With this release, we focus on Web Intelligence content from BI4, UNX, Performance, and Efficiency.
For the past few weeks, the team at EVTechnologies has been working on several new features which we have just finished packaging into Sherlock 2.4.0. The overall focus for these new features is to tell you more about your SAP BusinessObjects BI 4 environment than you could with previous versions of Sherlock. In addition, we continue our focus on making Sherlock run faster and more efficiently. Ensuring that you never notice that Sherlock is running is key to every new feature or tweak we build into our product and is always at the forefront of our development team’s collective mind.
With that said, let me share with you a bit about what we have added with this release.
Web Intelligence Content in BI 4
For those of you who have been using Sherlock for either SAP BusinessObjects XIr2 or SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1, you’re already aware of what it offers in terms of understanding the query behind a report, the Universe on which the report has been built, and the objects that are being used from the Universe. These features are now available for Web Intelligence content stored in SAP BusinessObjects BI4.
As you can see from the above screenshot, we can walk from the report to the Universe and from the Universe down to the objects that are pulled into the query for the report. The screenshot above shows the number of objects used in the query; however, Sherlock can also tell you specifically which objects they are and from which class they originate.
In addition, we can tell you more about the lineage as you progress from your Web Intelligence report in BI 4 down to the database from which the data originates. If we’re talking about UNV formatted Universes, then you can build a report that shows you the complete lineage for every Web Intelligence report as you walk from the report down to the database column which delivers the data to your report. This allows you to determine not only impact analysis of making a change, but also provides usage information for every step in the lineage (e.g., how many of your reports are using Universe Object A, how many reports are using Teradata versus Oracle, how many are using a specific column).
UNX Formatted Universes in BI 4
If we’re talking about UNX formatted Universes, then we add on the additional information associated with this new format. You can determine the Business Layer, Data Layer, and the multiple Connections and Connection Types that may be behind the Universe. In addition, Sherlock will now allow you to determine whether your Universes are UNV format or UNX format.
This new information will allow you to track how many of your Universes have been converted to the new format or perhaps allow you to restrict your analysis to only those Universe formats in which you’re interested.
Performance and Efficiency
As I mentioned earlier, performance and efficiency are always at the forefront of our thinking. This release was no different. We made changes to all of our engines to improve how quickly they run and how much they get done while they are running. We saw dramatic improvements in how quickly our report and universe inspectors run even while adding in the new BI 4 content. For one customer beta test, we saw the Web Intelligence Report Inspector realize an 89% increase in performance. We will be sharing more benchmark statistics in a later post.
Enterprise Report Finder for BI 4
If you have read some of my posts before, then you’re familiar with our ERF engine. This engine allows us to determine how many of your reports are duplicates or may be similar to each other. We can tell you, for each of your reports, how many other reports match them and at what percentage match. Perhaps you have a very popular report which users like to copy, modify, and personalize. We can tell you how many of those copies exists, where they are located, and how frequently they are viewed, refreshed, and scheduled.
Now, we can do this for your BI 4 content as well. If you want to learn more about leveraging ERF, check out Eric’s post from a few weeks ago on keeping your SAP BusinessObjects deployment running smoothly.
SAP Crystal Server Edition
We have offered a version of Sherlock specifically for SAP Crystal Server for a few months now. Prior to 2.4.0, this Crystal Server Edition came with our CMS Inspector and our Crystal Report Inspector. With the release of 2.4.0, we begin to offer two new engines for this package. The first is the Enterprise Report Finder which I discussed above. The second is the Sherlock KPI engine, which offers details about how many views, refreshes, and schedules have occurred within the environment, which report was involved in the action, and which user initiated the action. This will allow our SAP Crystal Server customers to take advantage of these engines for tracking duplicate content and activity within their deployments.
I hope that this post provides with you some compelling reasons to check out the 2.4.0 version of Sherlock. If you are an existing customer, head on over to our downloads page. If you have never seen Sherlock in action before, let us know. We can show you how you can use it to run your SAP BusinessObjects deployment better.
Thanks for reading.