Posts Tagged ‘installation’

Visual Intelligence Goes Predictive….

December 13th, 2012 5 comments

It was only a few short months ago when Visual Intelligence was released.  We were promised a rapid development and release cycle, but I never expected this many changes is such a sort time.

Here is a quick summary:

  • 1.0.1 – Visual data analysis and data discovery for the Desktop
  • 1.0.2 – Freehand SQL, Publish to Streamwork, Proxy support.
  • 1.0.3 – Universe  4.x
  • 1.0.4 – Basic Predictive, Export to Explorer (with Explorer 14.0.4), Geocoding Lat/Long
  • 1.0.5 & 1.0.6 – Bug fixes
  • 1.0.7 – Universe 3.x, 32-bit release, cell limit increase to 30M

Now both Visual intelligence and SAP’s newest Predictive Analysis are coming together and are available today in a single release.

Where To Find the New Release

The new, combined release is branded as Predictive Analysis 1.0.7.  It uses the same code base as Visual Intelligence, so any of your saved Visual Intelligence documents will open and work just fine with Predictive Analysis 1.0.7.

You can find the release under: Software Downloads > SAP Software Download Center > Support Packages and Patches > A-Z > P > SBOP Predictive Analysis Service > SAP predictive Analysis 1.0 > Entry by Component > Predictive Analysis 64-bit > Windows on x64 64bit.  The file size is 238885 kb and was released on 11/19/2012.

Download PA on Service Marketplace

If you want to install it, there are a couple of tricks to getting it to install correctly, so you’ll want to follow my instructions below.

Installing Predictive Analysis 1.0.7

The download and initial installation is very straightforward – but before long I needed installation help, which was the motivation for this blog post.

First you must uninstall the following old products:

  1. SAP Predictive Analysis
  2. Visual Intelligence
  3. R (any version)

If you don’t you’ll receive a message at installation time that says, “incompatible products installed.’

I also recommend when you install the product to use “Run As Administrator” just to make sure there aren’t initial issues.

It will complete without asking any questions and like Visual Intelligence will allow you to use it for 30 days without a keycode.

Predictive Analysis is ready to go.

Using Predictive Analysis with R

The great news with SAP Predictive Analysis is that the software distribution now includes a menu option which will use web services to connect to the R distribution library and automatically download and install R for you.  The current release supported here is R 2.15.1.

The one challenge is that the installation of R will cause an error because the R distribution has changed since SAP Predictive Analysis was released and there is an error in the install script which will cause the installation script to fail.

The problem is explained in this SAP NOTE:

You can avoid the error and everything will work fine if you fix the R install script prior to attempting to install it.

64-bit Fix

  1. Simply download the updated inputpackages64.txt file here (Right Click – Save As): 
  2. Replace the existing inputpackages64.txt in the $ with this one.  (Default installation directory is:  C:Program Files (x86)SAP Predictive Analysis)
  3. Continue with the R Installation instructions.

 32-bit Fix

  1.  Simply download the updated inputpackages32.txt file here (Right Click – Save As): 
  2. Replace the existing inputpackages32.txt in the $ with this one.  (Default installation directory is:  C:Program FilesSAP Predictive Analysis)
  3. Continue with the R Installation instructions.
NOTE:  Although SAP software is often downloaded as a .EXE, you can always
manually unpack the .EXE file by using a utility like WinRAR.  Here is
a previous post about the topic:

Installation Help – Installing R Step by Step

From the File menu choose Install and Configure R.

Install and Configure R

This will make sure that the correct version of R is downloaded and configured with SAP Predictive Analysis.  It will download R-2.15.1

R Installation Screen

You will see the download process begin.  The R download package is almost 50 MB.

Downloading Progress...

R will begin to install after the download.

Extracting files and installing R

Next it will download individual additional libraries which are needed.

Downloading supplemental libraries

If you updated the installation file, R and all the required packages should install correctly.

The final step to complete the installation is go into the Configure tab and set the configuration to point to your R library.  The default directory should be correct.

Final Step - Tell Predictive Analytics Where R is Located

Fixing Your R Installation Manually

If you were not able to modify the installation file, you can also complete the installation of R manually.  Here is the message you are likely to see if you did not update the installation program.

ERROR:  R installation not successful.  Detail: R-2-15.1 is installed successfully. But failed to install the required R packages.  Ensure that you are connected to the internet and you have Administrator rights to install software on the computer.

Common Error When Installing R

The Good News is that the core R software has installed correctly.  The only part that failed was the downloading of all the add-on libraries that Predictive Analysis needs for all the build-in predictive functions.  We will need to install the following libraries one by one.

  • arules
  • XML
  • caret
  • DBI
  • monmlp
  • PMML
  • rJava
  • reshape
  • Plyr
  • Foreach
  • Iterators

You can manually download them one-by-one from the R website:

Or you can download all the required files from my blog and unzip them:

  1. Open the RGui Console (Start > Programs > R > Rx64 2.15.1)

    Installing Packages Manually

  2. Choose Packages > Install Package(s) from local zip files
  3. Select the zip files one by one and install them, you may ignore any warnings.  After the package installs successfully you will get the following message:  Package packagename successfully unpacked and MD5 sums checked.
  4. If you want to test that a library is installed, go to the R Console command prompt and type:  library(rJava).  Press Enter.  It is successfully installed if you don’t see any errors.
  5. You can also check in your R library folder, which is located here:  [R_INSTALLATION_FOLDER]library.  This is typically C:UsersPublicR-2.15.1library for Windows 7 users.

Additional Troubleshooting Help

If you need additional help, check out the following excellent resources:

PA 1.0.7 Troubleshooting Guide

Install Guide for PA 1.0

Let me know if you’ve got any additional installation or configuration issues and solutions in the comments below.

Hopefully I can save your a few hours of troubleshooting.


Visual Intelligence and Predictive Analysis will continue to be licensed separately.  If you only need data visualization, then you will only need to purchase a license for Visual Intelligence.  If you want to add Predictive, then you need to purchase a license to enable that functionality.

License Key Screen in Predictive Analysis

Here in the Help > Enter License Key, you can see that both Visual Intelligence and Predictive Analysis license keys are recognized.

«Good BI»


Installing BusinessObjects v4.0 – CMS Database

January 5th, 2012 No comments

I’ve installed BusinessObjects about a hundred times and there is very little that’s changed about the installation wizard from a user interface perspective since Crystal Enterprise 10.  BusinessObjects has always included “in the box” all the components necessary to successfully install BusinessObjects for a single server configuration.

That said, there is ONE change I make every time I do an installation.

History of the Embedded Database

On Windows, it’s gone from SQL Server Embedded (CE10) to MySQL (for support of Unix and Linux) and back to SQL Server.  Now that SAP has acquired it’s own database technology, don’t be too surprised if it comes bundled with Sybase in the future.

Personally I’ve never liked uses the embedded database and I wouldn’t recommend you use it either.  In fact, I recently has a situation with a client who due to any overly restrictive server/firewall configuration was unable to get the embedded database working and we wasted hours trying to troubleshoot the problem.

Installation Best Practice

I always choose “Custom Install” so that I can:

  • Modify the installation location
  • Uncheck the default embedded database (for the CMS)

I really don’t like to include the embedded database because I want to give BusinessObjects as much on-server resources as possible – especially with v4.0.

Always create space in an existing database environment to support BusinessObjects.  There are many supported CMS databases including:  SQL Server, MySQL, IBM DB2, Oracle, MaxDB and Sybase.

NOTE:  Always test connectivity to the database from the server on
which you will be installing BusinessObjects to make sure the connectivity
is working.

During the installation you will want to NOT include the embedded database.  That means doing a CUSTOM install and deselecting Integrated Database.

No Embedded Database

De-Select the Integrated Database

What I love about the installer is that it will check the database connectivity before the installation begins.  If there is an issue with the database client configuration, permissions, etc., the installation will warn me of the situation and not continue.  This gives me the confidence to know that assuming I have enough hard drive space, when I select “Begin Installation”,  it will complete successfully.

«Good BI»

BusinessObjects Installation Best Practice

December 18th, 2009 2 comments

When installing any SAP BusinessObjects software, I find that it’s always best to have WinRAR nearby.  Just as a spoonful of sugar, it helps the medicine go down, WinRAR give you the control you need when disk resources are tight.  I was reminded of this again when I downloaded the new version of Xcelsius 2008 SP3.  I couldn’t wait to see all the new features that everyone is talking about.  But first things first.  The best way to do this is to start with WinRAR.

Why WinRAR?

WinRAR is an archiving tool.  It is a great way to get around the annoying habit that that SAP BusinessObjects has of unzipping all the files into a temporary directory somewhere and then launching the setup.exe file.  I hate that.  I want to tell the installer what to do every step of the way.  Let’s take the new Xcelsius 2008 SP3 for example.  When you execute the archive exe file, it unpacks all the installation files.  Where does it put them?  Does it look at your TEMP or TMP environment variables? No, not necessarily.  It puts them in your C:DOCUME~1AdministratorLOCALS~1Temp directory.

Maybe it’s me, or maybe it’s Murphy’s Law.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that the BusinessObjects Installation exe files that you download from the Service Portal can be unzipped directly using WinRAR.  This means I don’t have to rely on the self-extraction exe.

WinRAR is easy to find.   If you want to use the latest version you can download it from the WinRAR website and you will receive a temporary license.  If you like it, you can buy it.  Alternatively if you like it but don’t need all the new features, you can get a free license here.

I am running WinRAR 3.61, but WinRAR 3.5 is fine too.

Extracting the BusinessObjects Software

Once WinRAR is installed, it will create convenient right-click menus.  In this case let me extract all the files from the new xcelsius2008sp3.exe file I downloaded from the SAP portal.  If I right-click on the install file, I can choose to Extract the files.   50% of the time I use Extract Here, the other 50% of the time I use the item I have selected below: Extract to {directory}, in this case Extract to xcelsius2008sp3.

Right-click Menu, Extract To

I like this option the best because it will extract files to a convenient location where I can access this easily.  When the extract begins, it will create the subdirectory if one does not already exist.

After the files are extracted, I can manually start the setup.exe myself.  Do remember that it does take a few minutes before you see the first installation splash screen so be patient.  In you are unsure, always check your task manager processes before starting it again.

Now it’s time to enjoy all those new features available from the SAP Download site.

«Good BI»

Categories: Administrators Tags: ,

Tip: XI 3.0 Administration Best Practice

April 15th, 2008 9 comments

If you’ve had a chance to use the new BusinessObjects XI 3.0, one of the first things you will notice is that all your services are now managed by a local process called a Server Intelligence Agent. This agent is responsible for starting and stopping all the services that it manages.

After installing BusinessObjects XI 3.0, the first thing I did was start the CCM (Central Configuration Manager). I noticed I only had two services running.


Where are my services?

They are now managed based on how the Server Intelligence Agent. I don’t want to get into the details of what the Service Intelligent Agent does. This is clearly explained in the documentation. Instead I would like recommend to you a new best practice with the SIA.

But the CMS is King right?

In the XI 3.0 system there is a bit of a catch 22. The CMS is still king. Nothing works without the CMS. When the SIA starts up, it checks to see if it has a local CMS or not. If it does, it will start the CMS. After the CMS has started, it will then read the list of servers from the CMS database that it manages. Finally, it will start all those services. If there is no local CMS for a SIA, the SIA will wait for a remote CMS to start so it can read it’s list of managed services from the CMS and start them up.

But what if the CMS won’t start? What if I only want to start the CMS?

We need to manage this potential occurence.

Recommended Best Practice

Create a new NODE with a CMS to be used for maintenance only.

I strongly recommend that you create a second NODE for each server which will have a local CMS. There may be a situation when you want to bring the system up in maintenance mode and do some work without all the other services starting.

This also gives you the opportunity to start another CMS should you have a problem with your primary CMS. Here are the steps for creating a new NODE with only a CMS.

From within the CCM choose the Add Service Intelligence Agent from the menu. The SIA, like the CMS, needs a specific port to be assigned to it. It cannot pick a random available port. For the name, use the same name as your primary NODE but add the “_MAINT” to the end. Next pick an available port. In my case I used 6501.

Add Server Intelligence Agent

Choose Next and fill out the CMS login information so that the configuration information for your new NODE can be written to the CMS database and choose Finish.

Server Intelligence Agent Wizard

Although services can be added from the web based Central Management Console (CMC) interface, let’s start the SIA now. If you look at the properties of this SIA, you will see that it is associated with a remote CMS. We want to add a new “local” CMS to this SIA. (This means the SIA will have it’s own CMS to manage).

Go to the web based CMC and navigate to the Servers screen and see the new NODE we just created. Now we are going to add a new CMS server.

There are a number of ways to add a new server. Here I have highlighted three.

Create CMS in XI 3.0

You can select the new NODE and choose the icon, drop-down menu or the new right-click menu. I love this new Web 2.0 that makes the interface work like a traditional windows environment. It provides a huge productivity gain.

Next, you are prompted to choose the server to add. We want to choose Core Services and Central Management Services. Next you will have an opportunity to add optional, additional services. The CMS supports an additional single sign-on service. I recommend you add that as well.

Now you need to tell which NODE to associate this service too. We want to chose our new _MAINT NODE.

The message is warning us that without the correct database configuration and setup, the CMS will not start. In our case, we have never set up a CMS on this NODE, so this is a warning we should heed. We will not be able to successfully start the CMS without additional setup.

Choose Create.

Unfortunately when setting up this service we don’t get a chance to change our final settings before the service is created, so after we create the service, we need to got back into the properties of the service and adjust two important settings.

Open up the properties of the new CMS and modify the listening port and the automatic start-up settings. The default port for the CMS is 6400, however my default CMS might already be running on this port, to temporarily change this to port 6401 – ONLY for testing. I will change it back to 6400 as soon as testing is complete.

NOTE: if you are ONLY going to use this SIA when the other SIA has been stopped, then you may use 6400 but understand that when you attempt to start this CMS, if another CMS is already running on port 6400, then this CMS will not be able to start. If you will want to use two CMSes at the same time, then you will need to use two different ports.

In addition, make sure and automatically start this server when the Server Intelligence Agent starts. Remember, when I manually start my new SIA, (MYXI30_MAINT) I will need a CMS to start as well.

Configuring the Database Connection for the CMS

Now there are TWO WAYS to properly configure the database connection. The fast and automatic way or the slow and manual way.

Option 1 – Fast and Automatic

The fastest way to setup the connection information for your CMS is to find an existing .dbinfo file for a working CMS and NODE combination and copy the file and rename it to the name of your new CMS.

In our case, the name of my working NODE with an associated CMS was MYXI30_ALL so the name of the associated .dbinfo file was found under: C:Program FilesBusinessObjects 12.0win32_x86 and is called _boe_MYXI30_ALL.dbinfo.

Copy this file and rename the file to the name of your new NODE with the _MAINT. In my case the node will be called _boe_MYXI30_MAINT.dbinfo.

Now when you start the CMS it will have the data necessary to connect to the CMS. Next time your new NODE starts, so will this CMS.

Option 2 – Slow and Manual (and ultimately the “right” way)

In order to manually configure the connection information for the CMS so that it will know how to connect to the CMS, you need to use the CCM. The CCM is the only tool that will allow you to configure the connection information. This cannot be done from within the CMC. From the CCM on the server, make sure the new SIA is NOT running.

Next, choose the Specify CMS Database icon so that we can define the CMS connection information for our new NODE.

You may receive an error message. This is normal.

Just choose OK to continue. Eventually you will get the prompt to configure the connection for the CMS database. We do NOT want to create or recreate our CMS, we simply want to update the data sourse settings, so choose the first option and choose OK.

You will be prompted to choose the associated database driver for your CMS and to enter the credentials.

Once this as been completed, a .new file will be created in the C:Program FilesBusinessObjects 12.0win32_x86. The file will be called _boe_NODENAME.dbinfo. In my case it is called _boe_MYXI30_MAINT.dbinfo.

If you are using an auditing database you may also wish to configure this by choosing the auditing configuration and following similar steps for that database.

When you are finished start the SIA and the CMS will start as well.


Remember, if the CMS does not start automatically, check the settings in the CMC for the service and make sure that the new CMS service is configured to start automatically when the SIA starts. This is a parameter that can be set for each service.

Hopefully this has been helpful in explaining some of the new best practices around XI 3.0 Administration. In addition I hope this will give you a quick introduction to the SIA and it’s relationship to the CMS. Your new “CMS-only” node will be great when you need to just bring up the CMS so you can access the CMC.


What You’ll Notice When Installing XI 3.0

March 7th, 2008 4 comments

Here are a few things I noticed when installing XI 3.0 that I thought I would pass along.Installing XI 3.0 Notes

#1 – Time Remaining
The system no longer tells you the time remember. It was always fun to explain the end of the install when it was deploying the web applications and it would jump around from 2 seconds remaining to 2 hours remaining. Now you just get a simple and effective progress bar.

#2 – Wir sprechen Deutsch!
You should notice a heck of a lot more languages. BusinessObjects has embraced the concept of language packs and now allow you to create your own language packs.

#3 – New Utilities!
Diagnostic Tool, Software Inventory Tool , Translation Manager. I also don’t see the Security Viewer so hopefully that will be available as a separate install.

#4 – Silent Installation
Now you can create a “response” file by creating a blank text file and running setup.exe from a command window using: setup.exe -w C:my_install_response.ini. You can then use that response file to do a new install by going to the command line again and running: setup.exe /qb -r C:my_install_response.ini

#5 – In-Place Upgrade – Schweeet!
Hate finding new hardware to do an upgrade? XI 3.0 let’s you do an in-place upgrade. If you install XI 3.0 on a server that is already running XIR2, then it will detect it, copy the CMS content over, point the FRS of XI 3.0 to your existing FRS and let you uninstall XIr2. If you don’t like that, then you can do a side by side installation. It’s also supported (but be aware of potential port conflicts between the BOE or Tomcat services)

Other Things You Should Know

  • The initial release is Java-only. A .NET version is scheduled to ship later this year.
  • There is no native 64-bit version of BusinessObjects XI 3.0. It does however support 32-bit mode for 64-bit operating systems.