How to Backup a BO Universe and Maintain its CUID

Backing Up and Restoring Universes While Maintaining CUIDs

Import Wizard BIAR File – The ultimate backup

The sections that follow this one will tell you how to create a backup of a universe on your machine from which you are running Designer. The steps in those sections are “tricks” that allow you to maintain the Business Objects XI ‘s universe’s CUID. With practice they can be executed quickly and on the fly to permit the Universe Designer/Developer to create a back-up more quickly than if they were to use Business Object XI’s Import Wizard’s BIAR file backup method.

With regards to maintenance of the Universe’s CUID and general backup/snapshot capabilities Import Wizard’s BIAR file backup has proven to be quite reliable. This is not to say that I have never seen issues, but these have been limited to large BIAR files and large numbers of objects. Creating a BIAR file backup of a single universe or just a few should 99% of the time be reliable. The drawback is that creating such a backup on the fly can be a rather significant workflow disruptor, you must chose just the right settings in Import Wizard, and because you must switch to Designer, you can only backup what has been loaded to the CMS. All of these attributes might steer you to look for another on the fly backup technique, if so, keep reading…

Make Back-up of a universe

  1. Using Business Objects Designer import the universe. Then making no changes, close the universe. This will create a fresh, unaltered copy of the universe on your local computer.
  2. Locate the universe file (*.unv) and the folder (has the same name as the universe file) in the following folder path on the computer on which you are running Designer:
    C:Documents and SettingsApplication DataBusiness ObjectsBusiness Objects 11.5Universes@DevelopmentWorking Area
  3. Select both the universe file and the folder (hold CTRL and use mouse). Then right-click either the selected file and chose “WinZip -> Add to Zip File…” Note: Any compression tool will do.
  4. Enter a name that is meaningful to you; it may indicate the version of the universe, the date/time, or editor. Click “OK” and notice the new Zip file you created. This is your backup.

Restore a back-up of a universe

As has been stated many times on this website, you must be very careful with Universes and their CUIDs. Many logical work flows for handling universes can result in changing CUIDs and lost report bindings. Nevertheless, if properly back-up a universe can be restored to a prior state by following this work flow.

  1. Open Designer, but do not open any universe
  2. Locate the desired corresponding Universe folder and zip file. They should be located in:
    C:Documents and SettingsApplication DataBusiness ObjectsBusiness Objects 11.5Universes@DevelopmentWorking Area
  3. Back-up the existing universe file and folder to a new Zip file
  4. Delete the existing universe file and folder
  5. Unzip the backed-up universe file and folder to this same location. Note: They must be in the same local folder as the universe file and folder they are replacing.
  6. Open the universe file that you just unzipped and export it to the folder in which you are working:
  7. You will receive a prompt similar to the following. Click “Yes”.
  8. A newer version of this universe exists in the repository. If you continue with the export you may overwrite existing changes. Do you want to continue?
    Prompt reads, “A newer version of this universe exists in the repository. If you continue with the export you may overwrite existing changes. Do you want to continue?

  9. WARNING: if you receive any messages asking you to Move, Copy, or Overwrite a universe then you may not be restoring to the exact location that the universe previously resided. Prompts asking to overwrite the universe will be received if the universe you are attempting to restore does not have the same CUID as the backup universe. In this case, double-check your directories and analyze everything in Query Builder.
  10. At the end of the export close the universe and import the universe you just exported.
  11. Verify that this is the correct universe.
  12. You have successfully restored the universe

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16 thoughts on “How to Backup a BO Universe and Maintain its CUID

  1. Is there something missing from step number 7 of restore? I mean it says you will receive a prompt similar to following…. but there is nothing following it. I assume it should be a prompt warming about existence of newer version universe and replacing it?? I would think mentioning this is important as step 8 warns you about prompts. So it would be good to know that this prompt is ok but these are not (step 8).

  2. Hi Mika,
    I greatly appreciate you pointing this out. Step 7 is a very critical step. When I viewed the article using FireFox the image was there. When I used Internet Explorer it was completely absent. Very strange! It seems that FireFox was forgiving a stray quote character (“) and IE was not. Thanks for pointing this out. I added some textual confirmation too, just in case!

  3. Hi Julian:
    Can the above backup and restore process be done using the Import Wizzard and creating a .BIAR file? That should maintain the CUIDs intact correct?


  4. Hi Bala,
    If you use Import Wizard to create a BIAR file backup then you don’t need the above process at all. BIAR file backups are fairly reliable, but they can be disruptive to the workflow of universe development. Please read the new section I added above. Thanks for reminding me to add it. 🙂

  5. Hi Julian,

    Good article.
    We have been trying to understand how to take the backup of a universe and this arctile cleared us our queries.
    Can you please provide me some clarity around point 7 and 8. I would have understood it wrong.

    Point 7 states to click ‘Yes’ for the confirmation prompt “A newer version of this universe exists in the repository. If you continue with the export you may overwrite existing changes. Do you want to continue?” but immediatly point 8 states “Prompts asking to overwrite the universe will be received if the universe you are attempting to restore does not have the same CUID as the backup universe. In this case, double-check your directories and analyze everything in Query Builder.”

    I understood the point 7 and 8 contradicting each other.

    When a confirmation message is received to replace(as per point 7) does this meant that the CUID is different from what is existing in the repository, if so, that meant we did not have the back up with us.

    I may sound silly, but can you help me understand.


  6. Hey Aravind, good to hear from you again. I do see the possible contradiction that you speak of. Perhaps I should have left the word “overwrite” out of point #8.

    What I meant to say is that if you receive any warnings other than the expected warning detailed in step #7 then you should stop and check all of your steps.

  7. Hi Julian,
    our BO admin had advised us we need local admin rights while using import wizard its required R/W access for c drive. But our system admin said that they can’t provide local admin rights. They are asking exactly which location you need R/W access according to that we will provide. When i asked our BO admin even he is not aware exact path. Can you pls tell me which location our IW getting registred while accessing it?


  8. Hi Arasu, I believe that your BO admin is mistaken. Import Wizard has two applicable security limits. First the BO account that you use with it can be limited as to what it can do, so this is why most people use “Administrator” or a user account that is a member of “Administrator”. Import Wizard does not write directly to your hard disk. It uses the BO CMS which in turn uses the Input and Output FRS servers/services (the path configured for these FRS is where files will be written). Both of these services use which ever service account is configured for them (in XI R2) or for the Server Intelligence Agent (XI 3.1 or BI 4.0). Its the service account that needs sufficient rights to the FRS path locations, but these rights are a prerequisite to the BO system.

  9. Hi Julian,
    Thanks, i am using enterprise admin account which is member of standard admin group. When i use this account for import wizard i could go till finish. Once i select finish my import wizard window had disaperred / vanished. I tested by getting local system admin rights it has been succeded without any issue.. It has migrated the reports and universe development to UAT.
    Before getting local system admin rights its not succedded, i tried 10-15 times. Due this reason our system admin asking exactly which location it need r/w access.

  10. Hi Arasu, this is very interesting. I had an experience with the BI 4.0 Upgrade Management Tool recently where it quit telling me that it was out of space. I looked at the target environment’s FRS locations and there was plenty of space. So the only thing I could think of is that the Upgrade Management Tool, like its daddy Import Wizard must use some temporary files on the local machine.

    Ok, so my point is that I was wrong earlier. I was focused on the end state of the tool and not the processing state. I can only imagine that Import Wizard would write to one of two locations: (1) a sub-folder of the installation folder of the Business Objects software or (2) the temporarily folder for your user account. Unfortunately, I don’t know which it would be. Could you take a closer look and see that you can?

  11. Hi Julian, thanks just i got chance to speak with my engineering team person. He told that intialy IW used system32 folder later their investigation they had amended the package to redirect to business objects logging folders. When i processing IW i could see IW related log getting registred. But still i am not sure whether its correct or not, because if we use any application.. Corresponding log files could created under where the package insatalled location. It mean IW also creating log under insatalled location.. For this do we need R/W access locally?

  12. Hi Arasu, I think you have two possible file write locations to worry about. Log location and temp file location. Yes, any of the BO tools (such as Designer) will probably write a log. I have never had to worry about this because I either had admin rights to the server or I ran the tools from my PC. Sorry, I don’t have more info than this right now.

  13. Hi,

    Guess This is not the right place but I couldn’t find any better topic…In one of our universe, which is using DB2 database, the column name is truncating. I have checked the database and the column names are proper and complete there. Its just some columns are getting truncated in universe..Any idea why is that and how can we sort it out.


  14. Hi KK, is the problem manifested when you add a new object to a universe or is it occurring after an object has been created and saved?

    I don’t use DB2 databases, but I wonder if you are using the appropriate driver to connect to the DB from BusinessObjects Designer. If you have doubts about it, I would try to make sure the DB2 drivers on the PC match the DB2 database version.

  15. Hi Julian,

    I know this very old post, but I wanted to do exactly same for taking one Universe backup, it is very critical universe and want to make sure I don’t fail when backup required. Also for Biar file backup I don’t see any option for one Universe selection.
    Do I need to take any other backup to save a copy. Thanks

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