|Oracle® Fusion Middleware User's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition
11g Release 1 (11.1.1)
Part Number E10544-01
This preface describes new features and upgrade considerations in Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g Release 1 (11.1.1).
This preface contains the following topics:
New features in Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition include:
Key Terminology Changes
In this release, the following terminology changes have been made:
iBots have been renamed to agents (also known as intelligent agents)
Requests (or reports) have been renamed to analyses, and the term reports now refers to BI Publisher reports
Presentation columns have been renamed to attribute columns
Charts have been renamed to graphs
Security terminology and architecture has changed. For more information, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Security Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition
Major User Interface Improvements
The user interface has undergone major improvements in several areas, including a new Home page and redesigned editors and panes. These improvements are intended to make working with Oracle BI EE easier and more consistent. This guide provides detailed information on working with the various pieces of the user interface.
The interface has been enhanced to better serve the needs of users with disabilities. For information, see Appendix E, "Accessibility Features."
New Column Type and Related Operations
In previous releases, you included presentation columns and measure columns in analyses. With this release, presentation columns have been renamed to attribute columns and a new column type, hierarchical column, is introduced. For information, see "What Are Subject Areas and Columns?"
Along with the new column type comes new ways to do the following:
Limit the data that is displayed in an analysis. You can continue to use a filter to limit the data for an attribute column, and you can use a "selection step" to limit data for columns by specifying the criteria for a set of members. See "Working with Selections of Data" for information.
Drill in data. You can drill to expand and collapse values in views such as tables, pivot tables, graphs, and maps. For information, see "Drilling in Views".
Sort data values. You can apply sorts to members, measures, and rows in views such as tables, pivot tables, graphs, and maps. Sorting is now enabled by default. See "Sorting Data in Views" for information.
Enhancements to Views
Several of the view types have been enhanced, including those in the following list:
Table and pivot table have been enhanced to function more consistently and to display hierarchical columns. In a pivot table, you can easily drag and drop columns to various edges, to rearrange the display to suit your needs.
See "Editing Table and Pivot Table Views" for information.
Graph and gauge have been enhanced with additional functionality. For example, you can define section sliders for graphs and gauges. (For information about section sliders, see "Defining Section Sliders in Graphs and Gauges".
Map view is a new view type that presents data in spatial form. Through location context, map views allow users to easily discover trends and transactions across regions that might not be obvious in tables or graphs.
See "Editing Map Views" for information.
In addition to view enhancements, this release includes an enhanced Layout pane to accompany those views in which you can manipulate data. See "Modifying the Layout of Data in Views" for information.
In this release, you can also create master-detail relationships among certain view types. For information, see "What is Master-Detail Linking of Views?"
Calculated Items and Groups
You can continue to create calculated items to perform mathematical operations on members. In previous releases, you could create a calculated item for an attribute column. In this release, you can create a calculated item for the members of an attribute column or of a hierarchical column.
In this release, you can create a "group" of members to display in a view. The group inherits the aggregation function of the measure column with which it is displayed.
See "Working with Groups and Calculated Items" for information.
Multiple Subject Areas
In this release, you can work with multiple subject areas. In addition to the primary subject area that you select when you create a new analysis, filter, or dashboard prompt, you can include additional subject areas that are related to the primary subject area with which to work.
For information, see:
In addition, you can view metadata information for subject areas, folders, columns, and hierarchy levels. See "Viewing Metadata Information from the Subject Areas Pane" for information.
Interaction with Other Oracle Products
In this release:
Oracle BI Publisher is a fully integrated member of the Oracle BI EE suite by default. All of the BI Publisher functionality appears seamlessly within the Oracle BI EE application, and all of the reports and related objects are created within Oracle BI EE and saved to the Oracle BI Presentation Catalog.
For information, see "How Does Oracle BI EE Interact with Other Products?"
Oracle Hyperion Smart View is available for download from the Oracle BI EE Home page.
For information, see "Integration of Oracle BI EE with Oracle Enterprise Performance Management System".
The integration of Oracle BI EE with Oracle Business Intelligence Add-in for Microsoft Office has been enhanced.
For information, see Appendix D, "Integrating with Microsoft Office."
SQL Functions for Time Series Calculations and Level-Based Measures
The following new and revised SQL functions enable you to create time series calculations and level-based measures:
PERIODROLLING is a new function that computes the sum of a measure over the period starting x units of time and ending y units of time from the current time.
AGGREGATE AT is a new function that aggregates columns based on the level or levels specified.
AGO is a time series aggregation function that calculates the aggregated value from the current time back to a specified time period. In this release, the
time_level argument is optional, and there are additional syntax changes. This function was called
PERIODAGO in the previous release.
TODATE is a time series aggregation function that aggregates a measure attribute from the beginning of a specified time period to the currently displayed time. The syntax for this function has changed in this release. This function was called
PERIODTODATE in the previous release.
Embedded Database Functions
You can create analyses by directly calling database functions from either Oracle Business Intelligence, or by using a Logical column (in the Logical Table source) within the metadata repository. Key uses for these functions include the ability to pass through expressions to get advanced calculations, as well as the ability to access custom written functions or procedures on the underlying database. Supported functions include
EVALUATE_PREDICATE. See "Database Functions" for information.
Enhancements to Formatting
This release includes enhancements to the way that default formatting is handled. Conditional formatting has been enhanced to work with pivot tables and with hierarchical columns. For complete information, see Chapter 7, "Formatting Analyses, Views, and Dashboard Pages."
Enhancements to the Oracle BI Presentation Catalog
The Oracle BI Presentation Catalog is a powerful, underlying storage directory-based system that contains the objects (dashboards, scorecards, prompts, and KPIs for example) that you create. If you use BI Publisher, then the catalog also contains BI Publisher data and objects (data models and schedules, for example). Using the catalog, you can:
Perform basic tasks such as creating, deleting, and copying objects and folders.
Perform object-specific tasks (for example, modifying settings using the associated editor, or creating and assigning an agent).
Find objects by performing a search.
In addition to these tasks, administrators can:
Access the root folder that contains system-wide object and user data.
Specify permissions that determine the folders and objects that users can view.
Work with properties such as changing the ownership of a folder or viewing the creation date of an object.
Archive the entire catalog, folders, or objects to unzip them in another directory location.
For complete information, see Chapter 13, "Managing Objects in the Oracle BI Presentation Catalog."
Full-Text Search Capability
This release provides a mechanism for searching for objects in the Oracle BI Presentation Catalog that is similar to a full-text search. You can search for objects by various attributes, such as name and description. See "Searching Using Full-Text Catalog Search" for information.
In this release, you can create actions that navigate to related content or that invoke operations, functions, or processes in external systems. You can include actions in analyses, dashboard pages, agents, scorecard objectives, scorecard initiatives, and KPIs. End users can then invoke these actions, for example, as they gain insight from analyzing data in analyses or from viewing dashboards. For information, see Chapter 10, "Working with Actions."
In this release, you can create new objects called conditions. Conditions return a single Boolean value that is based on the evaluation of an analysis or of a key performance indicator (KPI). You can use conditions to determine whether agents deliver their content and execute their actions, whether actions links are displayed in dashboard pages, and whether sections and their content are displayed in dashboard pages. For complete information, see Chapter 9, "Working with Conditions."
Enhancements to Agents
In this release, the functionality of agents (previously called iBots) has been enhanced to incorporate support for conditions and for actions. For information, see Chapter 8, "Delivering Content."
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
In this release, you can create KPIs to represent business measures or metrics (Units Shipped, Manufacturing Costs for example) that you want to monitor, improve, and use to evaluate the performance of the objectives and initiatives that comprise levels of organizational strategy. Use KPIs to perform these tasks:
Collect and present business metrics in a variety of formats such as custom views, analyses, and dashboards.
Aggregate data where KPIs intersect other metrics by specifying dimensionality. For example, a Product Sales KPI can be dimensioned by Region and Fiscal Time to view Product Sales by region and different periods of time such as financial quarter.
To proactively respond to changes in KPI performance, you can create the following:
Agents that notify you when a KPI assesses a specific performance state, such as warning.
Action links that are tasks associated with performance state.
Create a KPI Watchlist of the KPIs that you want to monitor the most frequently or closely.
Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management
In this release, you can use Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management to articulate, evaluate (scorecard), and evolve the performance of your organization or key business areas. You can use Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management to define, depict, and monitor the progress of the strategic goals and requirements (objectives) key to corporate functions, and the tasks and projects (initiatives) that are required to achieve those goals.
For information, see Chapter 12, "Scorecarding."
The following list identifies various items that you need to be aware of if your organization has upgraded from Oracle Business Intelligence 10g to Oracle Business Intelligence 11g Release 1 (11.1.1):
Actions created in previous releases. See "How Will Actions Created in Previous Releases Be Upgraded?"
Analyses that used "Advanced SQL" and were created in previous releases. See "Editing Upgraded Analyses that Contain "Advanced SQL"".
Calculated items created in previous releases. See "How Will Calculated Items Created in Previous Releases Be Upgraded?"
Hidden dashboards created in previous releases. See "Saving Dashboards By Other Names and In Other Locations".
iBots (now known as agents) created in previous releases. See "How Will iBots Created in Previous Releases Be Upgraded?"
Interactions in views. See "How Will Interactions Created in Views in Previous Releases Be Upgraded?"
Measure columns created in previous releases. See "How Will Measure Columns Created in Previous Releases Be Upgraded?"
Totals created in previous releases. See "How Will Report-Based Totals Created in Previous Releases Be Upgraded?"
Sorts specified in previous releases. See "How Will Sort Specifications Created in Previous Releases Be Upgraded?"
Custom files, such as images and help files, that were stored locally in your Oracle Business Intelligence environment. See "Storing Custom Files Locally and Using the fmap Function to Reference Them".
Charts (now known as graphs) created in previous releases. See "How Has the Behavior of Charts Created in Previous Releases Changed?"
Agents folders. During the upgrade, the previously hidden folder named -ibots is renamed Agents, is no longer hidden, and appears in the My Folders and Shared Folders folders.
For information about upgrading to Oracle Business Intelligence 11g, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Upgrade Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence.