I like to answer the really good and broad-focused emailed questions through articles on this site. The following is one such emailed question:
In Business Objects is there any way to archive historical object instances?
We need to keep objects for several years, but don’t want to keep so many objects available on the server as we are running out of space on our server. We only want to keep a years worth available to the users. We want to keep only a few of them and rest of the instances be archived. The instances are of all kinds.. Microsoft Excel, txt, Crystal, pdf…etc
BIAR File Backup
One of the cleanest ways to backup almost anything in Business Objects XI is to use a BIAR file backup (Business Intelligence Archive Resource, pronounced by most like the word “beer”). In Business Objects XIR2 this is easily accomplished using the Import Wizard tool. Essentially you set the source to be your source environment and the target to be the new BIAR file. Then you proceed to select the objects you desire to backup and don’t forget to check the checkbox for instances if you want to retain them.
BIAR files are compressed and they are generally not usable without Import Wizard. If you desire to restore a report from the BIAR file backup then you must be prepared for some consequences. Restoring from BIAR file backups will NOT create new instances of your objects unless you specify these options in Import Wizard (use MERGE and have duplicates renamed), otherwise your newer objects could get overwritten. Often, it is a safer idea to have a sandbox environment to which you restore the files you want. Please not you can pick and chose the objects you want, but the instances are an all or nothing option only.
Import Wizard Tricks
If you are familiar with Import Wizard there are some cool things you can do with it. For example, you can set the source and destination to the same environment and you can use the MERGE option (with rename duplicates) to create identical copies of your objects. Also you could use it to move copies to another “archive” environment.
Working the File Repository System
If you have played with Business Objects XI’s FRS at all then you know that it is a huge pile of sub-folders and finding a specific document is like finding a needle in a haystack. I recommend against trying to access the file directly as this will consume much time and it will usually be difficult to keep track of which document is which.
Scheduling Non-BO Delivery
As instances are created you could schedule them for delivery to email, FTP, or UNC (file shares). This may not be preferable for various reason, but I thought I should add it.
Really, these are the only archive methods that I have used or experimented with. Please leave any comments of other methods that you have successfully used. The question above is from a real person who needs our help.