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From Info to Enterprise Implementation Case Study: SBC Corporation Presented to the Crystal Decisions Regional Users Group for the Bay Area on July 24,

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Presentation on theme: "From Info to Enterprise Implementation Case Study: SBC Corporation Presented to the Crystal Decisions Regional Users Group for the Bay Area on July 24,"— Presentation transcript:

1 From Info to Enterprise Implementation Case Study: SBC Corporation Presented to the Crystal Decisions Regional Users Group for the Bay Area on July 24, 2002 Chris Christian -- CRC Business Solutions, Inc.

2 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 2 SBC has integrated Seagate Info with its SAP HR application in order to: Securely publish any standard or custom R/3 ABAP report to the Seagate Info Desktop Automate reporting on outbound ERP interface files Automatically export Seagate Info reports to an external enterprise report archive system for long term retention Automate replication of SAP R/3 users and security groups to the Seagate Info reporting environment Administer Seagate Info for a large web accessed implementation with remote administration, usage measures, and group security verification

3 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 3 SBC is migrating from Seagate Info 7.5 to Crystal Enterprise 8.5 in order to: Preserve their investment and functionality from Info Preserve the Info Desktop folders, report objects, and over 32,000 report instances Seamlessly integrate with corporate web portals Introduce Web-based, on-demand Crystal Reporting within a new WebSphere custom application Support report requests through an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) tele-access system Monitor and administer Crystal Enterprise utilities through secured, web based access Expand the user base from 10,000 to 50,000 users Replicate security from three distinct source systems into a unified security system

4 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 4 From Info to Enterprise Attendees will learn: How Crystal Enterprise differs from Seagate Info in a complex implementation How Crystal Enterprise expands the scope, flexibility, and integration opportunities of enterprise reporting How using Crystal Enterprise requires a different way of thinking about enterprise reporting systems

5 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 5 Crystal Enterprise Integration Context Diagram Crystal Enterprise SAP R/3 SAP BW Other Enterprise Systems Archive Reports (CE Archive Gateway) Publish SAP Reports (CE Spooler) Replicate SAP Security (CE Security) Monitor SAP Security Impact (CE GroupDesktop) Report Interface Files (CE Data Gateway) Enterprise Report Archive Interface File Reports SAP BW Integrated Reports SAP R/3 ABAP Reports SAP Security Group Data Security Group Desktop Views Long Term Reports for Archive Interface Data Files Interface Data Files Archived Reports SAP Reports Report Requests (CE Request Server) Report Requests

6 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 6 Presentation Overview Reasons to Switch Features Comparison Subtleties System Management Migration Plan SBC CE 8.5 Installation Sequence Migration Experience Developer Experience Integration Approaches Integration Case Study: Help Desk Password Reset Integration Case Study: Spooler Utility Status Perspective

7 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 7 Reasons to Switch View on Demand reports –Real-time data access –No report instances are saved –High performance reporting (Page Server) vs. scheduled reporting (Job Server) Web integration –Links in and out –Run within a frame –Custom application integration through a web application server –Separate user interface from reporting infrastructure LDAP Security Customization Performance and scalability

8 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 8 Reasons to Switch (cont.) Report alerts Guest account for preview and training Crystal Reports Designer is de-coupled from the Enterprise system –Standard 8.5 software –Standard training –Standard skill set for hiring or contractors –Crystal Reports 8.0 vs. Crystal Reports 8.5 functionality and performance Crystal Reports Designer is integrated with the Enterprise system –Open reports from the Crystal Enterprise desktop –Save reports to the Crystal Enterprise desktop

9 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 9 Features Comparison Crystal Reports 8.0 vs. Crystal Reports 8.5 –In general: performance, performance, performance –For specifics: Ask Crystal Decisions Features Not Ported in CE 8.5 –Queries – notification –NT events –Info cubes –Push to channel –Administrative reports –Schedule an Instance

10 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 10 Features Comparison (cont.) Equivalents, work-arounds, opportunities –Queries: Process queries externally, then report on the query file – notification: Integrate CSP with MAPI objects –NT events: Integrate CSP with NT Objects –Info Cubes: Report from cube sources (SAP BW, EssBase, SQL-Server) –Push to channel: Use FTP site report destination –Administrative reports: Use COM Driver to perform APS queries –Schedule an Instance: Create additional report objects

11 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 11 Subtleties Its all web -- or is it? Where is the Update button? User Groups can be organized in a hierarchy Object security can ignore inherited security Licensing –Info Users are all Named Users or all Concurrent Users –Enterprise Users can be a mix of Named Users and Concurrent Users, and processor licensing is available User connections can be monitored User activity is recorded in a log file –Report on the WCS log file with the web-log driver

12 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 12 Subtleties (cont.) The APS Database is extensible through user-defined Properties The APS Database is queried using an SQL-like query language Reports and instances are stored for faster access by using managed subdirectories The file repository points back to the system object IDs in the APS Database Scheduling to a destination creates a file in addition to the FRS storage The File Repository Server (FRS) uses a private IP protocol, so it is secured from web hacking

13 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 13 Subtleties (cont.) supports multiple accounts and servers Multiple Job/Page servers per machine - individually configured Every APS is clustered, at least with itself The development SDK comes with every Crystal Enterprise license Crystal Enterprise Standard comes with every Crystal Reports Pro/Developer –Fixed Administrator and Guest account –All services must run on the same machine –Limited number of concurrent users –Full service features for development (only difference is the license key)

14 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 14 System Management Seagate Info 7.5 –APS Administration is through the Info Administrator (Windows client) –Services are managed through the Services Control Panel –Remote machine administration is through PC Anywhere Crystal Enterprise 8.5 –APS Administration is through the Crystal Management Console (Web browser) –Services are managed through the Crystal Configuration Manager (Windows application) –The CCM can manage services on remote machines –The CCM can also manage Seagate Info 7.5 services –Remote machine administration is through Windows Terminal Server –Remote system administration is partially available through the Crystal Management Console

15 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 15 Migration Plan Installing Crystal Enterprise 8.5 –Install Crystal Enterprise on a new machine –Use Windows 2000 for optimum performance (threads and processors) –Install a Web Server on the APS machine Info APS Database Migration to CE 8.5 –Users and Groups all migrate –Folders and Report Objects all migrate –Report Instances will migrate soon –Queries do not migrate –Program Objects do not migrate

16 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 16 Crystal Enterprise 8.5 SBC Installation Sequence Partition the hard disk for two volumes (if the machine does not have two physical disks) Install Windows 2000 Server Install Oracle Client Install iPlanet 6.0 SP2 Web Server Install SAP GUI 4.x Install Crystal Enterprise 8.5 GA (per detailed instructions) (optional) Install Crystal Reports 8.5 (if installed CR 8.5 above) Install Crystal Reports Update for CE 8.5 (on the CE 8.5 GA disk, start "Updates\Crystal Reports\setup.exe") Install CE Drivers Update Patch Install CE mySAP Driver V2

17 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 17 Migration Experience Web-based APS administration is quite different Crystal Enterprise has many more parts to configure and manage than Seagate Info Actually, the Seagate Info parts are more exposed and manageable The web application server (Web Component Server) is entirely new to Enterprise Crystal Server Pages are more like Active Server Pages than anyone let you believe Install-on-demand can be problematic is some circumstances or for some configurations A single system setup is fast and easy A distributed system is more complex than imagined

18 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 18 Developer Experience Each developer must have their own APS and web server The Enterprise Framework API is cleaner, more complete, easier to code, less likely to leak memory than the Seagate Info SDK The Crystal Enterprise Framework is an Object Hierarchy, so it is accessible to more development systems Code ports to Visual Basic/MS Access, VBScript, CSP The Query Builder is your friend (like SQL*Plus) Develop your APS queries there, then paste them into code Crystal Server Pages integrate with Active Data Objects, MAPI, and other NT object models Use COM Drivers to work around CE 8.5 limitations

19 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 19 Integration Approaches (when to use which) Crystal Server Pages (CSP) –Use for web integration and customization –Crystal Server Pages are text files using JavaScript or VBScript –Just-in-time compiler from source code for performance VBScript using Windows Scripting Host –Admin tasks that work on any server - only need the APS running –VBScript files are text files and can be run and modified on any server –A server can run CSP-like tasks in batch mode or as scheduled tasks Visual Basic –Server based back end utilities and integration –Compiled code for fastest performance –Early binding to the object model for fewer errors and faster development –Requires building an Installer Package to deploy –Modifications must be made on the developers workstation

20 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 20 Integration Approaches (cont.) (when to use which) MS Access –Data intensive utilities –Visual Basic packaged with database capabilities –Fewer deployment hassles (no package installer required) Other application development systems (Java, Java Server Pages, Cold Fusion, WebSphere) –Use these to integrate Crystal Enterprise as a back-end reporting infrastructure –Use application security through menus –Link to Crystal Enterprise CSP pages through web linkages –Use forms for security to prevent history hacking the query parameters COM Drivers –Any programmed procedure that can return a Recordset is a candidate for a COM driver, allowing Crystal Reports on any structured information

21 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 21 Integration Case Study: Help Desk Password Reset Problem: The Help Desk must be able to reset a users password in real time Seagate Info Solution –A Visual Basic utility is installed as a Windows Client on each Help Desk workstation –The utility authenticates Help Desk staff using an Access database –The utility communicates to Seagate Info via the Sentinel and the SDK DLL –When ported to the CE interface the utility was too complex to deploy Crystal Enterprise Solution –A web-based Crystal Server Page performs the password reset –Each Help Desk staff member must be a member of the Can Reset Passwords group on the APS –Users do not need to be Administrators -- the CSP authenticates them using Enterprise, checks their group membership, then performs a server-side, silent logon as an administrator

22 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 22 Integration Case Study: Spooler Utility Status Problem: The Help Desk must be able to monitor the Spooler utilitys performance in the Data Center Seagate Info Solution –An administrator logs onto the Data Center server using PC Anywhere –The administrator checks running tasks, scheduled tasks, and the input directory work queue –The function cannot be performed by the Help Desk staff because Administrator rights are required Crystal Enterprise Solution –A web-based Crystal Server Page presents the Spooler status –The CSP reads the MS Access Server State table for the Spooler, the Process Log table for recent files processed, and the work queue on the Data Center server where the Spooler executes –Help Desk staff do not need to be Administrators -- the CSP authenticates them using Enterprise, checks their group membership, then allows them to access the Spooler Status page

23 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 23 Crystal Enterprise Integration Crystal Enterprise Archive Reports (CE Archive Gateway) Publish SAP Reports (CE Spooler) Replicate SAP Security (CE Security) Monitor SAP Security Impact (CE GroupDesktop) Report Interface Files (CE Data Gateway) Interface File Reports SAP Security Group Data Security Group Desktop Views Long Term Reports for Archive SAP Reports Report Requests (CE Request Server) Report Requests

24 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 24 Perspective Info is a web-savvy Windows client Enterprise is a distributed, cross-platform, TCP/IP based reporting infrastructure The reasons you selected Info may be the reasons others in your organization didnt The reasons others would select Enterprise are reasons you can live with and support

25 Discussion

26 (c) 2002 CRC Business Solutions, Inc. Page 26 Demonstrations Administrator Scripts –ShowLogons –ShowServices –ShowFileStorePath COM Reports –CE Environment –CE Users –Run Program CSP Integration –ShowSpoolerStatus Query Builder –Sample Queries For further information contact: Chris Christian 510/


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