type the following information:
    1. User Name: The name of the NoetixViews schema or Noetix Analytics/RapidDecision Active Metadata Repository schema.
    2. Password: The password of the user.
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    4. TNS Name: The Transparent Network Substrate (TNS) name for the Oracle instance that contains the NoetixViews, Noetix Analytics, or RapidDecision schema. This value will be identical to the value you enter to connect to the schema via Oracle SQL*Plus. This value can typically be found in the tnsnames.ora file found in your Oracle Client installation.
    5. For NoetixViews, do the following in the Generator Filter section:
      • Select the <Edit List> button to display a dialog containing a list of the universes that can be generated or exported.

      Select All can be checked to select all universes and roles.

      The Universe Selection dialog will display the two universe types available:

      • NoetixViews role universes provide a report author with visibility into a specific Oracle E-Business Suite module. In NoetixViews, this grouping is known as a NoetixViews role. For clients with Standard views, NoetixViews roles will be limited to a specific organizational unit.
      • These universes are intended to be used by BusinessObjects Enterprise users that have more restricted data access or have less need to create reports that span NoetixViews roles.

        Report templates are only generated against the NoetixViews role universes. If one or more NoetixViews role universes are selected and the Generate NoetixAnswers checkbox is selected on the Execution Plan tab, then report templates will be generated for those universes.

      • Organizational unit universes provide a report author with visibility into an entire organizational unit (set of books, inventory organization, business group, etc. for Standard views and subject areas such as Financials or Supply Chain for Global views). These universes contain all of the NoetixViews roles associated with the organizational unit.
      • These universes are intended to be used by advanced report authors that have access to an entire organizational unit and desire to create reports that join together views from different NoetixViews roles.

      Organizational unit universes tend to be much larger than NoetixViews role universes (discussed above). These universes may be too large to use in Web Intelligence, depending on your Oracle E-Business Suite and NoetixViews configurations. insightsoftware recommends using the NoetixViews role universes instead of the organizational unit universes, unless there are specific business requirements that can only be met by the larger universes.

      While organizational unit universes are typically the only universes that contain multiple NoetixViews roles, the “Human Resources (View All)” role (sometimes displayed as HR_HUMAN_RESOURCES) is a compilation of all other human resources roles. As a result, this universe may be too large for BusinessObjects XI to work with, depending on your Oracle E-Business Suite configuration. If that is the case, the other human resources role universes should be used instead.

    6. For Noetix Analytics, do the following in the Metadata Source Environment section:
      • Angles for Oracle Generator will display the environments configured in the Active Metadata Repository in the Environment drop down. Select the environment you wish to generate against from the list.
      • In the System drop down, select the system associated with the environment that you wish to generate against.
      • Select Choose Reporting Areas to display a dialog containing a list of the universes that can be generated or exported.

      The Universe Selection dialog will display a list of the universes that can be generated against Noetix Analytics or RapidDecision, in the same tree structure that is displayed in the Business Manager interface of Metadata Manager.

    7. Select the universes you wish to generate by checking the appropriate checkboxes. Select OK to accept your selection or Cancel if you wish to discard it.
    8. The Universe Selection dialog will keep track of which universes have been generated or exported. Universes that have been generated but not exported will display “(Generated)” next to their names and universes that were generated and exported will display “(Exported)”. The dialog will continue to show “(Generated)” or “(Exported)” until the Clear universe state indicator link is Selected. Selecting that link will clear the state of all universes on the dialog.

       

       

       

    9. Maximum wait time: If the metadata source is NoetixViews, specify the time (in minutes) the generator must wait if the NoetixViews generation is in process. This feature is useful when you want to schedule unattended regeneration of NoetixViews and Angles for Oracle Generator in sequence. If the NoetixViews generation completes before the set time, then Angles for Oracle Generator continues its generation. Otherwise, the generation by Angles for Oracle Generator fails with an error message stating that the process timed out waiting for the NoetixViews generation to be completed.
  5. Select the Target Parameters tab. This tab is used to specify the location of BusinessObjects Enterprise, as well as additional information necessary to generate universes.
  6. On the Target Parameters page, enter the following information:
    1. In the SAP BusinessObjects Connection Information section, enter the following information:
      • System: The name and port of the Central Management Server (CMS) to connect to, in the form [server name]:[port] (for example: busobj_dev:6400 would connect to Central Management Server, listening on port 6400 of the busobj_dev server).
      • User ID: The name of a BusinessObjects Enterprise user that has sufficient permission to build universes in Universe Designer, export them to CMS, and create groups in CMS.
      • Password: The password associated with the User ID specified earlier.
      • Authentication: The type of authentication provider that should be used to process the login request.

      After specifying this connection information, Select Connect to create a connection with CMS. A pop up will appear, signaling that a connection was successfully created or displaying an error message if a connection could not be established.

      A connection must be established in order to enable the Universe Connection and Universe Subfolder controls near the bottom of the tab. These controls will be disabled until a connection is created.

    2. In the SAP BusinessObjects Universe Parameters section, enter the following information:
      • Universe Connection: The list of universe connections available in CMS will be displayed. Choose the universe connection that connects to NoetixViews, Noetix Analytics, or RapidDecision.
      • Universe Subfolder: Enter the name of the folder that you wish to save the generated universes to. The universe files will be saved to this folder locally and will also be uploaded to a corresponding folder in CMS when exported. If this folder does not exist, it will be created during the generation.
      • If you wish to browse to the folder instead of typing one in, Select the […] button to the right of the textbox. A dialog will appear, displaying the existing universe folders in CMS. Select a folder or use the buttons in the upper-right-hand corner of the dialog to create a new one. Select OK once the desired folder is selected.

        Folders that contain other folders or universes cannot be deleted.

        The Local Universe Path box will display the local path where the universes will be saved, including the subfolder specified. This value is for informational purposes only. The base path displayed in this box is based on the Default Universe Folder configured in Universe Designer.

        If you wish to change this value, open Universe Designer and navigate to Tools -> Options. The Default Universe Folder can be modified on the Save tab.

        Generating a new schema into an existing Universe Subfolder will cause all existing universes with similar names to be overwritten. Magnitude strongly recommends using separate BusinessObjects Enterprise servers for test and production to avoid this scenario.

      • User Group Prefix: BusinessObjects Enterprise does not provide a way to organize user groups into separate sets. This makes it difficult to see all of the groups created during a generation because they will be listed alphabetically with other groups that are not related to the generation.
      • Enter a prefix to uniquely identify each group that is created in CMS. This step is optional, but helpful to differentiate groups from ones not created by the generator or groups that were generated, but belong to a different NoetixViews, Noetix Analytics, or RapidDecision schemas.

        Using a prefix that is the same as the Universe Subfolder will make it easier to relate the associated universes to the generated groups in the future.

      • Universe Designer Parameters:
      • Select Edit to open the Universe Parameters dialog. This dialog enables you to set universe-wide parameters for Angles for Oracle Generator to use when generating universes.

        The settings on the Controls tab can be used to modify the query row limit and execution timeout. The settings on the SQL tab can be used to modify the type of SQL statements that BusinessObjects will issue to the underlying data source.

        Each of the settings on these tabs has a Do not update option that instructs the generator to leave the setting untouched in existing universes, causing them to retain their existing settings.

        The Parameters tab can be used to set any universe parameters available on the corresponding Parameter tab in Universe Designer’s Universe Parameters dialog. Select a parameter in the Name drop down, provide a value and then apply it using the Add or Replace buttons. The Do not update button can be used to preserve any existing value that exists in a previously generated universe. If Selected when an existing parameter is selected, that parameter is removed from the list, signifying that it will not be modified.

        The BEGIN_SQL parameter is ignored by BusinessObjects’ List of Value (LoV ) refresh process and should normally be left blank. See “Row Level Data Security in Managing Security” for details on configuring row level security in a way that is compatible with LoV mappings.

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    3. In the SAP BusinessObjects Security Options section, enter the following information:
    • Security Group Access Level: Specify the access level to assign to the generated universes and report templates. The security groups generated will be granted this access level to the appropriate universes and report templates during the generation process. Refer to the BusinessObjects documentation for more information on the specific access levels available.
    • Inherit Universe Permissions From Above: Check this box if the generated universes should inherit permissions from their parent folders. If left unchecked, groups and users that have previously been granted access at the parent folder level will be explicitly denied access and the generated security groups should be used exclusively to provide access to the generated universes.
    • This checkbox is left unchecked by default because BusinessObjects is an open system by default, possibly providing some users with unintended access to the generated universes.

      Check this box only if you have configured BusinessObjects to be a closed-system or desire the default open-system behavior. This checkbox only governs access to universes. Access to the generated report templates must always be provided through the use of the generated security groups.

  1. Select the Script tab. This tab allows you to inspect and validate input arguments, and, optionally, save them in an XML file for later unattended regeneration using the command line utility, ng.exe.
  2. Select the Validate button to confirm that the source and target information provided is valid.
  3. The script displayed can be saved as a generation arguments file for later use, if desired. Check the Include passwords when saving box if you want the Oracle and BusinessObjects connection passwords to be saved to the file and then Select Save. The Save As dialog box opens and you can save the script as an XML file with the default file name GenerationArguments.xml.
  4. Validating and saving the generation arguments to a script file is optional. The arguments will always be validated after launching a generation. This step is useful, however, if you intend to save the file for later use. If Include passwords when saving is checked, passwords will be encrypted before being saved to the file.

  5. Select the Execute tab. This tab allows you to start and monitor the generation process.
  6. On the Execute tab, Select the Generate button to start the generation process. During the generation, the generator status and errors will be logged to the screen. A message will appear confirming that the generation has completed successfully.
  7. If you want to stop the generation at any time, Select the Abort button. The Angles for Oracle Generator will stop the generation after completing the current task. During the generation, if you try to Select the Close button at the upper right of the window, an error message will be displayed stating that the application window cannot be closed when the generation is in process.

After the generation completes, the exported universes should be visible in BusinessObjects Central Management Console. You can view the contents of a generated universe using Universe Designer. Universe Designer can also be used to export the generated universes. The generated report templates should be visible in the Folders section of BusinessObjects Central Management Console and also under Public Folders in BusinessObjects InfoView.

Security groups that govern access to the generated universes and report templates are created during the export step. These groups will not be created if the universes are exported manually through Universe Designer. In addition, universe history files will not be exported to the server. The local copies should be backed up to ensure that future regenerations work properly.

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