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[SOLVED] Searching Fex's in web Focus 8
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Can webFocus be used to search the Fex's in webfocus 8? We used to use the windows search in windows explorer. However that is impossible in webfocus 8 because fexes are now in the database in an unhumanly readable state. Can webfocus be used to search our fex's?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: <Kathryn Henning>,


WebFocus version 7.6.11
Installed on Windows 2008
all output
 
Posts: 2 | Registered: August 24, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
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Jeff, I'm terrified by your statement "fexes are now in the database in an unhumanly readable state"! I assume you mean Managed Reporting fexes. I haven't seen WF 8 yet, but I assumed they were stored as text files in the database, readable by WebFOCUS or SQL.


Francis


Give me code, or give me retirement. In FOCUS since 1991

Production: WF 7.7.05M, Dev Studio, BID, MRE, WebSphere, DB2 / Test: WF 8.1.05M, App Studio, BI Portal, Report Caster, jQuery, HighCharts, Apache Tomcat, MS SQL Server
 
Posts: 10577 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: April 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Virtuoso
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If they're in a database, searching them should be easier and more powerful than with windows search, shouldn't it? Especially if the database has advanced text-search facilities.

What kind of database are they stored in?
I'm also interested to hear what kind of files get stored in the DB. Not normal self-service fex-files I hope? That would make version control impossible.


WebFOCUS 8.1.03, Windows 7-64/2008-64, IBM DB2/400, Oracle 11g & RDB, MS SQL-Server 2005, SAP, PostgreSQL 11, Output: HTML, PDF, Excel 2010
: Member of User Group Benelux :
 
Posts: 1652 | Location: Enschede, Netherlands | Registered: August 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master
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There isn't a dbms in existence that can provide search results the way Agent Ransack can in a windows file structure.

If my information is correct the app directories will remain on the file system. It's only the MRE materials that will go into the dbms. This is one more compelling reason to have all material of import in the app directories and have MRE serve as a permissions and links tool only. As it stands now it's "highly resistant" to CM tools.

By the way I was not aware the MRE fexes stored in the dbms would be in anything other than text. With any luck that text will be relatively straightforward to manage with external tools.

J.



 
Posts: 944 | Location: At the Mast | Registered: May 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
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I forgot about the great Agent Ransack. I currently use the "Everything" search engine - amazingly fast


Francis


Give me code, or give me retirement. In FOCUS since 1991

Production: WF 7.7.05M, Dev Studio, BID, MRE, WebSphere, DB2 / Test: WF 8.1.05M, App Studio, BI Portal, Report Caster, jQuery, HighCharts, Apache Tomcat, MS SQL Server
 
Posts: 10577 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: April 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master
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Agent Ransack let's me search for strings within the files and with WebFOCUS that's invaluable. It's kind of like "Impact Analysis" on steroids because it gives you a preview window with the context of the text displayed click-by-click. As far as I'm concerned it should be installed with WF.

All that will go away if the app materials go into a DBMS, but I believe that is not the case.

J.



 
Posts: 944 | Location: At the Mast | Registered: May 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
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All your app folders will remain on the Reporting Server file system, if that's where you have them. All your items that were in MRE will be stored in the RDBMS.

The Change Management process looks interesting, if I could get it to work. It will allow you to export content, groups, and the portal to a folder on the client.

As far as a type of RDBMS, that is completely up to you as to what you choose during the install. It's very nice to see all of it in one places versus 7.7 where you had a mix and match of BID, RC, and MRE in 3 different places.


WebFOCUS 8.1.05
 
Posts: 495 | Registered: January 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
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MattC, are the fexes stored in the db readable?


Francis


Give me code, or give me retirement. In FOCUS since 1991

Production: WF 7.7.05M, Dev Studio, BID, MRE, WebSphere, DB2 / Test: WF 8.1.05M, App Studio, BI Portal, Report Caster, jQuery, HighCharts, Apache Tomcat, MS SQL Server
 
Posts: 10577 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: April 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
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Looking at the database, I am not seeing which table would store that actualy contents of a fex, but I haven't looked to deeply.

It appears that there is a WF_ITEM Table that you can get the HANDLE and DATATYPE. I can see my fex or html names so I know I can search by that, but I am not sure if I can search inside the fex or html yet.


WebFOCUS 8.1.05
 
Posts: 495 | Registered: January 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
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i just use Textpad for searching strings w/in files, (and its sister app, WildEdit, for changing strings across files)...
what am i missing w/ agent ransack?
uh just download it and find out,right?




In Focus since 1979///7706m/5 ;wintel 2008/64;OAM security; Oracle db, ///MRE/BID
 
Posts: 3811 | Location: Manhattan | Registered: October 28, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master
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Agent Ransack is 40% off of its regular price this week -- well worth having a look.

J.



 
Posts: 944 | Location: At the Mast | Registered: May 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Virtuoso
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We are getting on an other discussion...I would like to hear more about the flexes in a database.
Will it only be the name and description that is stored in a database or is there more.
The whole text?
And if so?
Cross references ? Indices?

Who knows more. ?




Frank

prod: WF 7.6.10 platform Windows,
databases: msSQL2000, msSQL2005, RMS, Oracle, Sybase,IE7
test: WF 7.6.10 on the same platform and databases,IE7

 
Posts: 2387 | Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands | Registered: December 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Member
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Hi, I need to dig more into the tables but it looks like they fex is stored in a blob and that there are multiple tables that contain information about them. Not sure yet on how the tables would join together to pull a specific report. There is a change management tool in 8 that will allow you to pull as much code as you want however that file is not really readable once created. I'll do some more digging but so far have been unable to get a readable file with out using webfocus. Could make recovery interesting if someone accidentally deletes something they want back


Webfocus 8.0.7 on Windows
 
Posts: 176 | Location: Ohio | Registered: October 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master
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My guess is BLOB for storage too based on the character limits on character fields (even Memo and other large fields). BLOBs are currently used in ReportCaster's Reporting Library, so it's not surprising that it would be extended to FEX contents.

I think there are ways to deconstruct the blob (MySQL Query tool, for instance, has a right click 'Show Blob Contents as Plain Text' function. Not sure at the moment if an SQL command/technique also allows this.

I will not recommend upgrade to 8.x if FEX contents are not easily readable/searchable.

- ABT


------------------------------------
WF Environment:
------------------------------------
Server/Client, ReportCaster, Dev Studio: 7.6.11
Resource Analyzer, Resource Governor, Library, Maintain, InfoAssist
OS: Windows Server 2003
Application/Web Server: Tomcat 5.5.25
Java: JDK 1.6.0_03
Authentication: LDAP, MRREALM Driver
Output: PDF, EXL2K, HTM

------------------------------------
Databases:
------------------------------------
Oracle 10g
DB2 (AS/400)
MSSQL Server 2005
Access/FoxPro
 
Posts: 561 | Registered: February 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master
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All the more reason to have 99.8% of your technical material in the application directories. At that point the MRE contents aren't terribly risky from a configuration perspective.

Putting materials into a DBMS instead of in source code has always been a short-cut around proper configuration management. My customers do it all the time with other serious issues. This is relatively controllable in comparison.

J.



 
Posts: 944 | Location: At the Mast | Registered: May 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
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reasonable.




In Focus since 1979///7706m/5 ;wintel 2008/64;OAM security; Oracle db, ///MRE/BID
 
Posts: 3811 | Location: Manhattan | Registered: October 28, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Virtuoso
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quote:
My guess is BLOB for storage too based on the character limits on character fields (even Memo and other large fields).


Some databases, most notably MySQL, do indeed have strict limits on the size of text fields. Other databases, such as PostgreSQL, don't have such limits (unless you consider 2GB a limit).
Even most of the databases that do have such limits often have a character-based alternative to BLOBs. For example, Oracle has CLOBs.

BLOBs (Binary Large Objects) are generally just the wrong data-type for storing character data, you can't expect to be able to search them with full text search functions. After all, a BLOB could just as well contain a JPEG image or some other binary data, to which such functions can't be applied safely.

I do hope that the way MRE contents are stored in WF8 depends on the database used? With character based fields for databases that support large size text values and CLOBs or BLOBs if there's no alternative?

We're not using MRE, but is there some way of adding MRE contents to SCM for those who do? I've seen the attempts at RC in earlier IBI products - that's NOT an alternative to proper SCM.


WebFOCUS 8.1.03, Windows 7-64/2008-64, IBM DB2/400, Oracle 11g & RDB, MS SQL-Server 2005, SAP, PostgreSQL 11, Output: HTML, PDF, Excel 2010
: Member of User Group Benelux :
 
Posts: 1652 | Location: Enschede, Netherlands | Registered: August 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master
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I verified that my Oracle SQL Developer tool, when reading ReportCaster's BOTLDATA.REPORT field has a 'View Data as Text or Image' option from the Single Record View function. RCASTER RDBMS is SQL Server in our case and REPORT shows as BLOB/IMAGE in the DDL viewer.

My previous statements aren't an opinion on right/wrong. Just an observation on how IBI might have structured it.

- ABT


------------------------------------
WF Environment:
------------------------------------
Server/Client, ReportCaster, Dev Studio: 7.6.11
Resource Analyzer, Resource Governor, Library, Maintain, InfoAssist
OS: Windows Server 2003
Application/Web Server: Tomcat 5.5.25
Java: JDK 1.6.0_03
Authentication: LDAP, MRREALM Driver
Output: PDF, EXL2K, HTM

------------------------------------
Databases:
------------------------------------
Oracle 10g
DB2 (AS/400)
MSSQL Server 2005
Access/FoxPro
 
Posts: 561 | Registered: February 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
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I want to know which of my MRE fexes have the word ORANGE in them so I can change it to PINK. Sounds like I won't be able to do this in as few steps as I can now:

- use EditPlus to search for the word ORANGE in fexes in a MRE domain folder
- open all the found files, modify ORANGE to PINK, save all the files


Francis


Give me code, or give me retirement. In FOCUS since 1991

Production: WF 7.7.05M, Dev Studio, BID, MRE, WebSphere, DB2 / Test: WF 8.1.05M, App Studio, BI Portal, Report Caster, jQuery, HighCharts, Apache Tomcat, MS SQL Server
 
Posts: 10577 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: April 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
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example number 2
Q: "we're changing the format of a field called FRED/A8 to UNCLEFRED/D7; What impact will that have on our systems?"
A: open textpad, find in files 'FRED', point to basedir and let 'er rip. it'll give you the fexs and the line numbers.




In Focus since 1979///7706m/5 ;wintel 2008/64;OAM security; Oracle db, ///MRE/BID
 
Posts: 3811 | Location: Manhattan | Registered: October 28, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
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Unless someone from IBI tells us differently, WF 8 seems to be two steps forward, one step backward....


Francis


Give me code, or give me retirement. In FOCUS since 1991

Production: WF 7.7.05M, Dev Studio, BID, MRE, WebSphere, DB2 / Test: WF 8.1.05M, App Studio, BI Portal, Report Caster, jQuery, HighCharts, Apache Tomcat, MS SQL Server
 
Posts: 10577 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: April 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master
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Simply put, best practice is to not include any of that kind of material in MRE. You'll have the issue with reporting objects, but you really should move all of the material in standard reports down into the app directories. That's been the case for years due to CM issues but now there's extra incentive to move in that direction.

J.



 
Posts: 944 | Location: At the Mast | Registered: May 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
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But the "should" is from the client's perspective, not IBI's... There are many best practices we've developed over the years that probably go against the design and intention of the product.


Francis


Give me code, or give me retirement. In FOCUS since 1991

Production: WF 7.7.05M, Dev Studio, BID, MRE, WebSphere, DB2 / Test: WF 8.1.05M, App Studio, BI Portal, Report Caster, jQuery, HighCharts, Apache Tomcat, MS SQL Server
 
Posts: 10577 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: April 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Virtuoso
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As far as I can see it, MRE is in fact an kind of XML like database itself
The real fex is stil somewhere in. A plain directory somewhere on the server.
Putting al the fex content in an database might give you the possiblities to make cross reverence search on what fax uses includes, which includes are used in what fex. How many reports use both the CAR and the SALES database and many more question we all have to deal with.
We now build that cross reference day by day, bit if this comes with the application it would make live simpler...but the remark of 2 steps forward and 1 backward is one I support. I always hope it is not 1 forward 2 backward.




Frank

prod: WF 7.6.10 platform Windows,
databases: msSQL2000, msSQL2005, RMS, Oracle, Sybase,IE7
test: WF 7.6.10 on the same platform and databases,IE7

 
Posts: 2387 | Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands | Registered: December 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
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yup, from the clients' pov
 
Posts: 3811 | Location: Manhattan | Registered: October 28, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
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Frank, if the fexes are stored in a "blob" data type and not in a file in a directory, we may not be able to do the cross reference searches we need to do.

The "whatever" in "the thing that ate Cincinnati, Cleveland, or whatever" may now be "MRE".


Francis


Give me code, or give me retirement. In FOCUS since 1991

Production: WF 7.7.05M, Dev Studio, BID, MRE, WebSphere, DB2 / Test: WF 8.1.05M, App Studio, BI Portal, Report Caster, jQuery, HighCharts, Apache Tomcat, MS SQL Server
 
Posts: 10577 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: April 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master
posted Hide Post
quote:
Putting al the fex content in an database might give you the possiblities to make cross reverence search on what fax uses includes, which includes are used in what fex. How many reports use both the CAR and the SALES database and many more question we all have to deal with.


I've been underwhelmed by IBI's answer to these types of questions. None are particularly suited to large scale reporting environment management.

Impact Analysis? Great idea if I were removing MFDs. Or have already mad a change and want to see what I just broke.

Tell me how I can use this or other IBI inbuilt tools or half baked environment management concepts to manage large scale data changes? I am waist deep in a project that is dealing with ~8000 reports, over 6000 MFDs with 176 deprecated tables, 410 deprecated fields, and 736 fields with data type changes. Tell me what IBI tool to use to assess these impacts? And point/click run it (176 + 410 + 736) times is not an option.

Until I hear something convincing, I will continue to manage via DOS scripting with FINDSTR to read the plain text FOCEXECs.

-ABT


------------------------------------
WF Environment:
------------------------------------
Server/Client, ReportCaster, Dev Studio: 7.6.11
Resource Analyzer, Resource Governor, Library, Maintain, InfoAssist
OS: Windows Server 2003
Application/Web Server: Tomcat 5.5.25
Java: JDK 1.6.0_03
Authentication: LDAP, MRREALM Driver
Output: PDF, EXL2K, HTM

------------------------------------
Databases:
------------------------------------
Oracle 10g
DB2 (AS/400)
MSSQL Server 2005
Access/FoxPro
 
Posts: 561 | Registered: February 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master
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and to be clear. Is the BLOB a deployment option in WF8 (like the user/credentials database) or is it mandatory?
 
Posts: 561 | Registered: February 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
posted Hide Post
applause




In Focus since 1979///7706m/5 ;wintel 2008/64;OAM security; Oracle db, ///MRE/BID
 
Posts: 3811 | Location: Manhattan | Registered: October 28, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Member
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Hi,

I am running 8 in a sandbox environment before upgrading development. Have MySql as the repository. Everything that was in basedir is now in the repository. Users, Groups, Content, Psets. The report caster tables look similar to what they are like in earlier versions. I was not given a choice to change data types when creating the repository though I did default prompts. The fex files are stored in a field that mySQL says is a LONGBLOB type.

I was able to export to files using dbvisualizer and can then see the fex to search but this seems to be a complicated method and one that would not work in our higher environments.

Crystal


Webfocus 8.0.7 on Windows
 
Posts: 176 | Location: Ohio | Registered: October 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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