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Why are Business Views so complicated?

I have some data I need to report upon for which there is no universe so I am using Crystal Reports 2011 rather than Crystal Reports Enterprise or Web Intelligence. Some of the criteria for my reports is based upon lookup code tables. So I thought it would be nice to prompt the user with a dynamic instead of a static list of values.

As I understand things, that means I needed to create a few Lists of Values or LOVs which led me to the jumbled mess of Business View Manager. There must be a good reason (I hope) that I need a Data Connection, Data Foundation, Business Element and Business View in order to create an LOV. Does it really need to be that complicated?

After about 4 hours of work I got my LOV working in my development environment as I had hoped. Now to move it to production. I saw my Data Connection, Data Foundation and Business View (not my Business Element or List of Value) under "BusinessViews" within Promotion Management in the Central Management Console. I was able to select all of necessary components under "Manage Dependencies". The promotion was "successful", but the LOV for my "Action" parameter (the fifth one) was clearly not working as expected.

I ended up exporting the Business View and List of Value to an XML file from within Business View Manager while connected to my development environment and importing that XML again from with Business View Manager while connected to my production environment. Even though the on screen prompts indicated it was only exporting/importing just Business Views it took care of all of five of the aforementioned object types.

That result got me a little closer. Now I could enter and "Action", but I still wasn't getting my list to pick from.

Within the Business View Manager I had to schedule my LOV to run. I chose to run it "Now". And it worked...

The last part about having to schedule my LOV or at least run it once seems reasonable except for two things.

  1. I did not have to do that to get it to work in my development environment.
  2. Prior to scheduling it the "Schedule Status" stated that "[t]here is no scheduled List of Values instance. This list of values executes on demand." I took that to mean that it would, you know, execute when it was needed and I didn't need to do it.

So everything is working as I had hoped, I think. They primary reason I did this is so that if something got added to one of the lookup code tables that I wouldn't need to update my reports, they would just automatically pull in the new values.

So here are my questions.

  1. Why are so many level necessary to create an LOV?
  2. Why are Business Views and related items visible within Promotion Manager if they cannot be promoted via that tool?
  3. Why did I have to schedule my LOV to run when the tool clearly states that it would execute on demand?
  4. Do I need to schedule my LOVs to run on a regular, recurring basis?

Thanks for the therapy session.

Noel

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  • Best Answer
    author's profile photo Former Member
    Former Member
    Posted on Dec 13, 2012 at 04:50 PM

    The work around we found with the LCM dropping BV objects is to set the Rights on the Data foundation and Business elements and grant full access. This seems to work and the LCM has been moving BV objects without dropping them.

    Dinesh

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  • Posted on Dec 10, 2012 at 06:20 PM

    Hi Noel,

    1) Business View Manager has been around for quite some time, it used to be there with BusinessObjects too. What Universe is to WebI, Business View Manager is to Crystal Reports (well, if not exactly the same, very similar).

    It make sense to have all these levels after all. If you've worked on the tool for reasons other than creating the LOV then you might agree to me as to why all of that is needed. Each Level let's you set security, restrict data, apply rights to users/groups and you can do so much more. Creating an LOV is just an incentive that it offers. It's real job is only to 'manage' LOVs for the reports being run on BusinessObjects Enterprise. With the right filters at the right levels, you can do much more with the LOV too. For e.g: you can restrict certain users from looking at certain values in the list etc.

    It acts as a Semantic Layer to Crystal Reports and hence you can create a report against a Business View with all the security in place; just like a Universe. Managing LOVs, like I said, is just a small part of what BVM can do.

    Also, if you've created a Universe in BI 4.0, you might have realized that it employs a similar technique now! To create a Universe in BI 4.0, you first need to create a Data Connection, then a Data Foundation and then a Business Layer. Some cues taken from BVM there isn't it?

    2) I would say this could be a bug in 4.0 with the LCM Tool. LCM should promote all the objects, including the LOV to the new environment. I've faced similar issues in the past (numerous times) and the only way around that was to export the objects to XML from BVM. That's exactly what you've done and that's the only thing that worked for me too!

    3) Sometimes, LOVs that are promoted from one environment to the another need to be scheduled once to have the entire list. I know that doesn't answer your question, but some troubleshooting wouldn't be bad here.

    Did you try creating a new LOV (including creating a new Data Connection, a new Data Foundation, BE, BV) and simply use the LOV in a sample report without scheduling the list of course? Does it work? If it doesn't then it might be have to do with the user who is running the report, a network problem and so many things.

    Another thing, now that you've schedule the list, how about you clear the instance and see if it works?

    4) You can set recurring schedule for the List of Values too. This is a good practise as it increases performance by not sending database requests each time a user runs a report and changes the prompt's value. With a scheduled list, the List of Values in the prompt screen appear much much quicker. It's similar to having a report scheduled on a daily basis.

    Hope this helps and let me know your thoughts too.

    - Abhilash

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