PerformancePoint Planning Business Modeler Corrupted Cube

A few weeks ago we encountered an error when trying to deploy the model site within Microsoft PerformancePoint Server 2007 Planning Business Modeler (CTP 4). 

Failed generate and process of Olap object(s): File system error: The following file is corrupted: Physical file: <file path>   Logical file .  Errors in the metadata manager. An error occurred when loading the <dimension name> dimension, from the file, <file path>.

I did some searches in the PPS log files on the server and found some addition error entries:

PerformancePoint Mal – Failed incremental generate and process of Olap objects: File system error: The following file is corrupted: Physical file: <olap path>

Exception:
Type: Microsoft.AnalysisServices.OperationException
StackTrace:
  at Microsoft.AnalysisServices.AnalysisServicesClient.SendExecuteAndReadResponse(ImpactDetailCollection impacts, Boolean expectEmptyResults, Boolean throwIfError)

I’m not sure why or how it happened, but the PPS cube became corrupted.  I resolved this issue by logging into Analysis Services through SQL Server Management Studio and deleted the cube.  Once the cube was dropped I was able to rebuild it by deploying the model site within Planning Business Modeler.

– ez

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DW 2.0TM

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a seminar in St. Louis presented by Bill Inmon, the “Father of Data Warehousing”.  He presented “DW 2.0TM – Architecture for the Next Generation of Data Warehousing.”  Dw 2.0TM is Bill’s vision for the future of data warehousing.  The major points center around the recognition of a life cycle within the data warehouse and the merging of textual, unstructured data with structured data.  Be on the lookout for his new book on this subject matter to be available in stores in early 2008.  He offers a three day class on the subject including a certification exam.  I was fortunate enough to have dinner with Bill the evening before the seminar.  He’s a fascinating man and has so much knowledge to share.  He has some great stories about his world travels spreading his vision of DW 2.0TM.  He has most recently been traveling through Eastern Europe.  Here’s an interesting tidbit of trivia:  Inmon was classmates with President GW Bush at Yale.  If you ever have a chance to attend an Inmon event, I highly recommend it.  Click here to see a photo I took with him the morning of the seminar. 

– ez

“Deploy Model Site” versus “Reprocess Model Data”

Are you unsure when to “Deploy Model Site” versus “Reprocess Model Data” in Microsoft PerformancePoint Server 2007 Planning Business Modeler?  We often found ourselves deploying the model site when all we needed to do was reprocess the model data.  To know when to use each option, we need to fully understand what is happening in the background.
Reprocess Model Data
This option allows you to incrementally process the cube with any new updates to the underlying data and structures. 

Deploy Model Site
This option reprocesses all changes to the model, including any hierarchy changes, new formulas, calculations, and data mappings. If you create or update a model or dimension structure(s), then you must deploy the model site to incorporate these changes to the cube and database.  Planning Business Modeler first validates all the models in the model site.  The process will fail in an invalid model is found.  The initial model site deployment will take longer than subsequent deployments.  It is recommended to deploy the model site frequently during development to capture all new changes.

Now beware that deploying the model site differs from merely saving the model site.  Saving the model site updates the local copy on the Planning server.  Deploying the model site, pushes the changes to all users of the cube (PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel, ProClarity and Dashboard Designer).
 

In Summary
“Deploy Model Site” pushes through any major hierarchy changes and processes the cube.  “Reprocess Model Data” only processes the cube and is much quicker.
Instructions

Reprocess Model Data within Planning Business Modeler:
1. Click Models in the Workspace Browser pane.
2. Select a model in the Models table.
3. Click Reprocess Model Data within the Model Tasks pane.
Or better yet, you can reprocess the model data in command line mode through PPSCmd.exe.  This method is great when you need to reprocess the cube as part of a batch cycle.

Syntax:
        PPSCmd Reprocess /Server <uri> /Path <path>

Deploy the model site within Planning Business Modeler:
1. Click Site Summary in the Workspace Browser pane.
2. Click Deploy Model Site in the Site Tasks pane.
or you can go to simply go to File –> Deploy Model Site.
Deploying a model site can also be accomplished in command line mode through PPSCmd.exe.

Syntax:
        PPSCmd ModelsiteDeploy [switches] /Server <uri> /Path <path>

Hopefully, these tidbits will decrease any confusion you may be experiencing.

– ez

SAP Acquires Business Objects

SAP acquires Business Objects for 6.8 billion USD in a friendly takeover.  In 2005, Business Objects announced that they wanted to double their market share by 2010.  Henning Kagermann, CEO of SAP AG, comments on the acquisition, “SAP will accelerate its growth in the Business User segment, while complementing the company’s successful organic growth strategy. With the delivery of the first business process platform; the rapid adoption of our enterprise SOA platform, SAP NetWeaver; and the successful launch of the first complete on-demand business solution for midsized companies, SAP Business ByDesign, SAP can now take the opportunity to focus on the industry’s next high-growth opportunity, by accelerating and enhancing our efforts for the Business User category.”

This is a major event in the BI marketplace.  The BI pure-play vendors are being acquired by larger database and application vendors, such as BO and Hyperion (acquired by Oracle).  Remaining BI pure-play vendors include companies such as Actuate, Cognos, Microstrategy, Information Builders, and SAS Institute.  Who is the next vendor to be acquired and by whom?  When will the BI marketplace finally level out?  On, September 27th, 2007, I blogged on this topic.

https://bieasystreet.wordpress.com/2007/09/27/bi-three-front-war/

I am also curious what this will do to companies such as Cognos that have integrated their products with SAP BW.  In addition, time will tell how SAP may adjust the pricing of the BO products.

For additional info concerning the recent purchase, visit these links.

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/071007/nysu011.html?.v=6

http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUKWEB845820071007?rpc=44

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/sap-agrees-buy-business-objects/story.aspx?guid=%7B217F17EB%2D2190%2D457B%2DBE86%2DB51F10577880%7D&siteid=yhoof

http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/071007/20071007005047.html?.v=1

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/071007/sap_business_objects.html?.v=2

http://us.ft.com/ftgateway/superpage.ft?news_id=fto100720071917077146&referrer_id=yahoofinance

-ez

Demo Cognos 8

Not many people are aware that the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has made their Cognos reports available to the general public.  This is  great opportunity for individuals to interact with Cognos 8 Analysis Studio along with other Cognos reporting products.  Here’s some excerpts from the Cognos web site concerning this particular case study.

Challenges faced:
– Annual budget over $1 billion with a wide cross-section of critical municipal services for its 750,000 residents.
– Approximately 8,000 employees in over 20 departments.
– Different departments maintained home-grown systems to manage data.
– City officials could not generate their own reports without manual effort.
– Officials wanted to convey key data to city residents over the Internet, but had no means to do so.
– Need to reduce manual collection of data

Solution:
– Cognos is a strategic element of the city’s day-to-day business processes and has been deployed to all City departments, including fire, police, human resources, and financial.
– Employees can now run reports w/o IT assistance.
-HR personnel can analyze compensation based on age, gender, ethnicity, and length of service, simplifying the federal reporting process. 
– External vendors can check billing status online for the 150,000 to 175,000 invoices the city pays each year, reducing calls to the finance department.
– Police and fire departments can analyze statistics, which can be used for identifying trends in data and informing the public.
Benefits:
– Effective, efficient reporting, analysis, and scorecarding across all data sources
– A 2000% ROI from Cognos investment in 2003
– A BI Extranet that keeps citizens informed 24/7
– User self-service to BI information
Check out these links to interact with the Cognos user interface.  I like the Crime Statistics link the most.

Crime Statistics
http://www.cabq.gov/onlinesvcs/crimestats/

Campaign Reporting
http://www.cabq.gov/onlinesvcs/campaign/

Investor and Tax Revenue
http://www.cabq.gov/investor/analyzetax.html

– ez

Workforce Training in a Time of Technological Change

Reprint of Press Release from August 28, 2007 

The IT Coalition of Innovate St. Louis presents the third event in its Emerging Technology Forum series on Thursday, October 11th, 2007 from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at One CityPlace in Creve Coeur, Missouri. Executives from SSE and Bunzl USA will present case studies showing how emerging technologies impact workforce training. A Q&A session will be led by a diverse panel of leaders from the St. Louis IT Coalition representing business/entrepreneurial organizations and academic institutions. Attendees are requested to register for the free event at www.itcoalitionstl.org.

ABOUT THE IT COALITION
The IT Coalition was established in 2006 and members include educators, entrepreneurs, and business leaders throughout the area with a vision of St. Louis as the place where Information Technology achieves its full economic potential. Their mission is to further the economic development and vitality of the St. Louis region by mobilizing and leveraging existing assets and talent; promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and work force enhancement; and attracting new investments in the information technology sector. For more information visit www.itcoalitionstl.org.

BILL INMON TO SPEAK IN ST. LOUIS

Reprint of Press Release, ST. LOUIS, MO  September 20th, 2007 

Bill Inmon, widely recognized as the “father of data warehousing” will present DW 2.0TM – Architecture for the Next Generation of Data Warehousing at the Ritz Carlton Amphitheater at 100 Carondelet Plaza in Clayton, Missouri on Tuesday, October 23rd. Daugherty Business Solutions, a technology consulting firm headquartered in St. Louis, is bringing the world-renowned expert, speaker and author on data warehousing to St. Louis. A special discussion on unstructured data will be included in the presentation. The event is free, but attendees must pre-register for the 2:00pm or 4:00pm session at www.daugherty.com.

“It is a real privilege to bring such an authority on Business Intelligence to the St. Louis IT community,“ says Ron Daugherty, President and CEO of Daugherty Business Solutions. “With DW 2.0TM Bill has laid down specifications for the next generation of data warehousing and how companies can better utilize unstructured data. This is an outstanding opportunity for executives and Business Intelligence experts from local organizations to learn about creating powerful decision support systems.”

Data warehousing is a concept that has been around for about two decades. Organizations have discovered that data warehousing enables the organization to access and use information for management’s decisions. In today’s world, there are many different flavors of data warehousing and much confusion as to what a data warehouse actually is. Furthermore, these definitions of data warehousing look at the past – at what a data warehouse was yesterday.

Inmon will be discussing DW 2.0TM, the architecture for the future of data warehousing. An important part of DW 2.0TM is the inclusion of textual, unstructured data as part of the data warehouse. Corporations have huge amounts of important data locked up in an unstructured format. Traditionally this data has not been placed in a data base. But now there are opportunities for combining unstructured data along with structured data to create a truly powerful information foundation. With textual ETL it is possible to create exciting new types of information systems that have not before been possible.

About William H. Inmon, “The Father of Data Warehousing”
Bill Inmon is creator of the Corporate Information Factory (www.inmoncif.com) and more recently, creator of the Government Information Factory (www.inmongif.com). He has over 35 years of experience in database technology management and data warehouse design, and is known globally for his seminars on developing data warehouses. He has been a keynote speaker for many major computing associations and many industry conferences, seminars, and tradeshows. Inmon has written more than 650 articles on a variety of topics about building, using, and maintaining the data warehouse. His works have been published in major computing journals including Data Management Review and The Business Intelligence Network where he continues to be a featured columnist. He has written 46 books, many of which have been translated into nine languages. In July 2007, Inmon was named by COMPUTERWORLD as one of the ten people that most influenced the first 40 years of the computer industry.

About Daugherty Business Solutions
Since 1985, Daugherty Business Solutions (www.daugherty.com) has helped companies achieve their business objectives through the integration of business processes and leading technologies. Daugherty’s partnering approach, proven methods, and team of nearly 500 business and technical experts enables the firm to provide world-class custom application development, business intelligence, mobile, and ERP solutions. Daugherty provides end-to-end technology services from its development centers in St. Louis (HQ), Atlanta, Chicago, and Minneapolis/St. Paul and has successfully implemented large-scale projects for leading global companies, including Allstate (NYSE: ALL), Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD), Monsanto (NYSE: MON), and The Home Depot (NYSE: HD).