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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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1 Introducing Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition

This chapter describes how to get started with Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and explains how to sign in, sign out, and navigate Oracle BI EE. It also describes the Home page, the global header, how to act for others, how to set preferences, and how Oracle BI EE interacts with other products.

This chapter includes the following sections:

Introduction to Oracle BI Enterprise Edition

Oracle BI Enterprise Edition (sometimes simply referred to as Oracle Business Intelligence) provides a full range of business intelligence capabilities that allow you to:

These capabilities enable your organization to make better decisions, take informed actions, and implement more-efficient business processes.

Figure 1-1 shows a dashboard that presents organizational data in easy-to-understand formats (tables, graphs, and so on).

Figure 1-1 Example of a Dashboard

This image is described in the surrounding text.

In Oracle BI Enterprise Edition, you can work with:

Note that these areas of Oracle BI EE (that is, Analyses, Agents, Dashboards, and so on) are sometimes referred to as Presentation Services.

Where Do I Store and Manage Oracle BI EE Objects?

You use the Oracle BI Presentation Catalog to store the objects, such as analyses, dashboards, and KPIs, that you and other users create using Oracle BI EE. Users have their own personal folder (My Folders), where they can store the objects that they create. The objects in a personal folder can be accessed only by the user who created and saved the content into that folder. Users can add sub-folders to their personal folders to organize their content in the way that is the most logical to them.

You can also store objects in shared folders where other users or groups can access the objects. A combination of business logic security, catalog object security, and data level security determines who can view data and objects, edit objects, and delete objects from the catalog. Your administrator creates and maintains the catalog's shared folder structure.

For more information, see "What is the Oracle BI Presentation Catalog?" and "Managing Objects in the Oracle BI Presentation Catalog." For information about setting up the catalog, see "Configuring and Managing the Oracle BI Presentation Catalog" in Oracle Fusion Middleware System Administrator's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.

Signing In to Oracle BI Enterprise Edition

To access Oracle BI EE, you use a URL, a user ID, and a password that have been provided by your organization.

Notes:

Oracle BI EE requires that the web browser be set to accept cookies. It uses a cookie to track a user's signed-in session.

You might not be prompted to enter values in all fields of the Sign In page (as described in the following procedure), if you have already signed on using single sign-on (SSO).

To sign in to Oracle BI Enterprise Edition:

  1. In the address field of a browser, enter the URL that was provided by your organization.

    The "Sign In page" is displayed. Figure 1-2 shows the Sign In page.

    Figure 1-2 Sign In Page for Oracle BI EE

    This image is described in the surrounding text.
  2. Select the language in which you want to work.

    You can change the default entry for this box by selecting another language in the User Interface Language field in the "My Account dialog: Preferences tab." For more information, see "Setting Preferences."

    Note:

    On Windows, if you select the Install files for complex script and right-to-left languages (including Thai) option on the Languages tab of the Regional and Language Options dialog, Hebrew fonts display in the wrong direction, that is left to right rather than right to left.

    The workaround is to deselect the Install files for complex script and right-to-left languages (including Thai) option as follows:

    1. In the Control Panel, click the Regional & Language Options button to display the Regional and Language Options dialog.

    2. Click the Languages tab.

    3. Deselect the Install files for complex script and right-to-left languages (including Thai) option.

    4. Click OK.

  3. Enter your user ID and password.

  4. Select the Accessibility Mode box if you want content for Oracle BI EE to be rendered in a browser in a way that facilitates the use of a screen reader.

    If you select this box, then the "BI Composer wizard" in accessibility mode is used as the analysis editor (rather than the "Analysis editor"). For more information on BI Composer, see "Using BI Composer to Work with Analyses." For more information on the Analysis editor, see "What Is the Analysis Editor?"

    For more information on accessibility, see Appendix C, "Accessibility Features."

  5. Click Sign In. One of the following pages (depending on what has been configured for you) is displayed:

    A dashboard (whether My Dashboard or one specific to your job function) typically contains analyses and other information for your area of responsibility. Figure 1-1 shows an example of a dashboard.

    You can now navigate Oracle BI EE. For information, see "Navigating Oracle BI Enterprise Edition."

    Tip:

    Once you have signed in, you can select the dashboard to be displayed when you sign in thereafter. For information, see "Setting Preferences."

Signing Out of Oracle BI Enterprise Edition

Note:

Do not close the browser window to sign out of Oracle BI EE.

To sign out of Oracle BI EE:

  1. In the global header, click Sign Out.

Navigating Oracle BI Enterprise Edition

After signing in to Oracle BI EE (as described in "Signing In to Oracle BI Enterprise Edition"), you are presented with one of the following pages, depending on what has been configured for you:

This page is your starting point for working in Oracle BI EE. As you work, you can use the global header and the Home page as the primary ways to navigate Oracle BI EE:

After you have accessed the starting point of a task, the interface then presents you with the page, dialog, or editor that you use to perform the task.

Note:

It is recommended that you not use the browser's Back button to navigate Oracle BI EE, unless no other navigation methods are available. The browser Back button may not maintain the state of the dashboard upon return. Breadcrumbs are the recommended navigation approach, which consistently maintains the state of the dashboard. For more information on breadcrumbs, see "Navigating With Breadcrumbs."

What Is the Oracle BI EE Home Page?

The Home page provides a starting point for performing tasks in Oracle BI EE. The Home page is divided into sections that allow you to quickly begin a specific task, locate an object, or access technical documentation. It also includes sections (for example, Recent and Favorites) that allow you to quickly access objects that you have recently viewed, created, or updated, and objects that are accessed the most often by the users assigned to the groups to which you belong.

Figure 1-3 shows an example of a Home page.

Figure 1-3 Example of a Home Page

This image is described in the surrounding text.

For specific information about each area on the Home page, see "Home page."

Depending on what has been configured as your starting page, you might be presented with the Home page when you sign in to Oracle BI EE.

Otherwise, you can always navigate to the Home page by clicking the Home page link in the global header. For information on the global header, see "What Is the Oracle BI EE Global Header?"

What Is the Oracle BI EE Global Header?

The global header provides quick access to commonly used functions and is always available from the user interface. For example, you can use the global header to begin a new task, search the Oracle BI Presentation Catalog, access the product documentation, or view a different object, without having to return to the Home page. The global header also includes the Home page link so that you can quickly access the Home page from other pages. Note that the functionality available on the global header is determined by privileges.

Your administrator can customize the global header by changing the order in which the links display or by adding links to internal or external locations such as Google or OTN. For more information, see "Providing Custom Links in Presentation Services" in Oracle Fusion Middleware System Administrator's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.

Figure 1-4 shows the global header.

Figure 1-4 Oracle BI EE Global Header

This image is described in the surrounding text.

The global header includes the following components:

Where Can I Get Help or More Information?

Oracle BI EE provides direct access to guides, context-sensitive help, and libraries that contain conceptual and procedural information to help you understand Oracle BI EE.

Specifically, you can access:

About Privileges and Permissions

Privileges and permissions allow you to perform specific actions, such as creating an analysis or editing a scorecard, and entitle you to access and manage objects, applications, and so on. Roles, such as BIConsumer (an Oracle-defined role), group related privileges together that pertain to specific requirements, enabling continuity and limiting access based on responsibility.

Privileges and roles govern what you can see and access in Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition. Refer to "Managing Presentation Services Privileges" in Oracle Fusion Middleware Security Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition for additional information and refer to "Who Uses the Catalog?" in Chapter 13, "Managing Objects in the Oracle BI Presentation Catalog" to learn more about permissions.

About Acting for Other Users

The Act As functionality enables you to act for another user in Oracle BI EE. This functionality is useful, for example, when you must work on another user's dashboard or content, or when IT support staff wants to troubleshoot another user's account.

To use the Act As functionality, the administrator must enable you to act for another user. For information, see "Enabling Users to Act for Others" in Oracle Fusion Middleware Security Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.

When the administrator authorizes you to act for another user, the administrator can grant you full access or restricted access to another user's account:

You can view a list of the users with access to your account by opening the "My Account Dialog: Delegated Users tab." This tab displays a list of the names of the users that have been given access to your account.

For information on acting for another user, see "Acting for Other Users."

Acting for Other Users

You can act for another user, if you have been authorized to do so. For more information, see "About Acting for Other Users."

To act as another user:

  1. In the global header, click Signed In As username, then select Act As.

    The "Act As dialog" displays.

  2. Select a user's ID from the list or enter the ID in the box (if available), and click OK.

    The user's default dashboard is displayed. From this dashboard you can view or modify content, depending upon the access type (full or restricted) that you were granted by the administrator.

  3. To return to your account, display the Act As dialog, click Stop, then click OK.

Setting Preferences

You and end users can set personal preferences for Oracle BI EE. Using the "My Account dialog," and depending on your privileges, you can:

To set preferences:

  1. In the global header, click Signed In As username and select My Account.

    The "My Account dialog" is displayed.

  2. Complete the appropriate settings.

  3. Click OK to save your changes.

How Does Oracle BI EE Interact with Other Products?

Oracle BI EE interacts in various ways with other products. This section contains the following topics:

Integration of Oracle BI EE with Oracle BI Publisher

Note:

This guide assumes that Oracle BI EE and BI Publisher have been installed and configured to run as fully integrated components at your organization. If this is not the case, then some mentions of BI Publisher in this guide might not be applicable to you.

For information on running BI Publisher, see Oracle Fusion Middleware User's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher.

BI Publisher enables you to create highly formatted reports that are suitable for printing. BI Publisher reports are built on top of BI Publisher data models. A BI Publisher data model can consist of data sets from a wide range of sources, such as subject areas from the BI Server or analyses, SQL queries against relational databases, MDX queries against Essbase or other OLAP sources, LDAP, Web Services, Microsoft Excel, HTTP feeds, or XML files. BI Publisher supports a wide range of layout types, so you can create the full range of documents that your organization might need. Within Oracle BI EE, you can view, create, edit, and schedule BI Publisher reports and can include them in dashboard pages.

As part of Release 11g, Oracle BI EE includes a fully integrated BI Publisher. All the BI Publisher functionality appears seamlessly within the Oracle BI EE application, and all reports and related objects are created within Oracle BI EE and saved to the Oracle BI Presentation Catalog.

When using the integrated environment, you see that the following areas are affected by the integration:

  • Editors — You can create or edit BI Publisher content. When you work with a BI Publisher object, the appropriate BI Publisher editor is displayed. For example, when you work with a data model, the Data Model editor is displayed.

  • Dashboards — You can embed BI Publisher reports in dashboards. You can also create custom print layouts for high-fidelity printing of dashboard pages. For information, see Chapter 4, "Building and Using Dashboards."

  • Catalog — The Oracle BI Presentation Catalog contains all BI Publisher objects, such as reports and templates. You can work with BI Publisher objects in the catalog just as you work with other catalog objects, such as analyses or filters.

  • Security — Single sign-on capability is provided. The Release 11g security model has been extended to include additional BI Publisher-specific permissions, such as xmlp_template_designer.

For more information about creating a BI Publisher report, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Report Designer's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher. For more information about scheduling a BI Publisher report, see Oracle Fusion Middleware User's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher.

Integration of Oracle BI EE with Oracle Enterprise Performance Management System

Oracle BI EE offers the following integration with Oracle Enterprise Performance Management System:

  • You can download Oracle Hyperion Smart View for Office from the Oracle BI EE Home page. For more information, see "Integration with Microsoft Office."

  • You can download Oracle Essbase Studio Console from the Oracle BI EE Home page. For more information, see "Downloading BI Desktop Tools."

  • You can download Oracle Essbase Administrative Services Console from the Oracle BI EE Home page. For more information, see "Downloading BI Desktop Tools."

  • You can download Oracle Hyperion Financial Reporting Studio from the Oracle BI EE Home page. For more information, see "Downloading BI Desktop Tools."

  • You can navigate to Financial Reporting content by using a Navigate to EPM Content action. For information, see Chapter 10, "Working with Actions."

  • Within EPM Workspace, you can work with analyses, agents, dashboards, and BI Publisher reports. For more information, see the Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management Workspace documentation in this Oracle Enterprise Performance Management System library:

    http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E17236_01/index.htm

Interaction of Oracle BI EE with Oracle BI Applications

Oracle Business Intelligence Applications are pre-built business intelligence solutions that are available for Oracle applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, Peoplesoft, and Siebel. Oracle Business Intelligence Applications are built on Oracle BI EE.

Oracle BI Applications consist of industry-specific dashboards and analyses that are built using industry best practices to address key functional areas within an organization. Dashboards and analyses are tailored for each end user's role in an organization.

Typically, Oracle BI Applications are integrated with and accessible from other operational applications, such as Oracle's Siebel CRM applications, to provide business metrics in analyses in the context of an organization's business function and industry. Oracle BI Applications include Extract Transform Load (ETL) routines to extract, transform, and load data into the Oracle Business Analytics Warehouse. Oracle BI Applications also contain metadata that maps to the Oracle Business Analytics Warehouse and a transactional database, and define key measures and metrics for all levels of the organization. These measures and metrics are available to content designers in Oracle Business Intelligence.

Integration with Microsoft Office

Oracle BI EE offers a set of add-ins to Microsoft Office that can be downloaded and installed to enable integration between components of Oracle Business Intelligence and Microsoft Office. The Get Started section of the Oracle BI EE "Home page" provides links to install the following add-in components:

  • Template Builder for Word

  • Analyzer for Excel

  • Oracle Hyperion Smart View for Office

For more information about these components, see "Downloading BI Desktop Tools."

Downloading BI Desktop Tools

Depending on the products that you are eligible to download, you can download various BI desktop tools from the Get Started section of the Oracle BI EE "Home page," including:

Note:

While you can also download Oracle Business Intelligence Add-in for Microsoft Office to integrate with Microsoft Office, it is strongly recommended that you download Smart View instead. (For information on Oracle Business Intelligence Add-in for Microsoft Office, see "Integrating with Microsoft Office Using Oracle Business Intelligence Add-in for Microsoft Office.")

To download a BI desktop tool:

  1. Navigate to the Oracle BI EE Home page.

  2. In the Get Started section, click the Download BI Desktop Tools link, then select one of the following options:

    • Smart View for MS Office

    • Financial Reporting Studio

    • Essbase Studio Console

    • Essbase Administrative Services Console

    • Oracle BI Client Installer (32 bit) or Oracle BI Client Installer (64 bit), depending on your operating system

    • Template Builder for Word (32 bit) or Template Builder for Word (64 bit), depending on your operating system

    • Analyzer For Excel

    The Opening BI Desktop Tool.exe dialog is displayed

  3. Click Save the File. The Enter the name of file to save to dialog is displayed.

  4. Specify a location to which you want to download the executable file and click Save.

  5. Once you have downloaded the file, for:

Topics of Interest in Other Guides

Some topics that might be of interest to content designers and administrators are covered in other guides. Table 1-1 lists these topics, and indicates where to go for more information.

System Requirements and Certification

Refer to the system requirements and certification documentation for information about hardware and software requirements, platforms, databases, and other information. Both of these documents are available on Oracle Technology Network (OTN).

The system requirements document covers information such as hardware and software requirements, minimum disk space and memory requirements, and required system libraries, packages, or patches:

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/ias/downloads/fusion-requirements-100147.html

The certification document covers supported installation types, platforms, operating systems, databases, JDKs, and third-party products:

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/ias/downloads/fusion-certification-100350.html