Do you struggle with versioning Universes and WebI Documents? What about Crystal Reports? Have you ever lost a day or more of development time due to the difficulties with versioning Universes and Reports in SAP BusinessObjects? Do you need Business Objects version control for Compliance requirements? Are you outsourcing your report development and need to validate what has been developed? If there is more than one developer on your BI team I am sure you have been concerned about versioning. Even if there is just one developer, if you are frequently making changes to your Universes and reports, managing versions isn’t easy. SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.x is shipped with a Versioning tool called Subversion, which is a third-party tool. I will admit, when I installed BI 4.1 a couple of years ago I tried to get Subversion working…I never got it working properly. Was I the only one?
If you are like me and struggled to take advantage of Subversion, you’ve come to the right place. Here at 360Suite, we have a solution that goes beyond the SAP BusinessObjects Versioning tool to help you better manage your report development. In this article I’ll explain the key features available in 360Vers that are not available in SAP BusinessObjects Versioning tool:
- Web application solution and extensions
- SAP Business Objects security lock
- Lifecycle Analysis
- Version comparison for WebI documents
- Versioning Workflow
Web Application Solution
360Vers is a solution for versioning SAP BusinessObjects WebI documents, Crystal Reports, and Universes (UNV and UNX). This solution is an easy-to-install web application that can run on Tomcat. A small repository is needed to keep track of versions, nothing else!
There is also a Web Intelligence Extension that allows developers to check out, lock, check-in, and version WebI documents from within the BI Launchpad, as well as an extension in Information Design Tool to check out, lock, check-in, and version UNX universes (from BI 4.2 SP07).
360Vers Webi Extension
360Vers IDT Extension
SAP BusinessObjects Security Lock
When you are ready to make a change, you check out the object you want to modify. The object is locked to prevent any other user from modifying the object at the same time; they can still access it in read-only mode. Once you have completed your changes, you check the object back in and increment the version mask, so a new version of the object is created. You can maintain as many versions as you need.
If you find that you need to roll back to a previous version because the current object contains errors, has been corrupted, or has been deleted, then you can recover and restore it with a few clicks of a button.
For compliance and regulatory purposes, it is important to have a version control table for SAP BusinessObjects development, in line with formal corporate procedures, policies, strategies, and project documentation. It allows for traceability because it provides details of what changes were made to a document or universe, when and by whom. The life cycle analysis provides a version control table that is updated each time a change is made.
Example of the version control table
Version Comparison of WebI documents
When setting up 360Vers, you choose the version pattern, whether it is 0.0.a or 1.0.1, 1.0, etc. You pick the pattern that works best for your environment. My favorite feature is the Compare option. You can compare the differences between versions of WebI documents which is extremely useful for documenting changes!
Example of a comparison between two versions of the same WebI document.
You can also choose to enable versioning workflow which allows sending the content management administrators an e-mail notification when new versions are created. This allows setting up a workflow of approval so that only versioned content that has been validated can be included in a release. These releases can subsequently be promoted to the destination environment. Just like individual object versions, releases can be restored and compared across environments.
And let’s not forget about some other notable features that are worth a mention:
- Promotion of content across environments (i.e. development, test, production), thus preserving documents, universes, and connections’ CUID.
- The ability for an Administrator to check-in checked out objects.
- Comparison of version packages across environments.
The Power of Version Control Is In Your Hands
With 360Vers, you can unlock the power of version control for your WebI documents, your Universes, and your connections. By putting in place business processes and structures around the development lifecycle of document and universe development, you leverage working on a collaborative document with a number of contributors and/or with frequent revisions. You are able to provide an audit trail for the revision and update of drafts and final versions, thus benefiting from traceability, identifiability, clarity, the reduction of duplication, and errors.
Looking to have better control over your SAP BusinessObjects version control? Get in contact with us today!