Publishing BusinessObjects reports to SharePoint
One of the most common requirements for BusinessObjects End-users is to utilize the capabilities of the Microsoft SharePoint by publishing the BusinessObjects reports to SharePoint document library. People tend to ask for Export the Business Objects report to SharePoint Document library so that it will be searchable in SharePoint.
Below are quick steps to configure the reports to publish them in SharePoint. Please note this not the Integration of BusinessObjects with SharePoint.
1. Identify the SharePoint document library where your BusinessObjects reports to be published. Go to document library and open it in the windows explorer view. Copy the UNC path for the explorer view which will be something like //<sharepoint_server>/<site>/<Document_library>/
2. Make sure you can browse to the SharePoint location using UNC path. If your URL is http://Servername/SiteDirectory/Title then the equivalent UNC path would be like the below \\Servername\SiteDirectory\Title. We need the Webclient Service running on the box to access this UNC path (step 4).
3. If the URL is accessible you should be able to schedule the report to \\Servername\SiteDirectory\Title\SharedDocuments provided if you use “Document Workspace” as a template. The folder structure will wary as per the template you select.
4. Go to your BusinessObjects server and start the web client service.This service is needed to access and modify internet based files (SharePoint doc library). Enable and start the service Webclient.
If you are using Windows Server 2008, Please note Webclient Service is not enabled by default. You need to follow the below steps.
a. Open Server Manager and click the Features node.
b. If “Desktop Experience” in not already listed under Features,
click “Add Features”.
c. Select the “Desktop Experience” item and then click next followed by Install.
d. Reboot the PC as instructed.
5. In the BusinessObjects, schedule the report to be exported to a file location. Provide the UNC location which you copied earlier.
6. You should be able to see your report in SharePoint now.
Advantages from publication of reports in SharePoint
- SharePoint search facility will be an added advantage as you are allowed to search the reports in SharePoint itself.
- Utilize SharePoint versioning – SharePoint actually stores a new file with same name as a new version of the document provided versioning is turned on in SharePoint setting for the document library.
- Utilize SharePoint Security – You can utilize the security applied at SharePoint document library along with your BusinessObjects Security.
Points to consider
- If you create a schedule with default name it will contain ‘~’ in the file name which is not allowed on the SharePoint by default. So make sure you configure the instance to you any valid name by adding the place holder in the schedule e.g. %SI_NAME%
- We need to schedule the report only in Agonistic file formats such as .xls,.pdf and .txt etc. If you try to schedule the report with its default format (WebI) the above steps are not applicable as it needs actual SharePoint integration.
- If you try publishing most of your reports to SharePoint, It may reduce the BusinessObjects usability as most of the report viewers tend to use the SharePoint document library instead of Infoview or BI Launchpad. This is what happened when we implemented BusinessObjects report s SharePoint publication:).
Hope you find this Interesting. Looking forward all your valuable feedbacks. Keep reading!