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Adrian Westmoreland and Radim Bacinschi of SAP provided this BI Auditing ASUG webcast last month.  Because it was a long webcast, I will break this up into more than one blog.  Overall this was a great webcast, almost like an education session.

Agenda:

  • Obtain an understanding of BI platform auditing changes in BI4 release
  • Explore the system usage analysis capabilities of BI platform
  • Learn how to analyze, manage and BI deployments via auditing

Overview of Auditing

What is auditing?

It is a broad view of refreshes, views, edits, allowing administrators to keep a record of significant events in the BI platform.  These records give administrators a picture of what is being accessed, how it is being accessed and changed and who is performing these actions

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Figure1: Source: SAP

Figure 1 shows primary uses of auditing in BI – one is regulation, healthcare and HIPPA

Examples of why you would enable auditing are shown in Figure 1

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Figure 2: Source: SAP

Figure 2 shows auditing enhancements in BI4.

Adrian and Radim said they accepted feedback from ASUG and other interest groups, including simplifying configuration, with a single page to control auditing. 

Schema is more meaningful for analysis.

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Figure 3 Source: SAP

Figure 3 shows a server such as an adaptive processing server with 2 services including search and LCM.  These services can become the auditee that generates audit events

CMS is the auditor – the central service gathering data from the auditee

Auditing database is now referred to as the auditing data store (ADS), which include events

Applications can be an auditee as well.

How Auditing Works

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Figure 4: Source: SAP

Figure 4 shows how auditing works

In step 1, an auditable event is performed by the server – as an example, a user logs on.

It is then stored in the temporary file

The auditor (CMS) will poll auditees and retrieve events from temporary files .

What happens when a service performs an action and how it is collected in the system

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Figure 5: Source: SAP

Figure 5 shows client auditing cases.  In the left the client uses the CORBA connection checking the logon event client

The second case on the right the logon events are performed through an HTTP event connection

If installed correctly, auditing should be correct.  Avoid conditions where the drive containing auditing data reaches max capacity; do not delete or modify auditee files.  According to Adrian, improperly configured firewalls could impact audit consistency.  For best performance create a dedicated Adaptive Processing Server for each Client Auditing Proxy Service (CAPS), according to Adrian and Radim.  To increase fault tolerance, consider running Client Auditing Proxy Services (CAPS) on multiple machines.

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Figure 6 Source: SAP

Figure 6 shows the new auditing dashboard which is new with BI4.

Radim says they actively worked with the ASUG Influence Council for this feedback.

New tab on CMC called auditing which contains one central place

The top of Figure 6 shows a status summary

You can enable/disable event details; in the past you could not do that

Configuration is in the lower left and configuration is in one central space.

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To be continued…in a future blog

If you are not an ASUG member, there are several upcoming webcasts open to all:

September 26: SAP Business Objects BI Platform product road maps – see more information here

October 2: How to Select the Right BI Tool – register here

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