MicroStrategy Command Manager
Joaquin Attanasio

Joaquin Attanasio

Business Intelligence Consultant | Microstrategy Expert | Data Specialist

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MicroStrategy Command Manager

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Welcome to this new #BestInMicro article! Space where I will be writing about different topics related to MicroStrategy, its use, best practices, and functionalities to get the most out of it.  

Today I bring you another tool from the MicroStrategy suite of products: the Command Manager, a MicroStrategy scheduling tool that can make the difference between a task lasting seconds and lasting days, or even weeks.

MicroStrategy-Command-Manager-1

As with the System Manager note, my intention here is not to go into details on how to use it, but to tell a little about what the tool is about, what it is for, and why I consider it important enough to write an article about it.

And so as not to lose the habit, first things first…

What is Command Manager?

It is a tool that allows us to automate processes and different functionalities within MicroStrategy. This tool has great potential, not only because it gives us the possibility of programming different functions, but also because it can generate a very powerful synergy when combined with other tools.

With this tool, we can perform virtually all functions within the MicroStrategy Administrator menu, in addition to other functionalities that will allow us to manage the tool more easily.

How to use it?

Command manager is a command line tool. With it, we will create different scripts or programmed functions, which will fulfill different tasks. Depending on the interface, either by an operating system or otherwise, we can run the scripts from the application or the command line.

There are two different ways to create scripts in the tool. The first consists of using different functionalities out of the box and adapting them to the need we have to obtain a specific result. The other is to create functions with variables, parameters, and sequences, which generate a more complex structure to solve our needs. Let’s take a look at them:

Scripts simples

It is the most basic, simple, and therefore, the most massive way to use command Manager. When creating a script, we can sequence different functions that will perform the tasks we request.

MicroStrategy-Command-Manager-2

MicroStrategy provides a library of functions with examples that we can use to create our own scripts by clicking on the button:

MicroStrategy-Command-Manager-3

This is the tool par excellence that we will want to use when making massive changes to objects within our environment, either for configuration issues (for example, assign many users to a group, or create many attributes massively, among thousands of examples).

Procedures

In a few words: a procedure is to combine basic scripts with java. This functionality is a bit more hidden, and strangely not so many people know about its existence (not that it’s a secret, but it’s striking how many people I talked to limit the command manager to simple scripts).

The fact that we can combine it with java gives us the ability to use loops, conditionals, variables, and arrays that will allow us to automate really complex and long tasks to be done well, in moments.

This type of script can be very useful when performing administrative tasks, such as extracting specific information from the system. You’ll see, the more you start to see the detail, the more things you can do!

MicroStrategy-Command-Manager-4

Remember: You will have some basic examples that will help you to understand the structure of the procedures in <HOME>\Command Manager\Outlines\Procedure_Outlines\Sample_Procedures

Combination with other tools

As the last point, I will quote a great phrase from John Lennon: “The real power of command manager is in combining it with other tools”. Well, maybe it wasn’t Lennon’s, but it’s important just the same. It gives us the possibility to manage the platform at a very precise level, and in an automated way. By being able to pass variables by parameter, save logs and details of the executions in different locations, and even encrypt the scripts with a password, we can call it from external tools, either by embedding it in a process chain with System Manager, scheduling a task with the Windows task scheduler, or even with an external tool. For example, here is an article explaining how to combine Command Manager with Aleryx to extract metrics that contain ApplySimple. You will see that it is a super simple example and requires manual work, but if we extrapolate it to a more complex environment or tasks, the difference is huge! (and taking the example, I challenge you to extract which are the metrics contained in applysimple without editing them one by one or putting them in a report)

Conclusions

It is a must-have tool for any Microstrategy administrator (or even architect). Although it has a really abandoned interface (it is difficult to distinguish Command manager from version 8 to the current version, beyond some new functions), and they could make it much more “user friendly” (starting from the base of creating an icon for the procedures, for example), the truth is that the examples provided by MicroStrategy in its library of functions allow the tool to be quite intuitive and save us many (but many!) hours if it is internalized as a work tool.

Now it’s your turn. Did they know the procedures? Have you ever scheduled one? Which ones do you use most? Would you like me to elaborate on the creation of these? Leave your comments, questions, or topics you would like me to talk about, and see you next time!

References

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