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Monday, February 7, 2011

Working with the Master-Detail Report Feature of OBI 11g (pt 3)

The final installment of this series will look at configuring detail views to listen to multiple event channels.

My first step will be to create a new Master View analysis. I am going to create a simple tabular view as my second master view including the Qtr column I have used previously for my data event driver. I have set the Channel name to MDS3 in the same way I configure my first master view.

I have saved that analysis and now want to edit 1 of my detail views to listen on this channel as well as the MDS2 channel it is currently listening on.

Just a side note: If you have been following this series, you will notice the view names have changed as well as the view layout on the dashboard page from my previous posts. I have renamed my views and reorganized them on the dashboard to make things a little clearer. Other than the changes I have outlined here, the other views remain unchanged.

So, the detail view I decided to modify is the second one I created which has the pie chart. Opening the pie chart view in the editor window and opening the properties for it, I have added my new channel to the event channel. Notice the channels are separated by a comma. With that change made, I then save this analysis.

Adding the new Master view to my dashboard page, I am ready to test this new functionality.

Clicking on the 2008 Q2 cell from my first master view, both detail views respond with the Qtr column slider moving appropriately.

I now click on the 2008 Q3 cell on my second master view, on the detail pie chart view does respond as expected with the Qtr slider moving to the appropriate value while the other detail view remains unchanged.

Thus we can see that a detail view can listen to multiple events from different master views.

There is actually more to learn and do with Master-Detail links but that is a different discussion as it involves extending OBI with some custom code. I will leave that for a later time.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Working with the Master-Detail Report Feature of OBI 11g (pt 2)

In previous part of this series, I stepped through how to configure a Master-Detail report link when using the same analysis criteria to create the master and detail views. However, what if we want to create a totally independent detail view based on different criteria. Can we link the Master view from 1 analysis to the Detail view of another analysis?

Let’s see.

We will the Master view we created previously; so, we need to first create a new, independent Detail view and set our Event channel, the Event channel we used previously was MDS2.

Our event channel on our master view is driven by the “Per Name Qtr” so we need this column on our new detail view so that it can accept and act on the value being passed.

We will use a pie chart view for our detail view. With the view created, we can now set the Event channel through the view’s property window. We are using the slider again for the Quarter to make it easy to see the change.

With our new detail view created and configured to listen on the same channel as our master view we will add the view to our dashboard and check out if it works as we hope.

So, we have now shown that the detail view of a Master-Detail link does not need to come from the same report criteria as the master view.

I did come across an issue when using Master-Detail links and setting up a detail view to listen on the event channel, but configuring the layout of the detail view to not allow it to respond correctly. For example, I added a tabular view to my Master-Detail dashboard but placed the Qtr column in the “section” area of the layout. The report displayed all 4 quarters when I issued the event and my other detail views responded as expected. However when I tried issuing a subsequent event, none of the detail reports would respond. For the tabular view to respond correctly to an event, the column accepting the event must be placed in the “page” area of the view layout.

Here is a table containing specifics about views being used as detail views.

Answers Dashboard Reports: Directory Structure Best Practices

When developing reports and organizing them on dashboards, it is important to keep the reports named and grouped in a way that is consistent and intuitive, making life easier for yourself and others who may work with them in the future.

1. Use a Consistent Naming Convention

  • Use names that are descriptive but concise

  • Include a theme, dashboard topic or subject area in report names, such as AR, Bonus Goals, or Executive Summary to communicate the general content

  • Using a theme, dashboard topic or subject area consistently at the beginning of report names can make it easier to organize reports, since those with similar names will be listed together within the directory and will appear in alphabetical order

  • Include a general description of what is in the report, such as Accounts Past Due or Commissions by Region, to make it clear what is contained in the report

  • Full report names may look something like this: "AR Accounts Past Due" or "Sales Commissions by Region"

  • Additional detail may be added to the title if there are different variations, such as "AR Accounts Past Due (Top Ten)" or "Sales Commissions by Region Year to Date"

  • Use abbreviations for generally accepted business terms or terms used within your organization, such as "AR" for "Accounts Receivable" or "YTD" for "Year to Date"

2. Create folders for each dashboard page and/or tab to make the reports easier to find for updating and editing

  • If using identical reports on more than one dashboard, both can refer to the same report, or a duplicate can be created

  • If the report will be customized or changed for use on another dashboard, make another copy so the original version does not get changed inadvertently. If there is more than one version, especially in the same directory, make the names descriptive so it is easy to tell which version is which, e.g. "Accounts Past Due by Month" or "Accounts Past Due YTD"

3. Housekeeping

  • Keep only the most current version and delete previous copies that are no longer used. This makes organization easier, makes it easier to find what is needed, and helps prevent the inadvertent use of an incorrect or outdated version of a report

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Working with the Master-Detail Report Feature of OBI 11g (pt. 1)

One of the new features included in OBI 11g is the Master-Detail linking feature. The Master-Detail linking allows you to establish a relationship between 2 or more views; one view is called the Master and will drive changes in 1 or more views called detail views.

You can think of a Master-Detail relationship in a similar manner that you would when navigating from 1 report to another works, but you do not lose sight of the master view.

So, how do we implement a Master-Detail link?

We start out by defining an analysis that will be used to create the master view. Here we have created a simple analysis and filtered for Year = 2008.

Now we want to configure this analysis so that we can create our master view. We will select the “Per Name Qtr” column as the data driver; so, we open the Column Properties window of this column and move to the Interaction tab.

Here we select the “Send Master-Detail Events” under the Value Primary Interaction. Once you select this option a secondary edit box labeled “Specify channel” will be made available. You can enter any unique identifier in this box. For our example, we have entered “MDS2”.

Unlike some interaction options like Action Links” which is available on both Column Heading and Value, the Master-Detail option is only available on the Value. This has to do with how a Master-Detail link functions. The value of the cell you click on is passed to the detail view(s); thus, a column heading cannot be used.

We now navigate to Results and create the view we want as our Master view. Here we are using a simple tabular view. Notice that our “Per Name Qtr” values do not show the typical hyperlink that you would expect from the time dimension column.

Now we need to create a detailed view that will listen to events from our master view. To do this, we will add an additional graphical view from the same analysis. Our graphical view will look at Revenue by Brand with our Quarter values placed into a view slider.

With our graphical view in edit mode, we need to open the properties window.

One of the properties available to us is the “Listen to Master-Detail Events” checkbox. By checking this box, we can define this view to be a detailed view for the event channel we want. In our case, we will enter the value “MDS2” as our event channel which is the same value we defined on the “Per Name Qtr” column properties which is our data driver on the master view.

We want to validate our Master-Detail report is working as expected. We will do this by placing the compound layout on to a dashboard page. I have edited the compound layout so that my views, master and detail, are side-by-side. When you click on a cell under the “Per Name Qtr”; such as, “2008 Q2” on the tabular master view, the secondary detail view (graph) accepts the Qtr value and the slider automatically moves to the selected value.

We will continue to explore the Master-Detail link by looking at more advanced features of this link in my next entry.