Creating and Changing Database Outlines

In This Section:

Process for Creating Outlines

Creating and Editing Outlines

Locking and Unlocking Outlines

Adding Dimensions and Members to an Outline

Setting Data Storage Properties

Positioning Dimensions and Members

Verifying Outlines

Saving Outlines

Some information in this chapter applies only to block storage databases and is not relevant to aggregate storage databases.

Also see:

All examples in this chapter are based on the Sample.Basic database.

Process for Creating Outlines

This section provides an overview of creating outlines using Outline Editor. For information about Outline Editor, see the Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help.

For basic information about outlines, see Understanding Multidimensional Databases.

  To create an outline:

  1. Create a database. The new database automatically contains a blank outline.

    See Creating Applications and Databases.

  2. Open the outline.

    See Creating and Editing Outlines.

  3. Add dimensions and members to the outline.

    See Adding Dimensions and Members to an Outline.

  4. Set each dimension as dense or sparse.

    See Setting Data Storage Properties.

  5. Position dimensions and members in the outline.

    See Positioning Dimensions and Members.

  6. Set dimension and member properties.

    See Setting Dimension and Member Properties.

  7. If necessary, create attribute dimensions and associate them with the appropriate base dimensions.

    See Working with Attributes.

  8. Verify and save the outline.

    See Figure 37 and Saving Outlines.

Creating and Editing Outlines

The database outline defines the structure of the database. Outline Editor displays the dimension hierarchy of an outline visually.

When a database is created, Essbase creates an outline for that database automatically. The outline has the same name as the database (dbname.otl) and is stored in the database directory on Essbase Server. You can create content in the new outline in the following ways:

  • In Outline Editor, open the empty outline created by default when you create a database and add content manually.

    See “Opening and Editing Outlines” in the Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help.

  • Copy an existing outline to the current database and change the existing outline.

  • Create content using data sources and rules files.

    See Understanding Data Loading and Dimension Building.

Caution!

If you open the same outline with two instances of the Administration Services Console using the same login ID, each save overwrites the changes of the other instance. Oracle does not recommend this practice, as it can be difficult to keep track of the changes that are saved or overwritten.

  To create an outline or open an existing outline, use a tool:

Tool

Topic

Location

Administration Services

Opening and Editing Outlines

Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help

MaxL

create database

Oracle Essbase Technical Reference

ESSCMD

CREATEDB

Oracle Essbase Technical Reference

  To copy an existing outline, use a tool:

Tool

Topic

Location

Administration Services

Copying Outlines

Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help

MaxL

create database as

Oracle Essbase Technical Reference

ESSCMD

COPYDB

Oracle Essbase Technical Reference

Locking and Unlocking Outlines

In Outline Editor, an outline is always locked when it is opened in edit mode. Essbase unlocks the outline when the outline is closed. When an outline is locked, Essbase does not allow other users to save over, rename, delete, or edit the outline. When you attempt to edit a locked outline, you are given an option to view the outline in Outline Viewer.

If you have Administrator permissions, you can unlock a locked outline. Before you forcefully unlock a locked outline, make sure that no one else is working with it.

Note:

Essbase uses a different process for locking and unlocking outlines than for other database artifacts. See Locking and Unlocking Artifacts.

  To unlock an outline, use a tool:

Tool

Topic

Location

Administration Services

Locking and Unlocking Outlines

Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help

MaxL

create database as

Oracle Essbase Technical Reference

ESSCMD

UNLOCKOBJECT

Oracle Essbase Technical Reference

Adding Dimensions and Members to an Outline

You can add dimensions and member hierarchies to an outline in several ways:

  • Manually, using Outline Editor

  • With a data source and rules file, using Data Prep Editor

Before naming dimensions and members, see Naming Restrictions for Applications and Databases.

  To add dimensions and members to an outline using Outline Editor, see “Adding Dimensions to Outlines” and “Adding Members to Dimensions” in the Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help.

  To add dimensions and members to an outline using Data Prep Editor, see “Creating Dimension Build Rules Files” in the Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help.

  To add dimensions and members dynamically (using a rules file) from Outline Editor, see “Updating an Outline Dynamically Using a Rules File” in the Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help.

Setting Data Storage Properties

When you create dimensions and save an outline, Essbase automatically sets the new dimensions in the outline as sparse. You can change the dimension storage type according to the optimal configuration for the database.

Set as sparse any standard dimensions with which you plan to associate attribute dimensions. See Selection of Dense and Sparse Dimensions.

  To set data storage properties using Outline Editor, see “Setting Dimensions as Dense or Sparse” in the Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help.

Positioning Dimensions and Members

Dimensions are the highest level of organization in an outline. Dimensions contain members, which you can nest inside of other members in a hierarchy. See Dimensions and Members.

The following sections describe how to position dimensions and members in the outline.

Note:

The relative locations of dimensions in an outline can affect calculation and retrieval performance times. See Designing an Outline to Optimize Performance.

Moving Dimensions and Members

After you create dimensions and members, you can rearrange them within the outline. Before moving members and dimensions in an outline, consider the following information:

  • The positions of dimensions and members in an outline can affect performance.

    See Optimizing Outline Performance.

  • Moving dimensions and members can affect the performance of calculations and retrievals.

    See Designing an Outline to Optimize Performance.

  • Moving members could move a shared member before the actual member in the outline (which is not recommend).

  • If you add, delete, or move nonattribute dimensions or members, Essbase restructures the database, and you must recalculate the data.

  • Position attribute dimensions at the end of the outline. Otherwise, during outline verification, Essbase prompts you to move them there.

  To position dimensions and members using Outline Editor, see “Manipulating Dimensions and Members in an Outline” in the Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help.

Sorting Dimensions and Members

You can have Essbase arrange dimensions within an outline or members within a dimension in alphabetical order (A–Z) or reverse alphabetical order (Z–A). For a list of consequences of sorting dimensions and members, see Moving Dimensions and Members.

When you sort level 0 members of numeric attribute dimensions in outlines, the members are sorted by their values. For example, Figure 37, Sorting Numeric Versus Text Attribute Dimension in Ascending Order shows text and numeric versions of the Sizes attribute dimension after sorting the members in ascending order. The members of the numeric attribute dimension (on the right) are sequenced by the numeric values of the members; the member 8 is before the other members. In the text attribute dimension (on the left), because the characters are sorted left to right, the member 8 is after the member 24.

Figure 37. Sorting Numeric Versus Text Attribute Dimension in Ascending Order

This image shows the ascending order of sorted values. For the text attribute dimension, the member order is 12, 16, 24, 8. For the numeric attribute dimension, the member order is 8, 12, 16, 24.

You cannot sort Boolean attribute dimensions. See Understanding Attribute Types.

  To sort members using Outline Editor, see “Sorting Members” in the Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help.

Verifying Outlines

You can verify an outline automatically when you save it, or you can verify the outline manually anytime. When verifying an outline, Essbase checks the following items:

  • All member and alias names are valid. Members and aliases cannot have the same name as other members, aliases, generations, or levels.

    See Naming Restrictions for Applications and Databases.

  • Only one dimension is tagged as accounts, time, currency type, or country.

  • Shared members are valid.

    See Understanding the Rules for Shared Members.

  • Level 0 members are not tagged as label only.

  • Label-only members have not been assigned formulas.

  • A descendant of a label only member is not tagged as Dynamic Calc.

    See Understanding Label Only Members.

  • The currency category and currency name are valid for the currency outline.

  • Dynamic Calc members in sparse dimensions do not have more than 100 children.

  • If a parent member has one child, and if that child is a Dynamic Calc member, the parent member must also be Dynamic Calc.

  • If a parent member has one child, and if that child is a Dynamic Calc, two-pass member, the parent member must also be Dynamic Calc, two-pass.

  • The two names of members of Boolean attribute dimensions are the same as the two Boolean attribute dimension member names defined for the outline.

  • The level 0 member name of a date attribute dimension must match the date format name setting (mm-dd-yyyy or dd-mm-yyyy). If the dimension has no members, because the dimension name is the level 0 member, the dimension name must match the setting.

  • The level 0 member name of a numeric attribute dimension is a numeric value. If the dimension has no members, because the dimension name is the level 0 member, the dimension name must be a numeric value.

  • Attribute dimensions are located at the end of the outline, following all standard dimensions.

  • Level 0 Dynamic Calc members of standard dimensions have a formula.

  • Formulas for members are valid.

  • In a Hybrid Analysis outline, only the level 0 members of a dimension can be Hybrid Analysis-enabled.

During outline verify, Essbase also performs the following conversions to appropriate numeric attribute dimension member names and displays them in the outline:

  • It moves minus signs in member names from the front to the end of the name; for example, –1 becomes 1–.

  • It strips out leading or trailing zeroes in member names; for example, 1.0 becomes 1, and 00.1 becomes 0.1.

See Understanding Attribute Types.

  To verify an outline, see “Verifying Outlines” in the Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help.

Saving Outlines

You can save outlines to the Essbase Server or to a client computer or network. By default, Essbase saves outlines to the database directory on Essbase Server. If you are saving changes to an outline, Essbase may restructure the outline. For example, if you change a member name from Market to Region, Essbase moves data stored in reference to Market to Region. Each time that you save an outline, Essbase verifies the outline to ensure that it is correct.

  To save an outline, see “Saving Outlines” in the Oracle Essbase Administration Services Online Help.

Also see the following sections.

Saving an Outline with Added Standard Dimensions

If you add one or more new standard (nonattribute) dimensions, any data that existed previously in the database must be mapped to a member of each new dimension before the outline can be saved. For example, adding a dimension called Channel to the Sample.Basic outline implies that all previous data in Sample.Basic is associated with a particular channel or the sum of all channels.

Saving an Outline with One or More Deleted Standard Dimensions

If you delete one or more standard (nonattribute) dimensions, the data associated with only one member of each deleted dimension must be retained and associated with a member of one of the other dimensions. For example, removing a dimension called Market from the outline implies that all of the data that remains in the database after the restructure operation is associated with a single, specified member of the Market dimension.

If you delete an attribute dimension, Essbase deletes the associations to its base dimension. See Working with Attributes.

Creating Sub-Databases Using Deleted Members

  To create a sub-database:

  1. Delete a dimension from an existing outline.

  2. Save the database using a different name, and specify the member to keep.

    Only one member can be kept when a dimension is deleted. See Saving an Outline with One or More Deleted Standard Dimensions.