Troubleshooting and best practices for Report Builder

This article describes troubleshooting and best practices you can use to optimize Report Builder. It also includes a list of error messages that might be displayed.

Report Builder 5.0 users and opening 5.1 workbooks section_C29898775999453FABB5FB0E098415C8

Adobe changed the separator between dimensions and classifications from an underscore character (_) to ||. This change has compatibility implications for a Report Builder 5.0 user who opens a Report Builder v5.1 workbook with classification requests. Each time a workbook from a version older than v5.1 is opened, all its serialized classifications requests will be converted to this format.

This introduces a forward compatibility problem: Once converted to v5.1, if a workbook is shared with a user on Report Builder v5.0, that user will not be able to recognize the classification request (indeed, it is looking for “_” but v5.1 serialized “||”).

You will experience the following side effect when opening a ARB v5.1 workbook with classification request:

  • When opening the workbook, you will get the following warning: “This workbook was last saved using Report Builder v5.1. This version has introduced some features that are incompatible with the Report Builder version installed on this computer. It is highly recommended that you upgrade to the latest Report Builder version before updating this workbook.”
  • If you right-click an ARB request with classification, the Report Builder context menus (edit request, add dependent request…) will not show up.
  • If you perform a Refresh All, by clicking the third button, or by refreshing a set of requests from the Request Manager form, the classification request will execute without error. However, the classifications values will not be written out.
  • You can still edit the request by opening the Request Manager, then going from row to row, until it reaches the right request.
  • If you edit the request and leave all parameters the same and then click Finish, the response will be properly written out. Indeed, editing the request resolves the problem as the Response Layout parameters are re-serialized. So there is a workaround, although it is time consuming.

Authentication issues in Report Builder section_FD79104DF1414FE2B36591606C963DE6

Report Builder requires authentication to create data requests from your report suites. Sometimes there are issues logging in to Report Builder depending on your settings within Analytics or your network.

  • Invalid Login Company: This error most commonly occurs when either the login company is improperly entered, or if there are network activity issues. Do the following:

    • Check the login company spelling to ensure that there is not a typo or an errant space.
    • Log in to Analytics with the same login company to ensure that it is correct. If you are not able to log in with those credentials, contact one of your organization’s administrators to obtain the correct login company.
  • Firewall: Report Builder uses ports 80 and 443. Ensure that these ports are allowed through your organization’s firewall. See also Adobe’s Internal IP Addresses for additional firewall exclusions.

Recommendations for optimizing requests section_33EF919255BF46CD97105D8ACB43573F

The following factors can increase request complexity and result in slower processing.

  • Factors that can slow down deliveries: Too many bookmarks, dashboards, and Report Builder workbooks were scheduled within a few hours. Also consider too many Report Builder workbooks were scheduled at around the same time. When this occurs, the report API queue becomes backlogged.

  • Factors that can slow down workbook runtime: Significant increase in classifications, or increasing the request date range over time.

  • Causes that result in workbook delivery failure: Complex Excel formulas in a workbook, particularly ones that involve date and time.

  • Cells returning 0s (no values): An apostrophe or single quote in the Excel sheet name will cause Report Builder to return no values. (This is a Microsoft Excel limitation.)

  • Individual request performance: Processing speed can be affected by the following settings:

    table 0-row-3 1-row-3 2-row-3 3-row-3 4-row-3 5-row-3 6-row-3
    Setting Faster Performance Slower Performance
    Breakdowns and the breakdown order Few Many
    Example: If you break down A by Z, the number of items for A should always be less than the number of items for Z. If it is the other way around, the request time can increase significantly.
    Date range Small range Wide range
    Filtering Specific filtering Most Popular filtering
    Granularity Aggregated


    • Daily
    • Weekly
    • Monthly
    • Quarterly
    • Yearly
    Number of entries Small data set Large data set
  • Scheduling time: Stagger scheduling over 24-hour period (see table below). Existing bookmarks , dashboards, and Report Builder workbooks scheduled close together may cause delays. Schedule larger, more complex requests in the early morning to allow for manual pulls and refreshing to occur during the business day.

    table 0-row-5 1-row-5
    Scheduling Time 1 a.m. - 2 a.m. 2 a.m. - 7 a.m. 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. 6 p.m. - Midnight
    Report Builder usage Quiet Very busy Client-side usage.
    Higher volumes of users refreshing locally and requesting to “Send immediately.”
    Additionally, verify whether the API queue is cleared when scheduled workbooks time out.
    Not busy
  • Timeouts: Any scheduled report times out after four hours. The system attempts scheduling three more times, potentially resulting in a failure. (Generally, the larger the data set the longer it takes to run.) These can be seen in Analytics reporting and Report Builder:

Sample error message descriptions section_3DF3A1EEDAD149CB941BEABEF948A4A5

This section includes a sample list of error messages that might occur when you use Report Builder.

This is a sample of error messages, and not an exhaustive list. For more information about resolving errors, contact your administrator.
  • This feature can only be applied on an open workbook.: If no workbooks (spreadsheet documents) are open in Excel, and you click one of the icons in the Report Builder toolbar, this message is displayed. In addition, the toolbar becomes disabled until you open a spreadsheet. However, you can click the on-line help icon while the toolbar is still enabled without causing this error.

  • You first need to exit the Request Wizardbefore activating the Request Manager.: While the Request Manager and the Request Wizard are linked functionally, it is not possible to start working with the Request Manager before completing or cancelling actions taken in the Request Wizard.

  • There is no request associated with this range.: This error message occurs if you click on the From Sheet button in the Request Manager when a cell of the spreadsheet contains no requests. To identify which cells in the spreadsheet contain requests, click individual requests listed in the table in the Request Manager. If a request is associated with cells, the cells will show up highlighted when the request is selected in the table.

  • The selected Range is not valid. Please select another Range.: If a cell of the spreadsheet is selected and already has a request mapped to it, this error occurs. Either delete the request mapped to the cells or choose another range of cells to map. When you want to delete cells, it is important to locate cells containing requests and delete the request before deleting the cells (removing rows or columns).

  • Please Exit the Excel Cell with focus before using this feature.: If you are in edit mode in an Excel cell and click one of the Report Builder icons, this error message appears. Edit mode in an Excel cell means that the cell is selected and the cursor appears inside the cell. You are also in edit mode in an Excel cell when you type directly into the Formula bar or into the Name Box at the top of Excel.

  • The range selected intersects another request’s range. Please change your selection.: If you have already mapped a set of cells to the spreadsheet, this error is displayed.

  • Repairs to workbook (Removed Records: Formula from /xl/calcChain.xml part): Sometimes a workbook’s formulas get corrupted when saving or transferring. When the file is opened, Excel tries to run these formulas and fails. You can resolve this issue by removing calcChain.xml from the spreadsheet, forcing Excel to refresh its formula calculations.

    1. Rename the workbook’s file extension from .xlsx to .zip.
    2. Unzip the contents and open the /xl/ folder.
    3. Delete calcChain.xml.
    4. Re-zip the contents, and change the file extension back to .xlsx.
    5. Open the workbook in Excel and refresh all Report Builder requests.
  • Excel cells associated with the input filters or output range may have been deleted: Report Builder uses Excel Names to attach data requests to cells. If you delete Excel Names from the Names Manager, you can see this error. Requests cannot be recovered if Excel Names are deleted. If the workbook was scheduled, you can either download a copy from the Scheduling Manager, or open previously delivered copies of the workbook.