One of the first things anyone will notice when they upgrade from SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1 to BI 4 is that the web addresses for all of the applications have changed. For starters, InfoView has been renamed to BI Launchpad and trades out the old /InfoViewApp URL for the new /BOE/BI URL. Also, Central Management Console goes from /CmcApp to /BOE/CMC and /OpenDocument becomes /BOE/OpenDocument.
This may just seem like an inconvenience until you realize that most of your users have probably bookmarked these web addresses and when they change, things will no longer work for them. Also, if you’re using document linking within your reports, your OpenDocument URLs will all be broken which means more development time!
At a client recently, I was tasked with coming up with a way to redirect the old XI 3.1 URLs to their equivalent BI 4.1 URLs. While there are several ways to do this, I thought the method I came up with was a clean and clever approach. It was made possible with a free library called UrlRewriteFilter. This little tool allows you to “rewrite” a web address based on a pattern. If an incoming URL matches the pattern you defined, the UrlRewriteFilter will modify the URL for you.
The nice part about all this is that you can set everything up just by dropping a couple files onto your Tomcat server. Follow the installation instructions on the UrlRewriteFilter website, placing the files in your Tomcat/webapps/ROOT directory. Modify the web.xml as explained in the directions and then make sure things are working correctly.
Finally, modify the urlrewrite.xml file to add your rules for the BusinessObjects web addresses. The rules I used below will rewrite your InfoView, CMC, and OpenDocument links from the 3.1 format to the 4.1 format. Even better is that the OpenDocument rule will preserve the parameters so your links should continue to work!
[xml title=”urlrewrite.xml”] <rule>
Finally, these rules are just a starting point — this UrlRewriteFilter is a powerful tool and can be used to do all sorts of things, like creating shortened URLs or dealing with the pesky case-sensitivity of the BusinessObjects URLs. If you have an interesting use for this, please comment and share!
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