Advanced Find and Search in OWB
By Nick Huang on Feb 04, 2010
With Tahoe release of OWB, search functionality is enhanced for a more efficient development process. This includes advanced find and search inside various components. Advanced find enables a user to quickly locate any item inside a graph editor, e.g., a mapping editor. Usually, mappings are used to perform an ETL task. A real world complex mapping can contain hundreds to thousands of objects, including operators, groups and columns. It would be a boring and tedious work for an ETL designer to locate a certain column in the mapping canvas manually. With Advanced Find, tasks like search for a column in a mapping editor should be as easy as several clicks away. Advanced find is not limited to mapping editors, but also available in process flow editors, expert editors, projects tree, locations tree, and lineage/impact editors. Search is also enabled in property inspector, components palette, new objects gallery and messages log.
1. Advanced Find
To start a search in a mapping editor, either use key combination Ctrl+F or go through menu item Search->Find. By default, the advanced find dialog hides all advanced options for simplicity (fig 1). By clicking on "Show Advanced", we get Find By, Match Options, Find Options, Scope, and Direction. These options are straight forward (fig 2). The search engine accepts wildcard and also supports regular expression.
Note that there is a turn-on-highlighting button right to the search text. This option can be used in mapping editors, process flow editors, expert editors etc. In fig 3, all columns starting with CAL_M are highlighted.
Advanced search is context sensitive, and there is no need to close advanced find dialog if we want to switch search context. For example, if we were searching operators in a mapping editor, and then we want to find some table on projects tree, we just need to click the projects navigator once so that the current context is switched to projects navigator, and then search for the table we need as usual.
Search functionality is also available inside many components, such as Component Palette, Property Inspector, New Gallery, and Messages Log.
2. Component Palette
Inside the Component Palette, there is a search bar on the top. In our example, the component palette lists all operators for mappings. If we type "tab" in the search bar and strike enter key, the palette will be split into two parts. The upper part shows our search results, while the lower part shows all pages. See fig 4.
3. Property Inspector
In a Property Inspector, we can find property from the top search bar (fig 5). While a keyword is being typed, the matching property will be highlighted. Note that this is limited to property names such as Business Name, Created By, Description etc..
4. New Gallery
New Gallery (Object Gallery) will be opened by selecting "New..." on the File Menu or on the context menu. If, for instance, the current context is an Oracle Module, we want to create a table. By default, all objects available for Oracle Module will be listed. To narrow down the items listed, type "table" in the search bar. See fig 6.
5. Messages Log
The Messages Log might contain some interesting stuff. Instead of copy and paste the log to an external text editor, we can just search from within OWB. To bring up the search dialog, we can either use shortcut key Ctrl+F, or select Find from Search menu.
To make a summary, in this article, we covered the most useful search functionality, advanced find, and search inside various components. Advanced find provided simple yet powerful interface to users, and can be of great help in searching for objects, especially in a complex mapping. Although the search functionality is a bit of here and there, the goal is to make finding items simpler and speed up the development process using OWB design client.