Migrating a UNV to a UNX Universe

I’ve been having a lot of fun with the new Information Design Tool in the SAP BusinessObjects BI4 platform. While I am working on something new and cool, I took a brief tangent to take an old universe to the next level….a UNX based universe in BI4.

This is a learning experience. For whatever reason, my brain is wired to try first, read later. Maybe I’m not alone. In this case, I’m going to walk you through my first exposure to migrating a UNV into the UNX format.

If you want to jump to the fix before you go through the steps here, go to the punch line, then come back here.

For starters, I created a new project within the Information Design Tool to migrate our handy-dandy Activity – Reloaded universe. Yeah, it’s obsolete as of BI4 with the new Auditor schema, but the data is still there and good from my old XI systems, so for now, it is a keeper.


Name the new project in your workspace (think like Eclipse, because you are really building an Eclipse-like workspace here). After you get a valid name in, click Finish.


Before we go on, pay attention to that Project Location. Thinking out loud here, it may be far easier to keep this content in a location on your file system that is easier to navigate to. Perhaps you want to check this stuff in and out of source control? Wouldn’t that be awesome? With the project created, the Information Design Tool should now have your project ready to go.


Now we’re ready to get that .UNV file pulled into our project. Get back to the File menu and select “Convert .unv Universe’ to get the process going.


You ultimately have two options to choose from in converting the UNV file. Work with a local universe, or import from a repository. Since I’ve already migrated this universe using the Upgrade Management Tool, I’ll grab it from the repository using the right-most icon.


It seems as though even though I have a session open with the CMS, it wants me to authenticate again. I’m presuming this gives me the flexibility to go to another source system at this step. Again, already on that system, I’m using the same.


I have four universes in UNV form on this system. I’ve selected Activity – Reloaded. Click OK to continue.


While pulling in that universe, you must select the destination repository folder and destination local project folder. Be sure to pick the right project we created above (two screenshots follow to wrap up this step).



Now we are cooking. Click OK to convert.


Oops. Despite having actually read the documentation on this piece, it seems that just using the Upgrade Management Tool did not make my connection work correctly. Easy enough to fix.

My next move to debug this was to go ensure I could import it in the old-school Universe Design Tool. Now, while I could screenshot this all day long, if you are here, you probably already know this part. Import the universe you wish to upgrade from the BI4 environment, and simply export it again. That upgrades your repository objects (connection and universe) to the BI4 UNV and puts them back.

Alright, lesson over. Wash, rinse, and repeat up until now. Then…


Woo hoo! Your UNV is now a UNX. The Information Design Tool has created the necessary connection, data foundation, and business layer in your project to get you going.


Many of us are still finding our way through mastering this tool. I’m settling into a folder structure that separates my connections from my data foundations from my business layers. See my structure here.


Note one more really cool thing. I mentioned this way back in a Diversified Semantic Layer podcast on the new universe. You can now also include other folders and files in your projects. Will they play well and export to a shared repository? It sure seems like it. Awesome.

Now, restructuring the objects in my project doesn’t come without a price. The first thing you’ll note is that the data foundation has lost its reference to the connection, which indicates an unresolved reference. You’ll also note that objects in the business layer referencing this data foundation indicate in red and will not validate.



To fix this, simply open the data foundation and edit its properties. If you paid attention that you can have all these objects open at one item, just click the right tab. Once open, click the properties button.


The simple fix is to put a check in the right connection (note, if more than one connection exists in your project, it is listed here). Select the right one and click OK to fix the data foundation.


Returning to the business layer, the connection works now, objects can now be edited, and we are ready to go again.


That’s the skinny on moving from a UNV to a UNX. It’s not absolutely perfect yet, but perhaps the final GA build will be.

I have more Information Design Tool blog posts coming after this one. Stay tuned.

10 thoughts on “Migrating a UNV to a UNX Universe

  1. Hi Eric,

    I am getting the same error as you got when migrating UNV to UNX. I did not understand what you did to resolve this. Can you please explain me in a bit more detail?

    I really appreciate your efforts in sharing valuable information.

    Thanks & Regards,


  2. Hey Raja. Simply put, I logged into the Universe Design Tool, imported the .unv universe, edited the connection (got the warning that it was from an older version), and then exported it and the universe without modification. That updated the connection to work with the .unx version.

  3. Did you mean you logged into Universe Designer or Information Designer? Because when I log into Universe Designer and Import a universe it shows Universe is successfully imported and once I click ok…it gives me a prompt saying “Universe Connection is not accessible” .

    Sorry to bug you but what do you mean when you say you edited the connection?

  4. Yes the connection does exist in CMC under Connections. Infact all the connections exist in CMC. But in Universe Designer after importing the universe, when I go to Tools–>Connections, I am able to see only the connection I created in Information Designer and no other connections are visible. I am not sure if that is the right behaviour?

  5. Interesting. My first step would probably be to try and re-migrate those connections in. The connections from the older environment should open and be able to be edited in Universe Designer. This behavior does seem odd.

  6. I think you are correct, as I can see all the connections in other environments in universe designer.

    I have one more question and I will be glad if you can share your thoughts on that. I am trying to create a Universe on top of a BEx query in information designer and as a first step I created a connection. Now when I try to connect to a BEx Query using this connection to create a business layer it throws an error saying “The connection is not supported”. Do you have thoughts on this?

  7. I found the answer, we cannot convert a OLAP universe, we can convert only the relational universes. In my case it was OLAP (this is given in the guide).

  8. Hello all,
    Hope this is not too simple a question for the readers – but does anyone know if there are utilities and/or reference tables that show which functions, etc are not fully compatible when gonig from Oracle SQL for audit tables and migrate it to BO40 for use in universe designer?

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