OWB 11gR2 - Find and Search Metadata in Designer
By David Allan on Dec 11, 2010
Here are some tools and techniques for finding objects, specifically in the design repository. There are ways of navigating and collating objects that are useful for day to day development and build-time usage - this includes features out of the box and utilities constructed on top.
There are a variety of techniques to navigate and find objects in the repository, the first 3 are out of the box, the 4th is an expert utility.
- Navigating by the tree, grouping by project and module - ok if you are aware of the exact module/folder that objects reside in. The structure panel is a useful way of finding parts of an object, especially when large rather than using the canvas. In large scale projects it helps to have accelerators (either find or collections below).
- Advanced find to search by name - 11gR2 included a find capability specifically for large scale projects. There were improvements in both the tree search and the object editors (including highlighting in mapping for example). So you can now do regular expression based search and quickly navigate to objects within a repository.
- Collections - logically organize your objects into virtual folders by shortcutting the actual objects. This is useful for a range of things since all the OWB services operate on collections too (export/import, validation, deployment). See the post here for new collection functionality in 11gR2.
- Reports for searching by type, updated on, updated by etc. Useful for activities such as periodic incremental actions (deploy all mappings changed in the past week).
The report style view is useful since I can quickly see who changed what and when. You can see all the audit details for objects within each objects property inspector, but its useful to just get all objects changed today or example, all objects changed since my last build etc. This utility combines both UI extensions via experts and the public views on the repository.
In the figure to the right you see the contextual option 'Object Search' which invokes the utility, you can see I have quite a number of modules within my project. Figure out all the potential objects which have been changed is not simple.
The utility is an expert which provides this kind of search capability.
The utility provides a report of the objects in the design repository which satisfy some filter criteria. The type of criteria includes;
- objects updated in the last n days
- optionally filter the objects updated by user
- filter the user by project and by type (table/mappings etc.)
The search dialog appears with these options, you can multi-select the object types, so for example you can select TABLE and MAPPING. Its also possible to search across projects if need be.
If you have multiple users using the repository you can define the OWB user name in the 'Updated by' property to restrict the report to just that user also. Finally there is a search name that will be used for some of the options such as building a collection - this name is used for the collection to be built.
In the example I have done, I've just searched my project for all process flows and mappings that users have updated in the last 7 days. The results of the query are returned in a table containing the object names, types, full path and audit details. The columns are sort-able, you can sort the results by name, type, path etc.
One of the cool things here, is that you can then perform operations on these objects - such as edit them, export single selection or entire results to MDL, create a collection from the results (now you have a saved set of references in the repository, you could do deploy/export etc.), create a deployment script from the results...or even add in your own ideas! You see from this that you can do bulk operations on sets of objects based on search results.
So for example selecting the 'Build Collection' option creates a collection with all of the objects from my search, you can subsequently deploy/generate/maintain this collection of objects.
Under the hood of the expert if just basic OMB commands from the product and the use of the public views on the design repository. You can see how easy it is to build up macro-like capabilities that will help you do day-to-day as well as build like tasks on sets of objects.