The team here at EV Technologies has been working on our next major release for a few months. We are excited to announce that we are in the final series of tests to ensure that it is ready for use by our customers. As we prepare for the launch of this major update to our core product, I wanted to share with everyone why you should be interested in Sherlock 3.
In talking with customers who are actively using Sherlock, there comes the inevitable question of “How can I use Sherlock to track X more frequently?” The X in this question could mean user logins, schedule failures, report refresh durations, report utilization, universe updates, or any other metric that your organization would like to track about your BI deployment. In versions prior to Sherlock 3, the answer, in some cases, was that you couldn’t. Other times, the answer was to simply run Sherlock more frequently. This meant modifying your scheduled Sherlock run or, perhaps, running more than one copy of Sherlock.
As you can probably guess, this changes in Sherlock 3.
We have added the Real Time Service to Sherlock which acts as a controller for all of the Sherlock engines. This new service polls the SAP BusinessObjects systems being monitored to get a list of everything that has changed since the last time we ran. By default, we check every 20 seconds. You can set this higher or lower depending on how frequently you want to capture changes.
Once the Real Time Service has the list of everything that has changed, it passes that list to the relevant engines. In this way, we are only running the engines that need to be run rather than running everything. We then load the new data into the Sherlock repository so that you can report on it in real time.
In addition to capturing changes to your SAP BusinessObjects deployment in real time, we are also now capturing all of those changes through the history of your deployment. We can tell you when an object is added to a report query, when a universe description changes, when a new object is added to a universe, when an instance is removed from the CMS, when a report is deleted, every time a user logs in, and a myriad of other activities that happen every day to your deployment.
Once we have Sherlock running in your environment, then the history of your analytics starts building. You can then start tracking the progression of your SAP BusinessObjects deployment and begin telling stories about how your analytics are helping your organization.
Easier Installation and Maintenance
Have you ever installed and maintained Sherlock? It’s not hard, but there are a few files that need to be changed. We’ve improved this experience. The installer will now take care of the following for you:
- Putting all files where they need to be
- Configuring your first Sherlock deployment
- Upgrading your existing Sherlock 2.3.x or 2.4.x deployment to Sherlock 3
- Creating the Sherlock data structure
- Importing the Sherlock Universe and 60 pre-built analytics
From a maintenance standpoint, we’ve made a few improvements as well.
- A single configuration file for any modifications to your Sherlock deployment
- A single location for all log files and temp files generated by all Sherlock services and inspectors
- An alert system that will tell you, via email, if your Sherlock deployment is misbehaving
Even More Metadata
In addition to all of the new functionality mentioned above, we have also included more metadata in Sherlock 3. You can now track:
- User preferences set by default or modified by users in InfoView or BI LaunchPad
- Partially refreshed queries
- Content that is set to refresh on open
- SQL behind a query – including command objects, SQL overrides, and free hand SQL
- Queries that are executed against personal data providers
- Tab name and specific report part name where a variable, formula, or merged dimension is used
- Report level filters
- Report conditions including the operator and operand value
I will be sharing more about each of the points above in upcoming blog posts.
For us here at EV Technologies, we have always been interested in providing BI on top of BI. Sherlock 3 now gives us the capability to do this more effectively with real time data and the tracking of historical changes to your BI deployment.
I hope that this post gets you a bit excited about the new Sherlock release. I know that all of us at EV Technologies are very excited to see this release get out to the public.
Interested in learning more?
- Join us for a discussion about Sherlock 3 on October 29th at 10AM CDT.
- If you have not yet seen what Sherlock can offer, this release is a great place to start. Contact us and let us give you a demo and discuss how we can help.
Thanks for reading.