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ExternalAppEngine, integration between SpagoBI and third parties web applications  XML
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dalfa.spw



Joined: 04/09/2011 18:48:48
Messages: 8
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We developed a new engine to permit integration (basically authentication and cross navigation) between SpagoBI and external applications (like dashboard softwares, and other BI related stuff, but also any sort of web application distributed over http).
You find all necessary information (plus sources and packages) here http://www.codref.com/extappengine.
The idea was born thanks to the need to integrate a project planning tool (basecamp like) into SpagoBI. Native "external application" support of SpagoBI was too simplistic (basically a static URL inside a menu voice), so we decided to build a more configurable one.

As you can read on my blog post, I'm not a java developer and, most important, I did not read a lot about -how to extend SpagoBI-, but this could be a good starting point.
If someone could be interested on using the engine, feel free to ask me and/or contribute to its development.

I do not deny that I'd like to see this new engine (or something similar) implemented in future versions of SpagoBI, if me or the team I work for (codref*) could be useful on some way, please contact us!

Waiting for your feedbacks!

Davide

angioia

SpagoBI hero
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Joined: 12/04/2010 15:41:11
Messages: 562
Location: Milan, Italy
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I will download and test it next week. I will give you some feedbacks then. For the moment I have just read the tutorial and it seem clear and complete. Good job! If you are still looking for some docs on how to implement an engine for SpagoBI I can suggest you to give a look to this tutorial. It's not yet complete so I keep it private for the moment (=you have to send me your gmail account so I can enable you to access or you can send me a permission request directly form the google site). I'm curious to know your opinion about that :)

Regards,

Andrea Gioia
-------------------------
@andrea_gioia
@geobinitiative
-------------------------
[WWW]
bernabei

SpagoBI friend
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Joined: 05/07/2010 12:44:01
Messages: 84
Location: Bologna
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Sorry, but I've downloaded only now your work, it seems nice and I think it can improve the features of SpagoBI, could you tell me something about how you used it ?

Could you interested in contributing to SpagoBI?

let me know
Angelo
[Email]
dalfa.spw



Joined: 04/09/2011 18:48:48
Messages: 8
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Angelo, you are right, few words about the scenario could help understand the purpose of the engine, moreover I ever liked learning "by example"! :)
BI is not something one can easily start from scratch. Especially on medium small realities, this means that the company, at the beginning, will use many different software, highly specialized, to perform different tasks.
To adopt SpagoBI means do sacrifices like investing on learning new technologies, migrating already developed dashboards and analysis output, etc.
On the other side, the advantages of a centralized environment, highly interconnected are so obvious that even a not BI expert could understand them.
The ExternalAppEngine should fill the gap. Use SpagoBI power, alongside with old tools, interconnected.

Another scenario could be the need of a customer to use an highly specialized tool (whose functionalities are not covered by spago), but from inside spago. This is the example written on my blog (about project planning tool integration).

Last but not least, we have to consider that the data layer can be shared, so SpagoBI will be able to extend every external application, not only vice-versa (i.e. visually analyse data coming from project planning, etc).

I will be happy to give my contribute to the project, I'll PM you my personal details.

Davide
benjy80.spw

Newby

Joined: 24/02/2012 09:54:21
Messages: 12
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Hi Dalfa,

I just download your engine, but can you explain me how to deploy it on SpagoBI Server 3.3 ?

I have create a directory "SpagoBIExternalAppEngine" in "webapps", and copy files in "WebContent".

I also create new a engine in SpagoBI.

Where must i deploy the other files ? (Because actually i have an error then i go to a dashboard using ExternalAppEngine)

Thanks for your help in advance.
benjy80.spw

Newby

Joined: 24/02/2012 09:54:21
Messages: 12
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Re,

I think i found how to do this.

Just copy the WAR file in "webapps" directory, and Tomcat will do the job.

But, i have one other question, how to configure à link to an External App ?
dalfa.spw



Joined: 04/09/2011 18:48:48
Messages: 8
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Yes! About engine deploy, just copy the war into tomcat webapp dir.
You also have to configure spago through its engine management. I suggest to read the few (but useful) instruction you find here http://www.codref.com/blog/extappengine (how to deploy on SpagoBI paragraph)

About your second question, with the how-to on the same page, you should be able to create a new xml document shaped on your needs.
Inside it you should specify all the dirty things like urls, static parameters, and so on.

If you experience any problem, feel free to ask!
If you provide me a sample, I could also try to give you an hand with the xml.

davide
benjy80.spw

Newby

Joined: 24/02/2012 09:54:21
Messages: 12
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Hello !

I understand how to write the XML file, but i don't know what to do with it !

Must i copy it on spagobi server ? Or do i need to create a new document in Spago ?

Thanks for your help.
dalfa.spw



Joined: 04/09/2011 18:48:48
Messages: 8
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usage is similar to all other spagobi documents:
create a new one, assign it externalApp engine type and upload the xml (and hit save)
bottom-line, you have to create the document from the web interface.
benjy80.spw

Newby

Joined: 24/02/2012 09:54:21
Messages: 12
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OK,

This is what i think.


As you can see in this screenshot, i choose my XML Template to Upload :


But finally, i get a blank page :


Here, my XML sample :



The target page (http://myip/spagobi_dashboard_nespresso/report_sample.php) actually doesn't need login. This page looks like this :



Another question : is it possible to add this type of document in a Document Composition ?
dalfa.spw



Joined: 04/09/2011 18:48:48
Messages: 8
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Hi, at a first look there are some serious issues which must be fixed:
a) You used the xml of the example, which is good, but must be modified. i.e. ProfileParameters must be consistent with the attributes you can configure to each user. Unless you do not specify them, you should remove them (pp-username and pp-password) from the xml.
b) On the example there were two steps configured, the first - auth - manages authentication through a POST request, the second open the desired page (this time through a GET request).
If you do not need any authentication, custom parameter specified or interaction with other documents, I suggest you to configure just one step (most probably a GET one).
Moreover, if you just need a pure *redirect* to an URL, SpagoBI includes an extremely easy (but less powerful) functionality which enables you to add a new - menu voice - linked to a configurable URL (if I remember well is called External Application and is accessible through the menu configuration).

Also, the engine uses standard logging facility to manage errors and debug informations, I suggest you to give a look at logs folder to better understand what is not working (or post log output here!)

About your last question, I never used it before, but basically any kind of document can be included into a composite one, ExternaApp Engine should not make any difference.

As always, if in trouble, continue posting.

benjy80.spw

Newby

Joined: 24/02/2012 09:54:21
Messages: 12
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OK !

I understand now !

It's working well, and i've made a composed document including this ExternalApp.

I have already try to add external URL in menu configuration, but i can't show it in the functionality tree, and i can't use it in a composed document.

Thanks a lot for your time, and your help.

Maybe i will post next week for some explanation for the other type of document.
dalfa.spw



Joined: 04/09/2011 18:48:48
Messages: 8
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Great!
Looking forward to read your additional explanations - which I'm sure will be useful to other people!

davide
khalili.spw



Joined: 04/05/2012 06:39:35
Messages: 4
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It is just what I needed! I've downloaded it and it is working.
Great job!
jonbanjo.spw



Joined: 06/06/2012 12:05:46
Messages: 2
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Thanks. It's just what I was looking for.
 
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