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How to create a Lawson Business Intelligence (LBI) Report Schedule

You may have a report in LBI that you want to create historical instances of as well as refresh data from time to time. Let’s go over how to do this.

  1. Login into LBI as an admin user and go to Reporting Services Administration
  2. Go to Maintain Reports and open the report via the [Details] link next to the report name.
  3. In the report under Scheduling, select New Schedule
  4. Under Run Date and Time fill in the:
    • Name (schedule name)
    • Instance Name (name of generated report), you must manually re-schedule if you want to include specific unique information in the name like date.
    • Description
  5. Under Time and Frequency:
    • Set the Scheduled Run Time (time of day)
    • Time and Frequency
      • Schedule for days in a Week – This will run for every day in the week you select regardless of date.
      • Schedule for days in a Month – This will run the day you select in a month. Please note that there are specific check boxes for First and Last day in the month. If a month does not have a day like the 30th or 31st, it will skip that month.
    • Effective Date Period
      • Effective start date: This date must be set after current date and time.
      • Expiration date: The report will no longer run this schedule after this date and time.
  6. The remaining Schedule Options should typically mirror the report options. Any customizations will not change the base report.

Utilizing Lawson Business Intelligence (LBI) Security Groups

Traditionally LBI is setup with Lawson Groups such as the LBIUser which by default, communicates to LBI which users should have access.

There is another way to assign rights in LBI aside from adding more groups to users. LBI has its own native “Report Security Group” system.

  1. To access this system, login into LBI as your admin user and access Reporting Services Administration.
  2. Under Report Management, select “New Report Security Group” to create a new security group
  3. Enter the name of the group and description, click Save
  4. Now set the permissions similar to how you set permissions per report.
  5. Go to Users and add the users you want to have access to this group, you can even set report overrides per user if needed
  6. Now on an individual report, you can add the entire security group you just created to it:

You’ll still need to have Lawson groups to grant access to individual dashboards and modules but this helps add a new layer of security in an organized way.

Creating an LBI Dashboard Series – Adding a Module (Part 2)

To start at the beginning, check out Part 1 of this series titled: “Creating an LBI Dashboard Series – Getting Started (Part 1)

 

For this part in the series, we will be adding a simple module to our new LBI Dashboard.

  1. First login into LBI environment as an admin user.
  2. Go to your newly created dashboard
  3. Click the + icon on the top left and select “New Module”
  4. On the Main tab, title your module, ours will be called “Payroll”
  5. By Default, the module will inherit access from the Dashboard itself, if you want to further restrict each module to separate users, you would do this again here. The expanded checkbox is great for convenience as the Module will be expanded by default:
  6. Go to Appearance Tab and select a Icon for your module to help distinguish it from others, we will select the money icon for Payroll module:

  7. When done select Save and you should see a blank Module in your dashboard:
  8. To add reports to this module, click the gear wheel icon in the top right of the module and select Add Items and then Search. You can also select a direct URL but this is much easier.
  9. A Searchbox should come up, this is to search all existing LBI reports. Type in the report name you want, check “Search Reporting Services Reports” and click the search icon to see the results.
  10. Once you find your report, select it and click Save:

You’ve created a report module in your dashboard and added your first report!

That’s all for this article, keep an eye out for more in our LBI Dashboard series.

 

Creating an LBI Dashboard Series – Getting Started (Part 1)

LBI dashboards are useful for delegating reports to specific access and is essentially a frontend for all your user reporting needs.

For this part in the series, we will be going over the very basics and how to create a dashboard tab for Finance users and setup access so those users can access the dashboard.

  1. First login into LBI environment as an admin user.
  2. In the top right next to your admins username, you’ll see a gear wheel, click that and select “New Dashboard Tab”
  3. Enter a dashboard title and click OK, ours will be named Finance
  4. You should be redirected to a blank Dasboard, on your new dashboard, click the + sign in the top left and select “EDIT” (note you can select ‘Set Access’ but it’s simpler to go to edit)

  5. A new menu should pop-up with multiple tabs. Go to Sharing and select Edit Viewers for specific access
  6. In this screen you should see a set of users and groups (roles). In LSA, if users have specific groups assigned to their users, adding here will give them access to this dashboard. For our example we will be adding LBI-Payroll group from Lawson:
  7. All users with LBI-Payroll group will now have access to this dashboard. Press okay and Save:

This is the first step in setting up an LBI dashboard for specific users. Please note that LBI comes with a default role that all users must have which is typically called something like LBIUSER. Example below for this article:

How to load email devices into LBI

  1. In LBI, open Reporting Services Report Administration
  2. Under Server Administration click on Email and Printer Settings:
  3. Select All Devices to see current list of devices and note the device type (important for loadfile):
  4. Now lets build the loadfile in CSV format:

    From left to right, the columns are <ownername>, <username>, <user email>, <Device Type>

    If it’s a printer, replace username and user email with <printername> and <\\networkprinter>

  5. Now lets import the file with Import Devices:

If there are any errors, it will let you know, if not, you can check All Devices section to see if your device loaded in.

Cascading Parameters in Crystal Reports for LBI

When creating an LBI report, there may be a need for a parameter list to be dependent on a previous parameter selection.  The best way to accomplish this in Crystal is to create a cascading parameter. This method works even for multiple-select parameters.

First, create a data source that contains the values you want in your parameters. If your report data source is large, it is best to move that into a sub report, and add a parameter dataset to your main report. In the parameter data set, pull all the records that might be dependent on each other, such as companies and locations.

Create a new parameter called “Locations”. The List of Values should be dynamic. Select a new data source. Set the value and description of the top-most parameter (in this case, Company). Click on the next line in the value box to create a cascading parameter.  In this case, point it at the Location data. Allow select multiple for the parameters where it applies.

Go to Report > Select Expert > Record. Set the Company value equal to the Locations – Company parameter. This way the list of Locations will be dynamically loaded when Company is selected.

When you publish the report to LBI, make sure that you configure the report to use the Crystal Reports parameter page.

How to check historical instances of outgoing LBI smart notifications

Step 1: Login to your LBI server and go to the Tools dashboard

 

Step 2: Select the Smart Notification link

Step 3: In Smart Notification interface, click the Admin button at the top right:

Step 4: Under Content section, select the Delivered Alert History link:

Final Step:

Select the between dates and click the “Get Delivered Alert History” button to see sent notifications. Below you’ll see all sent notifications on June 26th 2019. You can also filter down on the notifications by Alert ID and or Recipient. You can also redeliver these messages if needed.

How to refresh data for an LBI dashboard report

Typically when you click on an LBI report that’s been setup on the dashboard, it will show you data of the last generated instance.  To add a refresh is incredibly easy.

 

First login to LBI and go to the dashboard you want to modify a report on. When you click it, you’ll see something like:

To allow the report to refresh data, select the plus sign >> Edit

You’ll see a URL field, all you need to do is add &Refresh=True to the end of the URL and click save.

The URL may look something like this:

FSRemote%3Ffsid%3DRS%3ARS-COMPANY%20Reporting%20Services%3A25%26

Now add %Refresh=True at the end of it like below:

FSRemote%3Ffsid%3DRS%3ARS-COMPANY%20Reporting%20Services%3A25%26&Refresh=True

 

 

And we’re done! Now the report will always pull up the parameters (if any) so you can see the latest data:

How to Update LBI WebSphere Data Source

If you change the database server that hosts your LBI data, you will need to point your LBI instance to the new server.  This is done in WebSphere.  Log into your LBI WebSphere console, and navigate to Resources > JDBC > Data Sources.  Click on each data source that needs to be updated (LawsonFS, LawsonRS, LawsonSN).  Modify the server name, click OK and Save.

If the user credentials are different for this new data source, from the data source screen go to JAAS – J2C authentication data and update the credentials there.

Save the configuration changes and synchronize the nodes (if applicable).  Go back to the Data Sources screen and test each connection.

Migrate LBI Data to a new Database Server

Whether you are refreshing your test LBI environment or moving all your data to a new database server, you may eventually need to migrate your report data for LBI. This is a relatively simple process, provided the LBI instances using the data are the exact same version and service pack level.

First, back up your LBI databases on the source server and restore to the destination server (LawsonFS, LawsonRS, LawsonSN).

If you are migrating data for one LBI instance, you just need to point your WebSphere data sources to the destination server.

If you are migrating data for a new LBI instance, or for your test environment, you’ll need to update all the services and references to the old LBI instance.  In the LawsonFS database, ENPENTRYATTR table, you’ll need to search the ATTRSTRINGVALUE column for your old server name, and replace it with the new server name.  For example,

UPDATE ENPENTRYATTR

SET ATTRSTRINGVALUE = REPLACE(ATTRSTRINGVALUE, ‘source-server’, ‘destination-server’)

WHERE ATTRSTRINGVALUE LIKE ‘%source-server%’

 

After you update those strings, you will need to redo your EFS and ERS install validators to set the correct URL.

  • http(s)://lbiserver.comany.com:port/efs/installvalidator.jsp
  • http(s)://lbiserver.comany.com:port/ers/installvalidator.jsp
  • http(s)://lbiserver.comany.com:port/lsn/admin/installvalidator.jsp

Next, log into LBI and go to Tools > Services.  Click on every service definition to look for the source server name, and update with the destination server name.

Make sure your data sources are pointing to the proper ODBC DSNs, and/or add new ODBC connections.  Test and verify all your reports.