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Oracle Fusion Middleware Report Designer's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher
Release 11g (11.1.1)
Part Number E13881-01
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Using the Data Model Editor

This chapter covers the following topics:

What Is a Data Model?

A data model is an object that contains a set of instructions for BI Publisher to retrieve and structure data for a report. Data models reside as separate objects in the catalog.

At the very simplest, a data model can be one data set retrieved from a single data source (for example, the data returned from the columns in the employees table). A data model can also be complex, including parameters, triggers, and bursting definitions as well as multiple data sets.

The data model editor is the tool for building your data models.

Components of a Data Model

A data model supports the following components:

Features of the Data Model Editor

The data model editor enables you to combine data from multiple data sets from different data sources, such as SQL, Excel files, Web services, HTTP feeds, and other applications into a single XML data structure. Data sets can either be unrelated or a relationship can be established between them using a data link.

The data model editor enables you to perform the following tasks:

About the Data Source Options

BI Publisher supports a variety of data source types for creating data sets. These can be categorized into three general types:

The first type are data sets for which BI Publisher can retrieve metadata information from the source. For these data set types, the full range of data model editor functions is supported.

For the second type, BI Publisher can retrieve column names and data type information from the data source but it cannot process or structure the data. For these data set types, only a subset of the full range of data model editor functions is supported. These data set types are:

For the third type, BI Publisher is retrieving data that has been generated and structured at the source and no additional modifications can be applied by the data model editor:

Process Overview for Creating a Data Model

Following is the process overview for creating a data model:

Step Reference
Launch the Data Model Editor. Launching the Data Model Editor
Set the data model properties (Optional). Setting Data Model Properties
Create the data sets for the data model. Creating Data Sets
Define the data output structure (Optional). Structuring Data
Define the parameters to pass to the query, and define lists of values for users to select parameter values. (Optional) Adding Parameters and Lists of Values
Define Event Triggers. (Optional) Defining Event Triggers
(Oracle Applications Only) Define Flexfields. (Optional) Defining Flexfields
Test your data model and add sample data. Testing Data Models and Generating Sample Data
Add one or more bursting definitions. (Optional) Adding Bursting Definitions

Launching the Data Model Editor

Launch the Data Model Editor from the Home page or from the global header as follows:

On the global header:

From the Home page:

About the Data Model Editor Interface

The following figure shows the Properties pane of the data model editor interface:

the picture is described in the document text

The Data Model Editor is designed with a component pane on the left and work pane on the right. Selecting a component on the left pane will launch the appropriate fields for the component in the work area.

The toolbar provides the following functions:

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Setting Data Model Properties

Enter the following properties for your data model:

Description (optional) - the description you enter here displays in the catalog. This description is translatable.

Default Data Source - select the data source from the list. Data models can include multiple data sets from one or more data sources. The default data source you select here will be presented as the default for each new data set you define. Select Refresh Data Source List to see any new data sources added since your session was initiated.

Oracle DB Default Package - with an Oracle database, you can include before or after data triggers (event triggers) in your data model. Event triggers make use of PL/SQL packages to execute RDBMS level functions. For data models that include event triggers or a PL/SQL group filter, you must enter a default PL/SQL package here. The package must exist on the default data source.

Database Fetch Size - sets the number of rows fetched at a time through the JDBC connection. This value will override the value set in the system properties. See Setting Server Configuration Properties, Oracle Fusion Middleware Administrator's and Developer's Guide for Business Intelligence Publisher. If neither this value nor the server setting is defined, a default value of 300 will be used.

Enable Scalable Mode - processing large data sets requires the use of large amounts of RAM. To prevent running out of memory, activate scalable mode for the data engine. In scalable mode, the data engine takes advantage of disk space when it processes the data.

Backup Data Source - if you have set up a backup database for this data source, select Enable Backup Connection to enable the option; then select when you want BI Publisher to use the backup.

If you only want to use the backup data source when the primary is down, select Switch to Backup Data Source when Primary Data Source is unavailable.

If you want BI Publisher to always use the backup data source when executing this data model, select Use Backup Data Source Only. Using the backup database may enhance performance.

Note that this feature requires that a backup data source has been enabled for the selected data source. For more information see About Backup Data Sources, Oracle Fusion Middleware Administrator's and Developer's Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher.

XML Output Options

These options define characteristics of the XML data structure. Note that any changes to these options can impact layouts already built on the data model.

Attaching Sample Data or Schema

After you build your data model, it is required that you attach a small, but representative set of sample data generated from your data model. The sample data will be used by BI Publisher's layout editing tools. Using a small sample file helps improve performance during the layout design phase.

The Data Model Editor provides an option to generate and attach the sample data. See Testing Data Models and Generating Sample XML Data.

About Attaching Schema

The Template Builder for Microsoft Word can use either sample data or schema for building a template. The Layout Editor does not support schema. If you intend to use the Layout Editor, attach sample data instead.