Anyone that has used the Promotion Management tool included in BusinessObjects Lifecycle Management knows that promoting large amounts of content can be an extremely frustrating process. With the death of the old XI 3.1 Import Wizard, and the inability of the Upgrade Management Tool to promote content between two systems on the same BI version, Lifecycle Management is your only real option for moving content from Development to Test to Production. This works for small sets of content, like a few reports or users, but there are some serious limitations that come with LCM.
First, it’s a web-based application, so all the usual timeouts apply. Any action that takes more than 20 minutes will timeout and leave you wondering what to do next. In the early days of BI 4.0, that was a very real problem with no real solution. But now in BI 4.1 we have LCMCLI, or the command line version of Lifecycle Management.
Following recent improvements, LCMCLI is really the go-to tool for doing large batch content promotions. There’s a bit of a learning curve compared to the web version (it is a command line tool, after all), but it’s really worth taking the time to learn instead of struggling with the limitations of its easier-to-use sibling.
Thankfully, SAP has provided us with some documentation on the LCMCLI tool this time around, both on SAP Support and in the BI 4.1 SP4 Administrator’s Guide. Chapter 15 provides a great walkthrough for promoting your full repository content from one system to another. This common approach can be adapted fairly easily to fit other scenarios.
The main difference between Lifecycle Management on the web and LCMCLI is that LCMCLI does promotions based off of CMS queries that you provide. Instead of selecting individual content manually, you write a SQL-like query against your BI repository to return the content to be promoted. This makes LCMCLI extremely powerful, because you can fine-tune your queries to quickly and easily get just the content you want.
For the full system promotion, there are three steps:
- Promote all users and user groups
- Promote all dependent objects (universes, connections, access levels, etc)
- Promote all primary objects (BI content including reports, dashboards, folders, etc.)
The Admin Guide linked above includes the sets of CMS queries needed to complete each step. To use LCMCLI, you create a small file with information about your source and destination systems, as well as your set of CMS queries. In this case, we’ll call the file “lcmcli.properties” Then, you execute the LCMCLI job by navigating to <INSTALLDIR>\win64x64\scripts directory and running the following command:
LCMCLI has been tested to promote jobs with up to 50,000 objects successfully — much improved over the suggested 100 object limit for LCM on the web. It’s well worth the effort to learn the BI query language and save yourself the headaches!
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