Tag Archives: on

Using the R Integration functionality, how to perform Text Mining on a MicroStrategy report and display the result

Readers:Jaime Perez

Here is another great post in the MicroStrategy Community from Jaime Perez (photo, right) and his team. A lot of work when into the preparation of this post and it shows some great ways to use the “R” integration with MicroStrategy.

Contributors from Jaime’s team include:

ssonobe  ssonobe

Lili 

Joanne A 

Ohingst  Ohingst

Enjoy!

Michael

Text Mining Using R Integration in MicroStrategy

Users may wish to perform text mining using R on the result of any arbitrary MicroStrategy report and display the result. One of the problems that hinders the users from achieving it is that the number of output elements is not always consistent. For example, a report may have three attributes named ‘Age groups’, ‘Reviewer’, and ‘Survey feedback’ and the report might display four rows of feedback as follows:

01.jpg

If the above report result is sent to R as an input and the R script breaks down each sentence of the feedback into the term frequency that is grouped by the age groups, it will have 18 rows.

02.jpg

Since the number of output elements is greater than the number of the MicroStrategy report rows, the report execution will fail. Using the objects in the Tutorial project, this technical note (TN207734) describes one way to display the result of text mining on a MicroStrategy report, using the R integration functionality.

PREMISE:
– Following the instructions in TN43665, the MicroStrategy R Integration Pack has already been installed on the Intelligence Server.

The Steps Involved

STEP 1: Decide on the input values that need to be sent to R via R metrics
The first step is to decide on which data you wish to perform text mining. In this technical note, the sample report will let users select one year element, the arbitrary number of category elements, and specify the Revenue amount in prompts. The report will then display the value of the normalized TF-IDF (term frequency and inverse document frequency) for every word showing up in the qualified Item attribute elements, grouped by the Category elements.

A user may select the following values for each prompt and the report may look as shown below.

  • Year: 2012
  • Category: Books, Movies, and Music
  • Revenue: greater than $15,000

03.jpg

Eventually, the user may want to see the normalized TF-IDF for every word showing up in the Item attribute elements as shown below:

04.jpg

Since the final output displays each word from the Item attribute and it is grouped by the Category elements, the necessary input values to R are as follows

  • The elements of the Category attribute.
  • The elements of the Item attribute.

 

STEP 2: Create metrics to pass the input values to R

The input values to R from MicroStrategy must be passed via metrics. Hence, on top of the current grid objects, additional metrics need to be created. For this sample report, since the inputs are the elements of two attributes, create two metrics with the following definitions so that the elements are displayed as metrics.

Max(Category@DESC) {~}

Max(Item@DESC) {~}

05.jpg

 

STEP 3: R script – Phase 1: Define input and output variables and write R script to obtain what you wish to display in a MicroStrategy report

In the R script, define (1) a variable that receives the inputs from MicroStrategy and (2) a variable that will be sent back to MicroStrategy as the output as depicted below. Since the number of output elements must match with the number of input elements, it is defined as “output = mstrInput2” to avoid the errors. In other words, this script executes R functions to obtain the data that you wish to display in a MicroStrategy report, but the output is the same as the input. More details about how to display the result in a MicroStrategy report will be followed up later in this technical note.

06.jpg

 

In this technical note, after manipulating the input value, we assume that the variable named ‘norm.TF.IDF’ in the R script holds the values of the TF-IDF for each term.

07.jpg

 

STEP 4: Create tables in the data warehouse to store the value of your R output

In order to display the values of the ‘norm.TF.IDF’ defined in a MicroStrategy report, tables to hold the result need to be created in the data warehouse. In other words, additional report will later have to be created in MicroStrategy and it will extract the data from the database tables, which are created in this section.

In this specific example, the variable ‘norm.TF.IDF’ has the elements of words (terms) and categories and the values of the normalized TF-IDF. Considering the types of data, the first two should be displayed as attributes and the values of the normalized TF-IDF should be presented in a metric. Hence, two lookup tables to hold the term and category elements and one fact table need to be created to store all the data. On top of these tables, one relationship table is also required since the relationship between words and categories is many-to-many.

 

STEP 5: R script – Phase 2: Populate the tables in your R script

As previously mentioned, the variable named ‘norm.TF.IDF’ contains the values, which a user wishes to display in a MicroStrategy report as shown below.

07.jpg

 

In this R script, four more variables are defined from ‘norm.TF.IDF’, each of which contains the subset of data that will be inserted into the database tables.

 

tm_Category holds the unique elements of the Category.

10.jpg

 

tm_Word holds the unique elements of the Word (Term).

11.jpg

 

tm_Word_Cat stores the values of the many-to-many relationship.

12.jpg

 

tm_Fact contains the values of TF-IDF for every Word-Category combination.

13.jpg

 

In the R script, populate the database tables with the above four subsets of ‘norm.TF.IDF’.

# Load RODBC
library(RODBC)

# RODBC package: assign ch the connectivity information
ch <- odbcConnect("DSN_name")

# Delete all the rows of the tables
sqlClear(ch, "tm_Category", errors = TRUE)
sqlClear(ch, "tm_Word",     errors = TRUE)
sqlClear(ch, "tm_Word_Cat", errors = TRUE)
sqlClear(ch, "tm_Fact",     errors = TRUE)

# SQL: insert the data into tables; use parameterized query
sqlSave(ch, tm_Category, tablename = "tm_Category", rownames=FALSE, append=TRUE, fast = TRUE)
sqlSave(ch, tm_Word,  tablename = "tm_Word", rownames=FALSE, append=TRUE, fast = TRUE)
sqlSave(ch, tm_Word_Cat, tablename = "tm_Word_Cat", rownames=FALSE, append=TRUE, fast = TRUE)
sqlSave(ch, tm_Fact, tablename = "tm_Fact", rownames=FALSE, append=TRUE, fast = TRUE)

#Close the channel
odbcClose(ch)

 

STEP 6: Create and add an R metric, which implements the R script

The R script is done. It is time to implement this R script from MicroStrategy by creating an R script. In the deployR interface, open the R script and define the input and output that you specify in Step 3 as follows. Since the elements of the Category and Item attributes are characters, choose “String” as its data type. Likewise, since the output is the same as the mstrInput2, its data type is also set to string.

14.jpg

 

Create a stand-alone metric and paste the metric definition of the deployR utility. Then, replace the last parameters by the Category and Item metrics that you created in Step 2.

15.jpg

 

Add the R metric to the report.

15.2.png

 

The report and R will perform the following actions after adding the R metric
i. The report lets users select the prompt answers
ii. MicroStrategy sends the Category and Item elements to R via the R metric
iii. R performs text mining to calculate the TF-IDF based on the inputs
iv. R generates subsets of the TF-IDF
v. R truncates the database tables and populates them with the subset of the TF-IDF
vi. R sends the output(which is actuary the input) to MicroStrategy
vii. The report displays the values of all object including the R metric

 

STEP 7: Create MicroStrategy objects to display the data

From the tables created in Step 4, create the Word and Category attributes and the fact named weight. The object relationship is as depicted below.

08.jpg

09.jpg

 

Now, create a new report with these objects. This report will obtain and display the data from the database tables.

16.jpg

 

STEP 8: Utilize the report level VLDB properties to manipulate the order of the report execution jobs

There are currently two reports and let each of which to be named R1 and R2 as described below

  • R1: A report which prompts users to specify the report requirements and implements the R script executing text mining
  • R2: This report obtains the result of text mining from the database and display it

 

If the two reports are placed in a document as datasets as shown below, there is one problem: R2 may start its execution before R1 populates the database tables with the result of text mining.

17.jpg

 

In order to force R2 to execute its job after the completion of R1, the VLDB properties PRE/POST statements along with additional database table may be used. The table tm_Flag contains the value of 0 or 1. R2 is triggered when R1 sets the value of completeFlag to 1. The detailed steps are described below with the script for SQL Server.

 

i. Create another table in the database, which holds the value of 1 or 0

CREATE TABLE tm_Flag
(
   completeFlag int
)


INSERT INTO tm_Flag VALUES(0)

 

ii. In the VLDB property ‘Report Post Statement 1” of the R1 report, defines a Transact-SQL statement that changes the value of completeFlag to the value of 1.

DECLARE @query as nvarchar(100)
SET @query = 'UPDATE tm_Flag SET completeFlag = 1'
EXEC sp_executesql @query

 

iii. Define the VLDB property ‘Report Pre Statement 1’ in R2 so that it will check the value of completeFlag every second and loop until it turns to 1. After the loop, it will revert the value of completeFlag back to 0. After this Report Pre Statement, R2 will obtain data from the database, which has been populated by R1.

DECLARE @intFlag INT
SET @intFlag = (select max(completeFlag) from tm_Flag)

WHILE(@intFlag = 0)
BEGIN
	WAITFOR DELAY '00:00:01'
	SET @intFlag = (select max(completeFlag) from tm_Flag)
END

DECLARE @query as nvarchar(100)
SET @query = 'UPDATE tm_Flag SET completeFlag = 0'
EXEC sp_executesql @query

 

Activity Diagram

18_revised.png

 

 

Overall execution flow

  1. Answer prompts

19.png

 

2. Only the text mining result is displayed to users

20.png

 

Third Party Software Installation:

WARNING: The third-party product(s) discussed in this technical note is manufactured by vendors independent of MicroStrategy. MicroStrategy makes no warranty, express, implied or otherwise, regarding this product, including its performance or reliability.

 

Tips & Tricks #10: How to Remove the Underlining from Hyperlinks Created on an Attribute or Metric

This is another one of those little tricks that can save you from pulling your hair out trying to figure it out.

By default, hyperlinks in a Report Services document are underlined. The underlining can not be removed by changing the format of the attribute or metric.

Tip 10-1

There is an Enhancement Request open with MicroStrategy on this, but MicroStrategy does currently provide a workaround.

Workaround to Remove the Underlining is to Clear the Default Link

Step 1: Right click the object that is linked and choose Edit Links.

Step 2: Click the Clear Default button while the link is highlighted.

Tip 10-2

 

Step 3: The underlining should now be removed as shown below.

Tip 10-3

CAVEAT: The only limitation to this workaround is that in order to now get to the link, the object has to be right clicked on. The user can not directly click on the object and be taken directly to the new page (see screenshot below).

Tip 10-4

Tips & Tricks #9: How Do Changes on the Source Report (Dataset) Get Reflected in MicroStrategy Report Services 9.x Documents

In MicroStrategy Report Services Documents, document datasets and their original source reports  (such as a grid report being used as a dataset) are not completely connected to each other. Depending on the changes made on the source report, it can be reflected differently on the document. Basically, the change can be divided into two types.

Type 1 – Formatting Changes

Formatting changes, for example, changing autostyles, thresholds, subtotals.

If a user chooses the option Add to Section without Formatting, the grid/graph showing on the document will not use the report’s stored formatting. Any formatting changes on the source report will not be reflected on the document.

Tip 9-1If a user chooses the option Add to Section with Formatting, the grid will be added with the current format of the report.  However, any formatting changes made to the source report AFTER the dataset has been included in the document will NOT be reflected on the document.

For example, a user disabled the subtotal (see screenshot below) for the original report after the report has been included as a dataset in a document, the document will still show the subtotals.

Tip 9-2

To force the document to recognize the report’s formatting changes, the user needs to delete the grid/graph from document section and add it again using the With Formatting option. By doing this, the latest formatting properties of the grid/graph on the source report are retrieved.

Type 2 – Adding/Removing Objects and Modifying Report Filters

Another type of changes made on the report involving adding/removing objects and modifying report filters.

Unlike the formatting change, this type of change does carry over from the source report to the document datasets.

For example, if users add/remove/modify report filters (see screenshot below), the change will be reflected on the data when running the document.

Tip 9-3

If an object is removed from the source report (see screenshot below), the user can see the change in the document’s Dataset Objects window. After the user runs the document, the object will be removed from grid/graph on the document.

Tip 9-4

If an object is added to the report (see screenshot below), the change will show in the document’s dataset objects window. However, the object will not be automatically added to the grid/graph. The user has to manually add the object to the grid/graph or add the dataset to the section again to make it show up.

Tip 9-5

NOTE:   As of MicroStrategy 9.0, a new feature was introduced where a user can add a dataset report to a Report Services document as a shortcut by selecting the Add to Section As a shortcut option, as shown below:

Tip 9-6

If the grid/graph is added to the document using this option, then the document would be updated automatically if ANY type of change is made on the source report.

A Must Read: Bryan Brandow’s BI Blog on Evolving BI

Readers:

I have some good news to share with you.

Bryan BrandowBryan Brandow, a Data Engineering Manager, has started (or perhaps restarted) blogging again. His new blog is called Bryan’s BI Blog and the first post is a must read. It is titled Evolving BI and Bryan shares his latest adventures, his thoughts on the current state of BI as he has observed and experienced it, and where he feels we collectively need to go.

Bryan has also migrated all of his old MicroStrategy Blog posts to this blog site and I encourage you to read these as well.

Here is a link to the Evolving BI post.

Best Regards,

Michael

 

Commentary: Some Thoughts on my MicroStrategy v9.4.1 Upgrade Installation on my Laptop – PART 3

Readers:

I am back to continue and finish this three-part commentary about installing MicroStrategy v9.4.1 on my laptop.

Just also wanted to let you know that v9.4.1 Hotfix 2 was released on 02/12/2014 and is now available. I recommend you get your v9.4.1 GA version all up and running properly before you consider installing the Hotfix.

Best regards,

Michael

Reviewing Upgrade Prerequisites

Before you begin upgrading your MicroStrategy system, it is always a good practice to review the MicroStrategy Readme document so that you are aware of any changes from previous releases. You should also review the system prerequisites outlined in the Planning Your Installation chapter of the MicroStrategy Installation and Configuration Guide.

If you do not review the MicroStrategy hardware and software requirements before upgrading, you may experience problems with the upgrade.

Database and Driver Requirements

Refer to Certified and Supported Configurations in the MicroStrategy Readme for updated information about specific database and driver combinations certified by MicroStrategy.

System Sizing Guidelines

There are several factors to consider when you initially set up your MicroStrategy system. These factors include the number of users that will access the system, report complexity, and whether or not you should employ caches. You should periodically re-evaluate your system and update it based on actual system performance and use.

In particular, before updating your metadata (see the Update the Metadata section below), MicroStrategy recommends that you have an amount of free disk space equal to at least twice the on-disk size of the metadata database.

A complete discussion of system sizing guidelines is beyond the scope of this blog entry. Refer to the Planning Your Installation chapter of the MicroStrategy Installation and Configuration Guide for the latest details about sizing your system.

Due to performance improvements and enhancements, MicroStrategy version 9 may require more memory than version 8 for comparable functionality. In particular, if your MicroStrategy 8.x system is running on Windows and is approaching the 3 GB Windows memory limit, you may need to upgrade your Intelligence Server machines. For more information on MicroStrategy memory recommendations, see the system requirements in the MicroStrategy Readme and the Tuning chapter in the System Administration Guide.

Privileges and Access

Before upgrading, ensure you have the following:

  • If you are installing on a Windows system, you must have a login account with administrative privileges for the domain or target machine.
  • MicroStrategy Intelligence Server installation files. You can access the installation files from a disk or from a network location.
  • Write permissions in the installation directory; otherwise the installation/upgrade process fails.
  • If you have purchased a CPU-based MicroStrategy license and are installing on UNIX or Linux, you need root access permissions for installation.
  • A license key from MicroStrategy for the version of the MicroStrategy software that you are installing.

Checking for Supported Data Types

MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise supports a wide variety of data types for each supported warehouse database. However, some pre-Analytics Enterprise projects may contain data types not supported in MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise. If a project containing columns with unsupported data types is upgraded, the data types for those columns are assigned as “reserved,” and proper data types are not assigned in temporary tables. This affects report execution.

Before proceeding with the upgrade, you must ensure that all data types assigned in the pre-Analytics Enterprise project are supported in MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise.

See the MicroStrategy Project Design Guide for a listing of the supported data types for each database type and additional information about changing to supported data types.

Backing up the Metadata

Although the MicroStrategy installation process itself does not affect your project’s metadata, MicroStrategy recommends that you back up your metadata before any significant installation or upgrade. In most major MicroStrategy upgrades, a metadata update is required for all the pre-existing projects in your metadata. Once you update your metadata project, you cannot revert that metadata to a previous version. Therefore, MicroStrategy strongly recommends that you perform a full database backup of your original metadata prior to the upgrade.

MicroStrategy strongly recommends that you also tape backup, image, or ghost the production server before upgrading.

If you want to keep an old MicroStrategy Tutorial metadata repository and warehouse from a previous MicroStrategy version, rename the Microsoft Access files or move them to another location; otherwise, they are overwritten during the installation process. The Access files are installed by default in the MicroStrategy\Tutorial Reporting folder.

Updating the Project Metadata

MicroStrategy requires that you use the Configuration Wizard to update a metadata project created in a pre-Analytics Enterprise version of MicroStrategy to the latest version.

Be aware of the following:

  • If you are upgrading a MicroStrategy 8.x metadata that is stored in a DB2 UDB for z/OS database, refer to MicroStrategy Tech Note TN32695.
  • For assistance with updating MicroStrategy metadata projects from versions prior to MicroStrategy version 8.1.0, contact MicroStrategy Technical Support.

MicroStrategy requires that you update projects through an Intelligence Server connection (3-tier). Upgrading your project using a direct ODBC connection (2-tier) is not supported.

If you do not upgrade the metadata to the latest version, certain features will not work as expected. For example, if MicroStrategy Web Analytics Enterprise connects to a pre-Analytics Enterprise metadata through an Analytics Enterprise server, Change Journaling, Distribution Services, and some Report Services enhancements may not be available.

Downgrading Metadata Projects

Downgrading a MicroStrategy metadata or project to any previous product version is not supported. Once you update the project metadata to the latest version, you cannot downgrade to earlier product versions. Therefore, backing up the metadata is an essential step in the upgrade process as it allows you to revert to a backup version of the metadata, if necessary, to obtain pre-update versions of the projects it contains.

Configuring an Upgrade Test Environment

Your MicroStrategy environment includes multiple variables, such as security requirements, performance requirements, and VLDB settings, that are unique. MicroStrategy cannot anticipate all the ways these variables may interact with the upgrade process. Thus, MicroStrategy recommends you create a test environment and upgrade that environment first, then thoroughly test the upgraded installation. Once the tests are complete, then upgrade your production environment. This ensures that the upgrade of your production environment proceeds smoothly and any unexpected difficulties do not require additional downtime.

I will post a blog in the near future about testing your upgraded environment.

If you do not want to create a test environment, MicroStrategy recommends that you create and save an Integrity Manager integrity test baseline of your reports and documents. You can then execute an integrity test against this baseline when the upgrade is complete, to ensure that the upgrade has not altered any of your report results. For detailed information about using Integrity Manager to execute integrity tests, see the Integrity Manager chapter of the MicroStrategy System Administration Guide.

Best Practices for Configuring an Upgrade Test Environment

MicroStrategy recommends that you follow these best practices for configuring your upgrade test environment:

  • Do not modify any existing configuration objects. If you need additional configuration objects for testing, you can either create additional objects, or duplicate an existing object and modify it. This applies to database instances, connections and logins, security filters, users and user groups, and security roles.
  • If your production environment is clustered, then your test environment should also be clustered.
  • If your test and production data warehouses have different database table prefixes, make sure you are using the correct prefixes in the test environment’s Warehouse Catalog.
  • Create an integrity test comparing reports from the upgraded test environment with the same reports in the production environment, so that you can easily see where any differences are.
  • If possible, plan to execute data integrity and performance load tests against the production warehouse. This ensures that the test scenarios are as representative of the production environment as possible.
  • If you are creating reports and documents specifically for an upgrade integrity test, create those reports and documents before you duplicate the production metadata.
  • If you are using connection mapping for users to access the data warehouse, check to be sure that all users can log in to the test data warehouse, since user passwords may differ between the test warehouse and the production warehouse.

One way to manage this is to create a new generic database login, and then use the following sample Command Manager script to change users’ connection mappings to use this new login:

ALTER CONNECTION MAP FOR USER “

username” DBINSTANCE “production_warehouse_instance” DBLOGIN “test_login” ON PROJECT “project“;

For steps to use Command Manager, see the Command Manager Help, or the Command Manager chapter of the MicroStrategy System Administration Guide.

  • If you are using Narrowcast Server, make sure that the database copy of the Narrowcast repositories is not used when setting up the Narrowcast Server test environment. Instead, make a copy of the repositories with the Copy Repository utility included with Narrowcast Administrator and use this copy. This ensures that the test environment does not accidentally refer to a production server. For detailed instructions on creating a copy of the Narrowcast repositories, see the Narrowcast Server Upgrade Guide.

High-level Steps to Configure an Upgrade Test Environment

To ensure that your tests accurately reflect the upgrade experience, the upgrade test environment should reflect the production environment as closely as possible.

To Configure a Test Environment

  1. Set up the hardware for the environment. MicroStrategy recommends that this hardware duplicate the configuration of the production environment as closely as possible.
  2. Install your current version of MicroStrategy in the test environment.
  3. Using the Project Duplication Wizard, duplicate the production metadata into the test environment. For instructions on using the Project Duplication Wizard, see the Managing Your Projects chapter of the MicroStrategy System Administration Guide, or see the Project Duplication Wizard Help.
  4. Make sure that your test environment Intelligence Server is connected to your test environment metadata, and not your production metadata.
  5. If you do not intend to execute your tests against a production warehouse, duplicate the production warehouse, and ensure that the test environment points to the duplicate warehouse and not the production warehouse.
  6. Upgrade the test environment.
  7. Test the upgrade. Again, a future blog topic.

Upgrade Deployment Tests

Deploying the upgrade involves installing, activating, configuring, and running the upgrade processes for Intelligence Server, MicroStrategy Web Server, and MicroStrategy Mobile Server, as well as for the metadata, Narrowcast Server, and Enterprise Manager data repositories. These changes, as well as any other procedures that alter the production environment, should be tested when setting up the test environment.

Deployment tests should be performed by MicroStrategy administrators who normally have the responsibility of tuning and monitoring the MicroStrategy installation.

 

Reference Materials

Some detailed information about installing and configuring MicroStrategy products is beyond the scope of this blog entry and can be found in the MicroStrategy Installation and Configuration Guide. The MicroStrategy Installation and Configuration Guide provides detailed procedures on installing and configuring your MicroStrategy system. It also includes important information about installing, deploying, and configuring MicroStrategy Universal products.

In addition, the MicroStrategy Readme contains information about the new products, new features, and bug fixes available in MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise.

For detailed instructions for upgrading Narrowcast Server, refer to the Narrowcast Server Upgrade Guide.

Commentary: Some Thoughts on my MicroStrategy v9.4.1 Upgrade Installation on my Laptop – PART 2

MicroStrategy Platform v9.4.1

Upgrade best practices

Review the following recommendations to help ensure the success and stability of your MicroStrategy system and projects when upgrading to the latest version of MicroStrategy.

  1. Follow the upgrade order and recommendations outlined in this section, in particular the upgrade checklist found at The Upgrade Process Checklist in the section below. In particular, always upgrade Intelligence Server prior to upgrading client applications such as MicroStrategy Web or Developer.
  2. Create an upgrade test environment by duplicating your production environment and production metadata. Upgrade this test environment and test it before upgrading your production environment.
  3. Do not downgrade MicroStrategy products or components on a machine to previous versions if you have already installed the most recent version of another MicroStrategy product on that machine.
  4. All MicroStrategy products on a machine must use the same version of MicroStrategy. Do not install or upgrade only some MicroStrategy 9.3.1 products on a machine containing older versions of other MicroStrategy products.
  5. Avoid installing MicroStrategy products using services such as Windows Terminal Services, which create a virtual session on the host machine. Always install MicroStrategy directly on the server machine’s physical interface, or by using a remote connection tool (such as Microsoft Netmeeting or Virtual Private Network) that takes full control of the server machine’s interface.
  6. If you are using clustered Intelligence Servers, then to retain stability in your Intelligence Server cluster while upgrading, shut down Intelligence Server on all nodes in the cluster before proceeding with the upgrade. For more information about clustering Intelligence Servers, see the Clustering chapter in the System Administration Guide.
  7. Every node in the MicroStrategy cluster must run the same version of MicroStrategy for the cluster to work properly.

The Upgrade Process Checklist

The upgrade process described in this section involves the following high-level steps. To help ensure a successful upgrade, follow these steps in the order they are presented in this section.

1. Prepare the MicroStrategy system and projects for upgrade

Preparing a MicroStrategy system for an upgrade involves reviewing information specific to your version upgrade, pre-upgrade information and prerequisites, checking for supported warehouse data types, and backing up the production metadata. It may also involve creating an upgrade test environment that duplicates your production environment.

2. Install and configure Intelligence Server Analytics Enterprise and Developer Analytics Enterprise on a test server

In this step, you install and configure MicroStrategy Intelligence Server Analytics Enterprise and MicroStrategy Developer Analytics Enterprise on a test server and then establish a connection to your production metadata.

3. Update the production metadata

In this step, you update the metadata version of your production projects using the test server environment.

4. Perform basic stability testing

In this step, you perform basic testing to ensure the stability and efficiency of Intelligence Server and your updated projects.

5. Install and configure Intelligence Server in the production environment

Once you are satisfied with the status of the latest version of Intelligence Server, and have updated the projects in your test environment, you install Intelligence Server in the production environment.

6. Install remaining MicroStrategy products in the production environment

With the latest version of Intelligence Server installed in your production environment, you now install and configure the remaining MicroStrategy products in your production environment.

7. Test the upgrade, and perform other post-upgrade tasks

After upgrading to the latest version of MicroStrategy, you perform several post-upgrade tasks such as testing the system, activating your installation, checking system licensing and functionality, managing user privileges, and optimizing your MicroStrategy system.

Next: Reviewing upgrade prerequisites

Commentary: Some Thoughts on my MicroStrategy v9.4.1 Upgrade Installation on my Laptop – PART 1

v9.4.1

Readers:

Last night, I installed MicroStrategy v9.4.1 on my laptop. I already have MicroStrategy v9.3.1 Hotfix 3 on it, but want to start experimenting with some of the new features.

I have a 10 seat license that any legitimate business can download and use for free. The link to apply and download the 10 seat version is here.

Before I talk about some of the interesting components of this install, I want to say that this was the easiest and smoothest install (actually, an upgrade) of any MicroStrategy product I have had. I installed the whole enchilada; Intelligence Server, Web Server, Mobile Server, etc.

I hope you find these notes helpful.

MichaelI have some other really interesting commentaries I am working on and hope to be able to share with you soon.

Best Regards,

Michael

Impact of the Upgrade

My scenario involved the following configuration:

MicroStrategy Software:

  • I already had MicroStrategy v9.3.1 Hotfix 3 installed on my laptop.

Laptop Configuration:

  • Windows 7 Professional with Service Pack 1
  • Intel Core i7 CPU @ 2.20 GHz
  • 64-Bit Operating System
  • 6.0 GB RAM
  • 600 GB Hard Disk

Here are a few name/product changes MicroStrategy Made:

  • MicroStrategy v9.4.1 is referred to now as MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise.
  • MicroStrategy Desktop is renamed to MicroStrategy Developer.
  • MicroStrategy Distribution Services replaces Narrowcast in v9.x.

Upgrading to MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise can have a significant impact on your system. The sections below cover some of the specific effects of upgrading.

Client/Server Interoperability

MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise clients and servers are interoperable with MicroStrategy clients and servers from version 9.0.2 and later. However, full feature support may not be available when the MicroStrategy client and server are on different versions. To ensure full feature support, upgrade all clients and servers to MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise.

MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise is not interoperable with pre-9.0.2 releases. That is, clients (such as MicroStrategy Web or Developer) from MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise cannot communicate with servers (such as Intelligence Server or MicroStrategy Web Server) from pre-9.0.2 releases, and clients from pre-9.0.2 releases cannot communicate with servers from MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise.

If your system is using a version of MicroStrategy prior to 9.0.2, all clients and servers must be upgraded to MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise at the same time.

All MicroStrategy products on an individual machine must use the same version of MicroStrategy. In my case, since my laptop is my only environment, I will be upgrading all components to v9.4.1. Do not install or upgrade only some MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise products on a machine containing older versions of other MicroStrategy products. For example, if you upgrade your Intelligence Server to MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise, and the Intelligence Server machine contains a copy of Developer, make sure you upgrade Developer on that machine to MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise as well.

In addition, if a MicroStrategy Web client from a version of MicroStrategy prior to 9.3.1 connects to an Intelligence Server from version 9.3.1 or later, a previous version of the MicroStrategy Web search page is shown. To correct this, either upgrade the MicroStrategy Web client to the latest version, or, in the MicroStrategy Web user preferences, change the default start page to any different page, save the user preferences, change it back to its previous value, and save the user preferences again.

MicroStrategy Mobile Client/Server Interoperability

MicroStrategy Mobile clients from MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise can communicate with Intelligence Server or MicroStrategy Mobile Server from pre-9.2.0 releases. However, full feature support may not be available when the MicroStrategy Mobile client and server are on different versions. To ensure full feature support, upgrade all clients and servers to MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise.

MicroStrategy Mobile Server Analytics Enterprise and later is not interoperable with pre-9.2.0 client releases. That is, MicroStrategy Mobile clients and apps from before version 9.2.0 cannot communicate with Intelligence Server Analytics Enterprise or MicroStrategy Mobile Server Analytics Enterprise.

New Features and Workflow Changes

This section describes some of the changes in MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise and earlier that may affect your users’ workflows.

For a complete list of new products, new features, and updates in MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise, see the MicroStrategy Tech Note “New Features in MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise.”

The default options for VLDB settings may change between releases. You can determine what VLDB default settings have changed by creating a VLDB settings report for your database type before the upgrade, and comparing it to a VLDB settings report created after the upgrade. For instructions on how to create a default VLDB settings report, see the section on Default VLDB settings for specific data sources in the Supplemental Reference for System Administration.

New features and workflow changes in MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise

Some of the new features of MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise that may affect your users’ workflows include:

  • The name of MicroStrategy Desktop has been changed to MicroStrategy Developer.
  • The following predefined security roles have been renamed:
    • The Desktop Analyst security role has been changed to Analyst.
    • The Desktop Designer security role has been changed to Developer.
  • The following privilege groups have been renamed:
    • The Desktop Analyst privilege group has been changed to Analyst.
    • The Desktop Designer privilege group has been changed to Developer.

New features and workflow changes in MicroStrategy 9.4

Some of the new features of MicroStrategy 9.4 that may affect your users’ workflows include:

  • In a document, if you no longer display an attribute that is used to sort data, the data is no longer sorted by that attribute. You can still select that attribute to sort data.
  • When importing data from a file, the Select Linking Object panel is now the Select Attribute Form dialog box.
  • When creating a new Visual Insight dashboard, the Dataset Objects panel is now opened by default.
  • When creating a new Visual Insight dashboard, you are no longer immediately prompted to select a visualization type to add to the dashboard. Instead, a blank visualization is added to the dashboard and displayed.
  • The menu options for adding a new metric to a Visual Insight dashboard have been reorganized. For detailed steps to add new metrics to a Visual Insight dashboard, see the MicroStrategy Web Help.
  • When defining a threshold condition to display data in a visualization, to create a new metric value band, click the horizontal slider bar in the Thresholds Editor.
  • When enabling a visualization to update the data displayed in another visualization, the Enable Filtering on Selection option is selected by default.
  • The options to export a Visual Insight dashboard are now available in the Tools menu, under Export.
  • The Graph Matrix visualization has been combined with the Graph visualization.
    • The graph styles previously available for the Graph Matrix visualization (Bar, Area, Line, Scatter, Bubble, and Grid) are now available as styles for the Graph visualization.
    • In the Graph panel, the Rows and Y-axis areas have been combined into the Vertical Axis area.
    • In the Graph panel, the Columns and X-axis areas have been combined into the Horizontal Axis area.
  • In a Grid visualization, in the Properties panel, the Fit To option is now the Width option.
  • Integrity Manager now retrieves all rows of a report or document at once.
  • In MicroStrategy Office, many locales no longer require the Microsoft Office Multi-Lingual User Interface (MUI) to correctly display prompt values during internationalization.
  • In MicroStrategy Office, if you add multiple outline reports with dynamic grouping to a single Excel worksheet, all those outline reports retain their dynamic grouping. Previously, only the first outline report retained its dynamic grouping.

New features and workflow changes in MicroStrategy 9.3.1

Some of the new features of MicroStrategy 9.3.1 that may affect your users’ workflows include:

  • In Windows, the MicroStrategy folder in the Start menu has been replaced by two other folders. The MicroStrategy Products folder contains the following items:All other MicroStrategy applications can be found in the MicroStrategy Tools folder in the Start menu.
    • Command Manager
    • Developer
    • Integrity Manager
    • Object Manager
    • System Manager
    • MicroStrategy Web
  • In MicroStrategy Web, the look and feel of the interface has been updated. A new navigational icon bar has been added to the Web interface, with options to create quick dashboards, reports, documents, and more. For detailed instructions on using this new interface, see the MicroStrategy Web Help.
  • In MicroStrategy Web, on the toolbar, the floppy disk is now Save for reports and documents. Previously the floppy disk was Save As.
  • In MicroStrategy Web, to share a link to an object, in your personal folder, right-click the object and select Share, then click Email Link.
  • Visual Insight analyses are now referred to as quick dashboards.
  • In Distribution Services, the Use Send Now privilege is no longer required to send a preview of a subscription. The new privilege Use Send A Preview Now is now required to send a preview of a subscription.
  • The MicroStrategy SDK is no longer available to be installed with the MicroStrategy release. The most recent version of the MicroStrategy SDK is available as a free download from the MicroStrategy support site https://resource.microstrategy.com/msdz/default.asp.
  • Update packages can now be hosted on remote servers. Prior to MicroStrategy 9.3.1, update packages were required to be hosted on the Intelligence Server machine. For information about importing update packages, see the Managing Your Projects chapter of the MicroStrategy System Administration Guide.
  • If you are upgrading from MicroStrategy 9.2.1m or earlier, some widgets that were previously created to display on Android tablets may display as grids or graphs on the mobile device. To display these widgets correctly on Android tablets, see Updating Android widgets from MicroStrategy 9.2.1m.

Next: Upgrade Best Practices

MicroStrategy to focus on customers, not ‘PowerPoint slides,’ at MicroStrategy World conference

Source: Chris Kanaracus, IDG News Service, PCWorld, Business & Finance Software

Paul Zolfaghari President, MicroStrategy

While some vendor conferences can end up mired in technical minutiae, MicroStrategy believes it’s better to show, not tell customers how its BI (business intelligence) software works, according to its president, Paul Zolfaghari.

”More than 50 MicroStrategy customers will deliver presentations at the event, which has about 130 sessions planned in total, according to a statement. They include BMC Software, Flextronics, Nielsen, Panda Restaurant Group and Publicis Touchpoint Solutions.

Scheduled for keynotes are Facebook CIO Tim Campos and Gucci CIO Simone Pacciarini, who will discuss their use of Microstrategy technology.When it does discuss products at the event, Microstrategy plans to showcase its recently released Analytics Desktop, a self-service BI tool that is available at no charge, as well as its push into mobile BI, Zolfaghari said.

Mobility has transformed the BI market, in Zolfaghari’s view. Five or six years ago, companies largely ran some internal reports and rolled the results up the corporate food chain, he said. “What’s happened is BI has now moved massively outside of HQ.”

It’s also likely MicroStrategy will discuss the massively parallel in-memory computing architecture it’s been working on with Facebook. The technology should be commercially available from MicroStrategy later this year, showing up first in MicroStrategy’s cloud BI offering, according to Zolfaghari.

The conference comes as MicroStrategy, the industry’s last remaining large pure BI vendor, faces ever-stiffer competition from platform companies such as Oracle and SAP, as well as upstarts like Tableau and Birst.

But MicroStrategy is keeping an edge thanks to a number of key strategic decisions, according to a recently released Forrester Research report on the BI market.

”MicroStrategy has grown organically and architected its entire suite as a single platform,” analyst Boris Evelson wrote. “Forrester clients find that, after making the initial investment and effort in MicroStrategy, the reusability of all objects and the relational OLAP engine with drill-anywhere capability often result in a lower long-term total cost of ownership.”

Forrester clients are also having success rolling out mobile BI based on MicroStrategy’s platform, Evelson said.

But there’s some cause for concern over MicroStrategy’s “high reliance on a largely disappearing network of partners, many of which have been acquired,” for architectural components such as ETL (extract, transform and load), data quality and MDM (master data management), Evelson added.

Zolfaghari downplayed the impact of its partners being acquired, noting that Informatica, a major provider of such tools, remains independent. MicroStrategy also maintains “robust relationships” with companies such as IBM, SAP and Oracle, he said.

MicroStrategy World runs from Jan. 27-30.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for the IDG News Service. More by