Application Developer

Speed Mobile

Quickly deploy line-of-business mobile business intelligence apps with Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile App Designer.

By Mark Rittman Oracle ACE Director

January/February 2014

Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile App Designer enables organizations to quickly deploy HTML5-compliant mobile apps that work with most modern mobile devices, including Apple iOS, Android, and BlackBerry tablets and phones. Part of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g and enabled through the patch set for Oracle Business Intelligence, Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile App Designer is particularly suited to creating line-of-business (LOB) applications because it offers complete control of the layout, navigation, and content of the app with a thin-client layout editor.

This article walks you through creating your first mobile business intelligence (BI) app with Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile App Designer and the Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Sample Application (V309 R2), which can be downloaded from Oracle Technology Network. The designer and the sample app are delivered together as an Oracle VM VirtualBox image, and you’ll use these tools to create an Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile LOB app for a fictitious product marketing manager who needs to quickly see sales and other activity for the brands and products he manages on his mobile device.

Creating an Initial Business Intelligence Mobile App

To create your first Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile app, first download the Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition sample application (V309 R2), unzip the files, and import them into your Oracle VM VirtualBox environment. Then follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that the Oracle VM VirtualBox SampleApp V309 R2 virtual machine has been started and that Oracle Database, Oracle WebLogic Server, and the services required to run Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g are running. Navigate to the toolbar at the top of the desktop, and click the Firefox web browser icon to open a new browser window.

  2. When the web browser opens, enter http://localhost:9704/analytics as the web address and click Enter to navigate to the local Oracle Business Intelligence website. On the login page, use the username and password Prodney/Admin123 and click Sign In to display the home page.

  3. To start creating your mobile app, select New -> Mobile App from the application menu. A wizard appears that enables you to select the mobile device type your app will target and the datasource it will use. When prompted, select Tablet as the device type and BI Subject Area as the datasource type and ensure that A – Sample Sales is selected as the subject area for your datasource. Then click Save and, when prompted, navigate to the Shared Folders->Mobile App Designer catalog folder, name your app Product Manager Brief, and click OK to save the initial app definition to the Presentation Services catalog.

  4. The mobile app you’ll now create will include a title page and a set of subsequent pages that contain charts, tables, and other visualization components. The app should now be open for editing, with the title page already created for you and a default cover image you can use or replace with one of your own. For this example, leave the default image in place but double-click the page name field and change the page name to Welcome!, as shown in Figure 1.


    Figure 1: Editing the title page name

    Then, on the same page, scroll down and locate the page title and subtitle text, double-click each in turn, and change them to Product Manager Brief and Powered by Oracle BI, respectively.

  5. Now you’ll start creating the pages to contain the app’s content, with the first one enabling the user to navigate up and down within the product hierarchy, showing graphs and tables for products and product groupings the user selects. To create this page, ensure that the Insert tab is selected in the Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile App Designer ribbon toolbar and then select Page -> Navigation Page. When prompted, select Products -> P3 LOB as the column to group by and Summation of Facts -> Base Facts -> 1Revenue as the measure to display alongside the product LOB names. When the selections are complete, click OK to close the dialog box and display the new page, ready for editing.

  6. With the new page open for editing, in the same way you did with the title page, change the page name from Page 2 to Brands and Products. Then navigate to the top left corner of the page editor, where you will see a navigation area with P3 LOB as the title and two tiles underneath it: P3 LOB on one side and 1Revenue on the other. Using the Data Source panel on the far left of the page, drag and drop the Products -> P2 Product Type data item onto the Drop Here tile immediately below the P3 LOB tile in the page editor, as shown in Figure 2, to define the navigation path for that page.


    Figure 2: Defining the navigation path for the app page

  7. Now that you have defined the navigation path, you can add app components to the right side of the page. When the user navigates through the product hierarchy on the left side of the page, the components on the right side will automatically filter the product group the user has selected.

    With the Insert tab selected, start by dragging and dropping a Chart component into the top left cell in the layout grid, so that the default vertical bar chart is added to the layout grid, ready for you to configure. To create a bar chart that displays the total revenue for all production within the selection, use the following settings:

    Chart Type: Bar -> Vertical Bar (default)
    Value: Facts -> Base Facts -> 1 – Revenue
    Label: Products -> P1 Product
  8. Now drag and drop another chart component into the top right cell in the layout grid, using the following settings: Time -> T03 Per Name Qtr

    Chart Type: Line -> Vertical Line
    Value: Facts -> Base Facts -> 1 – Revenue
    Series: Products -> P2 Product Type
    Label: Time -> T03 Per Name Qtr
  9. For the bottom left cell in the layout grid, add a table of the top five best-selling products within the selected product group. With the Insert tab selected, drag and drop a Table component into this cell and then drop the Products -> P1 Product data item onto the table so that it is left-aligned within the table. Then drag and drop the Facts -> Base Facts -> 1Revenue data item onto the table next to it on the right, so that the revenue for each product is displayed.

    Next, filter the list so that only the top five products by revenue are displayed. To do this, click the whole Table component so that it is selected and then click Filter on the ribbon menu, as shown in Figure 3.


    Figure 3: Filtering the rows displayed in the table

    In the Filter dialog box, which appears, select the following values to return just the top five products by revenue:

    Data Field: 1 – Revenue
    Operator: is in top
    Value: 5

    Click OK to close the dialog box.

    To ensure that the table’s contents fit within the available space on the mobile app page, click each of the columns and column headers within the Table component to select them and then use the Font setting on the ribbon menu to change each element’s font size to 10 points.

    To clean up the column headings and set the column number format, click the two table column headers in turn and edit P1 Product to read Product and 1 – Revenue to read Revenue.

    Finally, click the column containing the revenue measure, select Currency as the Data Formatting value, and repeat this for the total cell at the bottom of the column.

  10. Finally, put an image from the product catalog into the bottom right cell in the layout grid, to show how these mobile apps can display text, images, and other content relevant to the application. To add an image, ensure that the Insert tab is selected in the ribbon menu and click in the bottom right cell to select it. Then click Image in the menu and drag it into the empty cell. Enter the following URL at the Insert an Image prompt:
    %2FResources Uploaded in Webcat

    Note that this image URL refers to a JPG file contained in the SampleApp Presentation Services Catalog, used elsewhere in the demonstration dashboards. You can upload your own image if you prefer or reference an image file accessible to your Oracle Business Intelligence server.

    When the selections and the edits are complete, click Save to save the app definition to the SampleApp Presentation Services Catalog. You’re now at the point where you can preview your app before publishing it to the SampleApp Mobile Apps Store Apps Library, where your users can subscribe to it.

  11. To preview the app, click Preview (above the ribbon menu). You can then work with a preview of the app in your web browser, using the menu button at the top left of the page to switch between the cover page and the page containing your BI components, and use the navigation elements on the second page to move up and down within the product hierarchy, as shown in Figure 4.


    Figure 4: Previewing your mobile app

Now that you’ve created your mobile app, you can append additional pages with features such as tile and pivot table components and additional navigation components such as accordion menus and links to subpages. SampleApp V309 R2, which comes with several example mobile apps already installed and ready to be subscribed to, is accessible from your web browser at http://localhost:9704/mobile/appstore.

If you’ve already looked at the example apps on the SampleApp Mobile Apps Store Apps Library, you might be wondering how to get your new app listed alongside all the others in the Apps Library section, ready to be subscribed to and accessed by end users. To do this, you have to publish the app, and in this next set of steps, you’ll do just that.

Publishing Your App to the Mobile App Store

When your app is ready to be made available for your end users to use, you can publish it to the app store by following these steps:

  1. Ensure that you are still logged in to the Oracle Business Intelligence website, open your app for editing again, and confirm that the Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile App Designer layout editor is displaying your app in edit mode.

  2. Click the Publish button, at the top of the screen. The Publish App dialog box will then appear.

  3. On the Sign-In page, leave Local as the default value and click Next. On the Enter Attributes page, click Browse to navigate to and select the following file—


    —and click Next.

  4. The dialog box should then display the message “Your app is valid. Click Publish to publish your app to the Apps Library.” When the message appears, click Publish and then click View. You should see your new mobile app displayed in the Apps Library, as shown in Figure 5.


    Figure 5: Viewing the app as listed in the Apps Library

Congratulations! You have just created and published your first mobile BI app, using Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile App Designer.


Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile App Designer complements Oracle Business Intelligence’s other mobile BI tools, providing a drag-and-drop environment for creating rich, interactive mobile apps that can be viewed by any HTML5-compliant mobile device.

To learn more about Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile App Designer, view documentation including User’s Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile App Designer 11g Release 1 (11.1.1), watch videos on how to create a mobile BI app and use key designer features, explore tutorials, review collateral, and interact with social media.

Next Steps

 READ more about Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile App Designer

 Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Sample Application (V309 R2)

Photography by Matic Kozinc, Unsplash