In This Section:
The information in this chapter applies only to block storage databases and is not relevant to aggregate storage databases. Also see Comparison of Aggregate and Block Storage.
You can link various kinds of data with any cell in an Essbase database, using a linked reporting object (LRO). This ability is similar to attaching a file to e-mail. An LRO provides improved support for planning and reporting applications and can enhance your data analysis capabilities.
LROs are objects (alternatively called artifacts) that you associate with specific data cells in an Essbase database. Users create linked objects through Spreadsheet Add-in by selecting a data cell and choosing a menu item. You can link an unlimited number of objects to a cell. The objects are stored on the Essbase Server, where they are available to any user with the appropriate access permissions. Users retrieve and edit the objects through the Spreadsheet Add-in Linked Objects Browser feature, which enables them to view objects linked to the selected cell. For the maximum sizes of the types of linked objects described in Table 28, see Limits.
Table 28. Types of Linked Objects
For example, a sales manager may attach cell notes to recently updated budget items. A finance manager may link a spreadsheet containing supporting data for this quarter’s results. A product manager may link bitmap images of new products. A sales manager may link the URL of a company’s Web site to quickly access the information on the Web site.
If the object is a file, Essbase stores the contents of the file in the database directory on the Essbase Server, giving it an .lro extension. Essbase imposes no restrictions on the data formats of linked files and performs no file-type checking. It is up to the user’s client computer to render the file after retrieving it from the Essbase Server.
If the object is a URL, Essbase stores it as part of the object description in the catalog entry. When the user tries to view the URL, Essbase does a preliminary syntax check; then the default Web browser checks for the existence of the URL.
Essbase uses the database index to locate and retrieve linked objects. If you clear all data values from a database, the index is deleted, and so are the links to linked objects. If you restructure a database, the index is preserved, as are the links to linked objects.
Shared members share data values but not LROs, because LROs are linked to specific member combinations, and shared members do not have identical member combinations. To link an object to shared members, link it to each shared member individually.
You cannot change the member combination associated with any linked object. To move an object to another member combination, delete it, and then use Spreadsheet Add-in to re-link the object to the desired member combination.
Users who add, edit, and delete LROs through client interfaces must have the appropriate permissions in the active database. If the object is a linked partition, the user must also have the required permissions in the database containing the linked partition. Table 29 lists the permissions required for several different tasks.
Table 29. Permissions Required for LRO Tasks
To prevent users from linking files to data cells without changing user access to other data in a database, you can set the maximum file size for linked files to 1. Users can then create cell notes, link to a URL, or view linked partitions but can attach only files smaller than 1 KB.
Users work with LROs on a cell-by-cell basis through Spreadsheet Add-in. That is, they select a cell and open the Linked Object Browser, which displays the objects linked to the selected cell. With Administration Services, you can view LROs, and you can delete all LROs for the entire database. You can also view LROs based on selection criteria such as user name and last modification date. For example, you can purge all objects older than a certain date or remove the objects belonging to a user who has left the company.
To view a list of the linked objects for a database, use a tool:
Because Essbase stores linked files in a repository on the server, by default, the size is unlimited. Limiting the file size prevents users from taking up too much of the server resources by storing extremely large objects. You can set the maximum linked file size for each application. If a user attempts to link a file that is larger than the limit, an error message displays.
The maximum file size setting applies only to linked files and does not affect cell notes or URLs. The lengths of the cell note, URL string, and LRO descriptions are fixed. For the maximum sizes of these objects, see Limits.