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Historic Audit Analysis

At the SAP BusinessObjects Innovation Center, we are always looking for ways to help you understand your business better. We recently got to thinking about new ways to deliver historic reports.

We know they can be a really powerful tool when it comes to planning and goal-setting, but they usually require building a data warehouse with a time dimension or taking periodic snapshots of your live system.

This can present a number of problems for business users.

  • Data may be in a live OLTP database that lacks a suitable time dimension
  • Constructing a warehouse will involve consulting time and cost
  • On-demand results are not always possible

Wouldn’t it be much better if business users could take a familiar interface, like the query panel in tools like WebI, build their report query and then have some automatic mechanism step in to create the historic view.

Our newly released HISTORIC AUDIT ANALYSIS PROTOTYPE provides this new functionality.

Historic Audit Analysis creates on-demand historic reports, and uses a specially developed algorithm to reconstruct historic views using information in the database’s audit logs. The algorithm responds to the contents of the query to optimize performance and it makes use of an in-memory database to create the historic views.

So if you want to use Historic Audit Analysis, the workflow is pretty straightforward. There’s a once-off setup step which lets you define your log structure and location using a wizard. The is stored in your semantic layer’s metadata. You then build your query in the normal way using items in your universe. When your query is complete, you have two historic reporting options – you can pick a particular date in the past and produce a report for that date, or you can use a calendar to produce a set of reports at a particular interval (e.g. daily, weekly, monthly) over a date range.

The results produced by Historic Audit Analysis are the equivalent of the reports generated in the standard query panel, however. In this prototype version, the results can be exported as a CSV file and then consumed by other SAP BusinessObjects reporting tools.

We think Historic Audit Analysis can give you some neat insights into your business’s activities and it can also provide an agile way to produce historic reports.

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