This post continues going over Scheduling Webi Documents in SAP Business Objects 4.x. You can catch up by reading Scheduling Webi Documents (Part 1 of 2) - where we left a cliff-hanger after completing the Recurrence section (step 5) of scheduling. A few notes about prompts before continuing . . . Scheduling Webi Documents with Prompts – The report in our exercise does not contain prompts. If it did, another option (Prompts) would display after Recurrence. If your report has prompts, provide the prompt values you want used to run the report. If you don’t explicitly provide these prompt values, Webi will use the prompt values saved in the report.
a. One common reason for scheduling a report is to have it run automatically and unattended outside of normal business hours. As a result, prompts in a report can lead to more maintenance of scheduled instances. Example: If a scheduled report contains a prompt for month/year to provide month-to-date data, you would have to re-schedule the instance each month to update the prompt value.
b. Consider implementing dynamic date objects (e.g. Current Month/Year) to filter the data with a more practical solution that eliminates re-scheduling. Dynamic date objects are established in the universe and can be built to filter for useful time frames such as Last Week, Last Month, Current Quarter, etc.
Let's Continue Scheduling our Webi Documents...
- Format – This is the option that allows you to choose which format the output will be.
a. Check the box for Microsoft Excel.
Note: The options for Caching, Events, and Scheduling Server Group are typically not necessary to successfully schedule a report. These more advanced options are briefly discussed at the end of this post. Work with your System Administrator for assistance with these options if the need arises.
- Destinations – This option refers to who or where the scheduled output will go. The Default Enterprise Location is established by the System Administrator and is typically set up as the history area of reports.
a. Click the drop down to see your choices, and then select Email.
b. Below is the screen used for inputting the specifics of the email and its distribution.
c. Placeholders (variables) are provided to streamline the process.
d. You can choose to have an instance stored (or not) in a report’s history along with sending the output in an email. For our exercise, clear the checkbox in front of ‘Keep an instance in the history’ to not add the output to history.
e. Continue defining the email parameters. Please note that the email addresses displayed are non-viable and are just to illustrate the steps in the process. When using a distribution list, input the alias of the DL, i.e., the email address without spaces and with a ‘.com’ at the end.
f. When defining the Subject of the email, use placeholders to display the instance title and the date/time the report will be executed. This makes it easier for your recipients to keep track of which emails have what data attached.
- Title – is represented with the variable %SI_NAME% and stands for the instance title which in our example is ‘Daily Sales Team Revenue’.
- DateTime – is represented with %SI_STARTTIME% and displays the runtime of the report with the format ‘YYYY-MM-DD-HH-MIN-SS’.
- In addition, add some sort of separator between the two placeholders. Use something like ‘space hyphen space’ for readability. The final subject with placeholders will display in this screen as %SI_NAME% - %SI_STARTTIME%, and will be delivered to your users as ‘Daily Sales Team Revenue - 2012-12-27-06-31-24’.
g. The Message is where you define the body of the email, which can also include placeholders. It’s a good idea to include the name and email of a contact person in case the recipients have updates/changes to the format, distribution, or timing of the scheduled instance.
h. The last piece to define is the attachment. Make sure the Add Attachment checkbox is checked.
i. Click the radio button next to Use Specific Name and define the attachment file name with placeholders.
Note: Use the same placeholders as you did for the Subject with the addition of File Extension. The placeholder variable for File Extension is: .%EXT%
j. Click the Schedule button in the lower right-hand corner to save the scheduled instance.
- Another screen will display with high-level information on the scheduled instance. You can close this screen by clicking the ‘x’ in the upper right-hand corner at anytime without affecting the schedule.
Advanced Webi Scheduling Options
The following scheduling options are not necessary to successfully schedule a Webi document; however, in some cases they may be needed depending on the circumstances and your systems configuration. Consult your System Administrator before using these options. You may not have permissions to use them and/or the System Administrator may want to handle these parameters themselves.
- Caching – This has to do with certain formats being pre-loaded before viewing the document.
- Events – Events that have to do with scheduling are usually associated with data loads. They can include the start or completion of a data load or the presence or deletion of a certain file.
- Scheduling Server Group – This option gives you the ability to choose which server will process your scheduled instance. If you are scheduling a very large report that takes quite a while to run, your System Administrator may direct the instance to be processed on a server that is less busy or better able to handle your request.
Well that's it! Do you have certain data you would like delivered to your inbox automatically? Do you think your Business Objects (BOBJ) users would like to leverage these features? If you want more assistance in regards to Scheduling Webi documents, or anything else Business Objects related, then give ProKarma a shout. We would love to assist you in maximizing your return on your Business Objects investment!