Thursday, May 28, 2009

How to Email Scheduled Reports in Business Objects

Working in a Business Intelligence environment, you certainly come up with requests from users where they want so and so reports to be emailed to them. They are too lazy to go to their Infoview's Inbox. You should know, if you don't already, reports are delivered by the Job servers - Crystal Reports are emailed via Crystal Reports Jobs Sever and WebI reports are delivered via Web Intelligence Job servers. So, here is a image walk through of the steps to set up the Job Servers' so you can schedule reports and send them out to users' emails. I created a dummy WebI report called "WebI Email Test".

1) We have a typical Web Intelligence report here and we're viewing it's location in Infoview so we can run it here.

2) Let's run it, no prompt or anything like that, plain and simple.

3) Let's go to Central Management Console (CMC) and schedule this report to be emailed to a user.

4) Move onto "Schedule" tab.

5) Let's set it to Microsoft Excel format, i.e. Schedule this report to be delivered / emailed in MS Excel format.

6) Destination 1: Now we need to up the Destination for this to be scheduled report. In this case, we'll be Emailing this report. From the drop down menu, select "Email (SMTP)". Then click on the radio button next to the "Set the values to be used at schedule time here:" .

Enter an email address to be sent "From" and email address(es) to be sent "To", along with CCs if any.

7) Destination 2 - Go / scroll down a bit. In the "Subject" - we'll select "Title" from the drop down menu next to where it says "Add a placeholder for a variable property"and simply "Add" it so that the recipient(s) can see the Title of the report as their Subject line. You can select any of the other available properties like ID, Owner, Datetime, User Full Name, Email Address. I will also check the box for "Attach object instance to email message", so that a copy of the report is also attached to the recipients emails. I mean, what's the point of emailing from Business Objects users, if there are no attachments right?

8) Let's click on "Schedule" once more and we'll just do a one time schedule to run now. You can of course, and will most likely will have to schedule as per the user requirements, be it daily, weekly, monthly or based a some specific dates selected in a custom Calendar (I'll try to create a mini tutorial on how to schedule repors using Calendars, someday; it's pretty easy).

9) So it's "Pending", sometimes you may see "Pending" or the status just may show as "Running".

10) Since it took only 10 seconds, by the time I hit "Refresh" the report already "Failed" and thus I couldn't see the "Running" status.

11) Upon clicking on "Failed", we see the error at the bottom that says, "Error Message: destination DLL disabled. CrystalEnterprise.Smtp:" .

12) That basically means that the Email (SMTP) is not enabled for the appropriate job server; in this case, Web Intelligence Job Server(s) because we are scheduling a WebI report to be emailed. Let's go to "Servers" and enable the EMAIL destination for the available Web Intelligence Job Servers.

13) Go to the "Destinations" tab and we see, Email (SMTP) is RED flagged - i.e. disabled. Go ahead, click on the box left of it and hit "Enable".

14) Now click on "Email (SMTP)" and set up the email properties, including Domain, Server, From, To and any other properties - you'll want to consult with one of you system admins / analyts at this stage.

15) Scroll down and add the Title as the Subject also select "Attach object instance to email message" -- this will be the default behavior for all outgoing emails using this Web Intelligence Job Server.

*** Remember, if you have multiple WebI Job Servers, you'll have to enable all of their Email (SMTP) from the Destinations tab just like above.

16) Let's go back to the report in CMC.

17) And we will reschedule it once more.

18) There's our initial "Failed" one and right below it, is our "Pending" current report.

19) And success! This is the actual email and the attached report in Excel Format. Look at the subject, it says "WebI Email Test" -- and that's the title of this report.

So, there you go. That was a walk through of how to set up the Email feature in Business Objects Enterprise XIR2 so that reports can be scheduled and report instances can be emailed out to recipients.