M87systems: Products - FAQ

By: M87systems  09-12-2011

General Topics

WebOlap Add-in Manager



BI:Scope Add-ins

M87 is an elliptical galaxy in the Virgo cluster. M87 is also known as NGC4486 and Virgo A. It is famous for the visible cosmic jet emanating from its center.

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Both BI:Scope and BI:Prompt usage are controlled by entries in the users CleverPath EUREKA:Strategy profile. Users that do not have the enabled flag for the products set in their profile will receive normal WebOlap functionality.

BI:Scope and BI:Prompt extend and modify your perl and iasuite directories. You can isolate these changes by:

  • Copy the existing perl and iasuite directories to new directories
  • Update the .axsysrc file with PERL_DIRECTORY=path and IASUITE_DIRECTORY=path. These tags can be placed for a work group or an individual user.

BI:Scope and BI:Prompt web server components already go into their separate directories.

BI:Scope and BI:Prompt use Java facilities which were introduced with the 1.2x release of Java. Many features of this release are used including the ability to have the user interface look like the normal interface for the platform it executes on (ie Windows), and enhanced printing capabilities.

The normal Java runtime used by a browser is an earlier version, which is not compatible with BI:Scope or BI:Prompt. The Java Plug-in allows a different Java Virtual Machine to be used which is appropriate for the task.

The Java runtime specified for BI:Prompt and BI:Scope use, must be installed on the Windows machine for proper operation. Microsoft's Internet Explorer will recognize the need for the Java Plug-in and automatically install the plug-in for your user the first time they try to execute BI:Prompt or BI:Scope.

The earlier versions of the Netscape browser do not have this capability. Those users are directed to a download page, where they must download and save the file, and then manually execute it to install the Plug-in. Starting with version 6 of the Netscape browser plug-in recognition is suppose to be the same as Internet Explorer.

Network attached P/C's could have the plug-in pre-installed to save this one time action for the user.

The Java Plug-in provides caching over and above the caching provided by the browser. Using Plug-in caching the specified files are stored on disk on the clients P/C. When BI:Prompt or BI:Scope are requested, they are then loaded from the local cache. This results in faster load times for your clients, and reduces network traffic between the browser and the web server.

If any of the BI:Prompt or BI:Scope files are upgraded, the plug-in will recognize the new version, and automatically load it from the web server, and update the cache. Using the Plug-in caching is a zero administration option for increasing performance, and reducing network traffic.

M87systems recommends that administrators enable Plug-in caching.

The WebOlap add-in manager is designed to address the following:

  • WebOlap reports fail with a generic message which does not indicate the real reason for the failure. The add-in manager captures these failures and reports them to then end user, so appropriate action can be taken.
  • Executes pro-process add-in scripts defined after a ReportPrompt
  • Removes add-in definitions run in background to prevent an automatic re-run of the report once opened by the ends user.

The add-in manager fools WebOlap into thinking the failed report worked, so an appropriate error message can be displayed. Since the Add-in Manager works from outside WebOlap, it is unable to further customize the error display

Once installed, the Add-in manager can be found in a file called script.axc in your iasuite directory. The script contains a set of variables in the Setup section at the top of the script which defines the text that is to appear on the error report. By changing these variables you can customize the information and look, and supply text language for your national language.

BI:Prompt checks to see if a prompted add-in contains BI:Prompt style prompts or normal WebOlap ReportPrompt style prompts. If an old style prompt is detected, the resulting dialogs will be generated using these rules:

  • If the WebOlap .IsText variable has been defined, a manual input SingleValue prompt will be used
  • If variable name ends in _Facts, a Selectable List will be used with Fact descriptions available
  • If a base dimension is used, and EnableListItemDrilling is True, then a Drillable List will be used, otherwise a Selectable List is used

BI:Prompt validation scripts are executed prior to report submission. A validation script can be used to perform the following actions:

  • Apply some rules to the report definition with the current selections, and display an error message if deemed appropriate
  • Change the report run options to force background or overnight execution
  • Define another prompt for the user to respond to

Yes, when BI:Prompt was installed on the CleverPath EUREKA:Strategy server, an example script was placed into the iasuite directory called BIPPromptSample.axc. This script contains a skeleton which shows how the various features are turned on. There is no real decision making logic in the script, but variables are used which can be turned on and off to show the functionality.

The change prompt example refers to a fictitious add-in definition. Change this to point at your own secondary prompt.

The easiest way to setup the display and print options for a specific report, is to use BI:Scope to do it.

  • Open you report before you roll it out to the users.
  • Adjust your column widths, wrap settings, and print options.
  • Save the report back over the original file. The BI:Scope settings will be stored with the report definition file

BI:Scope fits columns to page, but not rows to page.

BI:Scope is designed for data warehousing applications and is thus able to handle extremely large reports. This design choice precludes BI:Scope from bring the entire report into memory for single page printout.

BI:Scope also allows users to use whatever fonts they have installed on their P/C's in their reports. BI:Scope has no pre knowledge of the size of each individual line, and so cannot calculate the required print sizes to fit rows to page as well.

CleverPath EUREKA:Strategy can perform this operation, but it supports a limited set of fonts to make this possible.

Users can increase the number of rows per page, by adjusting the scaling option after selecting Fit-To-Page to specify a smaller scaling factor and thus get more rows on the page.

Yes BI:Scope can display reports with imbedded images in the report cells.

To create a traffic light report, you must:

  • Use CleverPath EUREKA:Strategy to define a script fact
  • In the script evaluate the incoming data and return a URL to an image stored on the web server. Make sure to use addressing relative to the document home for maximum reliability

BI:Scope can recognize Traffic lights that are standalone in a report cell, as well as those that also contain other display values.

BI:Scope add-ins execute in the same virtual machine as BI:Scope itself. The JVM used by BI:Scope is specified by the plug-in definition which is stored in a, _template file in the Strategy server's perl directory.

No, BI:Scope is a signed applet which users must grant security rights to for proper execution. BI:Scope contains its own security manager which extends its privileges to the add-in, and any objects it creates as well.

For each add-in invocation the following actions are take:

  • BI:Scope loads the jar file or class depending on the definition of the add-in as an Add-in object
  • The add-in objects execute() method is called
  • The return value from the class is checked for browser redirection, or new window requests
  • The add-in object is destroyed

All calls to an add-in are synchronous

Yes, a standalone Java application can easily be converted to a BI:Scope Add-ins. Perform that following changes on your main class for the applications:

  • BI:Scope add-ins must implement com.m87systems.bi_scope.client.addin.BISAddin. Add this to the main class that represents your application. If the class implements other interfaces, make sure the BISAddin interface is listed first.
  • Add a public BISAddinReturn execute(Hashtable runtimeInfo, ArrayList selectedData) method to your class. In this method, perform operations similar to what your main() method would do for your application.
  • Properties for your add-in s/b passed via BI:Scope runtime properties. Your execute() method should use these to provide dynamic information like JDBC driver names etc. See the BI:scope Javadoc to see the parameters already supplied by BI:Scope, such as the userid of the current user.
  • If you applications requires additional jars not included in a standard Java runtime distribution, make sue to include those in the BI:Scope add-in definition.

User password validation is handled by the WebOlap CGI program iagw.exe. iagw encrypts the password and stores it in a cookie in the browser. Since this operation is handled prior to the WebOlap perl being executed, the unencrypted version of the password is not available

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