SQL Repository/Version 9
|This article refers to XLCubed version 9. For other versions, see SQL Repository/Versions.|
XLCubed Web Enterprise Edition can run in conjunction with a SQL Database, this gives various options to provide different functionality for Excel and Web-based users.
- 1 Modes
- 2 Installation
- 3 Scheduling
- 4 Administration
- 5 Using Domain Users and Groups
- 6 Operational Reporting
- 7 Import and Export of Reports
- 8 See Also
There are several options when you first setup XLCubedWeb and have access to SQL Server to run a SQL Database.
Full Sql Database
Everything is stored in the SQL Database, this gives you access to the following features:
- Excel-based dialogs for controlling permissions and access to reports and folders
- full version history of published items, as well as locking the live version
- logging of report accesses, including rendering times for usage and performance monitoring
- Extended options around integrating with existing "Forms Authentication" websites
- Operational reporting - report usage, user activity etc.
- Report commentary
The security model can be based on roles or Active Directory groups.
Role-based security requires Active-directory groups and users to be assigned to Roles - these roles are then assigned permissions to reports/functionality. This has the advantage that no Active Directory import is required.
Active Directory based
Active directory import needs to be run and configured, but no further maintenance is needed. Permissions can be assigned directly to Active-directory groups and users.
Hybrid SQL Database
Only report usage and commentary is store in the database, this gives you access to the following features:
- Report commentary
- Logging of report accesses, including rendering times for usage and performance monitoring
- Operational reporting - report usage, user activity etc.
The reports can be stored in either the file-system or SharePoint
In addition to these features, the SQL Repository feature also enhances the following:
- scheduling: this is also accessible from Excel, and features an easier to use interface as well as integrated run history
- error logging: available from a dedicated server administration application, this can be used on any machine and user that has server access
- You must be running SQL Server 2008 or above, any edition is fine and it can be run on a different server to XLCubedWeb without any changes to the setup process
- Create a blank SQL Server database, and grant full access to it for the user doing the installation:
- Set the "Recovery Mode" to "Simple"
- On the XLCubed Web Edition server, run the Configure XLCubed Web Edition application
- Select the appropriate Web Edition instance (this will usually be done for you)
- Switch to the Sql Repository tab:
- Select the Use SQL for XLCubed Repository box
- Enter the server and database names for the previously created blank database, and click Connect .
- The application will ask you if you want to populate the database. Click Yes :
- Check the Domain name and click the Load Domain Information button to load the users and groups from the domain, or see below for advanced options
- If desired, click the Import Repository button and enter the path to import an existing file system repository. Existing permissions will be transferred wherever possible but this should be verified once the system is available again as an initial test.
- Using SQL Server Management Studio, you should now add a Login for the XLCubed application pool user (if the default XLCubed application pool is used with the Application Pool Identity, then you can use IIS AppPool\XLCubed as the Windows Authentication login name)
- On the User Mappings screen map that user to the XLCUBED_USER role
- If any users should be able to administer the repository (see below), map those users to the XLCUBED_ADMIN role
- If you need to restrict access to XLCubedWeb:
- In the Configure XLCubed Web Edition application, click the Administration button
- Select the Admin > System Settings menu item
- Select the group that should be allowed access to the Web Edition then click the Save toolbar button:
- Define which users will have "Root" folder access to create new folders and to manage permissions from in Excel, Select Admin > Folder Permissions:
If Scheduling is desired, a few additional steps are required to use it with the SQL Repository.
- On SQL Server Management Studio's User Mappings screen, map the scheduling service user to the XLCUBED_SCHEDULER role
- In the Configure XLCubed Web Edition application, click the Administration button, then select the Admin > System Settings menu item. Choose the Scheduling user from the list then click the Save toolbar button
- Select the Admin > Scheduling > SMTP Servers menu item and add the details of the SMTP server
- The ID and uniqueid columns will be filled in automatically
- To use an SSL connection, enter Y in the Use SSL column
- To allow the scheduler to use the server to send emails, enter Y in the Is Global column
- Select the Admin > Users or Admin > Groups menu item, and add the Can schedule reports and the Can edit schedule distribution groups where appropriate.
- Schedules must now be set up through the Excel Edition, select the XLCubed ribbon > Publish to Web dropdown > Scheduling... ribbon button. Once you have connected to the server, you can then add new scheduled reports and manage existing ones
Running the Scheduler On Demand
From Version 9, the XLCubed Scheduling Service Windows Service can be removed and the application can be run on demand, for example manually or by using Windows Task Scheduler, by using the RUNPENDING switch. For example, using the standard installation path:
The command should be run using a user that has been set up as described above, i.e. with the necessary permissions and SQL roles.
Running it this way allows the use of the Scheduling feature even where multiple websites need to be set up on the same server. In this case, each website would have its own copy of the XLCubed.Scheduling.Service.exe and its own SQL repository, so each could have a scheduled task set up to run its pending schedules.
There are two applications that can be used to administer the SQL repository:
- Configure XLCubed Web Edition (included in the XLCubed Web Edition setup, and installed on the server's start menu)
- Administer XLCubed Web Edition Repository (optionally installed separately on any machine)
Either of these will allow you to:
- Administer users, including giving them access to the XLCubed Web application, allow and deny them access to the repository, their personal folders, scheduling and scheduling distribution groups
- Administer custom groups, including adding and removing users. You may also designate a group for XLCubed web access, as mentioned above
- Control folder access and permissions
- Control startup reports for users and groups
- Manage SMTP servers for scheduling
- View logs
Using Domain Users and Groups
In order to use users and groups from your Domain, run the Configure XLCubed Web Edition application, then select the Sql Repository tab. By default, the Domain box will automatically be populated with the name of the local Domain, but it supports several formats:
- Domain name
- e.g. example.com
- Load all the users and groups in the given domain
- Load all the users and groups from the host machine
- A semi-colon delimited list of LDAP queries
- e.g. LDAP://OU=Development,DC=somecom,DC=com; LDAP://OU=Consultants,DC=somecom,DC=com
- Allows you to load users and groups from the domain, but limit the import to the given Organisation Units, etc.
- A semi-colon delimited list of global catalog queries
- e.g. GC://OU=Development,DC=somecom,DC=com; GC://OU=Consultants,DC=somecom,DC=com
- If your domain supports it, this may be faster than the corresponding LDAP queries
- Group filtering, for example
- e.g. LDAP://DC=somecom,DC=com~(cn=group)
- When using LDAP or GC queries, you may also filter the groups returned by using this form, where group can be a full group name or a wildcard (e.g. Sales*)
Automatically keeping the Domain information up to date
Once this has been configured, the XLCubed Scheduling Service can be used to keep the Domain information up to date on a regular basis. To set this:
- Run the Configure XLCubed Web Edition application
- Select the Scheduling tab
- Select the Schedule domain update box, and enter how frequently you would like to update the Domain information
- The update will occur at midnight, server time
Note that the XLCubed Scheduling Service must be set up correctly in order for this to succeed.
Manually running the Domain import process
From XLCubed v8.1.39, the Scheduling Service domain import process can be triggered manually by passing an extra command line parameter:
This allows it to be called manually or via an automated process, for example Task Scheduler. The user running the process must be a member of the XLCUBED_ADMIN role.
Viewing the Domain import logs
In order to see the progress of an individual Domain import, or whether errors occurred on a previous occasion, run the Configure XLCubed Web Edition application, then select the Sql Repository tab. Click on the Administration button, then select the Admin > Logs > Active Directory menu.
The installation provides an operational reporting dashboard as shown below:
The Excel file can be accessed through the "XLCubed Administration Reports" start menu shortcut, or directly in the \Reports folder within the XLCubed Web Website. Additional operational reports can be built using the oData datasource provided with XLCubed Web (accessed through Grids & Tables - Other Sources).
The report will run against the last XLCubedWeb server connected to in the "Publishing" screen.
You can enable at a group or user level who has access to these reports:
Import and Export of Reports
Moving reports between repositories is no longer a case of copying files between file system folders. In order to provide a mechanism for this, XLCubed Excel Edition has two menu items, which can be found on the XLCubed Ribbon > Extras menu:
Note that these options will only be available to users who have the Can bulk import and export reports permission configured, as described above.
When you select the XLCubed Ribbon > Extras > Export Items from Web... menu item, the Export Items form appears. Once you connect to the web server, the list of folders and reports available to you appears in the form:
Select any items that need to be exported and click OK to save the folders and files as a repository archive file.
When you select the XLCubed Ribbon > Extras > Import Items into Web... menu item, the Import Items form appears. Connect to the web server, then select the repository archive file created above. The selected items are imported into the repository in the same folder location they were exported from, but on the current web server.