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Promotion Management (LCM): BI 4.1 SP2 has lots of performance improvements

I recently gave a SAP internal presentation on What’s new in 4.1 SP2 Promotion Management and the main highlight was on performance improvement.   While the performance still not as comparable to the Upgrade Management Tool or the old Import Wizard, the improvement is significant that I’d like to share. Here’s my summary of the improvements:

  1. The web based Promotion Manage tool in the CMC is bounded by the web 20 minute time-out: it is important to understand that when using this tool, promotion management does a lot of executions on the web application server: the executions include object dependency and security dependency calculations. The effort of these two main tasks can grow as more contents are added to the job during creation. So in the Add object UI, from the time you selected the contents to add to seeing these content being added to the job, promotion management has a 20 minute window to
    complete the tasks of object dependency and security calculations. If the amount to time taken is greater than 20 minutes, you will get a time-out
    message, and if you are not patient enough to be at your computer when this happens, your job creation will fail, because you were not present to click on the “Continue” button to extend the web session timeout. Our P&R development team has done a profiling on this area and have improved how
    dependency and security calculation are done. In the past, we had recommended that you don’t add more than 100 objects at a time, with SP2 I was able to add over two thousand objects containing WebI reports. We’ll continue to verify the number of objects of different types and will provide proper guidance in the documentation later.
  2. Use the Command Line Interface (CLI) to promote larger sets of content: This feature is often overlooked but can get around the web 20 minute time-out by running the job creation and promotion from a command prompt. When running from the command prompt (Windows or UNIX), there is no worry of running into the 20 minute time-out issue because you are not running inside a web browser and there is no web application server to interact with. The CLI is flexible but not very user friendly. You will need to select the objects you want to  include in a promotion management job in a SQL statement. The biggest advantages, I’d say, are that you have more control to not include dependencies and securities in your job, and you can promote way more objects than you have ever done before. I’ll share what we have accomplished later on in this blog, but why would you not want to include dependencies or security in your job, you might ask? You might not need to include dependencies because you are quite familiar with the objects you are selecting, and you can express subsequent queries to select those dependencies.  Remember, I am mentioning this to shorten the amount of time to do promotions.  If you are not comfortable turning dependency calculation off, you can still have them on and let Promotion Management do the dependencies calculation for you, and take the hit on execution time. Similarly, why would I turn off Security calculation? I would say that I need to promote with security because my security model has changed between my source and target system. But in most times, this would not change for most users. Also, security is usually on the folder and not on the reports, so it’s best to first promote the folders with security (by doing this first, the number of content in a job should be smaller), and then promote the content in the folder without security. You’ll see significant time saving.   Here is an example of a query to select all the content in the folder ABC and its subfolders:


exportQuery1=SELECT TOP 10000 static, relationships, SI_PARENT_FOLDER_CUID, SI_OWNER, SI_PATH FROM CI_INFOOBJECTS,CI_APPOBJECTS,CI_SYSTEMOBJECTS WHERE (DESCENDENTS(“si_name=’Folder Hierarchy'”,”si_name=’ABC’ and si_kind=’Folder'”)) AND si_kind=’Folder’


Now to the test results we have done using the CLI: Prior to 4.1, we could barely promote a thousand agnostic objects at a time, using the CLI, with security and dependencies off. In 4.1 SP2, with the same settings, we were able to promote a hundred thousand objects successfully in about 11 hours. (Agnostic objects such astext, xls and pdf files are used to eliminate external factors, and please note that results differ depending on hardware, network latency, and object kinds and sizes)

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