To Split or Not to Split: Taking Another Look at the Adaptive Job Server

  • by Alan Mayer, President, Solid Ground Technologies, Inc.
  • July 15, 2015
In the past, it has been accepted as common wisdom that the Adaptive Job Server should not be split due to concerns about stability and size. Learn why this may not always be the case, and see some helpful use cases for which splitting is not only practical, but essential.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article, you will:

  • Learn the concept of server splitting as it applies to BusinessObjects
  • Understand how that concept can be applied to the Adaptive Job Server
  • Discover the advantages and disadvantages of splitting
  • Learn how to split job servers using a step-by-step approach
  • See examples of common splits used in production environments
Key Concept

Server splitting is the technique by which one default BusinessObjects server is replaced by two or more like servers, each dedicated to running a subset of the services originally tasked to the original server. The new servers can be created using the Central Management Console.

SAP has streamlined the BusinessObjects software footprint by reducing the number of servers and increasing what each server can do in the form of services. The Adaptive Processing Server is a perfect example of this approach. It contains many services, ranging from Web Intelligence charting, to publishing, promotion management, and monitoring. The Adaptive Processing Server could do so much, in fact, that it had to be split into multiple servers that specialized in like sets of services. Early installations of SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 that did not take this into account failed. In its BusinessObjects BI 4.1 release, SAP included a wizard that performed this split for you based on the size of the final installation.

The Adaptive Job Server has been streamlined just as the Adaptive Processing Server has, with each job server managing the scheduling duties for Web Intelligence (also known as WEBI or WebI) and Crystal Reports as well as destination and replication processing. This totals more than 16 possible services managed by one job server. Each server spawns multiple child processes, each of which is capable of handling one type of service. One job server is capable of managing five of those child processes by default. That number can be increased as needed.

That’s where the similarities end, however. SAP has not recommended splitting the job server in practice, although why this is the case has not been publicly disclosed. There have been a few SAP Notes on the subject (SAP KB 1868751 – Sporadic and Random Scheduling Failures and SAP KB 1950573 – Is it Necessary to Split the Adaptive Job Server in BI 4.x? [log-on required]) and even a mention in the SAP BusinessObjects BI Sizing Guide that recommends keeping the job server together except under special circumstances. What is not discussed is what companies give up by not doing so. This article should help fill in these gaps.

Understanding the Job Server – A Short History

It might help to review what has been asked of this server historically to better understand the need to re-examine the do-not-split stance. Earlier versions of BusinessObjects (XIR2 and prior) came with many different job servers—one each for Desktop Intelligence (also known as DeskI), Web Intelligence, and Crystal Reports, as well as a list of values and destination processing.

Alan Mayer

Alan Mayer is president at Solid Ground Technologies, Inc. He has built customer-focused, BusinessObjects-based solutions for the last 20 years. His original company, Integra Solutions, was one of the first BusinessObjects partners that joined the program in 1995. His company provided the first authorized set of training manuals that were later purchased by the software vendor for nationwide distribution. Solutions from his firm have been adopted by a wide variety of industries, from healthcare to banking, manufacturing, and retail.

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