Business Objects FAQ, last modified 96/06/26

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Stephen W. Thompson

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Nov 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/17/96
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Archive-name: databases/bus-objects-faq
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 1996/06/26
URL: http://www.upenn.edu/da/bo/busob-faq.html


BUSINESSOBJECTS FAQ

This document was last changed June 26, 1996. Copyright 1995, 1996,
by Stephen W. Thompson. Provided that no modification is made in the
text and that this paragraph is retained, this document may be
reproduced; the only exception is that employees of BusinessObjects
must request permission for any reproduction.
_________________________________________________________________

FAQ Contents

FAQ Maintenance & Updates

User Issues

+ Business Objects Overview
+ Installation on Windows
+ Installation on Macintoshes
+ Access
+ Performance
+ Training
+ Upcoming Versions

Manager Issues


The Questions



FAQ MAINTENANCE & UPDATES


F1.01
What recent changes have been made to this list?
F1.02
Who contributed to this FAQ?

USER ISSUES
Business Objects Overview

U0.01
Could you briefly explain what BusinessObjects is?
U0.02
What are some resources to learn about BusinessObjects?


Installation on Windows

U1.01
How much space does Business Objects require on the hard drive?
U1.02
Why would a message about the environment variable CONFIG being
incorrectly set arise during installation?
U1.03
How do I test if a connection problem with Business Objects is
with BusOb itself or with SQL*Net instead?
U1.04
What type of configuration problems have you seen that prevent
NETTEST.EXE from being successful (that is, SQL*Net is
unhappy)?
U1.05
What type of configuration problems have you seen that prevent
Business Objects from working?
U1.06
Will Business Objects work on Windows 95?
U1.07
What is the latest patch to Windows, and which do I have?

Installation on Macintoshes

U2.01
Why when I try to open a universe for the first time do I get
the error "SYS-0331: Error Retrieving Parameters"?
U2.02
Does installation need to be done using the installation disks,
or can the files simply be copied?

Some installation pointers written to be specific to University of
Pennsylvania may be found at
http://pobox.upenn.edu/~thompson/busob-penn.html.

Access

U3.01
(PENN SPECIFIC) Why am I having problems getting into Business
Objects with my password?
U3.02
Can I get rid of old universes by deleting directories/folders?
U3.03
What are some possible approaches to solving connection
problems?

Performance

U4.01
Why is Mac performance so poor?
U4.02
Why does canceling a query sometimes work and sometimes hang my
machine?

User Interface

U5.01
How can one retrieve queries from the repository?
U5.02
How does one find templates that are in the repository, or even
find the command to import them?
U5.03
How can a Mac user close one universe and open another
universe, short of quitting and restarting BusOb?
U5.04
How can I get labels to print 3-up (in three columns)?
U5.05
When creating conditions based on queries (rather than
Constant, Variable or Object), which queries does BusOb display
as candidate subqueries?
For example, if the condition is on SSN, are queries displayed
in the dialog box only if their result object is SSN?
U5.06
How can I query for records based on lists of id's that I have
from other data sources? Say I have a file of SSN's to look up?
U5.07
How can I get better control of how my headers and footers
appear? I want top-of-page headers related to some objects,
beginning-of-break footers related to others, and sometimes
text that accompanies each occurrence of an object.
U5.08
Why do some help screens describe features I can't locate, such
as the "complex query" button mentioned under "outer joins"?
U5.09
How can I have a query use an outer join?
U5.10
How do I input the pipe or or-bar character?

Training

U6.01
How is the training provided by Business Objects?
U6.02
How is training provided by others?

Upcoming Versions

U7.01
What can we expect from BusOb v4.0 (codenamed Mercury)?
U7.02
What are new features that we BusOb users and managers wish
would be added to the tool?

MANAGER ISSUES
M1.01
What are some approaches to resolving loops in the joins?
M1.02
How can I have a context with no joins?
M1.03
Why can't I add new objects?
M1.04
Are there any "gotchas" with using the Advanced Login Strategy
for managing security?
M1.05
What do I do if I lose my manager password?
M1.06
How can I programmatically modify object names?
M1.07
How can I modify the MANAGERx universe to allow reporting on
aliases?
M1.08
How can I find the metamodel? for the repository files?


The Answers

FAQ MAINTENANCE & UPDATES
F1.01
What recent changes have been made to this list?


960611 Added info about BUSOB-L mailing list. Removed
comp.databases.ingres from posting list since it is also
received as an e-mail list.


960501 Revamped the HTML formatting so the FAQ looks better and
is easier to use interactively.


960501 Moved the FAQ to it's new, more official location.


Added a thumbnail explanation of what BusOb is for the
uninitiated. Added two user interface questions, one on help
text and one on outer joins.

Added a paragraph for the "new versions" question concerning
Object Query.

F1.02
Who contributed to this FAQ?

Tad Davis: dav...@isc.upenn.edu; Adam B. Greenfield:
agree...@epsilon.com; Andy Mannhart:
10075...@compuserve.com; Susan Quant:
squ...@sas.upenn.edu; Lorraine Ratajczak:
rata...@isc.upenn.edu; Carol Rice: carol...@octel.com; Ann
Stockton: Ann.St...@wharton.upenn.edu .

The document is very Oracle-specific right now; users of other
RDBMS's are invited to contribute. Send your contribution to:
thom...@isc.upenn.edu.

USER ISSUES
Business Objects Overview

U0.01
Could you briefly explain what Business Objects is?

Business Objects is a query tool sold by a company by the same
name which is used to create 'ad hoc' reports from data stored
in databases in a client/server fashion. It provides facilities
to retrieve data from relational databases and create reports
and graphs, as well as to export the retrieved data to other
applications. Tools with which it might compare include
Impromptu from Cognos, GQL from Andyne, Browser from Oracle and
Brio Query from Brio Technology. It is available on Windows,
Macs and Motif.

U0.02
What are some resources to learn about Business Objects?

To subscribe to a mailing list, send the line "subscribe
busob-l Yourfirstname Yourlastname" to
list...@listserv.aol.com. This is a list started June 1996
for discussion about both user and management issues.
Subscribers only may submit messages by mailing to
bus...@listserv.aol.com. (Please remember: Text goes to
busob-l; commands go to listserv.)

The current copy of this FAQ is always available at
http://www.upenn.edu/da/bo/busob-faq.html.

A WWW site is maintained by Business Objects at
http://www.businessobjects.com/.

Although there is no perfect newsgroup that exists yet,
comp.database.olap is perhaps the most appropriate.

Installation on Windows

U1.01
How much space does Business Objects require on the hard drive?


For version 3.1.1E I estimate about 6.5 Mb. Of course, once you
start downloading Universe definitions and doing reports, that
could grow enormously. Use the Query, Document and Template
management menus to delete work once you're done with it in
order to save disk space.

U1.02
Why would a message about the environment variable CONFIG being
incorrectly set arise during installation?


This has happened when SQL*Net was already installed on the
machine and used with another query tool we were evaluating.
Removing the entire ORAWIN directory and the
\WINDOWS\ORACLE.INI file, removing any SET CONFIG or
CONFIG_FILES line from the AUTOEXEC.BAT and starting the TCP/IP
Adapter installation again was our fix.

U1.03
How do I test if a connection problem with Business Objects is
with BusOb itself or with SQL*Net instead?


SQL*Net for Windows (not Mac, unfortunately) comes with
NETTEST.EXE in /ORAWIN/NETWORK/ADMIN. From FileManager, double
click it, and enter an Oracle uid and password and a connection
string, which at Penn is "warehouse". If you don't get a
successful connection then the problem is with SQL*Net and not
BusOb.

U1.04
What type of configuration problems have you seen that prevent
NETTEST.EXE from being successful (that is, SQL*Net is
unhappy)?


SQL*Net was installed before TCP/IP Adapter, instead of TCP/IP
Adapter first, as is required. (We surmise that the "Required
Support Files", found with both packages, are bad somehow in
the SQL*Net set of disks but okay with TCP/IP Adapter disks.)

Problems also arise if you choose a "wrong" TCP/IP product when
prompted during the TCP/IP Adapter installation. This is wrong
as far as SQL*Net is concerned, not necessarily anything you
have understood or done incorrectly. For instance, When using
LAN Workplace for DOS v. 12, which uses WINSOCK, we found you
must NOT select WINSOCK, but instead select LWP.

U1.05
What type of configuration problems have you seen that prevent
Business Objects from working?


The PATH in AUTOEXEC.BAT does not include \ORAWIN\BIN.

The TCP/IP package or WINSOCK.DLL was not compatible with the
JSB files that Business Objects installs. (A symptom of this is
an error message that appears when every server access is made,
after which Business Objects successfully continues working
fine.)

There's a bug in 3.1.1E (at least) when using SQL*Net 2.1. A
difference between v. 2.0 and v. 2.1 is that what was
ORA7WIN.DLL is now ORA71WIN.DLL. Business Objects is expecting
to find ORA7WIN.DLL. We had success simply copying ORA71WIN.DLL
to ORA7WIN.DLL, and keeping both files around. This info came
direct from BusinessObjects themselves!

U1.06
Will Business Objects work on Windows 95?


Yes, at least v. 3.1.1E. Similarly, a U.S. company reports
using BusOb on Win95, with the added benefit that "In fact
Windows 95 can handle the "lockup" problem with Oracle and
SQL*net. You're still not able to cancel the query, but at
least your entire system is not tied up waiting for the first
row to be returned. Windows 95 allows the user to switch
applications during this lock up period (I guess they really
did build a true multitasking environment.?)" This was using
SQL*Net v1.1 and specifying "the generic WINDOCK TCP stack that
comes with Windows 95" as the vendor for installation of
Oracle's TCP/IP Adapter product.

A European company reports much success using Windows 95 on
thousands of machines, using versions 1 and 2.1 of Oracle's
SQL*Net over TCP/IP as middleware.

As to which vendor to specify when configuring TCP/IP Adapter,
this company reports that "this TCP_VENDOR, you nearly always
have problems. That's why we don't use the Oracle-Routines any
more. We just copy the most important files directly from CD or
diskettes. We have SQL*NET 2.1.4.1.0 at the time and the
generic Microsoft 32bit-TCP/IP. Here the most important files
are:

- C:\WINDOWS\WINSOCK.DLL 42080 bytes (came with Windows 95)
this DLL-file is often overwritten by other installations

- ...\ORAWIN\BIN:
COREWIN.DLL 833856 bytes
CORE3WIN.DLL 245136 bytes
MSOCKLIB.DLL 42208 bytes
MWINSOCK.DLL 7104 bytes
ORA71WIN.DLL 321968 bytes
ORA7WIN.DLL 272448 bytes
SQLTNS.DLL 4848 bytes
SQLTNS1.DLL 198080 bytes
NL.DLL 137888 bytes
NLS23WIN.DLL 749312 bytes
NS.DLL 173600 bytes
NT.DLL 26288 bytes
NTT.DLL 42096 bytes


I don't enclose the file date because this may vary (Oracle
doesn't have the same versions in the USA and in Europe).

U1.07
What is the latest patch to Windows, and which do I have?


The last patch known to me is Patch 9. Check the splash screen
for your patch level. If if only has "3.1.1 E" (for the English
version, anyway), you have no patches.

Installation on Macintoshes

U2.01
Why when I try to open a universe for the first time do I get
the error "SYS-0331: Error Retrieving Parameters"?


This message occurs on a DuoDock Macintosh. Our latest theory
is that the Duodock and the Powerbook 180 have only one port,
so ethernet, Appletalk, modem, etc., need to share it.
Apparently they don't do this well, and making a switch from
non-MacTCP to MacTCP wipes out a settings files which SQL*Net
uses. The problem is NOT a Business Objects problem, but is
entirely at the Mac and Oracle level.

U2.02
Does installation need to be done using the installation disks,
or can the files simply be copied?


Copying the files, for instance over Appleshare network
connections, has worked successfully. Copy everything from the
old machine to the new one, including all the preference files,
etc.

For Oracle users, you then need to re-set the "home" directory
for Oracle (using the "Set Oracle Home" application in the
Oracle Applications folder), and everything works OK.

(Note: This action should be fully documented in complience
with your software license; document when BusOb is installed on
a user's machine, when it is moved to a new machine and when it
is removed from the old machine. The assumption in this FAQ is
that software licenses are being followed.)

Access

U3.01
(PENN SPECIFIC) Why am I having problems getting into Business
Objects with my password?


Initially we have everyone using Steve Thompson's Oracle
account to access BusOb. This is controlled by the DICT.KEY
file. We plan to change access so everyone uses their own
Oracle account, which is important so access to data can be
controlled by the Oracle built-in security scheme.

What that means is that you need to remember your Oracle
account and password, because you'll need it when we make the
change. But for now a BusOb account and password need to be
created for you, currently by Lori or Steve.

When we make the change, we'll make announcements about it by
e-mail, then change Steve's Oracle account password so the old
DICT.KEY no longer gives access to data. At the same time we'll
make available a new DICT.KEY that requires you to login to
BusOb using your ORACLE account and password. Hopefully there
are few enough of us in the pilot group that we can minimize
the confusion of this process.

If your Oracle account is different from your Business Objects
account, it is a good idea to contact Lori or Steve to change
your BusOb account.

U3.02
Can I get rid of old universes by deleting directories/folders?



Yes. From either Windows or Mac, delete the contents of the
appropriate directories as you would any other directory or
folder. For a universe called FRED, there is a directory/folder
called DEF/FRED containing the "definition" of the FRED
universe to Business Objects and STORAGE/FRED containing the
queries and results of queries that you have run against FRED.
Deleting the STORAGE/FRED directory will delete all queries
you've done again FRED, also.

You might wish to be more selective in your cleanup. Since
results of queries and reports against those results are called
*.ASC and *.E??, you may delete just those files in order to
save space and still have the queries themselves (*.REQ) to run
again later if you need to.

U3.03
What are some possible approaches to solving connection
problems?


Even after flawless installations of the middleware product
such as SQL*Net from Oracle and of BusOb, there may still be
connection problems. For example, you might get the error
"UNI-0010: Invalid access code". Your problem then is to
determine where the problem is -- with BusOb, with your
desktop, with your network software (ie., TCP/IP), with your
middleware, or with the server.

BusOb provides a trace facility to aid in this detective work.
In the OBJECTS.INI file, change "INTERNALTRACE=NO" to
"INTERNALTRACE=YES". Then try to connect or do whatever you had
tried before without success, and then quit BusOb.

BusOb will have created TMP\SQLBO.LOG (TMP:SQLBO.LOG on Macs)
which shows internal procedure calls and parameters passed to
and returned from the middleware. Error codes and messages
shown there may be very helpful in determining in what
component of software the problem derives.

Performance

U4.01
Why is Mac performance so poor?


The standard release of version 3.1.1E for the Mac (internally
known as Patch #4) experiences a long (10 - 30 second) lag time
between double clicking on the "Result Objects" bar and when
the list of available objects appears. There are apparently
also long delays in notifying the user that the connection
parameters fail to give a valid connection.

In mid-September 1995, Patch #5 of version 3.1 was being
delivered to customers. It makes performance 5 to 14 times
faster, making the Mac and Windows comparable for most
purposes. Congratulations, Business Objects!

There are also recommendations from Business Objects has been
to open the "Get Info" window for the BusOb application and
give it the maximum "Minimum Memory" you can. While always wise
for Mac applications, this doesn't make a noticeable
difference.

U4.02
Why does canceling a query sometimes work and sometimes hang my
machine?


At Penn we use Oracle's SQL*Net to access data from Oracle,
including for access by Business Objects. Apparently either
SQL*Net or the TCP/IP package (NOT BusOB) restricts you to
being able to cancel only after you've received the first row
back in response to your query, not before. So waiting for the
row counter to indicate at least one record has been retrieved
means it's safe to cancel your query; otherwise your machine
will probably hang.

User Interface

U5.01
How can one retrieve queries from the repository?


When a universe is open, use the "File->Import query from
repository" menu item. Be sure to select "Import with
associated documents" to get any reports and charts that
accompany the query.

U5.02
How do you find templates that are in the repository, or even
find the command to import them?


The "Templates" menu only appears from within a report. So
create a plain, vanilla report from your .ASC file by going to
ReportAssist, choosing the first report-type icon, then "Ok."
From the report screen, then, you can see the Templates menu.
Use "Import Templates from Repository" if you have not yet
retrieved the templates.

U5.03
How can a Mac user close one universe and open another
universe, short of quitting and restarting BusOb?


The problem in changing universes in the Mac is that the old
universe stays selected when it is closed, so the menu pick
remains "Open Universe". If you click in the Universe window on
a blank area to deselect the old universe, then you will be
able to choose "Open Universe..." (note the dots now) to open
another universe, perhaps one you have not yet received from
the repository.

U5.04
How can I get labels to print 3-up (in three columns)?


Create a default report and use the "Report Editor" (accessed
from the "Modify Document" icon or the "Modify Report" command
from the Document menu) for most of this.

First, stack the lines of the label. Delete the column labels,
then stack the lines by dragging and dropping name, then
street1, then street2, etc. Create a variable ("Tools" menu)
which concatenates city, state, zip and country with blanks and
commas as needed into one string, and insert that variable
*instead of* the individual components. If street2 is often
blank, you might create two other variables: one which returns
street2 is non-blank, otherwise cityStateZip; and another which
returns cityStateZip if street2 is non-blank, otherwise blank.

Then, make each cell narrow enough so that 3 columns will be
accommodated.

Remove all headers, footers and other non-essential cells.
Click on the 'G' symbol, and uncheck the "Break footers" box.
This will make the report contents and the Global contents the
same height.

Close the Report Editor with the File->Generate Total Report
menu selection. Then use page setup to choose number of columns
(3 in this case). The columns will only appear side-by-side in
Page Preview.

U5.05
When creating conditions based on queries (rather than
Constant, Variable or Object), which queries does BusOb display
as candidate subqueries? For example, if the condition is on
SSN, are queries displayed in the dialog box only if their
result object is SSN?


BusOb is none too intelligent here. If there is only a single
result object in a query, that query is displayed as a
candidate, even if the objects are of different data types.

For instance, if you've started a condition such as "Employee
SSN is in list", a query BIGDEPT might be listed as a possible
subquery since it has only one result object, say "Department
of Manager" even though that comparison doesn't make sense
based on the data.

U5.06
How can I query for records based on lists of id's that I have
from other data sources? Say I have a file of SSN's to look up?



The idea is to create an "in list" condition, then coerce your
file to show up when you click the "List of Values" button
instead of querying the database. (A disaster for something
like SSN!)

This approach works because the normal behavior is for BusOb to
query the database only the 'first time', then to use those
results again until the "Refresh" button is pressed. The
results are stored in an .ASC file (as for normal query raw
results), with a name prefaced by an ampersand, such as
"&SSN__3.ASC". If you put your data in that file instead, then
when you create the "in list" condition and click the "List of
Values" button your data will be displayed and may be
highlighted to select as usual.

The two gotchas are knowing what .ASC file to manipulate and
using the correct field delimeter. Identifying the .ASC file
name is easy when the BusOb manager has given all users access
to the MANAGERx universe. This universe holds data *about* the
other universes, listing class names, Select SQL strings,
object names, and, helpful in the current situation, the List
of Values Name. (Care should be taken when exporting this
universe, since it contains an object for "User Password".
Rather than exporting the generic MANAGERO universe for Oracle,
at Penn we have duplicated that universe and then removed the
password object (and named it UNIVRSES). Then it's usable by
all, and a query for Class Name, Object Name and List of Value
Name for the universe in question will show you the .ASC file
to use. The delimiter, which can be difficult to create, is
best copied from an existing query and pasted into the new
file.

Each line of the .ASC file will look like this (for SSN's):
123456789|


(The final character is the 'pipe' or OR-bar character.)

Make all lines the same line length; crashes have been seen
when variable-length lines are not padded prior to the pipe
character. A few lines for a variable-length object might
appear like this:

POTATO |
CARROT |
ONION |
RUTABAGA |


U5.07
How can I get better control of how my headers and footers
appear? I want top-of-page headers related to some objects,
beginning-of-break footers related to others, and sometimes
text that accompanies each occurrence of an object.


There are two kinds of headers and footers. We'll call them
document headers/footers and break headers/footers. (These are
my terms.)

Document headers/footers are akin to those in Excel; default
ones are created for you with basic info about the current
document and page, you can edit them more or less by hand, and
what you see of the header or footer is basically what you'll
see in the finished document. They are only visible in
formatted form using "File->Print Preview" (or use the toolbar
button -- look for the magnifying glass). Edit them by using
"Document->Modify Report" (hint text labels it "Modify
Document", since it's also used for modifying charts). By
default (when using QuickReport or ReportAssistant) you'll find
the variables QueryName, QueryDate and QueryTime in the
document header, and Page centered in the document footer.
These may be replaced with anything that you would like.

Break headers/footers are printed every time the value of the
break variable(s) change. For example, if a "Month" result
object were in a document and there was a break header on it,
then a new header would appear when a previous row was
"November" and the current row is "December".

Break headers/footers are visible from the regular document
viewing window, EXCEPT THAT using "Repeat Header on New Page"
(from the "Tools->Breaks" window) is only visible on the FIRST
page. Use PagePreview to see these headers on following pages.
Note that though there are several places to get this dialog
box, clicking the break icon in BusinessAnalyzer gives you a
break editor which leaves out certain options that you'll want
sometimes.

But first you need to be sure you have these headers and
footers populated with text or variables, or else nothing will
show up because there was nothing TO show up! (Did you follow
that?)

From "ModifyDocument", you'll see something like this (pardon
poor text-based illustration):

+---------
| hg
| +-------
| | h1
| | +-----
| | | h2
| | |
G 1 2 Object names appear here
| | |
| | | f2
| | +-----
| | f1
| +-------
| fg
+---------



The areas in which you place headers at the global (document),
first break and second break levels are labeled hg, h1 and h2
respectively. Likewise, fg, f1 and f2 label where labels for
global, first level and second level breaks are placed. If
there are not empty cells ready to be filled in, use
"Edit->Insert..." (or tool bar buttons with arrows) to add new
cells or rows above (for headers) or below (for footers) the
appropriate break-level cell.

Then, when leaving the ModifyDocument window, use
"File->Generate Total Report" (or Partial).

U5.08
Why do some help screens describe features I can't locate, such
as the "complex query" button mentioned under "outer joins"?


SADLY, the help for the User version of BusOb is the same help
as for the Manager version, and it doesn't indicate which help
is for which version. The "complex query" button that is
mentioned is only available to Managers, for use when creating
automatic joins between tables, not to users, unfortunately.
(Already called in as an enhancement request.)

U5.09
How can I have a query use an outer join?


You have to modify the SQL (with "Generate SQL" and "View SQL"
from the File menu). There is no way to do so from the "Modify
Query" screen.

To explain this more, imagine a universe with several joined
tables and another table used to lookup values. For instance,
to find department names that match department codes. Say there
are a number of objects which contain department codes. If you
wanted to create a Condition "ManagingDepartmentCode equals
LookupDeptCode", it is not presently possible to have that
Condition be an outer join. (Already called in as an
enhancement request.)

U5.10
How do I input the pipe or or-bar character?


The delimiter looks like a solid pipe (|), or perhaps a broken
pipe (either is OK), but *do not* use the pipe key on the
keyboard, regardless of whether you're using a DOS platform or
a Mac.

On DOS platforms, use the DOS editor to edit the .SQL or .ASC
file. Go to the spot where you want the delimiter. Press and
hold down the Alt key while using the *numeric key pad* to type
179 and then release the Alt key. *Do not* use the number keys
that are above the letter keys.

On a Mac, use cut and paste to copy the delimiter from an
existing LoV file.

Training

U6.01
How is the training provided by Business Objects?


The only reports I am aware of currently are for the 1-day user
training. Based on two reports only, this training has not been
praised. Ours, for instance, had complaints of quick movement
thru slides despite students not having understood the material
and inexperienced teachers.

Dennis Broderick, dbro...@goliath.brauntech.com, reports that
"the Business Objects training enrollment coordinator is Darla
at 408-864-2084."

U6.02
How is the training provided by others?


According to mail from Dennis Broderick
(dbro...@goliath.brauntech.com), "Business Objects has a
certification/authorization process that 'authorized' training
facilities must complete. The process involves learning and
'student teaching' activities under BusObj supervision plus an
audit by BusObj. Contact Carla Parone, the BusObj training
manager, at 408 864-2010."


Some of these authorized trainers are:
+ Braun Technology Group (BTG) (Chicago, 312-443-1317). Dennis
Broderick, dbro...@goliath.brauntech.com, reports that:

"Braun Technology Group (BTG) is the authorized training
center for Business Objects in the Midwest. BTG teaches both
the 1-day user course and the 3-day Universe Manager course.
Both courses are offered monthly in Chicago. BTG also
customizes and teaches Business Objects courses at client
sites. Also, BTG provides implementation consulting and
assistance for the Business Objects products. For enrollment
information contact Allen Rice, 312 443-1317x168 or
kr...@brauntech.com.

+ Context Integration (New York City, 212-785-6100),
http://www.context.com.
Regan Coleman reports:

"Yes, we are certified training partners, and we have three
facilities: one in New York, one in Austin, TX, and one in
South San Francicso,CA." They also offer customized end-user
and manager training, both on-site and off-site.

I took the manager training from them and found it excellent,
and two other people have given me strong reviews for them
for both the 3-day manager training and the user training.

They were expecting to have Advanced Users training beginning
the summer of 1995, and at that time were developing an
Advanced Managers training.

+ Recon Corp. Saratoga (San Jose) CA., 408-866-8676,
re...@netcom.com. "Based in the Silicon Valley, Recon
provides database development, consulting and training
solutions. As a certified training and consulting partner to
Business Objects we conduct the standard user and manager
training. Additionally we prepare customized user training
which has been very well received by our clients."



(Standard disclaimer here. I have no connection other than as a
customer with any organization other than my employer. As
additional information is offered for this FAQ, it will be
added without prejudice.)

Upcoming Versions

U7.01
What can we expect from BubOb v4.0 (codenamed Mercury)?


Concerning the weakened security of storing the manager
password on the desktop where it may be copied to other
machines, a contributor reports: "I've seen the Alpha Version
of BO Version 4.0 and it seemed to me that they replaced the
OBJECTS.USE through a role concept which is stored somewhere in
the repository. I think they know at BO why they do that."

Carol Rice, carol...@octel.com, reports:

"I called Business Objects tech support relative to Business
Query 1.1 and its ability to run on Excel 7, and the official
word is that BizQuery 1.1 does not support Excel 7. The support
guy I spoke to was very vague as to when it WILL be supported,
and I'm expecting a call back from a more senior manager
regarding timing on this issue. Perhaps if someone other than
me called them about getting Business Query updated for Excel 7
(it's only an add-in, for heaven's sake), they might push
development forward."

Tech Support reported in a phone call in early March that
Mercury is "on schedule" for the end of Q196 or early April,
but that it will be a "controlled release" only. For more
information about what that means, I was referred to my
salesperson. Mercury's beta version was out December 1995, and
is currently at the beta-2 level.

Does anyone know anything else that we are able to publicize?

U7.02
What are new features that we BusOb users and managers wish
would be added to the tool?


I am aware that Business Objects staff are aware of this FAQ.
Lacking a mail list or a newsgroup to communicate with them,
here are some features that have been frequently requested:

+ Allow objects of the same name in one universe, as long as
object names are unique within the class.


Please contact the maintainer of this list with additions.

MANAGER ISSUES
M1.01
What are some approaches to resolving loops in the joins?


A loop is at least two tables which have two or more sets of
joins between them, so an entity relationship diagram of the
tables would have an enclosed area composed of the tables and
their joins. An example from my subject area might involve the
tables STUDENT and INSTRUCTOR. A STUDENT is taught by an
INSTRUCTOR and is advised by an INSTRUCTOR. The tables can be
joined from STUDENT.INSTRUCTOR_ID to INSTRUCTOR.ID and also
from STUDENT.ADVISOR_ID to INSTRUCTOR.ID. Rarely will the
teacher be the same person as the advisor, so applying both
joins at the same time is rarely desired.

One approach is to use contexts, always at least two. A context
is a set of joins that should be applied at one time. If
objects from classes are selected which involve tables from a
loop, the user is asked to decide which of the contexts to use.
Present experience, both within and not within BusOb, suggests
that creating and naming contexts so as to give the user a
clear idea of which to pick is hard.

Another approach is to use aliases (available starting with
version 3.1, I believe). Aliases are alternate names for
tables. Joins and objects are then based on the alias for a
table instead of the table itself, and thus only the joins
which correspond to the alias are in effect for a join. This
sounds clearer, but it still requires decision on the part of
the user. Ought they select this object, or that object? It may
also require creating duplicate classes, one for each table or
alias name.

M1.02
How can I have a context with no joins?


Create a join from one table to the same table, specify complex
join, then type in "1=1". This places a harmless condition on a
table. Then, create a new context for which only that 1=1 join
is selected. The only joins, then, will be user-created joins
by means of conditions. We have found some situations where
experienced users needed a clean slate environment to
experiment with new joins.

M1.03
Why can't I add new objects?


Three possibilities come to mind: you've exceeded the value for
NBOBJ in OBJECTS.INI (which defaults to 2000 for ver. 3.0.1E);
you've exceeded the maximum for the individual "hashing file"
that your intended object would belong to; or your _OBJECTS.ASC
isn't a subset of your _STRUCT.ASC.
1. NBOBJ exceeded. Entries in memory are reserved for the number
of objects specified by NBOBJ in OBJECTS.INI, and you are
trying to add yet another object. You may need to divide the
objects between two or more universes, or increase NBOBJ.
Note that increasing NBOBJ on one manager's machine means
increasing NBOBJ on every machine (user and manager) that
will need to use that universe, and BusOb will be using more
RAM while running on each of those machines.
2. Filled hashing file. BusOb divides a universe's objects
between 8 files in the DEF directory, each of which is
assigned to store a portion of all of the objects. For
instance, for a universe XYZZY, the file XYZZY.ID2 stores all
objects beginning with 'D' up to 'F' (inclusive), and
XYZZY.ID8 has objects starting with W-Z, plus all numbers and
symbols. Each of these files has a maximum number of objects,
which may be ( NBOBJ / 8 ). If all of your objects are named
starting, say, with "Data containing ...", then XYZZY.ID2 may
be full even though the other hashing files are empty.
3. _OBJECTS not subset of _STRUCT. The .PRM files allow
different 'strategy files', with SQL other than the default
SQL to create different sets of candidate objects from your
data dictionary or other source. This may be useful, for
example, if you use Oracle, since the default SQL requires
that each user have private SYNONYMs created for each table
that will be accessed. A different strategy file will vary
the contents of _OBJECTS.ASC which represents the candidate
objects. Unfortunately, _OBJECTS.ASC must be the same or a
subset of _STRUCT.ASC, and _STRUCT.ASC is not affected by the
strategy files. You also, then, must modify your ST*.SQL file
(for Oracle 7, it's STORA7.SQL) to include tables for all
possible objects in the _STRUCT.ASC.


M1.04
Are there any "gotchas" with using the Advanced Login Strategy
for managing security?


The Advanced Login Strategy allows the BusOb user to use their
RDBMS userid and password to login to BusOb. The BusOb userid
must match the RDBMS userid. The password, however, may be any
value, since the strategy ignores the BusOb password entirely.
All security restrictions are imposed by the RDBMS itself.
Advanced Login is activated by installing a replacement .BUR
for LIBRARY/DEFAULT.BUR, available from BusOb.

Therefore, the user doesn't need to keep their BusOb password
synchronized with their RDBMS password (as for Same Login), and
all users don't access the RDBMS using only one userid/password
with only one set of security privileges (as for Separate
Login).

At least one site (U. Penn.) has successfully tested .BUR files
both for Windows 3.1 and Macintosh platforms.

M1.05
What do I do if I lose my manager password?


Two options: Reinstall BusOb from the original disks, so that
the defaults of USER/PASS are restored, or get another copy of
OBJECTS.USE (*not* DICT.KEY as was previously stated here!) for
which you *do* know the userid/password (from a co-manager?).
Either way, change the userid/password to be the desired new
password (that you can remember :-).

A contributer to this FAQ rightly points out that publicizing
this use of OBJECTS.USE may be a potential security hole. The
contributor's policy is to require reinstallation of the
Manager option. While I agree that public knowledge of it gives
the potential cracker a key piece of information, they still do
not have the password. We can hope that the encryption that
BusOb uses for the password in this file is strong. To leave
out the use of OBJECTS.USE to improve security, however, makes
life harder for those who might benefit from knowing about it,
and I assume a cracker could learn of it from other sources.
Additional input on this choice is welcome. (See also the
question on BusOb v4.0.)

M1.06
How can I programmatically modify object names?


While the details of this task will vary based on your RDBMS,
modifying several features of a universe consists of UPDATE sql
commands sent to the RDBMS. First, Export the universe to be
sure the "freshest" version is reflected in the repository. The
repository tables are nicely normalized, so changing OBJ_NAME,
for instance, from the OBJECTS table changes the object in the
particular table while keeping integrity.

For example, SQL might appear as follows:

prompt MY_CLASS, MY_OBJ
update objects
set obj_name = 'New Object Name'
where uni_id = 3
and cla_id = 12
and obj_id = 74 ;
assuming, of course, that one had already determined that the object
was in universe number 3 and class number 12 and object number
is 74. Use joins in MANAGERx (exact name depends on your RDBMS)
universe to determine these values correctly to correspond to
the names of universe, class and object you wish to modify.
Perl and SQL scripts already exist to help automate some of
these steps; contact Steve Thompson at thom...@isc.upenn.edu.

M1.07
How can I modify the MANAGERx universe to allow reporting on
aliases?


Evidently when BusOb released v. 3.1.1E, they did not update
the MANAGERx universe (x is 'O' for Oracle, 'S' for Sybase,
others might exist) to reflect that aliases were now possible
in universes. To modify MANAGERx, add the following classes and
joins:

+ BO_ALIAS (table)
+ TABLES2 (alias for TABLES table)
+ TABLES.UNI_ID = BO_ALIAS.UNI_ID (+) AND TABLES.TAB_ID =
BO_ALIAS.ALI_ID (+)
+ BO_ALIAS.UNI_ID = TABLES2.UNI_ID (+) AND BO_ALIAS.TAB_ID =
TABLES2.TAB_ID (+)


These joins assume Oracle, with Oracle outer joins indicated by
"(+)" where nulls are permitted.

M1.08
How can I find the metamodel for the repository files?


See the URL http://www.upenn.edu/da/bo/busob-model.gif for a
reverse-engineered version. (Caveat! Caveat! No warrantees!)




_________________________________________________________________

Thanks to the contributors to this FAQ. This FAQ is maintained by
thom...@isc.upenn.edu
_________________________________________________________________


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