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SAP’s Kai Chan provided this webcast to ASUG during the past week.  Starting in BI4.1 release life cycle management is renamed to promotion management.

The usual product disclaimer applies that things are subject to change.

Agenda

  • Promotion Management Overview
  • New in 4.1
  • Performance and Limitations
  • Roadmap
  • Demo
  • Question & Answer

Promotion Management is an application that manages BI resources such as moving from one repository to another

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Figure 1: Source: SAP

Figure 1 highlights three features:

  • Promotion management – manage resources from one BI system to another (same versions)
  • Version management – checking in objects to repository – manage various versions
  • Visual Difference – limited, able to look at and compare different versions of the same file in the system – limited – only compare promotion management jobs. Future plans to compare web intelligence documents, etc

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Figure 2: Source: SAP

Figure 2 shows using Upgrade Manager to move from older system to new system

Kai said there are different behaviors between the tools – promotion management and upgrade manager.

Promotion management is only for similar versions with a manageable size and not to move entire system from one to another.  You move “small chunks” between the systems.

What is new in 4.1

  • New document support
  • Stability improvements
  • Delegated administration
  • Security patches

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Figure 3: Source: SAP

Figure 3 lists the support for new document types.  Support  means when you are doing promotion, you make sure dependencies are calculated, overrides are handled, and icons for the different document types are available on the promotion management page.

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Figure 4: Source: SAP

Figure 4 reviews the stability improvements in BI4.1, with fixes included.

Kai said they want a higher successful promotion rate; SAP realizes customers get frustrated and they want to see them get a higher success rate

Kai said they added more automations to ensure the workflows and workflows should more seamless and more stable.

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Figure 5: Source: SAP

Kai said they complaints that promotion management only worked for administrators.

He said passwords need to be encrypted  and promoting jobs that contain user passwords  – such as the LCM BIAR file gets encrypted  and therefore special rights are needed for promotion – only administrators can encrypt & decrypt

Therefore they need delegated administrators to have access and this is highlighted in KBA listed in Figure 5.

He said they added the CUID of delegated admin group in the CMS start-up

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Figure 6: Source: SAP

Figure 6 shows they found security issues in BI4

They do not want passwords to be seen

He said SP1 closes gaps so not seen as an issue

Passwords are not seen by end users but only those with access to the promotion tool and SDK

SSL support  has been added to CTS+ which is an SAP lifecycle management tool

Performance and Limitations

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Figure 7: Source: SAP

Figure 7 shows some of the performance limitations.  Kai said jobs should not be over 100 due to way promotion management is working.

Promotion management is a web application on TomCat

  • – Moving content from one system to another – building that job with the content selected
  • – Information that is getting moved from one system to the Web app server to the target system

Security dependency calculation in scenarios where you  create a job, adding content to that job – live to live scenario – create the job – not just jobs selected, but also security dependencies

Some suggested work arounds follow:

  • Use inside CMC – know what objects CLI (command line interface) – can create a script to generate the job – bypass web application side -Run on a client machine – can move thousands of objects
  • Simplify security model on the source system

Roadmap

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Figure 8: Source: SAP

Figure 8 shows the roadmap. In the middle  SAP  will look at adding Lumira as a document type.

P&R – upgrade management tool – only for older versions – has an internal flag – blocks you from going to same versions – you may want to replicate the whole entire system – UMT is more robust to

He said for limitations you can use CLI (command line interface) too if you want to move a larger number of objects

Version management supports HTTP and they are looking at supporting HTTPS

Promotion validation

  • During upgrades, validation for customers – when do an upgrade, spend time validating
  • Promotion case – when move content to development to qualification – look at ideas on how to validate that

For large promotion jobs , they want to make sure customers are not blocked

Demo – command line interface

He demonstrated the command line interface, such as moving a folder to promote from dev to qual.  He said the steps to do this are documented in the SAP Help.

Question and Answer

Q:  Visual Difference is just container at this moment and cannot compare Universe at this moment?  Which version they will plan to upgrade it to allow comparasion between Universe, Webi and Crystal?

A:  Cannot be definite at this time; look at roadmap slide – past 4.1

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Q:  If we need to move a *large* size content from 4.0 prod to 4.1 sandbox, can we use upgrade manager ?  Promotion management might not be robust enough.

A:  Recognize need to work on – 3.x to 4 use UMT; 4.1 if want to use UMT – not supported

A:  Supported in SP2

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Q:  In 4.1 will it handle multi universe promotion without throwing false errors?

A:  Yes it will handle this.

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Q:  In 4.1 will you be able to promote more objects within a single job without session timeouts and other issues?  Or will we still need to manually break folders up among several jobs manually?

A:  This is the case if you are dealing with jobs with a lot of jobs; consider Command Line Interface – see if that works.

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Q:  Crystal Reports Database Configuration password and Business View Manager Database connection password are able to migrate as well using promption management?

A:  Yes, passwords are migrated.  There are some limitations in BV, but I assume this should are work.  If not, please log it as  defect.

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Q:  Can LCM migrate/upgrade INSTANCES separate from the OBJECTS…? eg. Have LEGACY environment where One Object might have 15,000+ child-INSTANCES. Can that volume of INSTANCES be broken into smaller-chunks but still relate to the parent-OBJECT…?

A:  Technically this is possible using the CommandLine Interface (CLI), where you can specify the query that selects a subset of instances.  15k is such a large number.  I suggest you wait for SP2 where you can use the UMT.

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Q:  Does LCM/PM validate the byte-size of the PROMOTED report Objects and Instances – to ensure that the PROMOTED files match 100% (ie. no “network” file corruption)..?

A:  No it does not, but that’s a good suggestion.

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Q:  need a conifrmation: Design Studio documents are supported by promotion management 4.0 already ?

A:  Yes design studio support was added back in 4.0 SP5.

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Q:  Is it possible to have the same environments set up as a source and a targetin Promotion Management? For example, usually move Test to Prod but sometimes need to move Prod to Test.

A:  Promotion Mangement is installed by default and should be on both the source and target.  So, you can do promotion either way, and this is supported.

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Q:  dynamic BIAR file schedule should pick up if the latest objects added to to the folder. is it possible ?

A:  Unfortunate not if the job created specifically had those objects added.  However, you can you the CLI to create these jobs to achieve what you are looking for.  The query for the CLI would look something like this:  “exportQuery1=SELECT * FROM CI_INFOOBJECTS,CI_APPOBJECTS,CI_SYSTEMOBJECTS WHERE SI_PARENT_CUID = ‘Aal4VuDEhu1CoNh_oz16occ’, where the new objects reside in the folder whos CUID is ‘Aal4VuDEhu1CoNh_oz16occ’.

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Q:  Will the overrides be simplified and stablized?

A:  It will be simplified when we do a UX redesign which is after SP2.  It should be much more stablized now.

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Q:  Is there a time line when 4.1 is going to come out?

A:  I can only say it’s Q3 2013

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Q:  If Visual Difference is just a container at this time, what is the benefit of of running this service?

A:  VD has a schedule element where you can the visual difference to be run at a later time.  This allows you to do the analysis at a later time.

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Q:  Is there a clear method in LCM/PM to move the LEGACY BusinessViews that are required for Dynamic LOVs that are needed for CR-2013 content..?

A:  No not in LCM.  This will have to be taken with the CR/BV product manager.

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Q:  Will it ever be on the ROAD-MAP to develop a THICK-CLIENT tool to Manage big LCM/PM jobs…? (Capacity issues appear to be related to the Web-based model).

A:  The plan is to use the UMT as the Thick-client in the future.

Special thanks to Kai Chan for this webcast and answering all questions. 

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2 Comments

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  1. Jon Fortner

    The Promotion Manager tool does not bring instances and the UMT refuses to move content from one 4.x system to another. I am currently testing this on BI 4.1 SP5 Patch 5

    In order to move content from 4.1 SP1 to this test box so we can run SP5 through its paces, what do you suggest?

        Will they bring back some form of Import Wizard? LCM is a very poor tool and fails almost every time I use it. Some errors just say Failed with no clues as to why. Some errors on Partial Success say some blurb about not a tree and so I bailed. We need strength in this tool if this is the only thing SAP plans to provide us.

    LCM won’t even move a connection unless every universe it is used on is included in the Promotion job, even though it says all dependent objects are included…ridiculous. Most of our dashboards depend on scheduled reports, so what’s the point in not bringing the instances with that content?

        I see one answer above that maybe the UMT will be a thick client for moving content. Any idea when?

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    1. Tammy Powlas Post author

      Hi Jon – I am not an expert in promotion management; could you create this as a new discussion in the BI Platform space so others can more easily respond?

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