BusinessObjects Board

Ad-Hoc Reporting Requirement from disparate systems


We have a reporting requirement where data from various systems will come in form of Excel documents. Layout and data in these Excel files will differ from time to time. At one point of time, a department may send data about Employee and Salary where as at some other point of time, this department may send data of District and Certifications. The same is true for other departments.

Based on these data (in many Excel documents), we have to generate a report that will have integrated data.

Once the report is generated and sent to respective people, we don’t need the Excel documents.

Currently, this requirements is met thru use of MS Access where temporary tables are created and linked and then report is generated.

Can this reporting requirement be met using Business Objects?

Any ideas are welcome.


Rajeev Asthana (BOB member since 2002-08-27)

Yes! But…it depends to what level of complexity you are willing to go to. The fact that the contents vary is the sort of thing that you need to control. If a department can produce two different spreadsheets, it needs to be agreed that when they product Spreadsheet 1 it always has THIS format. All the spreadsheets are going to need one or more columns of information in common, so you can link them altogether. You could set up load routines to pick the spreadsheets up from a specific location at specific times and then put them into a database…it all depends how big this all is? For example, you could create screens in VB or oracle forms and allow the data keyed through Excel to be keyed direct to a database…

Nick Daniels :uk: (BOB member since 2002-08-15)

Thanks Nick,

Are you refering to the linking facility where many reports can be linked thru common dimensions? I was wondering if we can link 5-6 reports thru common dimensions.

Is there any other option thru which I can have integrated data from various data sources in BO?

Rajeev Asthana (BOB member since 2002-08-27)

Yes, I often see reports with anything up to a dozen data providers all linked on the same set of between 2 and 10 dimensions!

Nick Daniels :uk: (BOB member since 2002-08-15)

I tried doing it (linking 2 reports based on common dimensions). But it’s not letting me select all columns. For some, it’s greying it out as disabled.
I read some post and found that defining detail objects for the disabled columns will do.

Isn’t there a better way to do it?


Rajeev Asthana (BOB member since 2002-08-27)

That is the way that linking data providers works. Long term your ‘better way’ needs to be getting away from these Excel Spreadsheets and their unpredictable variability. Anyway, once you’ve defined your details - off you go - or is there more to this?

Nick Daniels :uk: (BOB member since 2002-08-15)

I also couldn’t understand the error message it gives when I tried pulling the variables in Pivot - “Variables not Compatible (DMB0008)”.

What are incompatible variables? How do I know at the start what variables are going to be incompatible? BO is not documenting these anywhere. :hb:

Rajeev Asthana (BOB member since 2002-08-27)

Rajeev, help is close at hand. Have a look at this thread from the Reporter FAQ section - this is a really great series of topics.

Nick Daniels :uk: (BOB member since 2002-08-15)