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Business Case

All the EPM Add-in functions use the connection name as parameter. During the deployment of BPC solution on a wide user base, these connection names should be identical to avoid any errors. Since the connections can’t be deployed or maintained centrally, this leads to lot of manual efforts during the deployment phase of the BPC project.

Solution

The solution is to have the ability to deploy and maintain the connections centrally.

EPM 10 Connection Configuration

EPM 10 Add-in stores the connection details in the Connections.xml file in the folder located in the user profile (C:\Users\%user%\AppData\Local \ EPMOfficeClient). The proposed solution below leverages this file to deploy the connections centrally.

 

File Format

Below is the format of the Connection.XML

Connections.png

Deployment

The connection details are stored in the tags “<Name>” and “<connection>” in the connection.xml file. These tags can be created manually following the above format or else the entire files can be copied from one machine and moved to user machines. The general strategy would be to copy the file from a central shared network folder location to the user’s machines.

Option 1

The script for copying the file from the network location to the user’s profile (C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\EPMOfficeClient) can be executed as the log on script using the group policy.  The script (batch file) will look like the below. The script copies only if the files are not available; this ensures that users can still create their connection after the first time. 

CopyConnection.BAT

if /i not exist
“%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\EPMOfficeClient\Connections.xml” copy \\<servername>\CONNECTION\Connections.xml
“%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\EPMOfficeClient\Connections.xml”

CopyConnections.jpg

This solution option is very efficient but needs the help of the Network Administrators and their support.

Option 2

The script for copying these file from the network location to the user profile (C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\EPMOfficeClient) can be uploaded to the
BPC Web interface in the document folder. Users can execute the batch file to synchronize the connections from the web interface; and the same can be
documented in the user guide.  Below is the script (batch file) for copying connection file to user profile. Note that the files are replaced in this case. You can use the script from option 1 if  you want to avoid replacing the file. 

ReplaceConnectionFile.BAT

 

copy \\NXGPC0015\CONNECTION\Connections.xml “%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\EPMOfficeClient\Connections.xml”

ReplaceConnections.png

BPC Documents folder

BPCWeb.png

Note: You should allow the .BAT file to be uploaded via the Environment level parameter. Please refer the BPC help for the same.

This solution option is not optimal as there is some manual actions to be performed by the users. But this can be deployed with least help from the Network Administrators.

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2 Comments

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    1. Mark Sapey

      Dear Clas,

      The default connection is recorded in another file, EPMXLClientPreference.XML which is stored in the same folder.

        <DefaultConnectionId>ade3ccfc-7a9f-4bb3-9c98-e0eaf8a0f347</DefaultConnectionId>

      By distributing this file to, you can preset the users EPM options so that the behaviour of the EPM addin is controlled centrally.

      Regards,

      Mark

      (0) 

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