Troubleshooting Shapefiles in SAP Dashboards

Symptom: Xcelsius or Flash Player Crashes or Map Hangs

If Xcelsius or Flash consistently crashes while loading a shapefile, the Shapefile could be too large for GMaps Plugin to consume. It is recommended not to load shapefiles greater than 2MB. With a correctly formatted and compressed SHP file, GMaps Plugin can successfully consume shapefiles containing thousands of individual shapes with hundreds of thousands of data points.

Why would a shapefile be 30MB?

Shapefiles can grow in size for several reasons. The volume of locations and the geo-data precision can grow the size of a shapefile from less than 1 MB to hundreds of megabytes. Think of a Shapefile like an image. You can have a small image or a high resolution photo; one has more detail (data).

Symptom: Shapefile does not appear in development or preview mode

1. Make sure the SINGLE shape file URL is bound to 1 cell

When using a SHP file for shape data a single series can only contain a single URL within the Map Overlay Data property. You can NOT be use multiple SHP file URLs. There should be a 1-1 relationship between series and .SHP file URLs. In addition, make sure you have defined  “Shapefile” as the source in the Shape Data Options window.

2. Verify the coordinate system and projection used to generate your .SHP file

CMaps Plugin and GMaps Plugin rely on a Geodetic coordinate system with the WGS84 datum (EPSG 4326) which is probably more information than a typical dashboard / report developer will need to know. However, this information can be extremely helpful when identifying and ensuring the Shapefile projection is correct.. If you retrieve files from free web sites, there is a chance that the coordinate system can differ from what Google Maps will accept. Feel free to contact Centigon Solutions support, and one of our technicians can quickly verify the origins of your shapefile: In troubleshooting shapefiles support would require the SHP file, DBF and SHX. The process for re-projecting a shapefile is extremely simple and fast using a GIS tool like ESRI ArcGIS or Quantum GIS.

We explain how to re-project your own shapefile here: CLICK HERE

3. Make sure your URLs are configured properly

If you are using a relative URL: 

  • The SWF and SHP file will need to be in the same directory.
  • Do not use a leading “/” if the SHP and SWF are in the same folder. A leading “/” will force the SWF to look for the SHP in the root directory of your web/application server
  • Relative paths don’t work inside of SAP Dashboards. To develop you need to define the full URL path.
  • You will need to setup Flash Player Security settings: CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

If you are using an absolute URL:

If you are connecting to a SHP file on your local PC

  • Use the file:// syntax instead of \\. In addition, you will need to ensure that your local flash player security settings allow access to the drive for which your .SHP is loaded.

Symptom: Shapefile appears in Preview but not when deploying to desktop

If your shape files appear in preview mode but not when posting your SWF to the desktop, it is 95% of the time caused by missing local flash player security settings.

To setup your Flash Player security settings you can use the following steps pulled from our GMaps Plugin learning center article:

A “Local” shape file is one that is stored on your local computer and not a remote web server. This configuration is recommended for testing and not production deployments because it requires the following user configuration for every computer.

1. Open the Flash Player security sandbox settings:

2. With the security folder selected, click “Add Location”

3. Click Browse for Folder and either select the folder that you would like to enable, or just the drive. If you select the drive, any sub folders are granted access.

4. You can now close your browser without any further configuration.

5. You must do these steps for Internet Explorer and one non-IE web browser. The reason is Internet Explorer uses a different Flash Player controller than browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and others.

Symptom: Shapefile appears in Preview or Desktop but not when deploying to server.

This is caused by one of multiple issues:

1. Server containing Shapefile is missing a crossdomain.xml policy

Click here to learn how to deploy a crossdomain.xml policy

2. The URL to the shapefile is on the desktop or file share:

Flash Player does not support remote SWF files loaded via HTTP to access local resources on a desktop or file share. This is standard Flash player security that prohibits websites from accessing your local file system. As such, your Shapefile will need to be on a server accessible via HTTP.

3. The URL is not accessible or incorrect

Sometimes the URL may not be accessible. The quickest test is to plug in the URL into your browser and make sure the browser prompts you to download your shapefile. The map must have direct access to the shapefile and will not honor any file or web security protocols.

4. The application server hosting the shapefile does not support the SHP MIME type.

This is typically a case for Microsoft IIS, but not a problem for Java application servers. Instructions to enable Shapefile MIME type.