Web Intelligence Hangs, Allocate More Memory to Java

Myth: Business Objects XI Web Intelligence Requires No Software Install

Business Objects IX’s Web Intelligence is a light client. You may think that it does not require you to install anything on your PC, but then you would be wrong. Firstly, obviously WebI requires that your PC have a browser. Secondly, Web Intelligence Java Report Panel requires that your client PC has a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installation (1.5 and 1.6 are good to go).

Third, your client will need to download the WebI Java Report Panel application (in the form of temporary Internet files stored usually in your JRE installation folder). If you ever dump these (for example, as discussed in the article “Clearing the Browser and Java Cache: Do This First!“) then you will notice that your subsequent visit to the Java Report Panel (create new or modify a document) will result in a longer load time while your web client downloads the BO WebI java application.

Java Runtime Environment Installs with a Wimpy Configuration

By default I believe that the default Sun JRE’s will almost always install themselves with a very conservative (small) heap/memory consumption size. These settings can be managed on your client PC by going to “Control Panel” and double-clicking on “Java”. Once there click on the “Java” tab and then click on the “View…” button:

Java Control Panel Parameters

Java Control Panel Parameters

In here, you may have multiple JRE version installed as I do. I think you can figure out which one is being used by your WebI Java Report Panel by clicking on the toolbar icon when you are running the WebI JRP. Otherwise, you will have to disable some and see what happens, process of elimination. When you find the correct one you will see the memory configurations in the “Runtime Parameters” column.
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Web Intelligence Power User? Put Your Memory Where Your Mouth Is

Once you know which one to tweak and you focus on the “Runtime Parameters” you will see that there is an “Xms” and an “Xmx” parameter here. “Xms” is the minimum starting size of the heap or memory allocated to the process. “Xmx” is the maximum or limit of the heap/memory allocation. A good starting point here is: -Xms128m -Xmx256m, but you can go higher if you feel you and your PC are up for it. This link points to a great article on the topic of mistakes to avoid when configuring these parameters. Most importantly, always include “m” or “g” at the end of the number, never exceed your machines physical memory, and I read some where else that the effective limit here is 1 gigabyte on Windows XP/Vista (-Xms1g -Xmx1g). Sun has a good guide on this topic too(link).

Making the Change

I would first back-up your current settings, email them to yourself or something like that. Make the change and follow the syntax. Change the setting(s), then click “OK”, then click “Apply” then click “View” to confirm your changes were saved. If you do not click “Apply” and you click “View” right after clicking OK your changes will be wiped out. Of course, you should probably not be using your JRE while making these changes, or at least close everything down and restart your WebI Java Report Panel after the changes are made. I don’t think rebooting your PC is necessary. Be sure to test your changes by launching Web Intelligence Java Report Panel and keep your eye on your system’s memory to see the impact there while testing your wonderful WebI skills to test the potential improvements you just made.

Why Would I Do This?

I have seen this change both improve performance and stability of the Business Objects XI WebI client machine. Truthfully, many support engineers recommend this change anytime a user reports that WebI is hanging or sluggish. I recommend increasing these settings. Now, I wonder if by increasing them I can reliably run to Java Report Panel sessions at the same time. Hmm… I wonder.