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Unlock the Auditing database with a new Universe and Web Intelligence Documents for BI4.1/BI4.2

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
  • Oracle
  • 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!

 

Requirements:

  • 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.

 

Instructions

  1. Download (KBA 2793147) the content (take the highest build numbered zip file)
  2. Import one of the five ‘Universe’ LCMBIAR files into your system using Promotion Management (it will go into “BI Platform Auditing” folder)
  3. Import the Web Intelligence LCMBIAR file (it will go into “BI Platform Auditing” folder)
  4. Edit the connection that is imported (in “BI Platform Auditing” folder) with the correct login credentials.
  5. Open the Web Intelligence document ‘STA1 – Start here – Events over time.wid’ as your starting point!

 

Webinar

 

 

Please post your feedback here and I will do my best to comment back as soon as possible.

 

Matthew Shaw

Twitter: @MattShaw_on_BI

Current defect in my Audit Universe and Web Intelligence documents:

Issue Status
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)

Issue My reference Fix?
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.

1580133418, 1670185455,

1670185456,

1670185458

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.

1670001433

Build 8.5

(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!

 

More info on my blog

518 Comments
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  • Hi Matthew,

     

    We have a requirement to baseline and find out the average time of how a universe performs – can I use this audit universe to obtain average timing for queries that run off a universe ? Could you please advise the format and objects to be used.

     

    Regards,

    Mihir

    • Dear All,

      Can we extract reports from Audit universe with bex query reports executed by the users.

      We have extracted reports of users in Audit universe with dashboardsa nd webi reports.

      But we need to extract reports from bex query executed by the Users.

      Is it possible to do the same.

      Thanks & Regards

      Afzal Kar

  • Hello All,

    Is there any way to see how many users are logged on at a particular time and find out how the maximum number possible?

    Note: All the users are of type Named User in the system.

    I have created one audit report which shows the max no of logon by users -month wise. Need to understand how to extract the above info.

     

    Thanks!

  • Can this be used to report on Promotion management?  Are there any Out-of-the-Box Reports for promotion management?   I’d like to get the ‘Change Management ID’ field that is available when running a promotion job.

    • Hello Michael,

      The universe provides access to the whole auditing database, so you can use it to report on everything captured in there. There’s no dedicated Documents for Promotion Management. I’d recommend using the SYS1 document as its a simple ‘audit log’ and this can then be helpful to know everything that is captured. You can then create a new query based upon what you see and what you might want to filter on. Regards, Matthew

  • We would like to create a report based on the Audit universe, which will provide us the query or queries used in any web intelligence report.

    Is it possible to obtain the query used in any web intelligence report using the Detail field and filtering on the Detail Type?

     

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hello Christian,

      Sorry you are having problems with that file. I’ve tried to reproduce the problem but I’ve not been able to do so. Could you try again (different browser, different PC, different network) ? If that still doesn’t work please send me your email and I’ll forward the file. Contact me via the Former Member  Regards, Matthew

      • Running 7-Zip as Administrator was able to extract the lcmbiar file but While importing file using Promotion Management get

         

        Operation failed!

        Error reading lcmbiar file content.

         

        Any idea how to import the “Build 8.5 Web Intelligence Documents (requires BI4.1 sp5 or greater).zip” successfully?

         

        What’s the prupose of “Build 8.5 Web Intelligence Documents (requires BI4.1 sp5 or greater).z01” file?

         

        can someone email a copy of the file?

  • Hi Mathew,

    I am running report Usage – Documents no longer used in the system report

    like 101347_<Report name>_115718,

    101347_<Report name>_116969,

    101347_<Report name>_116972,

    101347_<Report name>_117189

    However, in the system actively there is only single version of <Report name>

    So not sure how to interpret the results out of this report?

    Regards,

    Kiran

    • Hello Kiran

      My guess is these reports could be temporary reports,perhaps used in a publication or scheduling. You’d need to dig a lot more into where these reports are stored and what/who created and deleted them to understand.

      My universe is just reporting on what’s in the database.

      Regards, Matthew

  • Hello Matthew

    I am trying to downloaded the Build 8.5 for WebI reports and tried to extract and it is unable to convert and a BIAR file is created with 0KB size. I tried multiple browsers and still have this issue.

    I used Note 2793147

    Can you let me know if I need to try something else?

    Thanks

    Venkat

    • Hello Jason, Yes that will work. The OS of the BusinessObjects Platform is not relevant for the Universe or the Documents. Regards, Matthew

  • Hi Matthew,

    what could cause scheduled event not to be saved on auditing? For testing I created a new simple report. I refreshed it once manual and once I scheduled it to run in a minute. After that I ran report SYS4x1 for both modes. The “interactive” shows results that “scheduled” not.

    Audit config is set to default.

    Any ideas?

    • Hello Thilo, Could be lots of things. Sorry that’s out of scope for my blog. Best to search the KBA, post a question to the community or log a support incident please. Regards, Matthew

  • Matthew,

    Would it possible to get non-lcmbiar versions of the UNX/UNV and WebI document, saved without security.  I took your original copy updated the folder and names and don’t want the latest lcmbiar to over right the changes.

     

    Thanks Kindly,

    Ajay Gupta

  • Hello Matthew Shaw!

    Do you have a guide written on how to create the universe and report? I would love to us that as a tool on learning about those subjects!

    • Hello James.

      I’ve not written such a guide, sorry. For Universe Design you really need a 2 or 3 day training course. I believe SAP still provide the training courses. The documentation is more a technical feature/function and won’t go so much into the ‘why’ or best practices. Its a big topic! Regards, Matthew

  • Mattew,

     

    We are running BOB 4.2, SP7, Patch 02 and there are still APPLICATION IDs missing from the ADS_APPLICATION_TYPE_STR table.  According to your notes above in this blog, this was supposed to be fixed in BOB4.2, SP4

    Any ideas why these are still missing and how do I fix this?

    Thanks!

    Michael Grackin

    • Hello Michael,  It might be that only a new audit database with that version will have the new ‘missing’ entries. You could create a new schema for auditing, just to see the new table values. Then change back to original audit scheme. You can then optionally manually add in any missing rows into the lookup table(s). Product Support may also be a good way to get some assistance. Regards Matthew

  • Hi Matthew,

    I am missing something in the process but can’t see it so apols in advance.

    I’ve imported the LCMBIAR files, all successfully.  I am not seeing the connection to edit it in either the Connections or OLAP Connections menu.

    Any guidance would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Gill

  • Hi Matthew and other experts:

    We have a Sybase type ADS Database.

    We used to audit reports many years ago, we want to start using them. We want to download the standard audit reports provided by SAP. For this I was referring to the following SAP note, following your comment on one of the answers above.

    Question is: for Sybase db, that we have, from where can we get the standard audit reports to download?

    2793147 – Where can I download the BI Platform Auditing Universe and Reports?

    Environment

    • SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.1, 4.2, 4.3
    • Auditing Database is one of
      • SAP HANA
      • Microsoft SQL Server
      • Oracle
      • SQL Anywhere
      • DB2

    regards

    Varun

  • Hi Matthew,

    In our case, the error messages are written in German in audit database. The filters in some of the audit reports are considering error messages in English.

    What kind of settings do we have to change so that the error messages are written in English in audit database.

    Thank you.

    Regards,
    Parag

     

    • Hello Paragkumar, Just change the self-joins I’ve placed on the lookup table to the language you’d like. You’ll find I limited them to ‘EN’, you’ll just need to change these to your preferred language. Regards Matthew

  • Hi Matthew /Experts:

    We want to download the standard audit reports provided by SAP. We followed your comment on one of the answers above where you mentioned the SAP note 2793147 – Where can I download the BI Platform Auditing Universe and Reports?

    We are working in a system with the following characteristics:

    Data base: Adaptive Server Enterprise – 16.0 SP03 PL07      OS:  x86_64 (64-bit) SLES 11.1

    Java connection: JDBC

    SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.2 Support Pack 6 Patch 3
    Version: 14.2.6.2953

     

    QUESTION –> WHEN & WHERE do we can download the standard audit reports for this database?

     

    Thanks in advance,

    Jorge Duran

  • Hi Matthew,

    I imported the universe (SQL Anywhere) and webi sample reports. When I open and refresh the report STAT1, It throws the below error

    Could you please guide me how to resolve this?

     

    Earlier It was showing a different error, 

    “data source name not found and no default driver specified”. 

    Please suggest

    Regards,

    Arpan

    • Hellp Arpan. The error appears to be an invalid user/pass. So you’ll need to update the connection with the right user/pass. You’ll best to do this in the Information Design Tool and you want to update the connection you imported as part of this solution. The user/pass needs to match the user/pass of the audit db. Regards, Matthew

      • Hi Matthew,

        Thanks ! Its working now.

        But I am facing an error while trying to run the report “USA1 x1 – Usage – Session Analysis”. It has a filter “Only events between ? and ?”. For me all the reports which have this filter are not working. It prompts the blow error

        I read some blogs about how to address this kind of problem but It does not help. I am not deep into Universe and Webi stuff. I only know the basics.

        Could you please suggest?

        Thanks in advance!

        Regards,

        Arpan

        • Hello Arpan

          I wonder if the data type for the event date has changed or is somehow different. I’ve not heard of this issue before, so it suggests the problem is not generic, but local to your environment. Regards Matthew

  • Hi Matthew,

    Really enjoying using the resources you’ve provided – two questions:

    1. What does the auditor ‘Edit’ action capture? I want to to analyse number of times the query in a report is edited. Would Edit give me that? I’ve not been able to find definitions for auditing events like this one – Platform Admin Guide only has limited info.

    2. How do I exclude system user actions on reports. Say I want to produce a report with average of human user views of report x, how do I exclude Views that took place as part of the automated refresh workflow, for instance.

    Many thanks! 🙂

    • Hello Andrew

      1-Sorry, there is no definitive list

      2-Please use the predefined filter. I think its called ‘Only User Events’ or something like that.

      Regards, Matthew

  • Hi Matthew – your universe rocks.  We are using an Oracle database and I can’t figure out how to convert the [Detail] object when it is associated with a prompt value to a date.  It is a character (string) field and looks like 12 digits (ex: 158328000000).  What was actually entered in the date prompt was 3/4/2020.  Is there a way to convert it in the report or universe if the prompt was a date?

    Many thanks!

    Lynn

  • Hi Matthew,

     

    We are not able to make the connection to work. Do you have an idea of what are we missing. The following message appears: DBD: [Microsoft][ODBC Driver Manager] Data source name not found and no default driver specified

     

    Thanks in advance.

     

    Regards,

     

    Patricia

     

     

  • Hi Matthew.

    Is there an updated report containing the fix for report “USA4 – Usage – Universe Objects usage. Identify infrequent used objects.wid”  per Reference IDs 1580133418, 1670185455, 1670185456, 1670185458

    Can a User’s email address (under USERS AND GROUPS > USERS > NAME > PROPERTIES > EMAIL in XI4.2.6 CMS) be reported on (queried) from the Audit universe that has been auto-populated by Active Directory to XI4.2.6?

    Thanks,

    Leon