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Oracle® Fusion Middleware User's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition
11g Release 1 (11.1.1)

Part Number E10544-06
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4 Building and Using Dashboards

This chapter describes building and using dashboards in Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition. It also explains how to work with saved customizations, create dashboard template pages, publish dashboards, create links to dashboard pages, and work with briefing books.

This chapter includes the following sections:

What Are Dashboards?

Dashboards provide personalized views of corporate and external information. A dashboard consists of one or more pages.

Pages can display anything that you can access or open with a web browser, including the following:

When you open a dashboard, the content of the dashboard is displayed in one or more dashboard pages. Dashboard pages are identified by tabs across the top of the dashboard. A toolbar at the top right contains buttons that let you:

Who Creates and Edits Dashboards?

The ability to create dashboards is controlled by the Manage Dashboard privilege, which is managed by the administrator.

Dashboard editing, which is performed in the "Dashboard builder," is allowed for users with the appropriate permissions and privileges to the dashboard and to objects that can be added to a dashboard page. For more information, see "Assigning Permissions." For information about administering privileges, see "Managing Presentation Services Privileges" in Oracle Fusion Middleware Security Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.

What Is the Dashboard Builder?

The Dashboard builder lets you add dashboard pages to a dashboard and edit the pages in a dashboard. You can add objects to and control the layout of dashboard pages.

Pages contain the columns and sections that hold the content of a dashboard. Every dashboard has at least one page, which can be empty. Dashboard pages are identified by tabs across the top of the dashboard. Multiple pages are used to organize content. For example, you might have one page to store results from analyses that you refer to every day, another that contains links to the web sites of your suppliers, and one that links to your corporate intranet.

The objects that you can add to a dashboard page include:

What Controls the Look-and-Feel of a Dashboard?

The look-and-feel of a dashboard is highly customizable and controlled by skins and styles.

About the Skyros Style

Note:

The Skyros style applies to Oracle BI EE 11.1.1.7.10 and later versions, and might not be available in earlier versions. For more information about Oracle BI EE 11.1.1.7.10, see "New Features for 11.1.1.7.10."

Oracle BI EE 11g is shipped with several styles, including Skyros. This style provides a clean, consistent appearance across Oracle Business Intelligence products and presents crisp visual trends, such as light colors and small gradients and border sizes.

For additional information about Skyros, see "Customizing the Oracle BI Web User Interface" in Oracle Fusion Middleware System Administrator's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.

Note:

Oracle recommends using Skyros as a starting point, if you are planning to create a new custom style.

Creating Dashboards

You use the "Dashboard builder" to create (and edit) dashboards. For more information on dashboards, see "What Are Dashboards?"

To create a dashboard:

  1. In the global header, click New, then select Dashboard.

    The "New Dashboard dialog" is displayed.

  2. In the dialog, enter a name and description for the dashboard.

  3. Select the location for the dashboard.

    Note:

    If you save the dashboard in the Dashboards subfolder directly under /Shared Folders/first level subfolder, then the dashboard is listed in the Dashboard menu in the global header. If you save it in a Dashboards subfolder at any other level (such as /Shared Folders/Sales/Eastern), then it is not listed.

    If you choose a folder in the Dashboards subfolder directly under /Shared Folders/first level subfolder in which no dashboards have been saved, then a new "Dashboards" folder is automatically created in that folder in which to save the new dashboard. For example, if you choose a folder named /Shared Folders/Sales in which no dashboards have been saved, a new Dashboards folder is automatically created and the Location entry changes to /Shared Folders/Sales/Dashboards. (A new "Dashboards" folder is not automatically created if you choose a folder at any other level.)

  4. Specify whether you want to add content to the new dashboard now or later.

  5. Click OK.

    If you specified to add content:

    Now, then the new dashboard, which contains one blank page, is displayed in the "Dashboard builder" for editing.

    Later, then an empty dashboard is created (but not displayed) to which you can add content later.

Editing Dashboards

You can edit dashboards to which you have appropriate permissions and privileges.

To edit a dashboard:

  1. In the global header, click Catalog to display the "Catalog page."

  2. Navigate to the dashboard to edit and click the Edit link.

    The dashboard is displayed in the "Dashboard builder."

  3. Perform one or more of the following tasks, as needed:

  4. Perform one of the following steps at any time:

    • To preview the dashboard page, click the Preview toolbar button.

    • To save your changes, click the Save toolbar button.

    • To exit the Dashboard builder and return to the Dashboard, click Run.

Adding New Pages to Dashboards

You can add new pages to dashboards.

To add a new page to a dashboard:

  1. Edit the dashboard. For information, see "Editing Dashboards."

  2. Click the Add Dashboard Page toolbar button in the Dashboard builder.

    The "Add Dashboard Page dialog" is displayed.

  3. In the dialog, enter a name and description for the page, and click OK.

    The page is displayed as a new tab in the "Dashboard builder."

  4. Click the Save toolbar button.

After you add a new page, you can add content to it. See "Adding Content to Dashboards."

Adding Content to Dashboards

You can add the following content to dashboards:

  • Dashboard objects, including objects that let you lay out the content, such as columns and sections, as well as objects such as text, folders, action links, and so on. Table E-2 lists and describes the dashboard objects that you can include on a dashboard page.

  • Objects that you or someone else has saved to the Oracle BI Presentation Catalog and for which you have the appropriate permissions, such as analyses, prompts, and so on.

Note:

Dashboard modification is reserved for users with the appropriate permissions and privileges.

To add content to a dashboard:

  1. Edit the dashboard. For information, see "Editing Dashboards."

  2. Add the objects to include on the page. To add an object, select it from the "Dashboard Objects pane" or the "Catalog pane," and then drag and drop the object to the "Page Layout area."

    For information on dragging and dropping objects, see "Dragging and Dropping Objects to the Page Layout Area in the Dashboard Builder."

    Tip:

    To locate an object in the Catalog pane, you can browse either by the catalog folder in which the object is stored or by the dashboard on which the object is displayed.

    For information on adding Oracle BI Publisher reports, see "Adding Oracle BI Publisher Reports to Dashboard Pages."

    When you drag and drop a scorecard object to the Page Layout area, the "Dimension Pinnings dialog" might be displayed, where you pin (or set) values for KPI dimensions that are associated with the scorecard object. For more information about pinning, see "What Are Dimensions and Pinned Dimension Values?"

  3. Set the properties of each object, as appropriate. To do so, hover the mouse pointer over the object in the Page Layout area to display the object's toolbar and click the Properties button.

    What is displayed depends on the type of object. For some objects, a properties dialog is displayed. For other objects, a menu of options is displayed. For more information, see "Properties Buttons for Objects."

  4. Click the Save toolbar button.

    Note:

    Adding a performance tile to a dashboard performs in the same manner as adding any other view, including prompt behavior. Drag and drop the analysis containing the performance tile view from the catalog into a column, save the dashboard, and run it to view the tile.

    In order to ensure that a group of performance tiles are tightly spaced, place each performance tile in a dashboard section or column and then assign a fixed size to the section or column to prevent the tiles from spreading out.

Dragging and Dropping Objects to the Page Layout Area in the Dashboard Builder

When you drag and drop objects to the "Page Layout area" of the "Dashboard builder," keep in mind the following:

  • As you drag an object in the Page Layout area, a blue bar is displayed to indicated the drop location relative to another object. When you hover over a valid target in which to drop the object, the border of the target container changes to orange.

  • When you drop an object that does not have a name to the Page Layout area, it is assigned a default name, such as Section 1, Link 1, and so on. You can rename some objects to assign meaningful, descriptive names.

  • When you hover the mouse pointer over an object that has been dropped to the Page Layout area, it is highlighted with an orange border and its toolbar is displayed.

  • Columns are used to align content, while sections within columns hold the actual content. If you drag and drop an object to an empty Page Layout area, or drag and drop an object to a column without first adding a section to hold it, then the proper containers for it are created automatically. For example, if you drag and drop a section to an empty Page Layout area, a column is created automatically. If you drag and drop an analysis, then both the column and section are created automatically.

  • When you drag and drop an analysis to the Page Layout area, the compound view is shown by default. If you want to show another view, then click the Properties button for the analysis, select Show View, and select the view that you want.

  • When you drag a second object to a section, you can drop it either horizontally or vertically within the section, which sets the layout for the section. Additional objects that you drag and drop have that layout. To change the layout after it has been set, you can use the Horizontal Layout and Vertical Layout buttons on the section toolbar.

  • If you drag a section from one column into another column, then any content in that section is also included.

Adding Oracle BI Publisher Reports to Dashboard Pages

This section describes how to add Oracle BI Publisher reports to dashboard pages. It contains the following topics:

Note:

If you use Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser version 7, then you might experience problems viewing BI Publisher reports that are embedded in analyses or dashboards, depending on the privacy settings of the browser. When you display the page from Oracle BI EE in the browser, you might find that the BI Publisher report is missing. This problem is encountered on browsers with a medium-level of privacy and popups blocked. To work around this problem, use a different browser than Internet Explorer version 7, or view the report in BI Publisher rather than in Oracle BI EE, or reduce the privacy setting of the browser.

How Do Oracle BI Publisher Reports and Dashboard Pages Interact?

This section contains the following topics:

About Oracle BI Publisher and Dashboard Pages

This section contains the following topics:

For general information on BI Publisher, see "Integration of Oracle BI EE with Oracle BI Publisher."

Interacting with Reports on Dashboard Pages

You can run, view, and interact with a BI Publisher report on a dashboard page. When included on a dashboard page, the BI Publisher report can include a toolbar that can offer options for selecting a layout template, changing the BI Publisher report's output format, exporting the BI Publisher report, sending the BI Publisher report to an available destination (for example, printer, fax, email, or FTP), scheduling the BI Publisher report, and analyzing the data.

About Briefing Books and Printing BI Publisher Reports

If you plan to print a dashboard page that contains a BI Publisher report or to include the page in a briefing book, then you must keep the following points in mind:

  • If you print the briefing book as PDF and if the output format of the BI Publisher report is PDF, then the BI Publisher report is printed after the other objects on the page. If you print a dashboard page that contains a BI Publisher report as PDF, but the dashboard page is not part of a briefing book, then the BI Publisher report is not printed.

  • If you print the dashboard page or briefing book as MHTML, then the BI Publisher report is not printed.

About Adding Reports to Dashboard Pages

You can add one or more existing reports to a dashboard page. The advantage is that you can share reports with other users and schedule the dashboard pages using agents. An agent sends the entire dashboard to the user, including all data pages that the report references.

When configuring an agent for a dashboard page that contains a BI Publisher report, ensure that the following criteria are met:

  • The output format of the BI Publisher report must be PDF.

  • The agent must be set to deliver PDF.

You can add reports to a dashboard page as embedded content and as a link. Embedded means that the report is displayed directly on the dashboard page. The link opens the report in BI Publisher within Oracle BI EE.

If you modify the report in BI Publisher and save your changes, then refresh the dashboard page to see the modifications.

Adding Reports to Dashboard Pages

To add a report to a dashboard page:

  1. Edit the dashboard. For information, see "Editing Dashboards."

  2. Navigate to the page to which you want to add a report.

  3. Select a report in one of the following ways:

    • Select the report from the Catalog pane and drag and drop it into a section on the dashboard page.

    • To add a report from a dashboard page, select the report from the folder that contains its dashboard in the Catalog pane.

  4. Set the properties of the object. To do so, hover the mouse pointer over the object in the Page Layout area to display the object's toolbar, and click the Properties button.

    The "BI Publisher Report Properties dialog" is displayed.

  5. Complete the fields in the properties dialog as appropriate.

  6. Click OK.

  7. Click Save.

  8. If required, add a prompt to the dashboard page to filter the results of an embedded parameterized report, as described in "Using Prompts with Parameterized Reports."

  9. Optionally, schedule the dashboard with an agent, as described in Chapter 8, "Delivering Content."

Using Prompts with Parameterized Reports

You can use prompts to filter the results of embedded parameterized BI Publisher reports to show only results that match the prompt criteria.

The BI Publisher report can be either of the following:

To use prompts with parameterized reports:

  1. In BI Publisher, open the report and locate the parameters that it uses. Set a default value for each required parameter so that the report displays correctly without user interaction.

  2. Create a new column prompt for each parameter by following these steps:

    1. In the global header, click New, then Dashboard Prompt.

    2. Select either the subject area that includes the columns from the report or a subject area whose columns closely match those in the report.

    3. In the "Definition pane," click the New button, select Column Prompt, then select a column to use for the prompt. If the BI Publisher report was created using a direct connection to a subject area, make sure that you select the same column that you selected in the BI Publisher report.

    For more information on creating prompts, see Chapter 6, "Prompting in Dashboards and Analyses."

  3. Complete the "New Prompt: Column dialog" and click OK. Verify the following settings:

    • Set the Operator field to is equal to/is in.

    • Define a presentation variable with the exact same name as the parameter from the report. When using variable names in prompts, ensure that you spell them correctly and adhere to case-sensitivity. Make the data type of the parameter match the data type of the column, if they are not based on the same database column.

    • If the BI Publisher report was created using a direct connection to a subject area, specify the value of the variable using the following format:

      "Subject Area Name"."Folder Name"."Column Name"
      

      For example:

      "Sample Sales Lite"."Time"."Per Name Year"
      

      If the column is in a nested folder, list all folders. For example:

      "Sample Sales Lite"."Time"."More Time Objects"."Day of Week"
      
  4. Click the Save Prompt toolbar button to save the prompt to the catalog in a shared folder.

  5. Navigate to the dashboard that contains the parameterized report and click the Edit Dashboard toolbar button.

    The "Dashboard builder" is displayed.

  6. In the Catalog pane, navigate to the folder that contains the prompt to add.

  7. Drag and drop the prompt into the section on the dashboard page that contains the report.

  8. Click the Save toolbar button.

Changing the Properties of a Dashboard and its Pages

You can change the properties of a dashboard and its pages. Specifically, you can:

To change the properties of a dashboard and its pages:

  1. Edit the dashboard. For information, see "Editing Dashboards."

  2. Click the Tools toolbar button and select Dashboard Properties.

    The "Dashboard Properties dialog" is displayed.

  3. Make the property changes that you want and click OK.

  4. Click the Save toolbar button.

Changing the Properties of Objects Added to Dashboard Pages

You can change the properties of objects that have been added to a dashboard page from the "Dashboard Objects pane" and from the "Catalog pane."

To change the properties of an object on a dashboard page:

  1. Edit the dashboard. For information, see "Editing Dashboards."

  2. Navigate to the page that contains the object.

  3. Hover the mouse pointer over the object in the Page Layout area to display the object's toolbar and click the Properties button.

    What is displayed depends on the type of object. For some objects, a properties dialog is displayed. For other objects, a menu of options is displayed. For more information on the properties that you can change, see "Properties Buttons for Objects."

  4. Make the property changes that you want.

  5. Click the Save toolbar button.

Delaying the Execution of Dashboard Pages

Note:

Delaying the execution of dashboard pages applies to Oracle BI EE 11.1.1.7.10 and later versions, and might not be available in earlier versions. For more information about Oracle BI EE 11.1.1.7.10, see "New Features for 11.1.1.7.10."

You can delay the execution of dashboard pages, if allowed at your organization. This is helpful, for example, if you want to:

When the execution of a dashboard page is delayed, the actual content of analyses is not loaded. Instead:

Note that while the content of analyses is not loaded on the dashboard page, other objects (such as dashboard prompts, embedded content, text, and so on), are loaded.

Oracle BI EE remembers whether the execution of a page was delayed. When a user visits the same page again in the same context, it will load the entire page (rather than delay the execution), if the page had previously been loaded.

To delay the execution of a dashboard page:

  1. Edit the dashboard. For information, see "Editing Dashboards."

  2. Click the Tools toolbar button and select Dashboard Properties.

    The "Dashboard Properties dialog" is displayed.

  3. Locate the page in the Dashboard Pages area and select the Prompt before Opening box.

    Note:

    The administrator can control the display of the Prompt before Opening box. For information, see "Manually Changing Presentation Setting Defaults" in Oracle Fusion Middleware System Administrator's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.

  4. Click OK.

  5. Click the Save toolbar button.

About Creating Custom Print Layouts for High-Fidelity Printing of Dashboard Pages

You can create custom print layouts for high-fidelity printing of dashboard pages from the "Dashboard builder," if allowed at your organization. Custom print layouts allow your end users to produce high-quality printed dashboard content. For more information on printing dashboard pages, see "Printing Dashboard Pages."

When you create a custom print layout:

Once you have saved the custom print layouts in BI Publisher, they are available for that dashboard page and appear in the Custom Print Layouts area of the "Print Options dialog." Figure 4-1 shows a custom print layout named page 1 in the Custom Print Layouts area.

Figure 4-1 Example of a Custom Print Layout in the Print Options Dialog

Surrounding text describes Figure 4-1 .

You then make the custom print layouts that you have created available to end users on the Print menu of a dashboard page by selecting them in the Custom Print Layouts area of the Print Options dialog.

Note:

If you delete the data model or the layout manually from the Oracle BI Presentation Catalog, then the associated BI Publisher report will no longer work and the custom print layouts will no longer be available. If you delete an analysis, then the data model and layout will be available but will fail when run.

Note:

As you create custom print layouts, be aware that some customizations and some views may not be supported in BI Publisher. Among some of the items that are not supported are hierarchical columns, performance tiles, map views, trellis views, and dashboard prompts. If an item is not supported, it will be removed from the layout and a message will be displayed as to the reason it is unsupported.

For how to create a custom print layout, see "Creating Custom Print Layouts for High-Fidelity Printing of Dashboard Pages."

Creating Custom Print Layouts for High-Fidelity Printing of Dashboard Pages

You can create custom print layouts that allow end users to produce high-quality printed dashboard content. For more information about creating custom print layouts, see "About Creating Custom Print Layouts for High-Fidelity Printing of Dashboard Pages."

To create one or more custom print layouts for a dashboard page:

  1. Edit the dashboard that contains the dashboard page for which you want to create a custom print layout. For information, see "Editing Dashboards."

  2. Navigate to the dashboard page.

  3. Click the Tools button and select Print Properties. The Print Options dialog is displayed.

  4. Click the Custom Print Layouts button and select Create Layouts. BI Publisher Report Editor opens (in a new browser window) with the autogenerated layout displayed as a thumbnail.

    Note:

    The administrator can control the display of the Custom Print Layouts component. For information, see "Enabling the Ability to Export Dashboard Pages to Oracle BI Publisher" in Oracle Fusion Middleware System Administrator's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.

  5. In BI Publisher:

    1. Edit the layout as desired and save it.

    2. Create additional layouts, as desired.

    3. Exit BI Publisher.

  6. If you want to make custom print layouts available in the Print menu for the dashboard page, display the Print Options dialog by clicking the Tools button and select Print Properties.

  7. Select the custom print layouts that you want to make available.

  8. Click OK.

  9. Save the dashboard.

Editing, Replacing, or Removing Custom Print Layouts

You can edit, replace, or remove custom print layouts that you have created. You might want to remove a custom print layout, for example, if the dashboard page to which the layout is associated has changed.

To edit, replace, or remove a custom print layout:

  1. Edit the dashboard that contains the page for which you want to edit, replace, or remove a custom print layout. For information, see "Editing Dashboards."

  2. Navigate to the dashboard page.

  3. Click the Tools button and select Print Options. The "Print Options dialog" is displayed.

  4. Click the Custom Print Layouts button and select one of the following options:

    • Create and Edit Layouts — A warning is displayed to report that existing layouts may not work properly if the dashboard page has been modified. Respond to the warning as follows:

      • Select Keep existing layouts to keep the existing layouts. BI Publisher Report Editor opens, where you can edit the layouts.

      • Select Remove existing layouts and create new layouts to remove the existing layouts and create new ones. BI Publisher Report Editor opens, where you can create new layouts.

    • Replace Layouts — A warning is displayed to report that the existing layouts will be replaced. Confirm that you want to replace the existing layouts. If you click OK, then the existing data model and BI Publisher report are deleted and new ones autogenerated, and BI Publisher Report Editor opens, where you can create new layouts.

    • Remove Layouts — A warning is displayed. Confirm that you want to remove all existing layouts. If you click OK, then all layouts (as well as the associated BI Publisher report and data model) are removed.

  5. When you have finished editing, replacing, or removing custom print layouts, click OK in the Print Options dialog to close it.

  6. Save the dashboard.

Deleting Objects on Dashboard Pages

If you add an object that you later decide that you do not want, then you can delete it. Keep the following points in mind when deleting objects:

To delete an object on a dashboard page:

  1. Edit the dashboard. For information, see "Editing Dashboards."

  2. Navigate to the page that contains the object to delete.

  3. Hover the mouse pointer over the object in the Page Layout area to display the object's toolbar and click the Delete button.

Deleting Dashboard Pages

You can delete:

Deleting The Current Dashboard Page

To delete the current dashboard page:

  1. Edit the dashboard. For information, see "Editing Dashboards."

  2. Navigate to the page to delete.

  3. Click the Delete Current Page toolbar button.

  4. Confirm the deletion.

Deleting One or More Dashboard Pages

To delete one or more dashboard pages:

  1. Edit the dashboard. For information, see "Editing Dashboards."

  2. Click the Tools toolbar button and select Dashboard Properties.

    The "Dashboard Properties dialog" is displayed.

  3. For each page to delete:

    1. In the Dashboard Pages area, select the page.

    2. Click Delete in the Dashboard Pages toolbar.

    3. Confirm the deletion.

  4. Click OK.

Saving Dashboards by Other Names and in Other Locations

You can save a dashboard:

To save a dashboard by another name or in another location:

  1. Edit the dashboard. For information, see "Editing Dashboards."

  2. Click the Save Dashboard As toolbar button to display a dialog, where you specify the save criteria.

Opening and Using Dashboards

To open and use a dashboard:

  1. In the global header, click Catalog to display the "Catalog page."

  2. Navigate to the dashboard to open and click the Open link.

    The dashboard is opened to the first "Dashboard page." If no content has been added, then an empty dashboard page notification message is displayed.

  3. (optional) Perform any of the following tasks:

For information on keyboard shortcuts that you can use in a dashboard, see "Keyboard Shortcuts for Oracle BI EE and Oracle BI Publisher."

What Are Saved Customizations for Dashboard Pages?

Saved customizations allow users to save and view later dashboard pages in their current state with their most frequently used or favorite choices for items such as filters, prompts, column sorts, drills in analyses, and section expansion and collapse. By saving customizations, users need not make these choices manually each time that they access the dashboard page.

Users with the appropriate permissions and dashboard access rights can perform the following activities:

For information on using saved customizations, see "Applying Saved Customizations" and "Clearing Your Current Customization."

For information on saving customizations and editing saved customizations, see "Saving Customizations" and "Editing Saved Customizations."

Example Scenarios for Creating and Using Saved Customizations

This section describes two example scenarios that describe the creation and use of saved customizations.

Scenario 1: Saved Customizations Created by a Group for Use by Others

An IT group in a consumer goods company builds a master dashboard that contains the content that various product groups need to view. The dashboard contains filters and prompts from which members of the product groups would ordinarily make customizations to view relevant results.

The master dashboard contains two analyses, one that shows sales for the east, west, north, and south regions, and another that shows all products shipped in those regions. The analysis for sales by region contains a prompt that allows users to select their particular region. The analysis for all products shipped contains a filter that allows users to select their products.

An IT consultant customizes the view for the Fizzy Brands product group for each region. The consultant first selects the east region and the Fizzy Brand products from the filters and prompts on the dashboard, and then saves these choices as a customization that can be shared by other users. The consultant then assigns this customization as the default view customization to members of the east region group that sells Fizzy Brand products. The consultant repeats this process for the west, north, and south regions.

When a Fizzy Brands sales representative for the western region signs in to Oracle Business Intelligence and views the dashboard, the representative initially views sales and shipment information based on the region and product choices assigned as the default view customization for that group. All sales representatives in that group who would typically make identical choices for region and product no longer have to do so.

Scenario 2: Saved Customizations Created for Use by an Individual User

A business user's dashboard contains two reports, one that shows sales for all regions, and another that shows all products shipped. Each report contains a prompt, allowing the user to select a particular region and product. The user selects the eastern region and the Fizzy Brands product. The dashboard refreshes to show the user this view of the data. The user saves this view as a customization, indicates that the customization is for personal use, and that it is the default customization the user wants to see when viewing the dashboard. Then, this user creates additional combinations of the product and region sets in which the user is most interested, and saves them for later retrieval. The user can also access customizations that were saved by the IT group as shared customizations. To view sales in the western region for Fizzy Brands, the user clicks the Page Options button, selects Apply Saved Customizations, and selects the view named Dollar Sales, Western Region, Fizzy Brands. The dashboard refreshes with the new view of the data.

Saving Customizations

You can save customization for use by you or by others. You can also specify whether the customization is to be the default customization for a dashboard page, for you or for others. For more information on customizations, see "What Are Saved Customizations for Dashboard Pages?"

To save a customization:

  1. Open the dashboard in which you want to save a customization. For information, see "Opening and Using Dashboards."

  2. Navigate to the page on which you want to save a customization.

  3. Make your customizations.

  4. Click the Page Options toolbar button on the dashboard page and select Save Current Customization.

    The "Save Current Customization dialog" is displayed.

  5. Enter a descriptive name for the customization.

  6. Specify for whom the customization is to be saved:

    • To save the customization for your personal use, select Me.

    • To save the customization for use by others, select Others and then click Set Permissions to display the "Saved Customization Permissions and Defaults dialog," where you specify the accounts that have permission to use the customization and whether the customization is to be the default customization for the accounts.

  7. Optionally, to assign this customization as your default customization, select Make this my default for this page.

  8. Click OK.

Applying Saved Customizations

You can apply customizations that you have saved for your own personal use or that have been saved by someone else for your use. For more information on customizations, see "What Are Saved Customizations for Dashboard Pages?"

To apply a saved customization:

  1. Open the dashboard in which you want to apply a saved customization. For information, see "Opening and Using Dashboards."

  2. Navigate to the page that contains the customization to apply.

  3. Click the Page Options toolbar button and select Apply Saved Customization.

    Your personal saved customizations, if any, are shown at the beginning of the list. Shared saved customizations are listed next. Your current default customization is shown in bold type.

  4. Click a saved customization in the list to apply it to the dashboard page.

Editing Saved Customizations

You can rename customizations, change which customization to use as your default, change permissions for those customizations that have been shared with others, and delete customizations. For more information on customizations, see "What Are Saved Customizations for Dashboard Pages?"

To edit saved customizations:

  1. Open the dashboard in which you want to edit a customization. For information, see "Opening and Using Dashboards."

  2. Navigate to the page that contains the customization to edit.

  3. Click the Page Options toolbar button on the dashboard page and select Edit Saved Customizations.

    The "Edit Saved Customizations dialog" is displayed.

  4. Rename customizations, change which customization to use as your default, change permissions for those customizations that have been shared with others, and delete customizations, as appropriate.

  5. Click OK.

Clearing Your Current Customization

You can clear your current customization if you decide the choices for items such as filters, prompts, column sorts, drills in analyses, and section expansion and collapse are not what you want. For more information on customizations, see "What Are Saved Customizations for Dashboard Pages?"

To clear your current customization:

  1. Click the Page Options toolbar button on the dashboard page and select Clear My Customization.

    The current customization is cleared.

About Dashboard Template Pages for New Users

Dashboard template pages are dashboard pages that are used to populate the personal dashboards (My Dashboard) of new users on their initial login. This allows users to see one or more dashboard pages with content rather than an empty dashboard when they first log in. It also gives users a starting point to build their own dashboard pages.

How Dashboard Template Pages Work

You create dashboard template pages for your users in dashboards that have a designated name (by default the designated name is "default") and that you save in subfolders of /Shared Folders. When a new user logs in for the first time, Oracle BI EE searches for dashboard template pages in all dashboards that have the designated name, copies all dashboard template pages to which the user has permission to the user's My Dashboard folder, and displays them in the user's My Dashboard.

If a user has permissions to dashboard template pages in multiple dashboards, then Oracle BI EE copies all template pages from those dashboards to the user's My Dashboard folder and displays them alphabetically by name in the user's My Dashboard. If two pages have the same name, then the name of one of the pages is prefixed with the name of the folder in which the dashboard was saved.

Where Oracle BI EE Searches for Dashboard Template Pages

By default, Oracle BI EE searches for dashboard template pages in all dashboards that are named "default" and that have been saved in subfolders of /Shared Folders. (It searches only subfolders under /Shared Folders (for example, /Shared Folders/Finance) and not the entire hierarchy (for example, not /Shared Folders/Finance/Div1.)

If your organization has designated a name other than "default" for the name of dashboards that contain dashboard template pages, then Oracle BI EE searches for dashboard template pages in dashboards with that name (for example, "Templates") rather than "default" in subfolders of /Shared Folders.

To designate a name other than "default" for the name of dashboards that contain dashboard template pages, your administrator must set the DefaultName element in the instanceconfig.xml file. For information, see "Manually Changing Presentation Settings" in Oracle Fusion Middleware System Administrator's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.

How Users Can Work with Dashboard Template Pages

Users can use dashboard template pages:

  • As a starting point to build their own dashboard pages.

    Users can change any of the content on these dashboard template pages. Any changes that they make to the content are made to their local copies of the dashboard template pages in their My Dashboard folders, and not to the original dashboard template pages.

  • As examples of additional pages that they might want to build.

If users delete a dashboard template page from their My Dashboard, then they cannot repopulate My Dashboard with the page. However, if users delete their entire My Dashboard, when they log in again or navigate to My Dashboard again, their My Dashboard is recreated with all the latest dashboard template pages.

Creating Dashboard Template Pages for New Users

You can create dashboard template pages for users so that they see one or more dashboard pages with content rather than an empty dashboard when they first log in. For more information on dashboard template pages, see "About Dashboard Template Pages for New Users."

To create dashboard template pages:

  1. Create one or more dashboards to contain the dashboard template pages. For each dashboard, specify the following:

    • In the Name field, enter "default" unless your organization has designated another name for the name of dashboards that contain dashboard template pages, in which case, enter the name your organization has designated.

    • In the Location box, select a Dashboard folder in a subfolder of /Shared Folders, for example /Shared Folders/Finance/Dashboards.

    For information, see "Creating Dashboards."

  2. Create one or more dashboard pages and add content to the pages. See "Adding New Pages to Dashboards" and "Adding Content to Dashboards."

    Note:

    Users have access only to content to which they have appropriate permissions.

  3. Assign permissions on the dashboard to allow read access for all users whose My Dashboard you want to populate with the dashboard pages. For information, see "Assigning Permissions."

Note:

If you later change the dashboard content or the permissions to the dashboard, then the changes take effect only for new users on first login, not for users whose My Dashboard has been populated with the dashboard template pages.

Publishing Dashboard Pages

You can publish a dashboard page to a shared dashboard location so that you can share the page with others.

When you publish a dashboard page:

To publish a dashboard page:

  1. Edit the dashboard that contains the page to publish. For information, see "Editing Dashboards."

  2. Navigate to the page to publish.

  3. Click Tools and then select Publish Page to Dashboard.

    The "Publish Page to Dashboard dialog" is displayed.

  4. In the Dashboard field, specify the name of the destination dashboard.

  5. If the Publish Dashboard Page warning is displayed to indicate that content (such as the page, analyses, prompts, and so on) exists in the destination location, then click:

    • OK to continue with the publishing operation and replace the existing content.

    • Cancel to discontinue the publishing operation and not replace the existing content.

  6. Click OK.

    The dashboard page is copied to the destination location.

About Creating Links to Dashboard Pages

You can create links to dashboard pages, if allowed at your organization. This lets you, for example, save a link as a bookmark or copy and send a link to other users in email.

There are two types of links that you can create — bookmark links and prompted links. The following sections describes these links:

For how to create links to dashboard pages, see "Creating Links to Dashboard Pages."

What Are Bookmark Links?

A bookmark link is a URL that captures the path to a dashboard page and all aspects of the page state, for example:

http://localhost/10.1.3.2/saw.dll?Dashboard&_scid=7ndOC-SjmWo&PortalPath=%2Fusers%2Fadministrator%2F_portal&Page=p2&PageIdentifier=7fsg0r2sdssvgen4&BookmarkState=r78an1mbj0fj4lmqhdjfndvvai

After you create a bookmark link, you can:

  • Save the link as a bookmark so that you can return to the exact same page content at a later time.

  • Copy and send the link to other users who then can view the exact same content that you are viewing, providing they have the same permissions as you and have access to the page.

When you create a bookmark link, the state of a dashboard page is saved in the catalog as a hidden bookmark object for the amount of time that your organization specifies. The default is 30 days. See the administrator for the amount of time that your organization specifies. Because the state of a dashboard page is saved when you create a bookmark link, you can continue to modify the content of the page after you create the link.

What Are Prompted Links?

A prompted link captures the path to a dashboard page and a simplified presentation of the dashboard prompts, for example:

<Content Path>&Action=Navigate&col1="Products"."P1  Product"&val1="Bluetooth Adaptor"&psa1="A - Sample Sales"

When you create a prompted link, you can manually or programmatically manipulate the link, such as by adding different values for the prompts. Note that with a prompted link, you cannot capture all aspects of the page state as you can with a bookmark link. This is because you cannot replicate the exact state of non-prompt parameters.

A URL that captures the path to a dashboard page and a simplified presentation of the dashboard prompts can also be manually constructed rather than created by a prompted link. For more information, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Integrator's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.

For more information on manipulating prompted links, see the following topics:

Basic Syntax of Prompted Links

The basic syntax of a prompted link is as follows:

<Content Path>&Action=Navigate&col1&op1&val1&col2&op2&val2&var3&op3&val3…

where Content Path is any of these base URLs:

http://<obiee url path>/saw.dll?Dashboard&PortalPath=<dashboard path>
http://<obiee url path>/saw.dll?Dashboard&PortalPath=<dashboard path>&Page=<page name>
http://<obiee url path>/saw.dll?PortalGo&path=<analysis or prompt path>
http://<obiee url path>/saw.dll?Go&path=<analysis or prompt path>

Parameters for Prompted Links

The parameters that you can use to modify prompted links are as follows:

  • &Action= — Specifies the action that the prompted link is to take. Valid values are:

    • Navigate — Navigates to the dashboard page.

    • Print — Format results for printing to PDF, without paging controls, hot links, and so on.

    • Download — Downloads the results to Microsoft Excel.

    You cannot use Print and Download, if the viewState argument exists. For more information, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Integrator's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.

  • &col#= — Identifies the column used in a column prompt.

    Example:

    &col1="EASTERN REGION"
    
  • &var#= — Identifies the variable used in a variable prompt or a variable that is set by a column prompt.

    The scope of all variables is dashboard page, by default, unless you explicitly reference the variable.

    Example using the default scope controlled by the optional parameter &P1=.

    &var1="myRegion"
    

    Example of explicitly setting to dashboard scope:

    &var1=dashboard.variables['myRegion']
    

    Example of explicitly setting to dashboard page scope:

    &var1=dashboard.currentPage.variables['myRegion']
    

    If you need to set both dashboard scope and dashboard page scope, include both variables in the URL.

    You cannot set a session variable with this parameter. You can, however, override a session variable by using setting a request variable. For example, you can override the NQ_SESSION.REGION_VAR by setting this request variable:

    &var1=requestVariables['REGION_VAR']
    
  • These value parameters:

    • &val#= — Specifies the value of a prompt.

      Example:

      &val1="EASTERN REGION"
      
    • &valgrp#= — Sets the value of a prompt to a custom group's catalog path.

      Example:

      &valgrp1="/shared/folder/myCustomGroup"
      
    • &valsv#= — Sets the value of a prompt to a server variable.

      Example:

      &valsv1="SALESREGION"
      
    • &valeval#= — Sets the value of a prompt to a presentation variable.

      Example:

      &valeval1="MyFavoriteRegion"
      
    • &valsql#= — Sets the value of a prompt to a logical SQL statement.

      Example:

      &valsql1="Select Markets.District from Paint where Products.Brand >= '@{myBrand}{}' order by Markets.District desc"
      

    The val# and valgrp# parameters can co-exist with each other but not with the valsv#, or valeval#, or valsql# parameters. In other words, the prompt can have any combination of val# and valgrp#, but cannot have both valsv# and val#.

  • &cov#= — Sets the variable of a column prompt that also sets a variable.

    Example:

    &var1=myRegion&cov1="Markets"."Region"&val1="EASTERN.REGION"+"WESTERN REGION"
    
  • &op#= — (optional) Specifies the operator, for example equal (eq).

    Use the same operators as those for the Go URL. For a list of these operators, see "Navigation Parameters" in Oracle Fusion Middleware Integrator's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.

    Example:

    &col1="Markets"."Region"&val1="EASTERN REGION"+"WESTERN REGION"&op1=in
    
  • &psa#= — (optional) Identifies a primary subject area for a prompt.

    Use this parameter if a prompt requires that the data types of values be correctly identified by subject area.

    Example:

    &var1=myRegion&cov1="Markets"."Region"&val1="EASTERN REGION"+"WESTERN REGION"&psa1=Paint
    

    If a prompted link includes multiple subject areas, specify the prompts that do not identify a subject area first (for example, &psa1="Products"."P1 Products") and those that do identify a subject area last (for example, &psa2="B-Sample Target"."Products"."P1 Products").

  • &formulause#= — Identifies whether a prompt value is a code value or a display value (in a repository that is configured for the double column feature).

    If you do not use this parameter, it is assumed that the value is a display value.

    Example:

    &var1=myRegion&cov1="Markets"."Region"&val1="2"+"3"&formulause1=code
    
  • For prompts that use hierarchical columns:

    • &hierid#= — (required) Identifies the hierarchy ID.

    • &dimid#= — (required) Identifies the dimension ID.

    • &tblnm#= — (required) Identifies the table name.

    Example:

    &col1="Products"."Products Hierarchy"&hierid1=Products Hierarchy&dimid1=H1 Products&tblnm1="Products"&val1="*"+"all"&psa1="A - Sample Sales"
    

    If there are multiple values across multiple levels, you need to expand the syntax of values. For how, see "Expanding the Syntax of Values."

  • &P1= — Defines the scope of all prompted link parameters. Valid values are:

    • dashboard

    • dashboardPage (default if the scope is not provided)

    • report

    This parameter affects both filters and variables of the prompted link.

    Example:

    &P1=dashboard
    
Expanding the Syntax of Values

In a prompted link that includes hierarchical columns, if there are multiple values across multiple levels, you need to expand the syntax of values.

To expand the syntax of values:

  1. Group values based on their levelID.

  2. Put all values belonging to the same level into one array and add the corresponding levelID to the front of each array as follows:

    "Detail Product"+"7"+"4"
    
  3. Concatenate each array and separate them with +*.

  4. Put the entire concatenated string into a &val#= parameter. For example:

    &col1="Products"."Products Hierarchy"&hierid1=Products Hierarchy&dimid1=H1 Products&tblnm1="Products"&val1="LOB"+"Digital"+*"Brand"+"HomeView"+*"Detail Product"+"7"+"4"&psa1="A - Sample Sales"
    

Guidelines for Manipulating Prompted Links

The guidelines for manipulating prompted links are as follows:

  • Use any combination of &col#= and &var#= but number them consecutively starting from 1 to N. For example, you could use var1, col2, col3, or you could use col1, var2, or col3.

  • Use plus signs (+) to separate values.

  • Use these locale-independent formats for date, time, and timestamp:

    For the date format:

    YYYY-MM-DD
    

    For the time format:

    hh24:mm:ss
    

    For the timestamp format (the expected time zone is UTC):

    YYYY-MM-DD hh24:mm:ss
    
  • Make sure that you properly encode the URL. Not all browsers or platforms allow unescaped URLs. For example, encode a double quote (") as %22, a whitespace character as %20, and so on.

  • Be aware that the URL character length that browsers support varies among browsers. If a URL is longer that the supported length, it will be truncated. The workaround is to use a bookmark link or another browser that supports the longer length.

  • Optionally omit the double quotes if there are no white spaces inside the values.

Tip:

To quickly and accurately construct a prompted URL manually, navigate to a dashboard page with the corresponding prompts, apply the desired prompt values, create a prompted link to generate the prompted URL, and then use the URL as a template.

Creating Links to Dashboard Pages

You can create links to dashboard pages, if allowed at your organization. For more information about creating links to dashboard pages, see "About Creating Links to Dashboard Pages."

To create a link to a dashboard page:

  1. Open the dashboard in which you want to create a link to a dashboard page. For information, see "Opening and Using Dashboards."

  2. Navigate to the page for which you want to create a link.

  3. Click the Page Options toolbar button on the dashboard page and:

    • To create a bookmark link, select Create Bookmark Link.

    • To create a prompted link, select Create Prompted Link.

    Note:

    The administrator can control the display of the Create Bookmark Link and Create Prompted Link options by settings in the instanceconfig.xml file and by setting privileges. For more information, see "Enabling the Ability to Create Links to Dashboard Pages" in Oracle Fusion Middleware System Administrator's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and "Managing Presentation Services Privileges" in Oracle Fusion Middleware Security Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.

    If you drill in an analysis that has been set to replace the dashboard with the new results (rather than show the new results directly in the dashboard), then the Create Bookmark Link option is displayed as a link below the new results rather than as an option on the Page Options menu. (To specify how drilling works in an analysis, you use the Drill in Place option on the Properties menu for a section. For more information, see "Properties Buttons for Objects."

    The link is displayed in the Address Bar of the browser. If the link is a:

    • Bookmark link, then you can save it as a bookmark or copy and send it to other users.

    • Prompted link, then you can manually or programmatically manipulate the link. For how, see "What Are Prompted Links?"

Working with Briefing Books

If your organization licensed Oracle BI Briefing Books, then you can work with briefing books.

The following topics explain what briefing books are and how you work with them:

What Are Briefing Books?

A briefing book is a collection of static or updatable snapshots of dashboard pages, individual analyses, and BI Publisher reports.

You can:

About the Table of Contents in a PDF Version of a Briefing Book

The PDF version of a briefing book contains a table of contents that is automatically generated. It contains an entry for each dashboard page, analysis, and report in the briefing book. Each of these entries includes a time stamp and the page number within the PDF file. The time stamp value depends on how the content was saved to the briefing book. If the content was saved as updatable, then the time stamp is current. If the content was saved as a snapshot, then the time stamp is the time of the snapshot.

Indented beneath each entry for a dashboard page are any briefing book links included on that page, up to a maximum of nine links. These entries do not include timestamps. For example:


Table of Contents
 
My Dashboard Page 7/11/2008 9:15:20 AM . . . . . .1
    Years to Dollars Dashboard . . . . . . . . . .2
 

The administrator can modify the template for the table of contents so that the table of contents that is generated in your briefing books might have a different look.

Note:

The table of contents is always generated in English. Other languages are not supported. Therefore, you might want to translate the tables of contents that are generated in briefing books.

For more information about including BI Publisher reports with briefing books, see "About Briefing Books and Printing BI Publisher Reports."

Adding Content to New or Existing Briefing Books

You can add the content of dashboard pages (including pages that contain BI Publisher reports) or individual analyses to briefing books. You can add the content to existing briefing books or to new briefing books that you create.

To add content to a new or existing briefing book:

  1. Open the dashboard that contains the content to add to a briefing book. For information, see "Opening and Using Dashboards."

  2. Navigate to the page to add or that contains the analysis to add.

  3. Perform one of the following actions:

    • To add the contents of the dashboard page to a briefing book, click the Page Options toolbar button on the dashboard page and select Add To Briefing Book.

      Note:

      The Add to Briefing Book option is not available on an empty dashboard page or if the Show Add to Briefing Book box in the "Dashboard Properties dialog" has not been selected for the page.

    • To add the results of an individual analysis to a briefing book, locate the analysis on the dashboard and click the Add to Briefing Book link.

      Note:

      This link is displayed only if the Add to Briefing Book option was selected in the Report Links dialog when the analysis was added to the dashboard. For information about setting the Add to Briefing Book option, see "Report Links dialog."

    The "Save Briefing Book Content dialog" is displayed.

  4. Click Browse to display the "Save As dialog."

  5. In the Save As dialog, to save the contents to:

    • A new briefing book, specify the location in which to save the briefing book in the Save In field, enter a name for the briefing book in the Name field, optionally enter a description in the Description field, and click OK.

    • An existing briefing book, select the briefing book and click OK.

  6. In the Save Briefing Book Content dialog, complete the remaining fields as appropriate.

  7. Click OK.

    The content is added to the briefing book.

Editing Briefing Books

You can edit briefing books to reorder content, delete content, and change the content type, navigation link properties, and content description.

To edit a briefing book:

  1. To edit a briefing book:

    • In the catalog, in the global header, click Catalog to display the "Catalog page."

    • On a dashboard page, open the dashboard page that contains the briefing book.

  2. Navigate to the briefing book to edit and click Edit.

    The "Edit Briefing Book dialog" is displayed.

  3. To change content:

    1. Select the content.

    2. Click Edit to display the "Page Properties dialog."

    3. Change the content type, the number of navigation links to follow for updatable content, or the content description as needed.

    4. Click OK.

  4. To reorder content, select the content and then drag and drop it to the desired location.

  5. To delete content, select the content and click Delete.

  6. Click OK.

Downloading Briefing Books

You can:

  • Download briefing books to your computer in MHTML format and then share them for offline viewing.

  • Download briefing books in PDF format and print them.

    The PDF version of a briefing book contains an automatically generated table of contents. For information about the table of contents, see "About the Table of Contents in a PDF Version of a Briefing Book."

To download a briefing book:

  1. In the global header, click Catalog to display the "Catalog page."

  2. Navigate to the briefing book to download.

  3. Perform one of the following actions:

    • To download the briefing book in PDF format, click PDF and then open or save the file.

      Note:

      The Adobe Reader application is required to view or print a briefing book PDF file.

      Note:

      BI Publisher reports that are contained in the briefing book are only included in the PDF file if the reports themselves are enabled for PDF output.

    • To download the briefing book in MHTML format, click Web Archive (.mht) and then open or save the file.

      Downloaded briefing books are saved with an .mht file extension and can be opened in a browser. You can then email or share the briefing book.

Adding a List of Briefing Books to a Dashboard Page

You can add a list of briefing books to a dashboard page.

To add a list of briefing books to a dashboard page:

  1. Edit the dashboard. For information, see "Editing Dashboards."

  2. Navigate to the page to which you want to add a list of briefing books.

  3. From the "Dashboard Objects pane," drag and drop a folder object into a section.

  4. Hover the mouse pointer over the folder object in the Page Layout area to display the object's toolbar and click the Properties button.

    The "Folder Properties dialog" is displayed.

  5. In the Folder field, enter the folder that contains the briefing books to list.

  6. In the Expand box, specify whether to show an expanded view of the folder.

  7. In the Show RSS Link box, specify whether to add an RSS feed option to the folder.

  8. Click OK and then click Save to save the dashboard.

    The folder is added to the dashboard. On the Dashboard page, to:

Using Agents to Deliver Briefing Books

To use an agent to deliver a briefing book:

  1. Create or edit the agent to be used to deliver the briefing book. For information, see "Creating Agents."

  2. In the "Agent editor: Delivery Content tab," click Browse to select the briefing book.

    When the agent runs, the briefing book is delivered.