Friday, August 24, 2012

How to run Microstrategy Tutorial documents / dashboards

When you install Microstrategy Desktop, you can select to install the Microstrategy Tutorial, which by default is a 2-tier set up. By 2-tier, it means it does not require an I-Server. It's just Microstrategy Desktop - Database/Metadata.

The Microstrategy installation will create 3 Microsite Access databases in your local directory (C:\Program Files (x86)\MicroStrategy\Tutorial Reporting\TUTORIAL_DATA_7200.mdb  and TUTORIAL_METADATA_7200.mdb) and C:\Program Files (x86)\MicroStrategy\Tutorial Reporting\CSVFiles\Operational_datamart.mdb). The default Microstrategy Tutorial (Direct) project is simply pointing to the 3 local MS Access databases for the data and you can still create and execute reports, but cannot run the documents/dashboards.

Since it's a 2-tier set up (as indicated by the word "Direct" is next to the project name) , if you go to your Microstrategy Tutorial project and try to run one of the dashboard documents, you will get an error message that says " Documents can only be executed through server connections ". Why? Documents can only be executed in a 3-tier environment.

2 Tier: Microstrategy Desktop - Database/Metadata DB
3 Tier: Microstrategy Desktop - Intelligence Server/Web Server - Database/Metadata DB

Suppose you already have a 3-tier set up, but your Intelligence Server tier is set up on a Linux/Unix machine,   and you wish to move the Microstrategy Tutorial project to your existing 3 tier set up so that you can execute the dashboards and play with it, this is what you'll have to do...

Step 1:
You cannot simply copy the Microsoft Access database to your Linux/Unix server where you have installed your I-Server...there is no ODBC driver available in Linux/Unix for MS Access database. The next closest thing to MS Access is MS SQL Server, so create 2 empty databases on a SQL Server (I used SQL Server 2008 R2). Call the first database MSTR_TutorialData, and the second database MSTR_OperationalDataMart. Using the import wizard in SQL Server, import the data from the 2 local MS Access databases on your machine (TUTORIAL_DATA_7200.mdb and Operational_datamart.mdb). You don't have to import the TUTORIAL_METADATA_7200.mdb database. Create a SQL logins for those 2 databases with read permissions.

Step 2:
Then on your Linux/Unix machine, navigate to your microstrategy installation path. then go to the bin folder. INSTALL_PATH/MicroStrategy/bin. Then type ./mstrconnectwiz. This will bring up the Microstrategy Connection wizard. Or if you wish, you can directly modify the odbc.ini file which sits in INSTALL_PATH/MicroStrategy folder. Select "Microstrategy ODBC Driver for SQL Server", click next, give it a name in the Data Source Name. Follow the rest of the instructions in the wizard.

Step 3:
Now, we need to move the metadata of the Microstrategy Tutorial (Direct) into your existing 3-tier's Metadata. To do that, all we have to do is duplicate the project. Connect to your Microstrategy Tutorial (Direct) project source, right click on the Microstrategy Tutorial project, and click "Duplicate Project". Follow the instructions and copy the project to your 3-tier project source. Be careful to select the option "None" under users and user groups. You do not want to bring over the existing users from that Microstrategy Tutorial into your 3-tier project (they will take up licenses and you'll have to clean up the mess later). By doing this you have thus moved over your metadata.

Step 4:
Finally, connect to your 3-tier project source, you should now see Microstrategy Tutorial project.  Go to Administration, Configurations, Database Instance. Look for "Tutorial Data" and "Operational Datamart". These 2 database instance names should have been brought over when you duplicated the Microstrategy Tutorial project. Edit them, change the Database Connection Type drop downlist to "Microsoft SQL Server 2008 with Native Client Driver". Select the Data Source Names that you created in Step 2 above. Change the login information to the SQL Server login/password you created in Step 1. Restart Microstrategy Intelligence Server.

Step 5:
To restart the I-Server, go to INSTALL_PATH/MicroStrategy/bin and type ./mstrsvcmgr. It will bring up the Microstrategy Service Manager UI, and just click the Restart button.

Now go to your Microstrategy Desktop or Web, and execute the tutorial documents, and works!! Enjoy...I love building dashboards, and their sample dashboards are like candies to me!


  1. Hi
    Really interesting notes.
    I have a question, I'm facing similar situation, I have I-server running on a linux box, Desktop on a Windoes box,we don't have any Ms Sql server, just postgreSQL on a linux box as well.

    Any idea how we can migrate the tutorial DB to a postgresql DB?


    Julio Leiva

  2. We run into the same situation as Julio and have no ms sql server either. Maybe anybody know the solution?
    Many thanks!

  3. I successfully followed the above post, but did an the msaccess to mysql conversion prior, using 'Bullzip MS Access to MySQL' (

    I am sure there must be a similar tool for postgres

    great post, very helpful


  4. Hi Tenny,

    We have developed a new gen developer friendly BI framework with some extremely unique features. Would like to give you early access & love to hear your opinion. Please do let me know of how to reach out to you. Would be launching product in 3 weeks from now.

    Also could you please share your email details for further communication.


  5. Great article, thanks for sharing usefull information and i have seen more info on MicroStrategy Online Training