Some tips for working with the popular PuTTY application.
PuTTY is, according to its web site, “an SSH and telnet client, developed originally by Simon Tatham for the Windows platform. PuTTY is open source software that is available with source code and is developed and supported by a group of volunteers.” Because it is open source, PuTTY is popular for those looking for an inexpensive way to access a Linux or Unix server from Microsoft Windows. PuTTY is a stand-alone EXE, so it doesn’t have an installation process. Just drop it somewhere on your Microsoft Windows file system and double click on it.
The trouble with an app that can goes “somewhere” is sometimes you can’t find it anywhere. Occasionally, it can’t be found because it was accidentally deleted by one of your teammates. Then it becomes silly PuTTY, not to be confused with Silly Putty. I’ve come up with a few tricks for working with silly PuTTY.
Copy PuTTY to a Legitimate Location
I like to place PuTTY in a folder named C:Program Files (x86)\PuTTY. This folder is a perfectly valid location for a 32-bit Microsoft Windows application and unlikely to get deleted when somebody goes on an expedition to find free disk space.
Add PuTTY to Everyone’s Start Menu
Next, I like to place a shortcut on the Start Menu. Microsoft Windows 7/8/10 and Windows Server 2008/2012/2016 handle the Start Menu differently than in previous releases (see related article Windows 7/Windows 2008 Start Menu). Create a shortcut of the PuTTY.exe file and place it into the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\ folder.
Add PuTTY to Everyone’s Desktop
Lastly, I like to put frequently used items on everyone’s desktop, not just mine. Again, Microsoft Windows 7/8/10 and Windows Server 2008/2012/2016 do this a bit differently than previous releases. Create another shortcut to PuTTY.exe and place in the C:\Users\Public\Public Desktop\ folder.
To perform this step, make sure that your Windows Explorer displays hidden folders. The public desktop is a great place to place any items that are accessed frequently, especially for groggy 3 AM support calls.
Nothing fancy, but these tip will keep PuTTY at your fingertips.
No Silly Putty was harmed in the creation of this article. Did you know you can purchase 5 lb blocks of Silly Putty? Or Silly Putty eggs in quantities of 100? I’ve heard of Silly Putty eggs being given as wedding favors. Or customized with your corporate logo. Imagine the possibilities.
Supported Linux platforms for various versions of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence.
Let’s take a minute to look at the Linux versions currently supported by SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise. SAP supports both Red Hat Enterprise Linux (rhel) and SUSE Linux Enterprise by Novell, but the exact version depends on the version of SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise.
The SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence BI 4.1 SP6 – Supported Platforms guide indicates support for the following Linux editions:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Update 3
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Update 2
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
The SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence BI 4.0 SP7 – Supported Platforms guide indicates support for the following Linux editions:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Update 2
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Update 2
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
The SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.1 SP6 for Linux – Supported Platforms guide indicates support for the following Linux editions:
Red Hat Linux Enterprise Server 4
Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 4
Red Hat Linux Enterprise Server 5
Red Hat Linux Enterprise Advanced Platform Server 5
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 SP3
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2
The SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 SP6 for Linux – Supported Platforms guide indicates support for the following Linux editions:
Red Hat 4.0 Advanced Server
Red Hat 4.0 Enterprise Server
SUSE Linux 9.0 Enterprise Server
Higher patches beyond the specified minimum patch requirement may be used, but they may not be officially tested by SAP.
Next, let’s look at free versions of Linux. These Linux distributions aren’t supported by SAP as production platforms! However, they are perfectly suited to determining if Linux is a good fit for your business intelligence system architecture. CentOS is an “Enterprise-class Linux Distribution derived from sources freely provided to the public by a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor”. That vendor is Red Hat. On the SUSE front, Novell offers openSUSE.
Although I’ve installed XI R2 on Linux for customers multiple times, I did not until recently install XI 3.1. Eric Vallo has a valuable set of articles related to installing BusinessObjects Enterprise on CentOS. I’ve been using his posts as a guide and will have more to say about my own experiences soon.
Customizing SAP BusinessObjects on Linux and Unix.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reviewing different aspects of SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise on Linux. The writing has been slow, mostly because I’m using my “spare” time to finish the draft of my ASUG Annual Conference presentation that’s due on Monday.
Today’s post provides some tips of what to look at on an unfamiliar installation for the first time.
How can I tell which patches have been applied to my SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise system on Linux?
The <INSTALLDIR>/patch directory contains a text file named patch_list. It provides a simple list, in order, of the patches that have been applied. For example, on the systems that I’ve been supporting lately, the patch_list file looks like this:
So the patch_list file is telling me that there’s been an initial installation (IW), that FixPack 2.6 was installed (FP2_6) and hot fix LAFix2_6_11 was also applied. The <INSTALLDIR>/patch directory will also have subdirectories named after each patch. These subdirectories contain additional information that may be useful. In particular, the ProductID.txt file gives some details about the patch. The ProductID.txt file in the FP2_6 directory looks like this:
Vendor : Business Objects
Product : FP2_6
Version : 11.5
Date : 17 Oct 2007
Platform : Linux
Hmmm… October 2007. That might lead somebody to wonder if more recent service packs are available. And they just might lay awake at night wondering if their system would perform better if the latest service pack was applied. Service Pack 6 (SP6) for XI Release 2 was released in December 2009 and a Fix Pack 6.1 has already been released in 2010.
How can I tell how the BusinessObjects Enterprise has been customized?
Checking the Servers management area in the CMC will let you know quickly what servers and of which type are running. However, you’ll want to look in the <INSTALLDIR>/bobje/ccm.config file to confirm if specific TCP/IP ports are used, if tracing has been accidentally left on, etc. The ccm.config file on Linux corresponds to the Central Configuration Manager application on a Windows installation. The file can be edited manually, but is generally modified by using the scripts (ccm.sh, cmsdbsetup.sh, serverconfig.sh) also in the <INSTALLDIR>/bobje directory.
Installing SAP BusinessObjects on Linux
Several blog readers have expressed interest in learning more about installing SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise on Linux. It’s fairly straightforward if you know some basic UNIX commands and the vi editor. But I’ll be doing a new install next week and paying attention for tidbits that are blogworthy and not covered by the standard documentation (which I’ve found to be quite good). Until then…
Customizing SAP BusinessObjects on a Linux/Unix platform.
In an earlier article, I explained how to perform some basic customizations of InfoView and Web Intelligence for SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 and XI 3.x on Microsoft Windows 2003 server. I’ve been doing a lot of Linux installs for SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2, so I thought I would take a minute to describe how to perform similar modifications. You’ll need to be able to use a Unix editor such as vi. And it’s always good to make backup copies of the original files before you change anything, just in case. Also keep in mind that future fix packs or service packs may overwrite your customizations, so the newly customized files should also be preserved somewhere other than their original location.
The following file locations are valid for SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 on Linux/Unix. I’ll post similar information for XI 3.x in a future post.
Changing the Default Logo
Copy the desired image file to the <INSTALLDIR>/bobje/tomcat/webapps/businessobjects/enterprise115/desktoplaunch/InfoView/res/schema.blue directory. Next, log into the Central Management Console (CMC), choose the BusinessObjects Enterprise Applications management area, and select the InfoView application. Enter the filename (no path required).
Changing the Welcome Logo
Copy the desired image file to the <INSTALLDIR>/bobje/tomcat/webapps/businessobjects/enterprise115/desktoplaunch/InfoView/res/schema.blue directory. Next, modify the <INSTALLDIR>/bobje/tomcat/webapps/businessobjects/enterprise115/desktoplaunch/WEB-INF/web.xml file using your favorite editor and change the param-value for the param-nameimg.banner.home.
Customizing the InfoView Login Page
The <INSTALLDIR>/bobje/tomcat/webapps/businessobjects/enterprise115/desktoplaunch/WEB-INF/web.xml file contains many attributes to the InfoView login page that can easily be changed, although the web application server must be restarted before the changes will take effect. Look for the app.name, app.name.greeting, cms.visible, and authentication.visible properties.
Changing the Web Intelligence Default Paper Size
The default paper size for Web Intelligence can be changed from A4 to LETTER by modifying the <INSTALLDIR>/bobje/tomcat/webappas/businessobjects/enterprise115/desktoplaunch/webiApplet/AppletConfig/defaultConfig.xml file. The Web Intelligence Report Server must be restarted before this change will take effect. For more details, read my article Web Intelligence Default Paper Size on the EV Technologies blog.
NOTE: Existing reports will retain their original (and possibly incorrect) page size from when the document was saved; however, this modification will change the default setting for all new documents.
Adding a Favicon
This really doesn’t have anything to do with BusinessObjects at all. But if you want to dress up your users’ browser with a favicon, copy the desired favicon.ico file to <INSTALLDIR>/bobje/tomcat/webapps/ROOT then restart Tomcat.
Some helpful Linux/Unix commands for SAP BusinessObjects administrators.
Over the past five months, I’ve been working with several clients that are implementing an OEM solution that includes SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 on Red Hat Linux. Prior to becoming a BusinessObjects consultant, I used Unix for many years of C++ and Oracle PL/SQL development. But most SAP BusinessObjects customers use Microsoft Windows, so it took me nearly seven years before I worked with a SAP BusinessObjects customer on Unix. Fortunately, the disappointment of “going backwards” to work on XI R2 is tempered with the new knowledge I am gaining about using SAP BusinessObjects on a Linux/Unix system.
In future articles, I’ll be sharing some of the common tasks that I need to do on a regular basis. In this first article, I’m sharing some of the basic Unix commands that I use to figure out the customer’s server properties like Linux version, IP address, and enabled services (like FTP and REXEC). Keep in mind that the particular implementation is Red Hat, so some of these commands may not work on another Unix variant. In future posts, I’ll be sharing how SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 uses command line scripts to perform tasks that Microsoft Windows customers perform using the Central Configuration Manager (CCM).
Are you running BusinessObjects Enterprise on Unix? Feel free to share your impressions by posting a comment.
Which version of Red Hat is installed?
The uname command is available on many Unix variants. The /etc/redhat-release file is unique to Red Hat; however, other vendors have similar text files that store version information.
[[email protected] ~]# cat /etc/redhat-release
Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS release 4 (Nahant Update 7)
[[email protected] ~]# uname -a
Linux servername 2.6.9-78.0.13.ELsmp #1 SMP Wed Jan 7 17:52:47 EST 2009 i686 athlon i386 GNU/Linux
How do I determine the server’s IP address?
View the contents of the /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 file.
[[email protected] ~]# more /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0
ETHTOOL_OPTS="speed 100 duplex full autoneg off"