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SAP BusinessObjects - Semantic Layer

Technical Brief—Linked Universes with .UNX

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SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 supports two types of semantic universes: .UNV and .UNX.

.UNX Universes are new to SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 and provide Universe connectivity to SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, Crystal Reports for Enterprise, and SAP HANA.

.UNV Universes were previously available in SAP BusinessObjects 3.1, and are still supported in SAP Business Objects 4.0.

Linked Universes are used by many partners and customers to address multi-tenant and/or customization scenarios.

A satellite universe containing user modifications can be linked with a core universe created from an external source. Individual customers or users can modify the satellite universe without affecting the structure of the linked, core universe. Customer modifications are preserved even if the core universe is updated.

This article explains how to convert .UNV universes to .UNX while preserving the core .UNV that was created with the linked universe.

Converting .UNV to .UNX

  • This process only uses officially supported features.
  • This is a temporary solution that can be used until the new Universe (.UNX) Java SDK is brought up to parity with the XI 3.1 COM SDK.
  • This solution is only recommended when a partner requires the use of the new Universe format (.UNX) in BI 4.0 for use with new features.
  • The source .UNV universes do not need to be multisource. Partners and customers are still able to use multisource Universes by creating a new .UNX in the Information Design Tool.
  • (Optional) The .UNV's used to build the final .UNX can be made hidden to end users.
  • The .UNX will function normally as long as the structural integrity is verified post-conversion.
  • By migrating the satellite .UNV to .UNX, all the core.UNV entities become dependencies for the unified .UNX target.

To convert .UNV to .UNX

  1. In the Universe Designer, create <OEM_Core>.UNV (if not already created). This .UNV will contain the common core entities that the OEM will continue to update and maintain and will not contain custom entities.
  2. Run "Integrity Check" to ensure that there are no errors.
  3. Save and export to BusinessObjects.
  4. In the Universe Designer, create a customized <TENANT_SAT>.UNV.
  5. Insert the <OEM_CORE>.UNV into the <TENANT_SAT>.UNV.
  6. Add custom entities as defined by the OEM customer into a separate Universe class, <TENANT_CLASS>, within the business layer.
  7. Run "Integrity Check" to verify there are no errors.
  8. Save and export to BusinessObjects.
  9. Open the Information Design Tool (IDT) and open a session to the BusinessObjects repository.
  10. Browse the repository.
  11. Right-click <TENANT_SAT>.UNV and select "Convert.unv Universe", <TENANT_SAT.UNX.
  12. Specifyfy the local repository location and the local project location.
  13. Press OK to finish converting.


Steps 5-13 can be automated using an external tool or script such as a .bat file.

In the future, OEM's could programmatically automate Steps 1-4 using the .UNV COM SDK.

For implementatino assistance, contact your OEM Solution Engineer.


  • Continued maintenance of <OEM_Core>.UNV or <TENANT_SAT>.UNV will be done using the Universe Designer.
  • After each maintenance cycle, the new version of the <TENANT_SAT>.UNV will be reconverted and you will directly overwrite the <TENANT_SAT>.UNX in Business Objects.
  • Maintenance ensures that mapping to existing reports or content based on the <TENANT_SAT>.UNX is not broken.

To perform maintenance

  1. Repeat steps 1-13 of "To convert .UNV to .UNX" with the following exceptions.
    1. You do not need to re-insert the <OEM_CORE>.UNV into the <TENANT_SAT>.UNV because the core entities are automatically refreshed when opening the <TENANT_SAT>.UNV in the Universe Designer.
    2. Simply open and re-export <TENANT_SAT>.UNV to BusinessObjects.
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