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Product versions:
Xcelsius 2008
BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.1 SP3

Introduction

This article presents the 2 server types that will be added to the BusinessObjects Enterprise platform and dedicated to Xcelsius : Xcelsius Cache Server and Xcelsius Processing Server. It explains what they are, why we introduced them and how Xcelsius dashboards can leverage them.

Why add new Xcelsius servers ?

The new Xcelsius servers aim at improving the performance and scalability of Xcelsius dashboards by introducing query caching. Up until now, any dashboard based on Query As A Web Service (QaaWS) will always retrieve data from the database, and no caching is possible within BOE across user sessions and even within the same user session. The only alternative is to use the Live Office connectivity and leverage scheduled instances of Crystal Reports or Web Intelligence reports.
The main feature of those new servers is to provide query caching to QaaWS based queries (and dashboards) so that data sets that have been retrieved from the database once can be re-used by the same user or other users, when applicable. The caching is done in memory and no report instance are required.

Also, the servers will have auditing capabilities and report successful or failed execution of a QaaWS objects.

Example

Let us take an example :

As the user selects a year from the list, the pie and column charts are updated with data coming from a Query As A Web Service. The user selects 2004 to view Net Sales and Unit Price data for that year. The request is sent to BOE and query sent to the datasource (database). The data set is retrieved and displayed. The user does his analysis and selects 2005 : the same process flow occurs. The user goes back to 2004 and...

Prior to XI 3.1 SP3
... the request is sent to BOE and query sent again to the datasource (SQL or MDX execution in the case of a database).

With XI 3.1 SP3
... the request is sent to BOE, the data set is retrieved from the Xcelsius cache server and sent back to the user.


Important Notes

  • The new servers are called "Xcelsius" Cache and Processing Servers but, in reality, are "Query As A Web Service" Cache and Processing Servers. Although the internal validation focused on Xcelsius use cases, any client application consuming QaaWS can potentially leverage this new caching capability.
  • Only QaaWS based dashboards will leverage these servers, other dashboards based on Live Office WebI BI Services (also known as DaaWS) or any other connectivity option will not be affected. It may make sense to re-think the Live Office approach though, as the query caching and performance improvements from it may make the QaaWS approach very relevant. See (upcoming) other article on performance results and expectations for more details.
  • No dashboard migration is required : the activation is done on the BOE server side after the SP3 installation
  • The caching only supports universes on top of relational databases. OLAP Universes are not supported.
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4 Comments

  1. Former Member

    Unfortunately, this new caching only works for Qaaws, not Live office.  Too bad for us, we've built everything with Live Office.

  2. I wish consistency would have prevailed and the services named adequately "QaaWS xyz" services

  3. Unknown User (n6oes9k)

    After following all the steps, what performance gain should we see, and where?

  4. Unknown User (zoe13wh)

     i was impressed while reading the article, but not a happy ending for me in the document. I  was looking for  performance tuning in case of Qaaws with OLAP universes and these new Xcelsius servers  doesn't support caching on OLAP universe.(sad)

    "Dissapointing"