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Getting Started with OpenDocument and URL Reporting


I’ve worked with OpenDocument and URL Reporting syntax for a few years now. Using the correct syntax for the URL’s parameters is the key to using these methods. I’ve linked some documents below that describe the syntax for both the OpenDocument method and the URL Reporting method.

Troubleshooting issues with OpenDocument or URL Reporting start with Notepad, a simplified URL, and a web browser. I’ve listed some common troubleshooting steps below as well.

The OpenDocument method uses URLs to link to Business Intelligence (BI) documents in a BusinessObjects Enterprise system. OpenDocument processes incoming URL requests for documents and any other viewable object type, and delivers the correct document to the end user making the request. This allows you to send users direct links to a document and avoid having them navigate through a folder hierarchy, as seen in InfoView.

URL Reporting is the older method for viewing objects in a Crystal Enterprise system. URL Reporting uses a request to Viewrpt.cwr to process viewable objects. This method is still available in BOE XI 3.x but only supports viewing Crystal reports.

The various documents linked in the Documentation section below show how to create URLs using OpenDocument syntax and URL Reporting syntax.

Troubleshooting Tips

The best tools for troubleshooting OpenDocument issues are Notepad and Internet Explorer. If a hyperlink is generating an error, or unexpected behavior you want to troubleshoot the URL to determine if it’s an issue with the URL, or an issue with the OpenDocument or URL Reporting web application.

I start by copying the URL that is having the issue into Notepad. I remove all the URL parameters except for the unique report identifier (e.g. the “iDocID” for OpenDoc, or “id” for URL Reporting). I copy this shortened URL directly into a browser and hit enter. The Enterprise system should then prompt for any needed information – like login credentials, or object specific parameters. Fill in the prompts and let the processing complete. Do you see the object you were trying to view? If so, this suggests there was an issue with the original syntax of your URL. If the object doesn’t view using the shortened URL this suggests an actual issue with the OpenDocument or URL Reporting web application.

If you are able to view the object by filling in the Enterprise prompts then you can start adding back one URL parameter at a time and rerunning it in the browser. As each additional URL parameter is added the prompting will change. If you try to pass a URL parameter and it is ignored then this is the parameter you want to focus on for syntax issues.

If the URL is generated from a custom application you want to take the application out of equation. Again, the first step is to test the URL in a browser after copying it from the application. Moving the URL to Notepad for testing allows you to see whether you’re dealing with a URL syntax issue or an issue with the OpenDocument application.

I typically start by looking at the following items:

  • Start with a basic URL that passes just the document ID. The report will prompt for everything else that it needs.
  • Start adding URL parameters one at a time and test the URL. As each URL parameter is added the report will prompt for less information. Continue adding URL parameters until the URL fails.
  • A URL parameter that is causing an issue will not work, or will not produce the desired results.
  • Check the syntax of the URL parameter.
  • Check the value being passed into the URL parameter.
  • Check the Crystal report or Webi document parameter in Crystal Reports or Webi to make sure the parameter name matches what is being used in the URL.

Logon Token Generation Code

If you want to integrate an OpenDocument URL into a custom application you can write code that creates a logon token so that your end users aren’t prompted to log into the Enterprise system. These links include sample code for generating a logon token at runtime in a custom application using one of the BusinessObjects Enterprise SDKs.


Java SDK


* NOTE: The COM SDK has been retired from BOE XI 3.x. The COM / ASP code in this note may continue to work in BOE 3.1, but it is not a supported method for generating a token with this version of the product. Developers are encouraged to migrate to the .NET or Java code for token generation.


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