Item Properties dialog

Use this dialog to set item properties. For example, to change the name or formula of an item.

For more information, see:

"Maintaining Items and Item Classes"

"How to edit item properties"

The Item Properties dialog contains two tabs:

Item Properties dialog: General tab

Use this tab to configure the item.


Use this field to change the name of the item. By default, the name is derived from the database column on which the item is based.

Note: This field becomes read-only if the Auto generate name property is set to Yes.

Note: If you change the name of an item, this might affect the names of secondary elements (for example, joins and items in complex folders) that have the Auto generate name property set to Yes (for more information, see "About generating and updating EUL item names automatically").

Auto generate name

Use this field to change the value of the Auto generate property to Yes or No. When the Auto generate name property is set to Yes, Discoverer enables the names of some types of End User Layer (EUL) items to be dynamically generated, whenever a folder or item name (used in this type of item) is changed.

This field becomes read-only when the Auto generate name property is not applicable to this type of item.

For more information about this property, see "About generating and updating EUL item names automatically".


Use this field to change the description of the item. The contents of this field are displayed on the description line of Discoverer Plus's Query Wizard.

Data type

This read-only field displays the data type of the item, supplied by the column definition in the data dictionary. This field is not editable because it identifies the data type directly from the dictionary.


Use this field to display the "Edit Calculation dialog" where you change the item's formula. A formula displayed in this field means the item is a derived item. A derived item is created, by applying a calculation to an existing item. For example, a derived item can be the calculation for percentage profit. Deriving items in the business area means users do not have to know complex formulas themselves to calculate analysis results. A field containing a column name indicates that it is not a derived item and that its data comes directly from the database column (in this case, the field is read-only).

Database column

This field displays the derivation of the item. It consists of the owner's user name, the table name and column name. If this field is blank, the column has been created from a formula.

Visible to User

Use this field to specify whether the item is visible to Discoverer end users:

  • choose Yes to display the item in Discoverer Plus.

  • choose No to hide the item in Discoverer Plus

Note: You typically use the No option to hide items that must be present in the folder to be used in calculations, but are of no value or are inappropriate to display to the end user. Other hidden items might contain data such as primary and foreign keys or sensitive data such as salary information.

Item Class

Use this field to change the item class to which the item belongs. Use the list to select an alternative item class. This field is active only when the item is an axis item.

Date Hierarchy

Use this field to change the date hierarchy that is applied to the item. A list is available of valid date hierarchies that can be applied to the item. The field is inactive when the item is not a date item.

Default position

Use this field to change where the item is positioned by default on worksheets (for example, Side, Page, Top, Datapoint)

Default aggregate

Use this field to change the aggregate type for the item (if numeric).


Use this field to change the heading. Discoverer displays the Heading property of each item used in a worksheet. By default, the heading is the item's Name property, which is derived from the database column on which the item is based.

Format mask

Use this field to change the default format mask used to display the item in Discoverer end user workbooks. The syntax uses standard Oracle formats found in the Server SQL Language Reference Manual, which is supplied with your Oracle database. By default, a listing shows sample format masks appropriate for the item's data type. You can enter your own format mask if the samples do not list the one you want.

Note: Discoverer Administrator does not currently enable you to use the Euro currency symbol in the format mask. However, you can specify the Euro currency symbol in the format mask using Discoverer Plus. For more information, see the Oracle Fusion Middleware User's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer Plus.


Use this field to change the alignment of data displayed in Discoverer Plus. Select an alignment from the drop down menu. The default selection, General, right aligns numeric data, and left aligns date and text data.

Word Wrap

Use this field to specify whether text data wraps in Discoverer Plus.

Note: Setting this to Yes can impact on performance in Discoverer Plus when accessing large amounts of text data.

Case Storage

Use this field to specify how text items are stored in the database, independent of how they are displayed. The Discoverer end user does not see this information. It enables you to optimize the use or display of this information in end-user workbooks. For example, if the data is already being stored correctly, you do not need to modify the text using the Display case option. Setting this value can improve the user's performance when running queries with conditions. If the data is always stored in uppercase in the database, set the value to uppercase. If the data is stored in lowercase, set the value to lowercase.

Display case

Use this field to change how items are displayed in workbooks.

Default width

Use this field to change the item's default width (in characters) when displayed in end user reports. This value is only used if Use Default Width is set in Discoverer Plus (under Tools | Options | Table).

Replace NULL with

Use this field to change how Discoverer displays null characters. For example, null = We're out... order now!, null = 0, null = nothing visible, or space.

Content type

Use this field to specify that the item contents are to be used to launch an external application. Choose FILE if the data item contents require another application to run, such as Microsoft Excel or an Internet browser. Choose <NONE> if the data type does not require another application.

Note: Setting this field to FILE only enables the item contents to display the data by launching an external application, when you are using Discoverer Desktop.

If the item contains a binary large object (BLOB), the file extension determines the application (that is, which .exe file) to use to view the item. For example, .DOC uses MS Word, .WAV plays a sound through the currently registered sound player for WAV files. These associations are set up in your computer's operating system.

Note: If the content is an image that is stored in the database, choose NONE (for more information, see "About drilling out to other applications").

Max char fetched

Use this field to view (or specify, for LONG data types) the maximum amount of characters retrieved in a SQL call to the database. This option is particularly useful for specifying the number of characters retrieved for LONG data types. The purpose of restricting the total number of characters is that sometimes there are hundreds or thousands of characters in a data element and it would be inefficient or unnecessary to retrieve the entire data element.

Note: This field only displays values for LONG, LONG RAW and BLOB datatypes.

Alternative display value

Use this field to specify a descriptive label for items that have the Content Type set to <FILE>. This label is displayed in Discoverer Plus, Discoverer Viewer, and Discoverer Desktop. The label you specify here is used in the text for the drill link in Discoverer Desktop. For example, you might enter 'Click here to display the report in Wordpad' to replace the default field value \files\Report.doc.

Note: Setting the Content type field to FILE only enables you to drill on the item to display the data by launching an external application, when you are using Discoverer Desktop.

When a Discoverer Desktop end user clicks on a drill link, the file is opened in the application associated with the file type. For example, if you select a link for a *.DOC file, Discoverer Desktop might invoke Microsoft Word to display the file.

Indexed item

Use this field to select an indexed item to associate with the current item. Discoverer uses the indexed item to improve query performance when a parameter is based upon this item. The value of the indexed item you select here can be displayed in lists of values in Discoverer Plus and Discoverer Desktop when users create, edit and select parameter values.

When you select an item from the drop down list, make sure that the item has a database index icon beside it (the icon indicates that the item represents an indexed column in the database). Selecting an item that is not indexed might not improve query performance.

You can specify an indexed item for any EUL item, subject to the following conditions:

  • The item and its indexed item must be in the same EUL folder.

  • There must be a one-to-one mapping between the current item and its associated indexed item (that is, for each item value there must be one (and only one) corresponding indexed item value). This condition is set by the database.

  • The indexed item cannot be of data type LONG or LONG RAW.

  • An EUL item can have only one indexed item associated with it. However, many EUL items can use the same item as their indexed item.

  • An item cannot simultaneously be associated with an indexed item and also be the indexed item of another EUL item.

  • Items that are hidden from end users can be selected as the indexed item.


Use this field to change the unique name that Discoverer uses to identify EUL and workbook objects. When matching objects common to different EULs, Discoverer uses identifiers to locate objects in different EULs that refer to the same business objects.

Warning: It is not advisable to change an identifier as it can affect the relationships between EUL objects.

Note: The primary use for the formula and database columns is for tracking the source of the item's data. For example, if something has changed in the underlying database or data dictionary, this field provides an audit trail identifying the data's original source. It provides information to the Discoverer manager about exactly where the data came from.

Automatically save changes after each edit

Use this check box to save changes each time a field in this dialog is updated.

Item Properties dialog: Dependents tab

This read-only tab displays two columns (Type and Name) that clarify the extent to which other objects (for example, folders, joins, items, item classes, summary folders, conditions, calculated items) are dependent on the selected item.


This field displays one or more object types (for example, folders, items) that have a dependency on the selected item.


This field displays the name of each object listed in the Type column.