Ensure efficient operations and information governance with metadata management and monitoring

APOS Insight gives you detailed system metadata & monitoring — the knowledge you need for effective SAP BI system management. It provides the means to maintain the integrity and efficiency of your SAP BusinessObjects environment and infrastructure.

Metadata management, analysis, and system monitoring are critical to maintaining the reliability, accuracy, and governance of your SAP BI deployment, as well as the confidence of your information consumers. Critically, APOS Insight monitors your SAP BI services from outside, ensuring that monitoring is not compromised by problems within the BI system itself.

Rapid system administration

Change management

Detailed audit information and impact analysis strengthens BI system change controls

Agile change management

Strong governance and compliance

Monitor and audit user activity and content stability to deliver operational governance and regulatory compliance

Automate repetitive activities

System tuning and optimization

Analyze and optimize system resources to identify challenges and improve system performance

Recover rapidly from failures

Reduce technical debt

Remove unnecessary system content to reduce system overhead and resource requirements

Simplify migration

Effective system planning

Understand current content and utilization to effectively plan BI system improvements and roadmap

Strengthen governance and controls

Streamline migrations

Utilize clear system information to simplify and streamline system upgrades


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Security structure and change analysis Security structure and change analysis

 

The deep system introspection capabilities of APOS Insight allows BI teams to manage security, both as part of your planning processes, and in day-to-day administration.

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APOS Insight provides a snapshot of your system at a moment in time to show you complete metadata on:

  • Users
  • User groups
  • Roles
  • Rights

APOS Insight extracts this metadata to the Insight tables, which can be reported against for extensive security analysis.

APOS Insight's snapshot in time of your security information is not just important for detailed analysis. It is also important because it allows you to see your security structure's big picture, and how all the parts relate.

  • Track when changes occur in your system - APOS Insight monitors the BI Audit Log for changes, so you know precisely when any object in your system changes, and who made the changes.
  • Analyze the history of changes to objects within your system - APOS Insight makes audit history easily accessible for detailed analysis, supporting your change management processes and governance objectives.
  • Audit your security structure to meet corporate governance standards and protect sensitive information.

You can use the information provided by APOS Insight -- the granular and the structural -- to compare multiple systems and analyze differences, allowing you to plan and efficiently execute

  • Migrations
  • Upgrades
  • System consolidations

System Content Analysis System Content Analysis

Report inventories, catalogs & documentation

 

Simplify, automate and expand system content analysis through deep system introspection, allowing you to manage proactively and react quickly to events and issues.

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Enhanced metadata analysis allows you to automate the creation of:

    • Report inventory - a complete and organized listing of reports and content that exists within your system, and where it resides.
    • Report catalogs - a comprehensive view into the reports in your system, the structure of those reports, and the data elements that are utilized within.
    • Report documentation - document the composition and data connections of your report catalog.

The ability to capture and manipulate metadata provides critical understanding for any BI team's success in preparing for upgrades and migrations, and in establishing a detailed and easily managed report catalog.

BI teams tasked with enforcing information governance use APOS Insight to flag reports in their catalog that contain sensitive information, such as ePHI, PCI, or PII (healthcare), or financial control data, and to maintain audit readiness.

Working smart in your SAP BI deployment involves reducing technical debt wherever you can  by having a full understanding of how every move affects your report catalog, and reducing the number of cascading changes you need to make.


Impact Analysis Impact Analysis

Reports, universe, business views, Epic upgrades

 

Impact analysis is a critical need for BI teams as BI systems and system content evolve rapidly. As data structure changes are being planned or implemented, it is important to know what BI content will be or has been affected by those changes.  This is a common concern that creates challenges whenever database or semantic layer changes are made.  These may be internally driven changes, or may result from externally driven changes in a third-party application (ex. healthcare EHR systems, etc).  Such data source changes can also affect financial reporting internal controls.

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Database schema changes, updated universes or any other changes to data sources will have an impact on your reports and dashboards. Measuring that impact and assigning the resources to make the necessary changes to reports is an ongoing challenge for BI platform managers. APOS Insight lets you manage the impact on:

  • Reports
  • Universes
  • Business views
  • Dashboards

Use APOS Insight to gain a comprehensive understanding of which reports will be affected by changes to the data sources.
As an example of why this comprehensive understanding is necessary, see how APOS Insight can help with financial reporting controls change management in System Change Auditing below.

APOS Insight's audit capabilities ensure you stay on top of change in your BI environment. Analyze detailed audit information to support your change management documentation, and use impact analysis to achieve financial report / internal control compliance and to accelerate EHR upgrades.

System Change Auditing System Change Auditing

Report structure changes, universe structure changes, security changes

 

Increasing pressures around system governance, regulatory compliance and audit readiness are driving the need for BI teams to establish and support flawless change management workflows. From the report developer up the chain to C-level executives, managing change is equivalent to managing risk.

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APOS Insight audit runs services for reports, universes, and security structure on a configurable schedule, and these services extract metadata to record system content changes. Changes are recorded to the APOS Insight audit database, and you can run reports and dashboards against the tables in that database in support of your change management workflows.

APOS Insight's KPI module takes a snapshot of various aspects of your SAP BusinessObjects system and creates metadata of these snapshots for comprehensive off-line analysis and reporting. Included in these snapshots are:

  • System status snapshots - current load and activity levels of all SAP BusinessObjects XI components;
  • System structure snapshots - current information about servers, users, user groups, folders, reports, etc.; and
  • Report design snapshots - current information about the report design content of all your reports.

Because KPI combines log data with the wealth of data captured by KPI's snapshots, the APOS Insight solution provides a very broad picture of the transactions occurring within your SAP BusinessObjects system, allowing you to make informed decisions concerning issues such as licensing and migration, and allowing you to manage change proactively.

The deep system introspection provided by APOS Insight is essential to the formulation of a complete understanding of your SAP BusinessObjects deployment and the flow of information within it. Using such knowledge, you can foster a culture of transparency and accountability.

APOS Insight provides the in-depth knowledge you need to optimize your SAP BI environment and infrastructure, establish complete confidence in your content, enable industry-specific regulatory compliance, and to deliver well managed BI to your organization. Its enhanced metadata management and audit capabilities make it the perfect tool to enforce a report change management policy.

APOS Insight improves access to the SAP BusinessObjects log by capturing log information, de-normalizing it, and loading it into topical tables for easy reporting. These tables provide comprehensive audit information on:

  • Web Intelligence Audit Events
  • Common Audit Events
  • Analysis Audit Events
  • Platform Audit Events
  • LCM Audit Events

APOS Insight provides a rich view of the system by taking snapshots of system information at specified times and intervals and posting them to an accessible database structure for subsequent analysis. Each snapshot shows a detailed picture of system components and objects.

Because APOS Insight combines log data with the wealth of data captured by its own system snapshots, it provides a much broader picture of the transactions occurring within your SAP BusinessObjects system, and a complete record of who changed what and when.

If you are involved in the flow of information within a public company, you need to be aware of your obligations under Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and/or other legislation that regulates your industry. Increasingly, executives in public companies are becoming liable for misstatements of information, regardless of whether they were aware of how such misstatements occured.

It is no longer a question of what you know, but of what you should know, according to regulatory expectations.

What this potential liability means for finance, internal audit, business intelligence, and information technology practitioners is that they need not only to develop ironclad change management procedures, but also to develop methods for authenticating those change management procedures to the satisfaction of external auditors. Read more: Internal Controls, Audit, Business Intelligence, Change Management

 


Real-time system management Real-time system management

License & session activity, user activity, report & dashboard usage patterns

 

Leverage precise and immediate information and alerts enabling prompt resolutions and improved system stability. Understanding system usage is key to BI system planning as well as day-to-day operational prioritization.

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APOS Insight establishes a deep and rich BI system metadata repository that allows you to clearly analyze:

  • User activity
  • Report & dashboard usage and consumption patterns
  • License and session activity

…and much more.

BI metadata allows you to understand the impact on your BI system of business issues, user issues and system planning issues.

Understanding SAP BusinessObjects system behavior means understanding both user activities and system activities. APOS Insight will help you answer critical questions about your SAP BusinessObjects deployment quickly and accurately, questions such as:

  • Do we need more licenses?
  • Can we get reports to the sales organization in a timely manner?
  • Will a temporary budget freeze prevent us from adding the new users we need to keep operations working smoothly?
  • Can we justify our computer capital increase for next year?

Insight's system usage metadata allows you to increase operational efficiency, and plan effectively for change and growth. APOS Insight helps you realize benefits quickly and achieve a broad and deep view of your system, enabling your BI team to:

  • Capture an extensive range of historical system statistics and user metrics
  • Store statistics, metrics, and key performance indicators in an accessible database outside the SAP BusinessObjects system
  • Interrogate this database to uncover challenging system knowledge
  • Analyze statistical and functional information off-line
  • Create targeted reports to answer unique questions and resolve issues

SAP BusinessObjects Audit provides helpful data about the SAP BusinessObjects system, with a particular focus on system actions. To amplify these synergies, APOS Insight improves access to the SAP BusinessObjects audit log by capturing log information, de-normalizing it, and loading it into topical tables for easy and extended reporting.

Energy Northwest Success Story with APOS Insight

Simplifed scheduling and ERP upgrades

 

See our case studies and customer stories

BI Platform Monitoring BI Platform Monitoring

Processes & services, schedules & instances, performance & functional monitoring

 

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APOS Insight provides proactive system monitoringandalerts for SAP BusinessObjects, using statistical and functional tests to verify that services are not only running, but running according to specifications. APOS Insight can also run corrective, self-healing sc ripts, These sc ripts can be triggered automatically when Insight's platform monitoring services' thresholds are crossed.
APOS Insight performs real-time monitoring of your BI platform, including:

  • Processes & services
  • Schedules & instances
  • Performance & functional monitoring

Using the APOS Insight Management Console, you can:

  • View and monitor all user sessions. Delete sessions when necessary.
  • Analyze and control all servers from one command center. Bulk server start, stop, restart, enable or disable. Control server settings.
  • Monitor all running and pending jobs. Stop, pause, or release jobs as needed.
  • Receive alerts in real time.
  • Analyze historical data and search the audit log.

APOS Insight uses Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) to communicate real-time information about your BI platform in the form of alerts. APOS Insight alerts enable proactive server management through predictive analysis, using thresholds to anticipate instabilities in the system, and to initiate automatic, remote corrective actions. You can:

  • Monitor various system activities and performance indicators and set timed thresholds for alerts when the threshold is crossed or when service levels return to normal.
  • Monitor system functionality to make sure your servers are operating properly.
  • Monitor memory levels, CPU usage, and event log messages from services to identify system instabilities.
  • Take corrective action by running sc ripts automatically when alert conditions occur.
  • Alert by sending email messages, sending to the Windows Event Log, or using SNMP.

APOS Insight provides proactive system monitoring for SAP BusinessObjects in real time, but it also logs that historical data, letting you analyze it to anticipate future needs.


Operating Environment Monitoring Operating Environment Monitoring

Memory, CPU, database, website

 

APOS Insight performs real-time monitoring of your operating environment.

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APOS Insight uses Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) to communicate real-time information about your BI platform in the form of alerts. APOS Insight alerts enable proactive server management through predictive analysis, using thresholds to anticipate instabilities in the system, and to initiate automatic, remote corrective actions. You can:

  • Monitor various system activities and performance indicators and set timed thresholds for alerts when the threshold is crossed or when service levels return to normal.
  • Monitor system functionality to make sure your servers are operating properly.
  • Monitor memory levels, CPU usage, and event log messages from services to identify system instabilities.
  • Take corrective action by running sc ripts automatically when alert conditions occur.
  • Alert by sending email messages, sending to the Windows Event Log, or using SNMP.

The APOS Insight Website Auditor resides on your web application server and audits web application server sessions and SAP BusinessObjects sessions. The Website Auditor captures a wealth of information about these sessions, including the parameters used in each transaction, URLs, cookies, header information, posting information, and SAP BusinessObjects login details. It captures far more than the web application server's native audit log and writes it to a database table, which can then be used to populate dashboards and reports for a near real-time view of web application server activity.

The Website Auditor captures the granular activities on your web application server, but also provides a high-level view of the server — what is trending, which reports and pages receive the most visits, when usage peaks, bottlenecks, which user groups use the most web application server resources, and more.
This feature is equally valuable for both operational and governance issues. The granular detail captured by the Website Auditor makes it extremely useful for organizations in heavily regulated industries in which access to sensitive data must be tracked for governance and compliance purposes.


System Metrics, Performance Analytics, System Planning System Metrics, Performance Analytics, System Planning

 

APOS Insight provides enhanced metadata management, system monitoring, and timely alerts to help you meet the business intelligence needs of stakeholders across the organization. Insight's system monitoring provides both statistical and functional analysis of all SAP BI services, issuing threshold-driven alerts, and initiating automated remedial activities.

 

See our case studies and customer stories

 


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You are in good company

Some of the hundreds of organizations using APOS well managed BI solutions across the globe:

University of Pittsburgh Medical CenterAPOS Live Data GatewayEnergy NorthwestAPOS Live Data GatewaySalling GroupAPOS Live Data GatewayBlue Cross Blue Shield Kansas CityAPOS Live Data GatewayHarvey NormanAPOS Live Data GatewayUniversity of Miami