SAP BusinessObjects Monitoring – Part 1

SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 includes a new application, available through the Central Management Console (CMC) called Monitoring. What is this new application all about? Well, the bad news is that the documentation, and training, available for this new application is virtually nonexistent. Aside from a brief section in the Administrator’s Guide, there is no training or documentation available on how to use Monitoring. So, I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to figure it out. This article is designed to document my learnings. This will be the first in a series of posts explaining how to set up monitoring, how to use monitoring, and how to create a universe for monitoring.

What is Monitoring?

Monitoring is a built in application, that allows administrators to monitor the health of the system. The most important aspects of Monitoring are Watches and Probes. Watches allow you to set thresholds for over 250 metrics within the system. You can be notified when these thresholds are breached. For example, you can have a Watch that will monitor the disk space consumed by the Output FRS, and be notified when that consumption reaches a specific point.

Probes are applets that perform workflows, just to make sure that system is working as intended. For example, there is a probe that will open a Web Intelligence document, refresh it, export it as Excel, or PDF (or both), and then close the document. If any part of that fails, you can be notified.

Monitoring includes a dashboard that allows you to see quickly the health of the system. You can see the current, or the historical, state of the system.

Setting up Monitoring

The data for Monitoring is stored in the Monitoring database. That’s right, BI 4.0 has 3 databases. But the Monitoring database doesn’t have to be set up. It is installed with the system. The Monitoring data is stored in a Derby database. This is simply a set a java tables. By default, they are stored in the install directory of BusinessObjects. And, since they are not stored in a typical RDBMS, we don’t ask a DBA to back them up. Backups are done within BusinessObjects, using the CMC.

On your BusinessObjects server, create a directory for the backup of the Derby tables. For example:

E:\MonDBBackup

Next, log into the CMC, and go to Applications, and double click on the Monitoring Application. This will open the Properties window of the Monitoring Application. Make sure that “Enable Monitoring Application” is checked. In the “Trending database backup directory” field, enter the location for the backup, that you just created. Click Save and Close.

Next, go to the Servers area of the CMC, and restart the Adaptive Processing Server (APS). If you have more than one of them, restart the one with the Monitoring Service.

Once the APS is running, go back to the Applications area, and open the Monitoring Application again. Next to the “Run database backup task” label, you will see a button labeled “Now”. Click that button. This will create a backup of the Derby Database into the specified directory. Depending on how much data has been collected, this may take a while. Be patient. Once it completes, you will get a message that the backup completed successfully.

You can also, in the same place, schedule automatic backups, anywhere from every hour, to every 750 hours. I would recommend no more then 24 hours for your automatic backups. If you plan to create a universe on these tables, you may want to backup even more often, depending on your reporting needs. I’ll cover creating the universe in Part 3 of this series.

Monitoring History

The data that is stored in the Monitoring database tables isn’t kept forever. By default, the database has a 1Gb limit, although you can increase that size in the CMC – Applications – Monitoring Application. However, at some point, the application would slow down, if you let the tables get too large. If you want to keep the historic data for a long time, I would suggest extracting the data from these tables, and storing it in a RDBMS.

The Monitoring Application also integrates well with SAP Solution Manager, as well as Wiley Introscope.

Conclusion

That’s all there is to setting up the Application. In part 2 of this series, I’ll cover tips on using the application. And in part 3, I will cover the creation of a universe based on the Monitoring database. Stay tuned.

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29 Responses to SAP BusinessObjects Monitoring – Part 1

  1. Interesting: Its own database, sneaky. I am looking forward to the “build universe on the monitoring DB” article you promised. I find it very interesting that the built-in monitoring dashboards are..built…with FLASH..suprise..surprise.

    • Andreas, I, too, was surprised with the Flash Dashboard. I asked a Tech Support engineer why they built it with Flash, and he had no idea, and also thought it to be odd.

      • Roland says:

        Well, looking at the fact that BO Dashboards (Xcelsius) are (at this time) also FLASH based, I can hardly see any surprise with that, but perhaps that is too obvious. Aside from that, I’m looking forward to your findings in articles 2 and 3.

  2. Marek says:

    Michael,
    This is a nice and interesting article. I look forward to the other 2 parts.

  3. Rajeev says:

    excellent article!! looking forward for other 2 vols

  4. Kristof Speeckaert says:

    FYI: as of FP03 (and thus also the newly release SP04), the monitoring tables can also be placed in the audit database. The Admin Guide contains the detail as well as how to migrate an existing Derby database to the Audit DB.

  5. Chandrakanth says:

    Hello Michael, Excelled blog. I was banging my head to understand what is a derby database till i l landed on this page.
    Have you already written part 2?

    • Hi, Chandrakanth. Thanks. I haven’t written part 2 yet, despite my plans to do so. I was delayed by SP04. 🙂 There are some changes to monitoring in SP04, and I need to make sure I understand them before I write the next part. Stay tuned.

  6. Amol says:

    Very Nice article

  7. JPetlev says:

    Great Article! I was trying to figure out how to read this monitoring app and scoured the web for some sort of manual or training guide… stumbled across this post. Can’t wait for parts 2 and 3.

  8. Gachi says:

    Hi,
    Im trying to use Monitoring. When I try to add a watchlist I have this error ‘Failed to retrieve JMX client’.

    Any suggestion?
    Thanks

  9. Gachi says:

    Thanks Michael

    We find that the problem is that we have an Underscore (_) in the server name.

    We use the ip number instead the server name.

    But we don´t find where we can change the URL of the jmx agente in the Monitor Aplication Properties.

    Do you have any idea?

  10. Judy Mulders says:

    Michael, very useful post. As usual, my detail-oriented brain (some call it nitpicky) noticed a typo – “Watches allow you to set thresholds for over 250 metrics withing the system” should be “…within the system.” Thanks for the information!

    Judy

  11. Raoul Labega says:

    Michael,

    I have this problem with interactive analysis probes that if you schedule it, you never know on which web intelligence service it will run. If you have 4 webi services and 3 are down the probe still runs and tells you everything is OK.

    And if you are using multiple databases you need a webi report for each database so you can check not only if your BO environment is up and running, but also if you can reach all the database that are used for reporting.

    • Raoul, that’s a good point. However, the probes are meant to emulate the user experience. And, if a user is still able to run a Webi report, then the process is successful. It’s better to use the alerts to make sure that all servers are healthy.

  12. Pingback: SAP BusinessObjects Monitoring – Part 2 « Michael’s BI Safari

  13. I was exploring for creative concepts for my blog site and
    uncovered your blog, “SAP BusinessObjects Monitoring – Part 1
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  14. Pingback: SAP BusinessObjects Monitoring – Part 3 « Michael’s BI Safari

  15. Igor Cotler says:

    Michael,
    Excellent blog. Thanks.
    Can you clarify this for me please.
    How do you create a back up of the Trending DB in the clustered environment. Since the Trending DB is a local to the each of the nodes. Do I need to move it to Audit DB right away?

    • If you are using the Derby database, then set the backup schedule through the CMC. But i wouldn’t recommend using the Derby database. Get your data into the Audit database, so it can be backed up through the normal backup process.

  16. VIZIT says:

    Why there is difference between the data taken through audit database and data taken through instance manager in CMC

    SAP BUSSINESS OBJECTS 4.0 SP6
    AUDIT DATABASE ORACLE

  17. Thank you provide valuable informations and iam seacrching same informations,and saved my time

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