This section of documentation aims to provide an overview of all the features specific to a Multi-Node deployment of BI Portal.

Multi-Node Concepts

Before looking into the specific technical features of a Multi-Node BI Portal, there are a few key concepts worth learning that are prevalent in the product.

You can learn more about the actual installation of the Control Node from the Setup page.

Control & Standard Nodes

Users of the BI Portal with multiple environments can sync them all into a Control Node. When a BI Portal is configured as a control node, the contents of the portal are sourced entirely from other BI Portals. This means that Control Nodes are read-only, so users cannot publish and modify assets, entities, tile layouts or any associated metadata in the instance. Instead, Administrators must configure connections to other Standard Node BI Portals that the control node will import its data from.

Multi-Node Architecture Example

With the exception of direction content creation and management, the BI Portal experience remains familiar. Navigating between content nodes on the control node can be done from the left-hand navigation panel; each node be listed by its source system name and a user defined icon.

Node Configuration Differences

With the release of BI Portal 4.7, the idea of a Node Configuration was added to the BI Portal setup. There are two types of Node Configuration, Standard and Control. The Node Configuration is set from the BI Portal installer, under the setting of NodeConfiguration and it is a setting that is completely independent of the deployment type.

Before Multi-Node was introduced as a deployment setup for BI Portal, every BI Portal instance was essentially a Standard Node as there was only one way to configure a BI Portal’s behaviour.

You cannot change the NodeConfiguration of an existing BI Portal from Standard to Control or vice versa. Doing so will result in data loss or malformed configuration. The NodeConfiguration must be set on the initial setup of the instance.

The major difference between Standard and Control nodes is in how they ingest and manage the contents of the Portal (assets, entities, tile layouts, metadata, custom attributes etc). A user of the Control Node cannot publish assets, modify metadata, create new asset/entity types or create entities and their associated custom attributes in the Data Catalogue to name a few standard operations. Instead they must source this content from other BI Portal instances (often referred to as “Content Nodes”), something which is detailed greater in the setup documentation.

Feature Comparison

✔ Supported - The feature is supported entirely in this configuration for the BI Portal

〰 Supported through BI Portal Sync - This feature is only supported in the Control Node through it being possible in the Standard Node. Once a BI Portal is connected to a Control Node users will be able to modify data on the Standard Node and sync it.

❌ Not Supported - The feature is not supported in this configuration for the BI Portal.

Feature Standard Node Support Control Node Support
View, order, slice and search assets in the asset board. ✔ Supported ✔ Supported
Open ODC Data Sources in Excel. ✔ Supported ✔ Supported
Open URL based assets in the browser. ✔ Supported ✔ Supported
Publish assets to the BI Portal with associated metadata. ✔ Supported 〰 Supported through BI Portal Sync
Manage metadata through terms and term sets. ✔ Supported 〰 Supported through BI Portal Sync
Audience targeting of terms. ✔ Supported 〰 Supported through BI Portal Sync
Submit Helpdesk tickets within the application. ✔ Supported ✔ Supported
Manage and resolve Helpdesk tickets within the application. ✔ Supported ✔ Supported
Create discussions on assets in the BI Catalogue. ✔ Supported ✔ Supported
Receive notifications through in app Web Notifications and Emails. ✔ Supported ✔ Supported
Monitor application usage and export usage data as CSV files. ✔ Supported ✔ Supported
Brand the portal with custom themes, resources and stylesheets. ✔ Supported ✔ Supported
View Data Catalogue entities in the Network Map. ✔ Supported ✔ Supported
Create entities using the Data Catalogue API. ✔ Supported 〰 Supported through BI Portal Sync
Manage Custom Attributes associated with specific Entity Types. ✔ Supported 〰 Supported through BI Portal Sync
Edit Entity details and metadata individually or in bulk. ✔ Supported 〰 Supported through BI Portal Sync
Create shortcuts to other websites in the App Navigation Panel. ❌ Not Supported ✔ Supported
Switch to other BI Portal nodes from the left hand slide out. ❌ Not Supported ✔ Supported

Assets that are favourites in your Content Node will not be favourites in the Control Node. Favourites will have to be selected in the Control Node as they may differ. 

Node Configuration Database Differences

There are minor differences in how the BI Portal stores data in Control configuration versus Standard configuration. Despite sourcing data from multiple Standard BI Portal instances, Control nodes still store all data in a single database however the data is siloed and separated based on the source of the data.

database structure of different portal configurations