ODI 11g Studio UI Framework Enhancements
By Alex Kotopoulis on Nov 29, 2010
Thanks to Tom O'Shaughnessy for contributing this article!
This article covers the new UI framework used in the ODI 11g studio. The 11g Studio is now based on the JDeveloper IDE framework, called Fusion Client Platform (FCP). The following paragraphs explain the new windowing system and provides tips to efficiently take advantage of it.
You will immediately notice some major UI enhancements when running ODI 11g as compared to previous versions. The first change you notice is a single Main Window with which to interact. All of the functionality which was spread out across the 4 separate windows (Designer, Topology, Operator, and Security) in 10g are available directly from the improved user interface made possible by using common Oracle UI components such as Dockable Windows, Start Page, Navigators and Editors. We'll take a quick look at each of these next.
The ODI 11g Studio is composed of a Main Window containing a variety of Dockable Windows. You can recognize these Dockable Windows because they have 'Tabs' grouping their contents. One familiar concept you should recognize is the 'active' or 'current' Dockable Window is the one whose tab is 'highlighted', in the picture below it is the one titled 'Designer'.
You can see on the above picture of the ODI 11g Studio there are 3 Dockable Windows shown along with the Start Page. From this Start Page you can directly access a variety of in-depth assistance tools and links to help you perform your various ODI tasks.
The "Connect To Repository..." button is prominently displayed giving you quick access to connecting to your Master and (optionally) Work Repositories. Once you've connected to your Repositories, the Navigators are displayed in the 3 Dockable Windows titled: Designer, Topology and Operator as shown here:
As you can see the Navigator is composed of a collection of Accordions. Each Accordion contains a tree of related nodes. Each Accordion can be 'expanded' or 'collapsed' independently as you need to gain access to the nodes you require to perform your various tasks. In the example above, the 'Projects' and 'Models' Accordions have been expanded while the others have been left collapsed. To toggle the expansion state of an Accordion you simply click on the Arrowhead to the left of the Accordion title.
Why are 'Dockable Windows' called 'Dockable'? Well, that's because they can be 'docked' at a variety of locations as you personally choose. You've already seen the 3 Navigator's Dockable Windows 'stacked' and docked on the left side of the main window. At some point you may find you would like to view the contents of the Designer and the Topology Navigator at the same time. To accomplish this, you would simply undock the Topology Navigator by left-click dragging the Topology Tab and re-attaching it at a different location. In the example below we docked it below the Designer Navigator.
Here are some Quick Tips to using the ODI 11g Studio User Interface:
- To toggle the expansion state of an Accordion in a Navigator you can click anywhere on Accordion's Title Bar near the Title.
- Any Accordion can be hidden by clicking on button available on the far right of the Accordion's Title Bar and choosing 'Minimize'. This will remove the Accordion from being displayed currently.
- To restore an Accordion from its 'Minimized' state, click on the 'bar' at the bottom of the navigator to see the list of 'Minimized' accordions. You would then click on the name of the Accordion you want to restore.
- Some Accordions have a 'Quick Menu' in their title bar allowing quick selection of actions relative to that Accordion.
Dockable Windows & Editors:
- Can easily be closed by clicking the 'small x' in its Tab.
- Double-clicking its Tab will cause it to be 'Maximized' and take up the entire Main Window. Double clicking again will cause it to be 'restored' to original size.
- A context menu is available by Right Clicking its the Tab.
- Each Navigator is contained in a Dockable Window, so all the actions described for Dockable Windows also apply to Navigators!
- The View Menu on the Main Window provides an easy way to restore a Navigator that has been 'Closed'
- Many of the Nodes shown in the Navigators are support drag-and-drop. So, having the Designer Navigator open and the Models Accordion open will allow you to easily drag a datastore onto an Interface Editor for example. You can also utilize drag-and-drop to move a datastore into a folder on the Navigator.
- Most of the Nodes shown in the Navigators have a context menu which can be utilized by right-mouse-clicking it. The popup menu shown will have actions related specifically to that node.
- Double clicking a node that has an Editor associated with it will open its editor, or if the editor is already open it will become 'active'.