Interactive Pivot-style Analysis in Dashboards
By @lex on Nov 09, 2008
Being a Siebel guy, BI Publisher was a new product to learn when I ramped up upon Oracle BI EE 10g, the successor of Siebel Analytics. I really love the integration between the "classic" BI EE and BI Publisher.
As some of you might recall, Siebel had it's own version of pixel-perfect reporting with Siebel Analytics 7.8.4. In that version, Actuate was integrated with Siebel Analytics and some parameters in instanceconfig.xml are quiet reminders of those times, which of course are over now.
Recently, I was preparing a demo for the BI Publisher integration. It is a quick task and I use to do this demo on the fly - just to impress the customer, how easy it is, even I can do it ;-)
But I wanted to to something more than just to create a new dashboard page, drag in the BI Publisher Report object and link to the sample report provided with the sample application (be it paint or Sample Sales).
So I decided to show how stunningly easy it is to bring an interactive pivot report into a BI Dashboard.
BI Publisher incorporates a shy but powerful interactive Analyzer which you can invoke when you are in the BI Publisher Enterprise portal and viewing a report. Just click the Analyze button and you are in the midst of a drag'n'drop pivot-style tool.
What's even cooler is that you can save your Analyzer report as a new template, so it adds to your reports layout options. You can then use that template and direct the output to all formats supported (like HTML, PDF, PPT, etc...).
These templates are .xpa (Xml Publisher Analyzer) files which can be downloaded, customized (they're plain xml) and uploaded again.
Now let's do the trick and click the Link to this report link in the upper right corner. This feature allows you to create a direct URL to that report, maintaining the current layout options. You can do this for any option you choose, so if you're currently viewing a PDF output, you'll get a URL which allows you to download the PDF report (voice from off: "Alright, they got it now.")
Next we can use the Embedded Content object in the dashboard editor and paste the URL there and save the dashboard layout.
The result: A dashboard page which allows an end user to interact with the data using simple drag and drop pivot patterns.
Cool, I'd say again.