An understanding for how your BI Platform is used and utilised will enable you as a BI Platform Administrator to take the necessary steps to improve its reliability, performance and adoption within your organisation.
The Auditing database coupled with a new comprehensive Universe and a set of Web Intelligence documents that I have developed will help give you that insight you need and this is what I’d like to share with you now.
My Universe and documents have been in development, on and off, for some time but they have now reached a maturity level where I’m happy to share them with a wider community.
I’m overall pretty happy with the Universe and the documents, however they need a little performance testing on large data sets. This is where you can help me, help you!
Please download my latest ‘build’ (available for a limited time) and give them a blast. They are provided ‘as is’. I’m looking for feedback on any defects, performance issues and also additional reporting/business requirements. If you can get back to me with your feedback I can improve the content for everyone else to benefit. I may occasionally published a newer ‘build’ in the same container, so check every now and then for an update.
Once I’m happy with the amount of feedback and testing I will make the Universe and documents more widely and permanently available.
I have ported the universe to various databases and is currently available for:
- SAP HANA
- Microsoft SQL Server
- SQL Anywhere
- DB2 (added 18/11/2015. Limited testing, please expect some issues!)
Feedback on which database I should next port to would be helpful too!
There’s a large set of documents, each with a number of ‘reports’. The number of reports ranges from 1 to over 50 within a single document. So you can see I’ve been busy! They will take you some time to go through them all.
Here’s a list of documents:
1. STA1 – Start here – Events over time.wid
2. FRA1 – Fraud Detection – 1 machine more than 1 user.wid
3. FRA2 – Fraud Detection – 1 machine more with multiple logon failures.wid
4. LIC1 – License – 1 user more than 1 machine.wid
5. LIC2 – License – Periods when sessions exceeded X.wid
6. LIC3 – License – Users no longer using the system.wid
7. LIC4 – License – Users unable to login due to lack of Concurrent license.wid (added 20/11/2015)
8. LIC5 – License – Periods when named users exceeded 10 (added 25/11/2016 – download as a separate LCMBIAR file)
9. SYS1 – System – Event Log.wid
10. SYS2 – System – Delay in Recording of events to Audit Database.wid
12. SYS3 x1 – System – Overall System Load Analysis (without Mode).wid
SYS3 x2 mi – System – Overall System Load Analysis (Mode is Interactive Only).wid
SYS3 x2 ms – System – Overall System Load Analysis (Mode is Scheduled Only).wid
SYS3 x4 – System – Overall System Load Analysis inc Mode.wid
12. SYS4 x1 – System – Refresh Analysis (Mode is Interactive).wid
SYS4 x1 – System – Refresh Analysis (Mode is Scheduled).wid
SYS4 x2 – System – Refresh Analysis (inc Mode).wid
13. USA1 x1 – Usage – Session Analysis.wid
USA1 x15 u – Usage – Session Analysis (With Users, Without Mode).wid
USA1 x2 mI – Usage – Session Analysis (Mode is Interactive Only).wid
USA1 x2 mS – Usage – Session Analysis (Mode is Scheduled Only).wid
USA1 x30 umI – Usage – Session Analysis (With Users) (Mode is Interactive Only).wid
USA1 x30 umS – Usage – Session Analysis (With Users) (Mode is Scheduled Only).wid
USA1 x4 m – Usage – Session Analysis (With Mode).wid
14. USA2 – Usage – Large number of Data Providers.wid
15. USA3 – Usage – Documents no longer used in the system.wid
16. USA4 – Usage – Universe Objects usage. Identify infrequent used objects.wid (see defect list below)
17. USA5 – Usage – Universes no longer used.wid
Each document has an ‘About’ page that provides a few more details on its purpose.
The Universe is, of course, documented within itself. Every description box has a description! However I’ve not yet written supporting documentation for either the universe or the Web Intelligence documents. Feedback from you on what I should explain would be great!
- BI Platform BI 4.1Support Pack 5 or greater for the Web Intelligence Documents.
- BI Platform BI 4.1.x (or greater) for the Audit database to be queried
This means BI 4.2 meets these requirements.
- Download the content (take the highest build numbered zip file)
- Import one of the five ‘Universe’ LCMBIAR files into your system using Promotion Management (it will go into “BI Platform Auditing” folder)
- Import the Web Intelligence LCMBIAR file (it will go into “BI Platform Auditing” folder)
- Edit the connection that is imported (in “BI Platform Auditing” folder) with the correct login credentials.
- Open the Web Intelligence document ‘STA1 – Start here – Events over time.wid’ as your starting point!
Please post your feedback here and I will do my best to comment back as soon as possible.
Current defect in my Audit Universe and Web Intelligence documents:
|SYS1 – the Duration and ‘Delay in recording time’ show incorrect figures||I’m working on it.|
|Performance of using objects built on the Derived tables in the universe isn’t great||I’m working on it.|
Current defects in capturing of the Audit events (not a defect in the Universe or Web Intelligence documents, though it will impact them)
|Action in sequence is a bit mad! The ‘Action in sequence’ should be 1, then 2, then 3. etc. Currently its a little random! Impact is you can’t quite determine the order of events, other than by time. Possibly can’t determine some event that might require a known order of events.||1580137557||We’re working on it.|
|List of Universe Objects not recorded when refreshing a Web Intelligence document based off a Universe. Impact is you the “USA4” document can’t return anything. Can’t say “given an object, which documents has it been used in before and by whom”., BI 4.2 SP2 now stores the universe objects names, however only the name of the object is captured and not the full path to it. This means if you have 2 objects of the same name (not a good idea anyway), then you can’t tell which one of the objects was used. Additionally the objects (or filter objects too) used as filters to any prompts are also not captured, though the prompt and prompt values are stored. Crystal Reports for Enterprise stores the full path of all objects used.||
|Partly fixed in BI 4.2 SP2. Still working on it.|
|On a Web Intelligence document ‘refresh’ event, the Bunch ID doesn’t change, meaning (for documents with multiple universes or different type of data providers) you can’t tell which Universe ID belongs to which Universe name, and you can’t see which Excel file name belongs to which data provider.. Impact means Cartesian result when querying any of: UniverseName and UniverseID. This means any queries based on these objects (typically used as a condition) will return some invalid results. It also means you can’t identify if a document/event has a mixture of different types of data providers, for example 1 Universe, 1 Freehand SQL.||1570835454||Fixed in BI 4.2 SP5 possible before as well|
|When you login and logout of the BILaunchPad multiple logon/logout events are captured, even though you can only login/logout once. Impact, means you can’t just view the number of events and compare login and logout event types, as there could be more logouts than logins!||1570835975||Fixed in BI 4.2 SP4|
Some rows in the Audit database cause run-time errors.
For SQL Server the error is “Database error: [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 11.0][SQL Server]Error converting data type varchar to bigint.. (IES 10901) (ErrorL INF )”.
For DB2 the error is “Invalid character found in a character string argument of the function “BIGINT”. SQLSTATE = 22018″
The root problem isn’t with the Universe, per say, but a product defect. When the detail value of ‘0’ is stored for the detail types ‘Number of Rows’ and ‘Size’ the product stores an ASCII value of 0, rather than a string of ‘0’. I’ve worked around this problem in the universe but I will arrange for this to be corrected in the product.
(In BI 4.2 SP3 the audit data will no longer store a ASCII character of value 0, but a string of “0”)
|When refreshing a Web Intelligence document based on Freehand SQL, the detail type ‘Universe ID’ stores a single character of ASCII value 0. The ‘Universe Name’ and ‘Universe Object Name’ both store the name of the connection used (without the full path to the connection name). Additionally the SQL for the document is not stored. Impact: makes querying the audit database a little more complex. I will adapt the universe to cater for this.||1670001434||We’re working on it|
|When using Web Intelligence Rich Client and browsing the Repository, for every Web Intelligence document listed, a ‘Retrieval event’ is incorrectly captured. Impact- makes it appear more documents where retrieved than really where.||1670004359||Targeting BI 4.2 SP4|
|Design Studio audit events against a universe: Universe ID is captured as ‘Cube Name’. The Universe name, SQl, parameters, values, universe objects used, refresh time are not stored. Impact: limited analysis on these kind of objects.||1670004513||We’re working on it|
|Web Intelligence based off an XLS: Audit events ‘refresh’ will store the XLS CUID under Universe ID. ‘Refresh’, ‘save’, and ‘create’ will store the XLS filename (not full path) under ‘Universe Name’. Impact means you can’t tell if the document is based off a Universe or an XLS file.||1670004687||We’re working on it|
|Login as a ‘Concurrent User’ with Universe Design Tool will increase number of concurrent users by 2, not 1 (as seen in the CMC-Session) and also in the Audit database (as the detail type ‘Concurrent User Count’). Additionally the audit database will record multiple logon (~5) and logout events (~6) with multiple session IDs (~5) when you would expect to only see 1 of each.||1670009472||Fixed in BI 4.1 SP10 and BI 4.2 SP4|
|In Universe Design Tool, when you retrieve a universe the audit database captures ~8 retrieval events, when you expect to see just 1. The detail for each of these events are identical to each other.||1670009473||We’re working on it|
|Application Type is missing the lookup table (ADS_APPLICATION_TYPE_STR). The missing values for Application Type ID are:AbI5_LpMFxFLhxl7DV91KYY, AeHuywedXKRPl6V1sOVZNtA, AUcgkU0CbV1Co0ujVEw_gSA, AXUaxM4wcwtLqqcn7.eB5bQ). Impact: For some events (most Webi, but also Crystal and Universe) the Application Type will be ‘null’. This might make event level analysis tricky!||1670026096||Fixed in BI 4.2 SP4 and BI 4.1 SP10. See KBA 2391022.|
|When Web Intelligence Rich Client saves a document, or exports to PDF, locally the ‘Size’ written is not numeric and will cause your database to throw an error. It means the ‘Size’ object in my universe will not work. Only affects certain product versions (see KBA 2193391 and 2265803 for these versions). I plan to work around this problem in the next version of my Auditing Solution. To prevent the product from writing future invalid entries apply BI 4.1 SP7 patch 10 or greater (this patch will be merged into other SP lines + BI 4.2 lines)||OSS 344143||Apply a product patch to prevent future invalid entries. Wait for my next UNX build to workaround existing invalid entries|
Other changes planned.
|If you have enabled ‘User Group Details’ (within CMC-Auditing) then the list of all the groups, the user is a member of, are captured for *every* *single* event. For example, if a user is in 150 groups, then all 150 groups are stored for each and every event associated with that user (Prompt, View page, refresh etc.). Given: the User Group assignment is unlikely to change within any session; querying any 2 lists of groups across events is so tricky and there’s an easy way to list when user-group assignment changes we plan to change this.||n/a||
Planned from BI 4.2 Support Pack 5, the list of groups, for a user, will be captured just once, at user logon and not for every event. This will *dramatically* reduce the data volume with no loss of functionality. To see if the user-group assignment has changed, just run a simple query: AppType=CMC; ObjectType= User; EventType=Modify. And look at the Property Name/Value for groups added or removed.
Also, use my universe and the predefined filter “Only sessions where the user is a member of a particular group ?” to do as it says!