Focusing on setup and development using SQL Server products from 2000 to 2008 and beyond. Also about anything geeky that compels me to write a blog entry.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Business Objects report scheduling

Part of our enterprise includes a Business Objects data warehouse and a host of Business Objects reports. I have mostly dealt with SQL Reporting Services or MS Access reports so I was excited recently to be asked to reschedule all the Business Objects reports.

Here are a few things I found noteworthy.

In addition to normal interval based report scheduling (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) you can schedule based on a custom calendar. You create a named calendar and actually select the specific days that you want to schedule. It allows a high level of flexibility if your requirements are irregular.

The output options are pretty standard, PDF, Excel, and a web format, but you can easily use variable placeholders in your naming to customize the file name, email subject/message, etc. which simplifies and standardizes your file naming and/or emails.

One thing which is a problem with the scheduling, as with most out of the box solutions, is that you can not easily re-run a whole schedule day of reports. You must run the reports individually if there are problems. This is also true in SSRS reports which is why I wrote a database and SSIS packages to automate daily processing of scheduled reports. Maybe I'll blog about that another time, but it would take many posts to cover.

Overall, I am impressed with the Business Objects report scheduling ease of use and flexibility. Hopefully I'll get a shot at some report revision soon and I'll let you know how that compares to SSRS report design if I do.,

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