(Re)Using the Sample Audit Log View

Dodeca tracks every update made to your Essbase database automatically.  It keeps track of who made the update, when it was made, what the dimension intersection was, and the old and new values.  It stores this information very efficiently in three tables in the Dodeca repository:


This is a terrific resource for organizations to use for understanding the who/what/when and where of the updates to their cubes.

You can query these tables directly and view the information in a Dodeca View.

The Sample application that is shipped with Dodeca has an example of this.  The View titled “Audit Log Search” and can be seen in the Hierarchy under Input:

The Dodeca Sample application

Once you open the View, you can use the selectors to identify the dimensional intersection and see the log of the updates:

The Sample Audit Log View

Do you have a View in Dodeca which is sending data back to the cube and do you want to see information on these updates?  If so, this post may serve to demonstrate a shortcut to setting up your audit log view.

In this blog post, I am going to show you how you can use the existing View from the Sample application to create an Audit Log specific for your environment.  Here are the steps we will follow:

  1. Export the metadata for the Audit Log Search view from the Sample application
  2. Import the metadata into my target Dodeca tenant, called FINOPS
  3. Update the metadata in the FINOPS tenant:
    1. Update the View tokens on the View to reflect the correct tokens for my application
    2. Update the SQL passthrough dataset for my specific essbase cube
    3. Update the View Selectors to match the dimensions in my cube.
    4. Update the View template and Appearance property for the correct dimensions
  4. Test!

Step 1:  Export the metadata for the Audit Log Search view from the Sample application

In the Sample application, use the Admin menu item and select “Export Metadata to Local Zip File…”

Export the metadata

When the list of metadata appears, click on the ID column to sort by name:

The list of metatdata objects, sorted by ID

Then scroll down to the Audit Log metadata objects.  We need the following four objects:

1.       DAL_Datapoint_SampleBasic – SQL PTDS

2.       DataAuditLogDatapoint_SampleBasic – General

3.       DataAuditLogDatapoint_SampleBasic – View

4.       DataAuditLogDatapoint_SampleBasic – WorkbookScript

Export these objects and save them to a file that we can access when we import them into the FINOPS application.  I saved them to a file called DALSample.zip on my desktop.

Select the objects for exporting

Step 2. Import the metadata into my target Dodeca tenant.

Now I go to my FINOPS application.  This application currently has an Essbase connection to my cube, imported dimensions from the cube, and a SQL connection to the Dodeca repository.  I currently only have one View in the hierarchy called Budget Input:

To import the Audit log metadata, go the Admin menu item and this time select “Import Metadata from Local Zip File…”  Navigate to the file, then select all items for input.  Hint:  you can simple check the box at the top to select all the items.

Select all objects to import

Once imported, there is no visible change in the application console because we haven’t added the View to Hierarchy yet.  If we navigate to Admin -> Views, we will see it there.

The View metatdata editor

An important note:  We imported 4 objects that have specific ID’s and Names.  The Names of these objects can be updated, but the ID’s cannot.  For example, the View listed above has the Name “Audit Log Search” and an ID of “DataAuditLogDatapoint_SampleBasic”.  For the purpose of this blogpost, we will simply keep these ID’s and update the names.  It we wanted the change the ID’s of the objects to better reflect the cube used, we could copy the objects to new ID’s and delete the originals.

Step 3:  Update the metadata in the FINOPS tenant

Step 3-1.  Update the tokens on the View to reflect the correct tokens in my application

While staying in the View metadata editor, click on the plus sign next to Tokens.  You will see there are 4 View tokens.  Click on the ellipsis to view and edit these tokens:

The View tokens

We see the four tokens and their current definition.  They are defined for the Sample application in my environment.

The original token definitions

We want to update them to use a new Tenant, Application, and Cube.  The Server token definition will remain the same.

Updated View token definitions

Step 3-2.  Update the SQL Passthrough Dataset for the specific essbase cube.

We imported a SQL Passthrough Dataset which retrieves the data from the Audit Log tables in the Dodeca repository.  But that SQL PTDS is specific for the dimensions defined in the Sample Basic cube.  We need to update the SQL PTDS for the cube used in this application.

There are tokens in the SQL PTDS that reflect the dimensions in the Essbase cube that is referenced.  The Sample Basic cube has 5 dimensions, and the PStores Plan cube has 6 dimensions.  We need to update the SQL PTDS for the dimensions in the cube we are tracking.

Navigate the SQL PTDS metadata editor via Admin ->  SQL Passthrough Datasets.  There is only one there, with the name DAL_Datapoint_SampleBasic.  (As noted earlier, we can update the name, not the ID).

The SQL Passthrough Dataset editor

Let’s rename it to DAL_Datapoint_PStoresPlan, then click on the ellipsis next to “1 query defined”:

Click to open Query Editor

Next click on the ellipsis next to SelectSQL.

The Query Editor

This will open the editor for our Select statement.

The original Select statement

We can see that there are 5 tokens listed in the middle of the statement that reflect the 5 dimensions in the Sample Basic cube.  We are going to update these to reflect the 6 dimensions in out Plan cube.  The six dimensions are

1.       Departments

2.       Location

3.       Measures

4.       Periods

5.       Scenario

6.       Years

We will also update the HAVING (COUNT(*) statement from 5 to 6.  See below:

The updated Select statement

All done with the SQL PTDS.

Step 3-3.  Update the View Selectors

We will open the View metadata editor again and look at the View Selectors:

The original View Selectors

There are 5 Selectors, but they match the dimensions from Sample Basic.  I can click on the ellipsis to update the Selectors for the 6 dimensions already defined in the application.

There is another step we need to complete here.  Since this is by nature a SQL View and not an Essbase View, we need to update the Connection Policy to “UseSpecifiedConnection” and then update the Connection Settings column.  Use the dropdown on the Connection Policy column to update to “UseSpecifiedConnection”, and then click on the cell in the Connection Settings to update the “EssbaseConnectionID” setting, and the EssbaseLoginServiceObjectTypeID setting for each Selector.

Updated Connection Settings

Step 3-4:  Update the Appearance property and the View Template.

While still in the View metadata editor, I want to update the Appearance property “CaptionAfterBuild”.  This is currently set to reflect the original tokens:

The Appearance Properties

I will update it for our current tokens:

Updated Property

The last step is to update the template, and this is again for, you guessed it, the correct tokens.  From the View metadata editor, click on View Template Designer.

Click on View Template Designer

Then update the tokens listed on line 4 of the template:

Update the tokens listed on the template

All done.  Now we are ready to test.

I can Preview the View from the View Metadata editor.  Once opened, I can use the selectors to specify the dimensional intersection where I want to audit the updates.

The completed Audit Log View

And it works!  If you like, you can add this view to the View Hierarchy, and you can also drill to this from the Budget Input View as described in this post here.


Reusing the Audit log metadata from the Sample application saved us from creating the View and writing the complex SQL statement from scratch.  There was still a bit of configuration to do, but we saved a good amount of time.  Please let me know if you have any questions!


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Working Offline with Dodeca – Dodeca Does It!

Did you know you could work offline with a Dodeca application to update your Essbase data?

You can.

You can export an excel file, send it to someone for updates, then import that file back into Dodeca and then update your data from the file.  This comes in handy if someone who does not have access to Dodeca, or even access to Essbase.

Yes, it is true that people have been sending data to Essbase from Excel spreadsheets for as long as Essbase has been around.  But this does add another layer of flexibility and convenience to your applications.

You can even update your relational data using this method.  Dodeca provides read/write access to your relational sources as well as Essbase.  There are many Dodeca applications that access and update Essbase data AND relational data in a single View.

Would you like to have the ability to send a spreadsheet to a remote user who does not have access to either Essbase or to your relational data, and have them make updates to both Essbase and your SQL data?

You can with Dodeca.  This is just another in a long list of reasons why we say Dodeca Does It!