Combining Multiple Data Sources in BusinessObjects Reports

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Combining Multiple Data Sources in BusinessObjects Reports

  1. 1. Combining Multiple Data Sources in BusinessObjects Reports George Wickey RZ Solutions October 2002
  2. 2. Topics  Overview of available data sources  Combining data from multiple sources in the same document  Combining data from multiple sources to the block level (Synchronizing by Linking)  Resolving common issues with Excel spreadsheets as a data source  Q&A Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 3
  3. 3. Available Data Sources in BusinessObjects  Universe  Free-Hand SQL/ SELECT Name, Title FROM Employees Stored procedures  OLAP servers  Personal data files  VB procedures VBA Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 4
  4. 4. The Universe 1/3  The universe is the “semantic layer” that protects the end user from the database (and vice-versa)  Each universe is a partial representation of a database presented in terms with which users are familiar Sales/Marketing Sales Revenue Sales Executive Customer Human Employee Product Resources Salary Price Benefits... Order Date ... Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 5
  5. 5. The Universe 2/3  Business Objects designers create universes against the database  Users are given universe access in the BusObj repository  Using a simple front-end, users perform complex queries without database knowledge or an understanding of SQL Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 6
  6. 6. The Universe 3/3 Users build queries against the universe in the Query Panel BusObj infers the SQL and returns correct results in report format Users then massage the presentation layer of the data locally Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 7
  7. 7. Free-Hand SQL 1/2  Data provider that allows users to utilize SQL scripts in BusinessObjects  BusObj supports different types of SQL orders  PL/SQL  Transact SQL  Users must be granted access by the Supervisor to utilize their own SQL/edit existing SQL  SQL statements can include prompts and LOV’s  Restrictions on free-hand SQL  COMPUTE and ORDER BY statements are not executed in BusinessObjects  In order to apply sorts, the columns must be either ordered in the SQL statement or in the BusObj report Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 8
  8. 8. Free-Hand SQL 2/2 Specify free-hand SQL as the data source Select or create a connection; create or browse to a SQL script Parse the SQL script (optional) View or run the query Analyze and massage the presentation layer of the data locally Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 9
  9. 9. Stored Procedures 1/2  Sets of SQL statements saved as executables in a database  Often created by DBAs but can be created by users with appropriate access  Users can create and edit stored procedures in BusObj using free-hand SQL  Restrictions on stored procedures  Access is granted to the database or account where stored procedures are located via Supervisor  BusObj does not support stored procedures for all db’s  Consult the Database Guide for your RDBMS  COMPUTE, PRINT, OUTPUT and STATUS statements are not executed in BusinessObjects Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 10
  10. 10. Stored Procedures 2/2 Specify stored procedure as the data source Select or define the db connection Choose the stored procedure Define parameters Analyze and massage the presentation layer of the data locally Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 11
  11. 11. OLAP Servers  What is OLAP?  On-Line Analytical Processing  Software that provides a multidimensional view of data for the purpose of business analysis  Data is stored for optimized data retrieval and ease of use  Tracks business performance based on dimensions and measures  Sample OLAP reports  Marketing: “Top five demographic groups who buy product X”  Financial: “Top 5 expense items by department”  Manufacturing: “% Reject Rates Analysis”  Sales Analysis: “Top five sales reps by region who sold Product X and Y” Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 12
  12. 12. Supported OLAP Servers  BW Connect  MDX Connect  Hyperion Essbase  Oracle Express  IBM DB2 OLAP Server Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 13
  13. 13. Sample OLAP Panels 1/2 BusinessObjects IBM DB2 OLAP Access Pack Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 14
  14. 14. Sample OLAP Panels 2/2 BusinessObjects BW Connect Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 15
  15. 15. Personal Data Files 1/2  Data provider that allows users to access data in Excel spreadsheets, dBase files and text files  Allows access to data source without a database connection  Users can compare corporate data with personal data  When going against text files, users can indicate the way data is delimited  | (.asc)  space (.prn)  tabulation (.txt)  semi-colon (.csv) Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 16
  16. 16. Personal Data Files 2/2 Specify personal data file as the data source Specify the file format; browse to the file For Excel files, specify the range; for text files, specify the delimiter Run the query Analyze and massage the presentation layer of the data locally Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 17
  17. 17. VB Procedures 1/2  Using the VBA environment in BusinessObjects, users can write a Visual Basic for Applications procedure to access external data  VBA procedures in BusinessObjects take the DpVBAInterface as a parameter  DpVBAInterface is the interface to the VBA data provider Automation object  This is described in detail in the BusinessObjects SDK Reference Guide Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 18
  18. 18. VB Procedures 2/2 Specify VB procedures as the data source Name and create the subroutine In the VB Editor, compile the project and then close the editor and return to BusinessObjects  Select the subroutine and run the query  Analyze and massage the presentation layer of the data locally Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 19
  19. 19. Demo 1 SHOW ME Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 20
  20. 20. Another Data Source: Web Connect  Add-on VBA data provider  Requires separate installation and product key  Allows users to query and analyze live Internet data  Users can create ad-hoc queries as well as store and access predefined queries in/from “catalogs”  Both catalogs and queries are stored in XML format  Data can be combined with data from other data sources in BusObj reports  Users can apply formatting, perform calculations, etc. Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 21
  21. 21. Web Connect Specify Web Connect as the data source Specify how Internet data is to be accessed Drag and drop from a web page onto the selection box Run the query Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 22
  22. 22. Demo 2 SHOW ME Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 23
  23. 23. Topics  Overview of available data sources  Combining data from multiple sources in the same document  Combining data from multiple sources to the block level (Synchronizing by Linking)  Resolving common issues with Excel spreadsheets as a data source  Q&A Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 24
  24. 24. Combining Data from Multiple Sources  Data from multiple data sources can be combined in the same document effortlessly  Multiple data providers are created and displayed in their own block .xls 1 Universe 2 BusinessObjects document Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 25
  25. 25. Demo 3 SHOW ME Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 26
  26. 26. Topics  Overview of available data sources  Combining data from multiple sources in the same document  Combining data from multiple sources to the block level (Synchronizing by Linking)  Resolving common issues with Excel spreadsheets as a data source  Q&A Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 27
  27. 27. Synchronizing Data Providers by Linking  Data from multiple data sources can be combined in a document to the block level BusinessObjects document Block VBA Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 28
  28. 28. Synchronizing Data Providers by Linking  To successfully combine data from multiple sources in the same block, data providers must be synchronized by linking  Linking is the process of creating a join between data providers based on common objects LINK Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 29
  29. 29. How to Link Linking is performed in the Data Manager Highlight one of the objects to be linked and press the link button Select the other object to be linked in the new window  Close the Data Manager Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 30
  30. 30. What Happens If We Don’t Link BusinessObjects will yield a Cartesian product One of the columns containing measure data will display the sum of all values in each row Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 31
  31. 31. Rules for Data Synchronization 1/2  Only dimension objects can be linked (e.g. Store, Year, Client, Customer)  Any number of dimension objects can be linked  Any number of data providers can be linked by common dimensions  The dimension objects do not have to have the same name (e.g. Client, Client Name) Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 32
  32. 32. Rules for Data Synchronization 2/2  The dimension objects must have a common data format (e.g. character, numeric, etc.)  Common values must be in the same case (Jones, jones treated as unique values)  The format of the values must be the same (e.g. 1999, FY99, values with spaces treated as unique values)  A measure can only be aggregated to the lowest level of data based on the linked data providers (e.g. aggregation at both the year and quarter level) Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 33
  33. 33. Demo 4 SHOW ME Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 34
  34. 34. Topics  Overview of available data sources  Combining data from multiple sources in the same document  Combining data from multiple sources to the block level (Synchronizing by Linking)  Resolving common issues with Excel spreadsheets as a data source  Q&A Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 35
  35. 35. Resolving Excel Date/Data Format Issues  BusinessObjects often has problems with dates when accessing Excel data (e.g. year)  BusObj treats numeric data as if it should be aggregated  As such, when the Year column is brought into the document it is treated as a measure object and is displayed incorrectly  To resolve the issue, the object qualification must be modified in the Data Manager so that Year is treated as a dimension  According to the rules for linking data providers, common objects must have the same data format  In the event they do not, there is a workaround that can be used so that the data providers may be linked  This involves modifying the format of one of the objects  This may not be as simple as it seems Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 36
  36. 36. Workaround for Resolving Format Issues  If the data provider has not yet been created in BusinessObjects  Simply change the format in Excel and save  Create a new data provider against the spreadsheet and link without any issues  If the data provider was already created in BusinessObjects  Change the format in Excel and save  Delete the existing data provider from the document in the Data Manager  Save the document and close BusinessObjects  Log back into BO and open the document  Recreate the data provider against the spreadsheet and link without any issues Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 37
  37. 37. Demo 5 SHOW ME Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 38
  38. 38. Topics  Overview of available data sources  Combining data from multiple sources in the same document  Combining data from multiple sources to the block level (Synchronizing by Linking)  Resolving common issues with Excel spreadsheets as a data source  Q&A Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 39
  39. 39. Q&A Send post conference correspondence to: gwickey@rzsolutions.com Copyright © 2002 Business Objects - All Rights Reserved 40

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