Single Sign-On to Folder in BusinessObjects

One of our customers came up with a challenge for us asking if it was possible to open a folder or category in InfoView through a URL. Doing some research we found that in BO3 there is no SAP official solution for this (SAP note 1390226), however we found some workarounds on how to accomplish it, but the real challenge was that none of these supported SingleSignOn, so every time the end user clicked on the URL before entering in InfoView the logon screen showed up.

After putting some ideas together we came up with a workaround that solves this and this article is meant to show the step by step process so you can implement it. The solution described here has been used for BO3 only as there is already an official solution for BI4 – see details at the end of the article.

Overview of the process:

  • The end user access via web browser on an OpenDocument URL that opens an auxiliary Xcelsius dashboard uploaded to InfoView
  • Opening the Dashboard the user is authenticated in BusinessObjects
  • Once the dashboard is open  a trigger is actioned opening the desired folder
  • This process of redirection remains transparent for the end user

Step by Step process:

1. Create an auxiliary dashboard (.xlf)

Place a URL button in the Dashboard canvas that opens the following link http://SERVERNAME/InfoViewApp/listing/main.do?&initialFolderId=12345

Tick the  “Encode URL” Option and in the Window Options select  Open in: “This Window” from the combo box.

SSO1

Note: Find the FolderID number in the properties of the folder to open (InfoView - Right click > Properties).

SSO2

Go to the behavior tab and configure the Trigger Behavior, map a cell and tick the “When Value Changes” option.

SSO3

Go to the Manage Connections (Control + M) option and create a new connection and configure it as in the pictures below, in our case we used an XML Data connection for performance reasons but other connections are also an option.

This connection needs to bring data into the dashboard spreadsheet so it works as a trigger for the URL Button, for performance reasons the smaller the data the better.

Sample of our XML data connection:

<BICATALOG>

<NOTE>

<SUBJECT>XML</SUBJECT>

<TEXT>http://www.google.com</TEXT>

</NOTE>

<BICATALOG>

SSO4

Go to the Usage tab of the Data Manager window and configure the options as in the picture below. Make sure that Loading Status Message is mapped to the same cell as the Trigger Cell configured in the URL button.

In order for the trigger to work properly the connection needs to be refreshed every 1 second, this is because many times it loads so fast that the URL button does not work, therefore 1 second after it will be triggered with the load of the data.

SSO5

2. Upload the Auxiliary dashboard  to InfoView and  create an OpenDocument URL to this dashboard as shown below

http://SERVERNAME/OpenDocument/opendoc/openDocument.jsp?sType=&iDocID=AcUN8bZsQ1JCgtrLJ6zG.Gg&sIDType=CUID

Note: Find the CUID number in the properties of the Dashboard to open (InfoView - Right click > Properties)

SSO6

The Dashboard OpenDocument URL is the one you should provide to the end user as this dashboard will redirect them to the desired folder.

The same will apply to categories if it is used the SI_ID of a category.

Applicability and benefits

Following the steps mentioned above will help you implement this solution in SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.x, For BI 4.x SAP has taken care of this issue with the feature  “Direct Link to Folder” and this works  in versions  4.1.SP3 or higher,  the difference is the format of the URL to be used, which are: http://SERVERNAME/BOE/BI?startFolder=[Folder CUID]&isCat=false

http://SERVERNAME/BOE/BI?startFolder=[Category CUID]&isCat=true

instead of

http://SERVERNAME/InfoViewApp/listing/main.do?&initialFolderId=[Folder SI_ID]

http://SERVERNAME/InfoViewApp/listing/main.do?&initialFolderId=[Category SI_ID]

The features of this solution are:

  • Creates a direct link to a native folder or Category in InfoView (No official solution from SAP for Version BOXI3)
  • Supports SingleSignOn

The Benefits this solution brings are:

  • Provides the end user with a faster access to the information
  • Facilitates the navigation within InfoView

I hope you enjoyed the reading and that this article is useful to you, if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below.