Thursday, January 21, 2020

Moving to SAP BusinessObjects UNX Universes

Using APOS Migrator for Web Intelligence for bulk conversion and report repointing

Some may find it strange that we are publishing a post on moving to UNX universes so many years after their introduction, but there are still many organizations that haven’t made the move many years later. We were reminded of the importance of this issue in a recent engagement with a company that has one of the largest SAP BusinessObjects deployments in the world.

When SAP released BusinessObjects BI 4, the roadmap included backward compatibility for UNV universes. Although the UNX universe is the preferred format in BI 4, you can continue to use UNV universes for the foreseeable future. However, there are advantages to UNX universes that might outweigh the conversion effort in many of these organizations, especially if that conversion process can be simplified and automated.

Why UNX?

The change from UNV to UNX has been described as revolutionary rather than evolutionary. The approach to the semantic layer is very different. One especially significant feature of the UNX universe is the ability of universes to use multiple data sources. This feature is not available in UNV universes. With data growing exponentially, and data sources proliferating as well, the multi-source universe is a very useful addition that helps organizations use more of their data for BI and analytics.

However, multi-source universes are not a good enough reason to convert existing UNV universes to UNX, since those single-source UNV universes will become single-source UNX universes, and you cannot change single source to multi-source. Multi-source is a design-time decision which cannot be altered after the fact.

The benefits of converting UNV to UNX are not directly user-facing. Rather, converting to UNX benefits your universe designers, who will not have to work with multiple tools to maintain existing universes and develop new, multi-source universes. You can’t work on UNX universes in UDT, and you can’t work with UNV universes in IDT (though IDT will convert a UNV to UNX). Also, UNV universes will not be the subject of any major ongoing development, but development of UNX universes will continue. Finally, users do benefit indirectly from new UNX development and features.

Conversion and Repointing – APOS Migrator for Web Intelligence

As mentioned, you can convert an individual UNV file to UNX in IDT, but the question arises of how many Web Intelligence reports pointing to the UNV universe that will have to be repointed to the new UNX. You would have to find those reports and manually repoint each one to the new universe. A better solution is to automate bulk conversion of universes and report repointing.

The APOS Migrator for Web Intelligence presents a project-based environment for bulk conversion and repointing.

Use the APOS Migrator to scan your system for Web Intelligence reports, select them, specify the new UNX universe to use, and repoint the reports in bulk. Optionally, you can convert the existing UNV universe to a new UNX universe and repoint the Web Intelligence reports to the new UNX universe in a single operation. You also have the option to replace the existing reports, rename the new reports, or move the new reports to a different folder.

The APOS Migrator for Web Intelligence lets you:

  • Scan your system for Web Intelligence reports using the criteria you specify
  • Specify UNX to connect Web Intelligence reports to
  • Specify whether to write the new connection information to the existing report, or create a new report in a specified location
  • Convert UNV to UNX and repoint Web Intelligence reports to the new UNX in a single, two-phase operation
  • Change universe settings on Web Intelligence reports in bulk
  • Export Universe properties
  • Manage data connections


Learn more about APOS Migrator for Web Intelligence

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