No More Splitting Headaches From the Adaptive Job Server

Sometimes just one is enough.

Man with headache

When SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 first went into general availability in 2011, SAP recommended splitting both the Adaptive Processing Server (APS) and Adaptive Job Server (AJS) into smaller pieces. However SAP KB 1868751 with the chipper title of Sporadic and Random Scheduling Failures now recommends a single Adaptive Job Server per node. The difficulty with splitting the Adaptive Job Server is that “This [configuration] will result in errors due to the additional complexity and cross communication” and also cause splitting headaches for the BI administrator.

You should have confidence in a single Adaptive Job Server because each job is forked off as a separate child process by the operating system. But having multiple Adaptive Job Servers if you really want them sounds like something that should work on paper but doesn’t in practice. The cynical part of my brain wonders if Apache Derby is responsible, as it is with BI4 monitoring.

If you currently have multiple Adaptive Job Servers per node in your business intelligence cluster, consider converting one of them to manage all services then disabling and eventually stopping the rest. Be sure to review the maximum jobs setting on each service type according to the number of CPUs per node. And verify that its destinations (BI Inbox, Email, FTP, and File System) are both enabled and configured identical to the multiple Adaptive Job Servers it replaces.

What is your experience with the Adaptive Job Server?

Exotic Destinations in SAP BusinessObjects BI4

A modest but very welcome enhancement to the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform.

Now is the time of year when SAP BusinessObjects administrators begin daydreaming of exotic destinations like Mediterranean cruises. Or family holidays to Walt Disney World. But the software engineering team at SAP had some different ideas about exotic destinations when developing SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.x.

Sending documents to other users and destinations is one of the features of the SAP BusinessObjects user portal, known as the BI Launch Pad beginning with SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 and as InfoView in prior releases. With sufficient access rights, users can send documents to one of four standard destinations (BI Inbox, Email, File Location, and FTP Location).

One of the frequent criticisms of prior versions was that all four destinations were displayed by default, even if they weren’t enabled or configured. The only opportunity for out-of-the-box customization was to completely disable the Send button via rights- an all or nothing proposition. A popular modification request was to only show destinations that the organization was actually using; however, this modification required customization of the BusinessObjects web application source code. These source code modifications had to be carefully managed externally, as they were always in danger of being overwritten by a service pack (now known as a support pack) or fix pack (now known as a patch).

In a moment of serendipity, I discovered that BI 4.0 includes some helpful improvements. The screen shots below are taken from SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 Support Pack 2 (SP2) Patch 10.

Only Enabled Destinations are Displayed

For the first time in SAP BusinessObjects history, only destinations enabled by the Adaptive Job Server are presented to users. So out of the box, only the BI Inbox is shown.

The BI Launchpad now has intelligence and only shows destinations that have been enabled by the SAP BusinessObjects administrator. For example, our current environment only enables BI Inbox, Email and File Location, leaving the FTP Location disabled.

Because the FTP destination was never enabled, it does not appear on the Send menu.

Now lets enable the FTP Server in the Central Management Console.

As expected, all four destinations now appear in BI Launch Pad, including FTP Location.

 

Each Destination Can be Individually Secured

So those are unilateral settings for all users of the BI platform.  But what about limiting access to these destination by user or group? For the first time in SAP BusinessObjects, there are individual rights for each of the four destinations. Prior to BI 4.0, there was a single right that controlled whether the Send button was enabled or disabled. The four destinations can be independently configured in custom access levels, then assigned to users and groups per your security requirements.

Conclusion

These enhancements are certainly not marquee features likely to be demoed from a keynote stage. However, they have been on the feature request backlog for some time. It is great to see tangible proof that SAP is listening to business intelligence administrators, not just business users.

A modest but very welcome enhancement to the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform.

SAP KB 1620597 – “Send to” option in BI Launch Pad does not show expected destinations

SAP KB 1603377 – How to enable the option “Send to” within BI Launch Pad

Have you made any serendipitous discoveries of BI 4.0 improvements?

Where Can I Find the Sizing Companion for SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0?

Directions for finding the Sizing Companion for SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0

This is information I wrote up previously, but it seemed logical to put the information in its own easy-to-find article instead of in an Adaptive Processing Server article.

For more information on sizing your SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 environment, visit Sizing SAP Solutions at http://www.service.sap.com/sizing on the SAP Service Marketplace (S-ID required). Go to Solution Life-Cycle Management -> Hardware Sizing -> Sizing Guidelines -> Solutions & Platform – New Structure -> SAP BusinessObjects, as shown below.

Sizing in the SAP Service Marketplace

There are several valuable documents here, but make sure you grab the Sizing Companion for SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0.

On a related note, my friends and Diversified Semantic Layer hosts Eric Vallo and Greg Myers are writing the SAP Press title SAP BusinessObjects Administration, scheduled for publication in October 2012. You’ll want to pre-order your copy today.