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Universe and Data Access enhancements
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dnewton
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:20 pm 
Post subject: Re: Universe and Data Access enhancements

More Excel import-and-export options, particularly for bulk operations. There are a robust set of VBA-based utilities in BOB Downloads, because of gaps in the basic functionality. BO implementations of any size and complexity will need to document and research on a regular basis.

For example, today I had a need to search all 40 of our universes for any Joins between TABLE_A.COL1 and TABLE_B.COL2. This is a royal pain to do today. If I had a way of searching through all Universes for this, rather than opening each one and visually inspecting...

Yes I could code something with the SDK, but that's not a good use of my time. icon_smile.gif
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Dustin
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:42 am 
Post subject: Re: Universe and Data Access enhancements

Idea: An option to allow multiple queries to be run in parallel instead of in serial. (Or would this be a report option.)

Idea: Create measures objects in Designer that are processed in the reports. This would be useful for Percentages. Where I need the report to divide numerator/denominator in the report. Because pre-calculated percents can't be drilled or rolled up correctly. Thus, I want to maintain the formula in designer but the calculation to happen in the report.
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dnewton
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:12 am 
Post subject: Re: Universe and Data Access enhancements

Dustin wrote:
Idea: Create measures objects in Designer that are processed in the reports. This would be useful for Percentages. Where I need the report to divide numerator/denominator in the report.


I like it! In the Universe object, you could have a checkbox that says "calculate in report". I'm guessing that for these objects, they could only include other object references, rather than raw SQL, since BO will need to "know" which other objects it has to forcibly pull into the result set, for you.

Maybe this should even be another class of object, rather than the usual Measure object. Call it a "report-side Measure", and if your object is of this type, it almost acts like a Detail object and brings in the other related objects, so that a report-time calculation can be made.
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joepeters
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:38 am 
Post subject: Re: Universe and Data Access enhancements

Great idea icon_smile.gif

I don't think it would work to have it as a checkbox in a regular object, since its definition will be in WebI formula language, not SQL. (and actually, you'd need a separate entry for WebI formula and DeskI formula).

A separate object type would be perfect -- and I like the idea of automatically including in the query the universe objects that it references.

This would be a huge win if implemented.

Joe
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dnewton
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:39 am 
Post subject: Re: Universe and Data Access enhancements

joepeters wrote:
I don't think it would work to have it as a checkbox in a regular object, since its definition will be in WebI formula language, not SQL. (and actually, you'd need a separate entry for WebI formula and DeskI formula).


Mmmm, good point. But maybe BO could do this solely using Webi, since it'll be one more reason to get people to switch away from deski. And therefore lessen the development effort on BO's part, rather than having to update Deski to understand these objects too.
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joepeters
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:41 am 
Post subject: Re: Universe and Data Access enhancements

yep, true - not like this would be implemented as part of an SP on 3.x!
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Dustin
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:04 pm 
Post subject: Re: Universe and Data Access enhancements

Idea: Spell Check
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TurningPointHolland
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:58 am 
Post subject: Re: Universe and Data Access enhancements

Hi,

Today an idea in my head was born. Suppose in your company you want to have control of all metadata you have in your systems. Who does not want this? Everybody, I think!
But : the most common answer is : How do we set up this and how can we avoid doubling information about definitions and last but least : it should be easy in setting it up and userfriendly to its users!

And now...
A possible solution. Use 1 metadata tool and point to the definitions with your BI reporting tool with a hyperlink. Of course at object level!

So, suppose we have 1 metadatatool where all metadata is defined and controlled. In our Deski or Webi reports we can hyperlink to the metadata info by clicking on it!

Let's think about the following idea of putting an extra component in the object description in the Designer. Create an extra field in every object where you can fill in an url. Create a toggle button that is set default on "Off". Universe designers can decide to use it whether or not at object level. If you switch it to "On" all report users can hyperlink to the definition (html location) if necessary and see e.g. which metadata is behind this measure/dimension/detail object. No more discussions about what is profit, cost definitions....

Of course you set set some properties to set the hyperlink behaviour (colouring, mouse-over actions, etc...) in the designer.
Of course the metadatatool itself should be a web product where every object has its own URL.
I will create some screenshots in the attachment file (zip) later on to show how it should be.
And if I am wrong because this functionality is already there somewhere please let me know.

All other discussions are welcome!
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Ton Vermeij
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dnewton
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:11 am 
Post subject: Re: Universe and Data Access enhancements

Perhaps to describe what you're saying, in a different way:

Have Universe Designer become a focal point for metadata. You can put in a long description in the object but that it somewhat limited. Why not provide a place where you could put in an URL that goes to some outside place (a wiki, or corporate dictionary), for a complete description?

I do think you get some of this integration if you're using BO Metadata Manager.

Also, the same table.column -- the same universe object like "Customer Age" -- could be reused across many universes, so you wouldn't want to have to maintain that link in many universes. Here's where true object inheritance across universes would help.
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TurningPointHolland
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:57 pm 
Post subject: Re: Universe and Data Access enhancements

Hi Dnewton,

Good remark!
We here have 1 dimension universe that is linked to several child universes. In this dimension universe all dimension objects are stored only 1 time.
But all measures are not in 1 universe. But every measure is not in more than universe I hope. Otherwise you have to copy the url and there starts the duplication.
Thanks for the remark about the Metadata Manager. I will search for the whitepaper and read it.

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Ton Vermeij
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Owner of www.theturningpoint.nl and co-founder of
www.bi-united.nl (dutch BI-freelancers network)
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agulland
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:57 pm 
Post subject: Re: Universe and Data Access enhancements

Hey all,

A couple of ideas spring to mind.

I would find it useful if we could save the results of the integrity check to a file. When I'm releasing a universe from dev to test to pre prod environments a quick integrity check makes sure the universe and underlying data mart are in synch. And when doing this it would be good to save the integrity check result as test evidence to a file or at least copy to clipboard.

Another idea is security related. Currently we can use the bo_user universe variable to get the users logon name and then use this for row level security. However in my current project I have a security requirement not based on username but on the user location - I already have users in location groups in BusinessObjects and so what would be useful here would be to get the user group in a similar manner - bo_group variable?

regards

AL

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Further BI articles and reading @ www.gulland.com/wp
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axelrod_eric
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:19 pm 
Post subject: Re: Universe and Data Access enhancements

Idea: Implement a bulk load feature for Universe Restrictions.

Access restrictions are a huge pain to manage, but administration could be much simpler if Designer provided an import/export feature. Perhaps a set of standard Excel or Open Document templates which represent each Restrictions tab? Get a list of users in an Excel file, assign each user a Group, and security is implemented!

Even better... move the Restrictions data to the DB repository. Then users can use the third-party tool of choice to insert, update, or delete rows.
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axelrod_eric
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:26 pm 
Post subject: Re: Universe and Data Access enhancements

Idea: Assign a "priority" to joins.

[Disclaimer: I have not thought through the implications of such a feature]

Ever run into a situation in which loops are unavoidable, even with religious use of contexts and aliases? Ever have to replicate an entire multi-star schema (via aliases and/or derived tables) in order to avoid these loops. Ever have a situation in which, according to the data model in Designer, two paths technically exist from point A to point B, even though only one path actually produces the correct answer?

I would like to be able to assign a set of joins priority "1" and "2" so some or all of the above situations could be avoided. If only we could tell Designer that "if both of these joins are technically possible, only take the highest priority join"...
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joepeters
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:32 am 
Post subject: Re: Universe and Data Access enhancements

axelrod_eric:

I like the idea of join priority, but I'd suggest doing it at the context level vs. individual joins. It would be pretty easy to assign priorities to contexts, which would only be engaged when two contexts are applicable to a query. This would be an alternative to prompting the user to select the context -- if two contexts are "auto-select enabled" and have assigned priorities, then the highest one is selected; else the prompt is displayed.
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axelrod_eric
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:09 am 
Post subject: Re: Universe and Data Access enhancements

joepeters wrote:
I like the idea of join priority, but I'd suggest doing it at the context level vs. individual joins. .


I don't know if this would solve the same problem, but is a great idea in it's own right. I'm sure all of the Universe Ninjas could think through these.
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