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BI 4.2 SP5 Report Conversion Tool - can't convert FHSQL


I am working with a new BI 4.2 SP5 Patch 1 system, installed on Windows Server 2016. It's a self-contained system with no clustering. Client Tools of the same version are also installed.

I'm trying to migrate and convert lots of Desktop Intelligence Reports from a BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 system. Some of these reports have Freehand SQL data sources, which use Shared Connections (there is no option to create Secured Connections with DeskI, so these connections don't show up in the Connections in the CMC on the XI R2 system.

I have already migrated these reports to the BI 4.2 system using the Upgrade Management Tool. I then try and use the RCT, with both source and target set at the BI 4.2 system, logged in as Enterprise Administrator.

When I try and convert any of these reports, they don't convert. The error reported is "Failed: Free-hand SQL connection". When I look in the RCT Audit Database, the field G_MIG_C_CAUSE = "Not available in Web Intelligence", and G_MIG_C_RESULT = "The free-hand SQL could not be recreated in the universe".

Looking in the logging folder under <installdir>\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0, I can see a few .glf files generated at the same time. The javaw_<random numbers>_trace.glf has in it, amongst other things, "Designer application is not valid!". The designer_<random numbers>_trace.glf has assert failures such as "Error: wrong number of parameters in URL" and "false: Couldn't get token").

Everything I've read suggests that since BI 4.1 SP6, DeskI reports with Freehand SQL should convert to WebI reports with Freehand SQL. At the same time, it should create secured connections for each report.

I found SAP Note 2471150, which sounded similar, however that had no effect, and in fact it mentions Windows 7/8 rather than WS 2016.

I wondered if the problem was because I was migrating content from XI R2 (I've already discovered that universes fail to migrate from XI R2 to BI 4.2 SP5, so I'm having to do so via an XI 3.1 system I'm about to install. So I tried creating a Freehand SQL report in DeskI XI 3.1 SP7 FP7.3 using eFashion, saving to the Repository, upgrading to the BI 4.2 system, and converting that on the 4.2 system. This didn't convert either.

What am I missing, or is there a fault with BI 4.2 SP5 on Windows Server 2016 causing this behaviour?


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  • I fixed your tags, please select more careful next time.

    Are you able to create universes on this new server?
    Both in IDT and UDT ?
    How about connection creation ?
    Are you able to refresh any webi reports in BILP or WRC ?

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5 Answers

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    Former Member
    Mar 21 at 09:29 AM

    Hi Darren.

    I am facing exactly the same errors as you.

    Our scenario is that we currently have a 4.2 SP3 environment. The old Deski XI 3 environment is still running in parallel, however, as for whatever historical reason, those reports were not migrated. But now there is a push to get off the XI 3 system and I'm finding that the Report Conversion Tool is just not working. Even if I create a brand new simple free-hand SQL report, it fails with these errors. I am uploading from Deski into the XI 3 repository and trying to use the RCT to go from XI 3 to one of our BI 4 servers.

    I will let you know if I discover anything but if you do get a solution then please post it here. Many thanks.

    EDIT: SAP - I would really like a solution to this...

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    • Hi Stephen

      I am relieved to see that someone else has found the same as me! You'd think there would be loads of people reporting the same, but no - I just assume that most people either don't have Free-hand SQL in DeskI any more, or converted such reports a long time ago.

      I now have two separate projects with Free-hand SQL DeskI reports. In one case the source is XI R2, the other XI 3.1 SP5. These are migrated to BI 4.2 SP5 Patch 1 and Patch 200 respectively, and then converted using RCT in situ.

      I have an open incident with SAP that's not progressing very fast. Their consultant claimed she could get a simple XI 3.1 DeskI FHSQL report to convert on her system, sometimes (though sometimes it fails). I can't ever get one to convert on either of these two systems or any other 4.2 system I've tried!

      She wondered if it was because I was running on Windows Server 2016, but I think maybe it's more likely her system is patched, whereas all of mine are new installations. Sometimes libraries which were in older versions go missing from newer versions of the platform.

      Anyway, we'll see if they come up with a solution. In the meantime I have lots of grumpy customers!


  • Mar 09 at 06:24 PM

    You can try couple of options

    1. Try to run RCT on Windows 7 machines rather on Server

    2. FHSQL report connection - Create a secured connection in UDT exactly same name as Deski connection and try to run RCT.

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    • Thanks for your assistance.

      Unfortunately I am working remotely so don't have access to any Windows 7 Machines at the moment, so I can't try your first suggestion. I have tried the second suggestion of creating a secured connection with the same name, but it didn't make any difference, unfortunately.

  • Mar 12 at 11:33 AM

    Hi, I have since tried to convert a Desktop Intelligence Document with a Freehand SQL query against a Microsoft Access Database from XI 3.1 to three different servers - BI 4.2 SP5 Patch 1, BI 4.2 SP5 RTM and BI 4.2 SP2 RTM. This failed in all three cases.

    Please can anyone come up with a workflow where FHSQL DeskI reports successfully convert? Does it require the ODBC connection to be in place? Does it require the ODBC connection to have exactly the same properties including the path of the database?


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  • Apr 19 at 10:11 AM

    Hi Darren. I must say that I'm also confused by the error which says that the free-hand SQL could not be recreated in the universe. My understanding was that this is whay happened in an older version before free-hand SQL was added to Webi and the workaround was that the free-hand SQL was created in a derived table in a universe. Now that we are looking at later versions where the default is to not use this option (it can be changed in the registry and I have checked it is set correctly) it should be converting properly. Unless it is some sort of intermmediate step, which seems unlikely, I cannot understand why this error message appears!!! If I do find a solution I will post but my time has been limited on this. Please do post any resolutions if you get them.

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  • Apr 26 at 09:07 AM

    Hi Darren. I have been having some luck with this. Basically I have managed to get it running from one of the Servers. I noticed that when I tried to get it running from my desktop it always gave the same errors as you mention and it would also produce those errors very quickly. On the Server I am having some luck. Oracle free-hand SQL reports were either converting partially or successfully. However, Sybase ASE reports are failing completely (even very simple test ones) so need to try and figure that out.

    I did read somewhere that you shouldn't have the 3.1 and the 4.2 client tools on the same PC. I did. However, I even tried uninstalling 3.1 on my PC and it still failed with the same error so don't know if this is the cause and whether something is hanging about in the registry or whatever. The reason I say this is that the Server has NEVER had 3.1 installed so maybe this is key...

    Another useful thing I found is that I had one report based on Oracle free-hand SQL which failed and I managed to get this to convert by going to Data --> Variables in Deski and removing anything with an alert symbol in Variables, Forumulas and Constants. These are all "broken" as far as I know. I then re-exported th report and it converted.

    Hopefully something here will help you. My PC is Win 10 BTW and the Server is Win 2008 R2.

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    • Hi Stephen, not sure how I missed your response you left nearly 2 months ago!

      This issue still rumbles on, I have an open support case with SAP and I've now managed to get access to the developers. The last interaction with them was them observing a screen share and me sending them a detailed trace log.

      I have tried using the RCT in the following scenarios, all with MS Access Freehand SQL Reports:

      - On a Windows Server 2016 server which has both server and client installation of BI 4.2 SP5

      - On a Windows 7 Client, which has client installations of both BI 4.2 SP5 and XI 3.1 SP7 to the WS2016 box mentioned above

      - On another Windows 7 Client which has a client installation of BI 4.2 SP5, connecting to a Windows Server 2012 R2 server with BI 4.2 SP5 client installation only

      No joy in any scenario, I'm afraid. I've yet to see the FHSQL RCT functionality work once on BI 4.1/4.2!