Sunday, October 2, 2011

BIAR Issues/bugs - SAP Business Objects XI R2/3.x

Many a times, I have been asked this question by developers I have worked with and I have seen these type of questions several times on Business Objects forums as well. Here is the question -
How do we make sure that a BIAR backup is valid? or How can we ensure that a BIAR backup can be restored successfully?
A BIAR backup is not 100% reliable. Sometimes though a BIAR backup will complete successfully, when you try to restore it, you won't see any of the objects you selected while performing backup.That's the problem with BIAR and it will bite you in the butt if you are not careful. Also, the larger the file size, the more buggy BIAR becomes, so you should always create small sized BIAR files instead of dumping everything in a single large file. IMO, a backup is never successful until you restore it successfully.
This is how I recommend performing a BIAR backup -
1. Run Import Wizard, specify your source CMS and BIAR as destination.
2. Select the required universe/reports/users etc.
3. Once the process is completed, run Import Wizard again just to test that the backup is valid. This time specify the BIAR you just created as source, and a development/test CMS as destination.
4. Get to to the point where Import Wizard displays a summary of all the objects contained in the BIAR. Check whether it has all the objects you intend to archive/backup.
5. If there are any objects missing, run Import Wizard to create the BIAR again.
I know it's not ideal but it will be helpful in the long run. Hope that helps.
Additional information about BIAR:
  • BIAR stands for Business Intelligence Archive Resource and is used to archive objects in the repository so that they can be easily transferred to a different location.
  • If you are on XIR2, please be sure to have atleast SP2 installed. Import Wizard was very buggy before SP2.
  • There is no BIAR feature in XI R1.
  • BIAR backup is not a complete backup in the sense that it doesn't store everything about your environment like server configuration, information about objects in the Audit database etc. For complete backup of your system, please backup CMS Database and Filestore(at the same time)
  • BIAR is not meant for change management process as it is buggy. Always try to use CMS to CMS transfer for promoting content across your environment. For more details check this out.


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