Personalization in SAP Business Intelligence 4.0 Web Intelligence Publications – Business Intelligence (BusinessObjects)

Purpose The purpose of this WIKI page is to demonstrate the creation of Publications for

Purpose

The purpose of this WIKI page is to demonstrate the creation of Publications for bursting Web Intelligence reports with the use of personalization.

Overview

This WIKI explains how to create publications using personalization when scheduling Web Intelligence documents via BI LaunchPad in SAP Business Intelligence 4.0.

It covers the creation of the publication, setting up profiles for use with personalization and using personalization to provide recipients with customized data.

What is a Publication?

Publishing allows for customized information to be sent to groups or individuals in the form of Web Intelligence documents or Crystal Reports.

This customization is defined by several publishing rules such as document sources, recipients and personalization.

Refer to the BI Launch Pad User Guide for BI 4 found on http://help.sap.com/bobip for information on using Publications.

From this guide:
Publishing makes documents, such as Crystal reports and Web Intelligence documents, available automatically via email or FTP server, saved to disk, and managed through BI platform (for web viewing, archiving, retrieval, and scheduling). In BI launch pad or the CMC, you can tailor documents for different users or recipients, schedule the documents to run at intervals, and send the documents to a multiple destinations, including BI Inboxes and email addresses.

Publication Criteria to be considered

Before creating a Publication, a few basic things need to be determined:

  1. What document(s) should be sent?
  2. Who is the intended audience for the document(s)?
  3. Do the results need to be filtered or personalized prior to sending?

This WIKI uses a specific example that demonstrates the capabilities of Publishing in BI 4, focusing on personalization.

For the example, the questions above are answered as follows:

  1. Web Intelligence document “Store Revenue by State” will be sent
  2. The audience is the Sales Team
  3. The results are filtered based on State and sent to the Sales Team member responsible for that State

The filtering or personalization of the results is very important to consider as there are several different ways to achieve this via publications.

Before continuing the creation of the Publication, how the data is to be distributed should first be decided.

Let’s consider the more common data filtering options for reporting and publishing:

  1. Using query filters
  2. Using Universe access restrictions
  3. Personalization for Dynamic recipients
  4. Personalization for Enterprise recipients

There are pros and cons for each choice, here are a few to contemplate before making a decision:

  1. Using query filters
    • Pros:
      1. Smaller set of data in the report as it is filtered down at the query level
      2. Increased data security as the data is filtered out and not stored in the report data cube
    • Cons:
      1. A database pass is made for each recipient to run the query based on the filtering requirements increasing load on database
      2. A report is generated in cache and rendered for each recipient taking up space and utilizing memory & CPU during run time
  2. Universe access restrictions
    • Pros:
      1. Higher level of data security as users/groups would have to have access to the data and would be filtered based on security access rights at the Universe level
    • Cons:
      1. Each user/group would have to have security rights setup at the Universe level
      2. A database pass is made for each recipient increasing database load
  3. Personalization for Dynamic recipients
    • Pros:
      1. Reduced load on WebI servers and smaller footprint in cache as the report is run once with all data, then filtered at the report level prior to sending
      2. Reduction of database load as the query is run only once for each document
    • Cons:
      1. Maintaining a dynamic recipient list that is up to date (typically a WebI or Crystal Report containing an ID that matches personalized criteria in the source document and an email address). See BI Launch Pad User’s Guide chapter on “Working with Publications” in the “Designing publications” section for more information.
      2. Decreased data security as the query is run only once, all data is stored in the report’s data cube (though not readily accessible by the recipient).
  4. Personalization for Enterprise recipients
    • Pros:
      1. Reduced load on WebI servers and smaller footprint in cache as the report is run once with all data, then filtered at the report level prior to sending
      2. Reduction of database load as the query is run only once for each document
    • Cons:
      1. Decreased data security as the query is run only once, all data is stored in the report’s data cube (though not readily accessible by the recipient).

Filtering or Personalizing data

Personalization filters the data in source documents so that only specified data is displayed for the document recipients.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Personalization alters the view of the data, but it does not change or secure the data returned by the document’s query.

For example:

  • The publication’s source document contains data for Florida, California and New York
  • User1 requires only data for Florida, User2 for California and User 3 for New York
  • Personalization “filters” the data based on the requirements so that User1 receives a report that only displays data for Florida, etc.

In this WIKI, the focus will be on personalization for Enterprise recipients.

More detail can be found on the other options in SAP Business Intelligence User Guides found on http://help.sap.com/bobip.

Personalization for Enterprise Recipients

This option requires that “Profiles” be setup for the groups or users that are the recipients of the personalized documents.

This way each user or group can be modified to receive only data that is relevant to them when scheduling documents or publications.

Creating Profiles for Enterprise Recipients

This section walks through creating profiles necessary to use personalization for Enterprise recipients.

Note: These steps are assuming the Enterprise users or groups are already created.

  1. Login to Central Management Console (CMC)
  2. Click “Profiles”
  3. Select Manage > New > New Profile
  4. Create a name for the Profile (example: State Profile)
  5. Once the profile is created, right click it and select “Properties”
  6. Select “Profile Targets” from the left menu then click “Add…” button in the top right

  7. Select the Universe the publication documents are based on. In this example, it is eFashion.

  8. Next, select the object that will be filtered by clicking “Select object from the universe” button

  9. Expand the class and select the object that will be filtered in the Publication personalization. In this example, it will be the Store’s State object.

  10. Note that the fields for “Class Name:” and “Variable Name:” are auto populated

  11. IMPORTANT: be sure to click “OK” after selecting these values or they will not be saved

  12. Next select “Profile Values” in the left menu and click “Add” on the top right
  13. Click the “Choose” button to select the User or Group that will have a value assigned

  14. Select the User(s) or Group(s) that will receive a specific data value and click OK

  15. Next select the radio button for “Filter Expression” and click “Edit” to select the data value the User(s) or Group(s) will receive

  16. Click “Formula Editor” button and select value. In this example, User1 is assigned to “California”

  17. Click “OK” and “OK” and note the Target Value has been successfully created

  18. Perform the same workflow in Steps 12-17 for each differing value for each group/user. In this example, User2 is assigned to Florida and User3 to New York

Now the Profile is created to allow for personalization in Publishing any Web Intelligence documents based on the Universe and object selected for this Profile.

Creating a Web Intelligence Publication in BI Launch Pad

A publication can be created via the BI Launch Pad or CMC. This WIKI will focus on creating the publication in the BI Launch Pad.

Details on creating a publication via the CMC can be found in the BI Launch Pad User Guide for BI 4 on http://help.sap.com/bobip.

This section covers creating a publication with a Web Intelligence document source using personalization for Enterprise Recipients.

For other publication workflows, please refer to the BI Launch Pad User’s Guide Under “Working with Publications found on http://help.sap.com/bobip.

  1. Login to BI Launch Pad
  2. Go to “Documents” tab and navigate to the folder in which the Publication is to be generated in. For this example, it is Public Folders > _WebI

  3. Click New > Publication to create the Publication

  4. Provide a name (Title) for the Publication. In this example, it is “Sales Revenue by State”

  5. Next select “Source Documents” from the left menu then click the “Add…” button to add the document that is to be sent to recipients

  6. Select the Web Intelligence document from the next screen and click OK. In this example, the report is “Store Revenue by State”.

    Note: Use CTRL + click or SHIFT + click to select multiple source documents

  7. Once a source document is selected, many new options appear in the left menu. Select “Enterprise Recipients” from this menu to select the users / groups that are to receive the personalized WebI report. In this example, User1, User2 and User3 are selected.

    Notes:

    • There is also an “Excluded” list if using a group and wanting to exclude some Users that are members of that group.
    • Note: Use CTRL + click or SHIFT + click to select multiple recipients
  8. Next select “Personalization” from the left menu to set the personalization mapping based on the Profiles that were setup previously to filter data.
    1. This is setup under “Local Profiles” so that the report field that is the object the data is filtered on can be selected
    2. In this example, the “Local Profiles” Report Field of “State” that exists in the WebI source document is selected and mapped to the “State Profiles” profile created previously to filter data based on the Enterprise recipient.

      Note: If the incorrect field is mapped to the profile, personalization will not work. Example, attempting to map the “Store name” field when the profile is set to filter on the “State” field will cause personalization to fail.

  9. Set other options as desired and click “Save & Close” at the bottom right to save the Publication
    1. For this example, Destinations is set to BI Inbox (each user will receive a copy of the report in his or her BI Launch Pad Inbox)

    2. Format is set to WebI Report in this example, other formats include PDF and MS Excel
  10. The publication is generated and ready to be sent to recipients

Review the Publication Summary

The Publication settings can be reviewed by using the “Summary” option in the left menu

Sending the Publication to Enterprise Recipients

This section covers scheduling the publication to Enterprise Recipients filtered by personalization as defined in the previous section.

  1. Login to BI Launch Pad
  2. In the Document list, navigate to the Publication
  3. Right mouse click the Publication and select “Schedule”

  4. Double check that the Enterprise Recipients and other options (such as Format and Destination) are set correctly (this should be picked up from the Publication properties)

  5. Click the “Schedule” button at the bottom left when ready to schedule
  6. The history window of the Publication will show the status of the scheduled job

  7. Note that a Publication scheduling job uses the following servers to process the request:
    1. Adaptive Job Server (service is Publication Scheduling Service)
    2. Adaptive Processing Server (services are Publishing Post Processing Service & Publishing Service)
    3. Web Intelligence Processing Server
  8. Once the Publication Job has completed successfully, check that the results are correct
    1. In this example, since the User Inbox was used as destination, login as one of the Enterprise Recipient Users
    2. Note User1 now sees that there is a new Inbox document

    3. Viewing the document shows only California results, note the personalization is listed in the left “Document Summary” Description section

    4. Checking User2 & User3 shows the correct results as well

The recipients have now received their personalized reports.

SAP BI 4 Support Pack 4 Documentation

BI Launch Pad User Guide

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