access rights and privileges

Specific functionality such as update and delete privileges which are granted to a specific user ID by a database administrator, or by the user ID which "owns" the tables for which the authority is being granted.


Summarized data. For example, unit sales of a particular product could be aggregated by day, month, quarter and yearly sales.


The way in which data is positioned in a field. It can be positioned to the left, right, center, flush/left, flush/right, or flush/center of the defined width of a field.

analytic functions

Analytic functions compute an aggregate value based on a group of rows. The group of rows is called a window and is defined by the analytic clause. Analytic functions differ from aggregate functions in that they return one value for each row in the group. For example, if you create a ranking function, you create a rank value for each row in the group.

For more information about analytic functions, see the Oracle Database SQL Reference Guide or Oracle Database Data Warehousing Guide.

automated summary management (ASM)

A Discoverer feature to simplify the process of summary creation and maintenance. ASM enables you to set a range of input parameters known as a summary policy for Discoverer to operate within. Discoverer will automatically create and maintain the best set of summaries according to the summary policy.


One of the three directions of a sheet. Items that you choose for a query appear in the axes. See: top axis, side axis, page axis, axis item.

axis item

An item appearing in either the top axis, side axis, or page axis of a sheet. In a table, items can appear only in the top axis or page axis; in a crosstab, items can appear in any axis. See: axis, data item.

business area

A conceptual grouping of tables or views (or both) that apply to user's specific data requirements. For example, an accounting department might have an accounting Business Area that represents data about budgets and finance, while project leaders in an engineering department would have a business area specifically for projects requiring budget information.

Although some of the items might be the same, the exact combination of tables and views for each department might be different. A Business Area is represented as a file cabinet in Discoverer. This can be opened to display folders, and all the items in those folders.

cache (memory)

A temporary storage place for database data that is currently being accessed or changed by users, or for data that Oracle Server requires to support users. The terms are often used interchangeably.


A mathematical formula performed on one or more items. Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer enables you to build complex calculations.


A memory buffer. An object remains on the Clipboard until you cut or copy another object, or until you quit the application.


To remove all levels of related items from below a selected item. In effect, to undo a drill-down. See: drill down.

color palette

Contains all the colors available to the windowing system, the drawing surface, or a window and its views.


A vertical space in a database table that represents a particular domain of data. A column has a column name (for example, ENAME) and a specific data type (for example, CHAR). For example, in a table of employee information, all of the employees' names would constitute one column. A record group column represents a database column.

In Discoverer, the particular type of data is displayed vertically in your worksheet.

command line

An operating-system command line. Most Oracle products can be invoked from a command line by using several executable arguments.

complex folder

A folder created in Discoverer Administrator that contains items from more than one folder (or database table).


A filter created on an item to restrict which values return. It contains a column and some qualifying data used to specify the volume of data. Conditions created in Discoverer Administrator can be optional or mandatory as business conditions dictate.

Conditions can also be created while defining a query in Discoverer Plus. For example, if you request all cities in the East Region you are using a condition (show East Region only) to limit the cities you get in your result set.


To log on to a database. You must connect if you want to create or modify queries or access an application stored in a database.

connect string

The set of parameters, including a protocol, that SQL*Net uses to connect to a specific Oracle instance on the network.


To store a replica of a selected object on the Clipboard, so that it might be pasted elsewhere in an editor if desired.


A sheet layout that arranges items in a matrix of rows and columns. Items appear in both the top and side axes. Use a crosstab to display summary information and show how one item relates to another, such as sales by region by month. A crosstab is sometimes called a matrix. See: table.


A small icon representing the position of the mouse. The shape of the cursor varies, depending on the selected tool.


To delete one or more objects and store them in the Clipboard, so that they can be pasted elsewhere in an editor, if desired.

data item

The item expressing the relationship between a top axis item and a side axis item. Only items which have a data item in common can appear opposite each other in the top and side axes. Applies only to crosstab-layout sheets. A data item is sometimes called a measure. See: axis item, data point.

data model

A relational model that defines what data should be fetched from the database, what values should be computed, and how data should be ordered in a report. Report Builder objects that define the data model are queries, groups, columns, parameters, and links.

data point

The value of a data item, as displayed in a cell of a sheet. A data point reflects the relationship between intersecting axis items in a crosstab. See: data item.

data type

A standard form of data. Some common Oracle data types are CHAR, VARCHAR2, DATE, NUMBER, LONG, RAW, and LONG RAW.


A set of dictionary tables and user tables that are treated as a unit.


An Oracle Server data type. A date column can contain a date and time between January 1, 4712 BC and December 31, 4712 AD.

date hierarchy

Date hierarchies possess an inherent structure based on year, quarter, month, week, day, hour, minute, and second. The Discoverer manager uses date hierarchy templates to define many common formats for date hierarchies. You can create customized date hierarchies or use the default date hierarchy.

date hierarchy template

A predefined hierarchy of date levels including display format. Date hierarchy templates are applied to a date item to create a date hierarchy specific for that date item.

For example, apply a generic date hierarchy temple of Year (YYYY), Month (Mon-YY), Day (DD-Mon_YY) to 'sales_date' to allow users to drill down from Year to month level and to Day level (from 1996 to June, 1996 to 2-June-96).

Use the date hierarchy template to define which time/date levels and which display format to use.


A value supplied by the system when a user does not specify a required command parameter or attribute.

detail to master join

A detail-to-master join icon represents a many-to-one relationship between two items in different folders. The foreign key is on the left (Detail), the primary key is on the right (Master). See: master to detail join, join.

dialog box

A partial screen or window that prompts you to enter information necessary to complete an operation.


An interface element state that means a menu item, button, and so on, cannot be used in the current context; that is,, it does not respond to keyboard or mouse input.


Press and hold down a mouse button while you slide the mouse pointer to a particular location in a window.


To expand an item to include items related to it. Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer might re-query the database. See: drill down, drill up.

drill down

To expand an item to include related items lower than it in the hierarchy. Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer may re-query the database. See: drill, drill up, collapse.

drill up

To expand an item to include the next related item above it in the hierarchy. Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer may re-query the database. See: drill, drill down, collapse.


An option that enables you to copy objects directly on the layout without affecting the contents of the Clipboard.


An interface element state that means that a menu item, button, and so on, can be used in the current context, that is, it responds to keyboard or cursor/mouse input.

End User Layer (EUL)

A set of database tables and views that reside (conceptually) between the database dictionary/table definitions and client applications, such as Discoverer Plus. The End User Layer is a metalayer that shields end users from the complexity of the database by providing meaningful, business-like terminology for database objects.

The EUL controls several elements such as hierarchy templates, formatting information, summary table management and aggregate information. The EUL also controls the SQL generated to extract the information from the database.


The user's computer-based workplace, including the tools typically used and their configurations.


A join of two columns with the equal operator, dictating that only those rows that have identical data in the defined columns on opposite sides of the operator will be joined.


Data in your result set which falls outside of a set of criteria set by you.


See run.


To store a copy of an object, module, selected text or image to a file or database. In Project Builder, the process of writing out a file containing project, type, action, or macro definitions in a portable format for distribution to others who may work on heterogeneous platforms. See also: export file, import.

export file

A sharable, portable file created by exporting EUL objects.

external query

An ANSI-standard SQL SELECT statement that can be referenced by other Oracle products.


An interface element in which you enter, edit, or delete data.

foreign key

Key that links a row or column of data in a table to a table in another business area. See: primary key.


The state of an entity that is able to respond to input from the user or the client. If an entity has the keyboard focus, it can receive events when the user presses a key. If a drawn view has the drawing focus, it can respond to client routines that affect drawing.


A representation of a database table in the EUL. Presenting tables as folders is another way to shield the end user from the complexities of the database.


To give a user access to a module. Only a module's creator can grant its access to other users.


Acronym for graphical user interface. The use of pictures rather than just words to represent the input and output of a program. Programs with GUIs run under a windowing system (such as X Windows, Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, and so on). GUI programs display icons, buttons, and so on, in windows on the screen; users control the GUI programs mainly by moving a pointer on the screen (typically controlled by a mouse). Also known as a bitmapped interface.


Natural relationships among items, defined in Discoverer Administrator and stored in the End User Layer. Hierarchies enable users to drill up and down through the data to see different levels of detail. There are two types of hierarchies: Item and Date. Use the hierarchy wizard to create new hierarchies, and to edit existing hierarchies.

hierarchy wizard

A predefined set of steps in Discoverer Administrator that ask the user for the information and choices needed to create a hierarchy for use in Discoverer Plus.


Acronym for Hypertext Markup Language. A tag-based ASCII language used to specify the content and hypertext links to other documents on WWW servers on the Internet. End users with Web browsers view HTML documents and follow links to display other documents.


Acronym for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The protocol used to carry WWW traffic between a WWW browser computer and the WWW server being accessed.


A way of establishing a link across the system to allow users to drill to details in another worksheet. Requires an existing join between the items or categories in each worksheet.


A reference (link) from some point in one hypertext document to (some point in) another document or another place in the same document. A Web browser usually displays a hyperlink in some distinguishing way (in a different color, font or style). When users activate hyperlinks (by clicking on them with a mouse) the browser displays the target of the link.


A collection of documents containing cross-references which, with the aid of a browser, (such as a Web browser or Acrobat Reader) allow readers to move easily from one document to another.


A graphic representation of a window or tool.


Identifiers are unique names that Discoverer uses to identify workbooks. When matching objects common to different EULs, Discoverer uses identifiers to locate objects in different EULs that refer to the same business object.

For example, a folder named 'Sales' in EUL 'A' may refer to the same folder named 'Sales Figures' in EUL 'B'. Both folders have the same identifier and can therefore be identified as referring to the same object.


A bitmapped object that can be stored and loaded into an application. The client cannot modify an imported image.


To read a module from the file system or database, and incorporate it into an application.

independent data

A piece of data that does not depend on other data for its value. For example, an employee's name may have the value Jones, which is independent of the values of other employee's names or associated data. Also called category data.


An optional structure associated with a table that is used by Oracle Server to locate rows of the table quickly, and (optionally) to guarantee that every row is unique.


A worldwide TCP/IP-based network of computers.

IP (Internet Protocol) Address

A four-part number with no more than three digits in each part that uniquely identifies a computer on the Internet.

item classes

A grouping of items that database values. An item class is used to define a list of values that may be used by more than one item, an alternative sort order for these items, or to define a summary-to-detail capability between items. For example, an item called Product may contain a description of products, and may be part of the Product folder. The same item, Product, may also be required in the Sales Revenue folder. To have both items use the same list of values, you create one item class which defines the values, and apply it to both items. So you must define the list of values only once. If you did not create an item class, you would have to define a list of values for Product in the Product folder, and for Product in the Sales Revenue folder.

item class wizard

A predefined set of steps in Discoverer Administrator that ask the user for the information and choices needed to create an item class.

item hierarchy

Used to define the hierarchical relationship between items to allow end users to drill down to different levels of detail. For example form Country to Region to State.


A representation of database table's column in the EUL. Presenting columns as items allows the Discoverer manager to make formatting changes, name changes and other similar changes enabling the user to clearly read the data. Items are stored in folders and can be created, deleted, and moved among different folders.


A logical pairing of tables in a database, based on matching data in a specific column(s). Creating joins in Discoverer Administrator is critical for identifying the folders available to the user in Discoverer Plus. When the user selects an item or folder to create a worksheet, only those folders having joins with the selected folder are available. Thus, if a join does not exist between two folders, neither the unselected folder nor its items are available for the worksheet.

Joins are derived from matching columns or primary or foreign keys in the database.


See alignment.


1. Part of a command-line syntax that must be supplied with a corresponding argument. 2. A required part of a PL/SQL construct.


Text identifying the values or meaning of an application's visual objects.

list of values

A set of the unique values that exist in an item. The values are from the items found in the database column.

For example, if a database contained 4 occurrences of widgets, 28 occurrences of bolts, 34 occurrences of fan belts, 90 occurrences of gaskets and 49 occurrences of brackets, list of values would produce the following list of five distinct values: [widget, bolt, fan belt, gasket, bracket]. Lists of values are used when creating and assigning conditions. The list of values is generated automatically at run time.

load wizard

A predefined set of steps in Discoverer Administrator that ask the user for the information and choices needed load tables into the End User Layer and create a new business area.

local database

1. The database on the computer running the application. 2. The database to which an application is connected. This database parses and executes all SQL statements generated by the application.

master folder

Used in a join, the master folder identifies the table which has a one-to-many relationship with the detail folder. For example, for each video title (identified by a row with a unique key) in a Video Product folder, there may be many entries (rows) in the Sales Details folder for each time a customer has rented the video.

master to detail join

A master-to-detail join icon represents a one-to-many relationship between two items in different folders. The primary key is on left (Master), the foreign key is on right (Detail).

Create joins while using the Load Wizard to create a business area or by choosing Join from the Insert menu. See: detail to master join, join.

materialized view

A materialized view is a summary mechanism used by Oracle Enterprise Edition databases. materialized views pre-compute and store aggregated data for use in SQL queries.

megabyte (Mb)

A unit of memory equal to 1,048,576 bytes (1024 x 1024). Often rounded to one million bytes.

message box

A modal window that notifies you of a condition that occurred because of your last action. You must respond to a message box.


Data about data. The data contained in the EUL is metadata because it is information describing the data in the actual database tables. Creating metadata allows the Discoverer manager to translate the database terminology into business terminology.

modal window

A window that elicits a response from the operator before the application can continue.


A data type indicating that the data will be fetched when the page on which it appears is formatted (instead of fetched and cached until formatted).

non-caching column

A report column that references a database column of data type NOCACHE.

NULL value

The absence of a value.


An item that can be placed on the layout. The following are examples of objects: rectangle, line, ellipse, arc, polygon, polyline, rounded rectangle, freehand, chart, text, symbol, and text field.


Acronym for Open Database Connectivity. A standard for accessing different database systems. An application can submit statements to ODBC using the ODBC flavor of SQL. ODBC then translates these to whatever flavor the database understands. Using the Oracle Heterogeneous Data Services (HDS), Discoverer can access different database management systems in one consistent manner.


Object Linking and Embedding.

OLE container

An application that can store and display OLE objects.

OLE Server

An application that creates OLE objects.

one-to-many relationship

A relationship where there is one uniquely identified row in one table relating to one or more rows in another table. The relationship is based on the unique key found in the first table. For example, for each video title (identified by a row with a unique key) in a Video Product table, there may be many entries (rows) in the Sales Details table for each time a customer has rented the video.

one-to-one relationship

A relationship where there is one and only one match for a unique row in two tables.

For example, for each video title (identified by a row with a unique key) in a Video Product table, there is one and only one row in the Video Details table that contains the description. Since there is only one description for each product, it could be located directly in the Video Product table; however it could be placed in another table for other processing reasons. In the latter case, the two rows would be uniquely identified by a common key joining them together.


An environment variable that indicates the root directory of Oracle products.

Oracle Designer

An Oracle tool for system analysis and designing, generating, and maintaining applications.

Oracle Designer uses an enhanced Oracle dictionary for application system designs and model information.

orphan folder

A folder which does not exist in any business area. An orphan folder cannot be viewed in the work area because it is not located inside any business area; therefore it is unusable. A folder can only be created (and saved in the End User Layer) inside a business area and potentially used repetitively in several business areas. However, if it is subsequently removed from its last business area without being deleted from the End User Layer, it becomes an "orphan folder".

You can view orphaned folders by choosing Manage | Folders from the Tools menu.


A term defining proprietorship of a specific object in Discoverer. For example, a user owns an EUL if its tables reside in the user's database account. A user may have permission to access the tables in another user's account, but the permitted user does not own the EUL.

page axis

The axis that displays a page item. The page axis appears above the top axis.

page item

An item that enables you to view data from a particular perspective. Page items apply to a whole sheet. When you create a page item from an axis item or data item, one value appears at a time, such as 1997 for Year. You change the value of the page item—such as 1997, 1998, or 1999—by choosing from the list of available values in the Page item box. items can be dragged to the Page item box from either the top axis or the side axis.


A PL/SQL construct used to pass information to a subprogram. For example, in the subprogram call MYPROC (x),x is a parameter.

partially restricted tables

Tables you own and have granted access to for other user IDs. Or, tables you don't own but their owner has granted you access.


To place the contents of the Clipboard (cut or copied objects) at the current cursor location.


A graphical property you can apply to the edge or fill of most objects.


Acronym for Portable Document Format. A file format (native for Adobe Acrobat) for representing documents in a manner that is independent of the original application software, hardware, and operating system used to create the documents. A PDF file can describe documents containing any combination of text, graphics, and images in a device-independent and resolution independent format.

physical page

The size of a page that is output by your printer.


To drag an item from one axis to the other (crosstabs only), or from an axis to the Page item box. A side axis item becomes a top axis item or a page item or vice versa. Pivoting enables you to display the data more compactly and show relationships between items more clearly.


Oracle's proprietary extension to the SQL language. Adds procedural and other constructs to SQL that make it suitable for writing applications.

pop-up list

A list that pops up when the user performs a particular action.


A number that TCP uses to route transmitted data to and from a particular program.


A setting that affects the behavior of the application's interface.

primary key

A column in a database table whose members consist of unique values that can be used to identify a row in a table.

private End User Layer

An End User layer only available to specific user IDs. Access is explicitly granted by the owner of the End User Layer.

A database can have one or more private End User Layers.

private tables

Tables in a database accessible only by those user IDs granted access by the user ID who "owns" the table. A user ID "owns" a table if that user ID has created the table.


A characteristic of an object that determines the behavior or appearance of that object.

public tables

Tables in a database accessible by all user IDs.


1. A search that retrieves information from a database according to criteria you specify. The criteria include items, layout, formatting, conditions, and calculations. Results of a query are displayed in a sheet.

2. A SQL SELECT statement that specifies the data you want to retrieve from one or more tables or views of a database.

query prediction

An Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer feature that gives an estimate of the time required to retrieve the information in a query. The Query Prediction appears before the query begins, so you can cancel the query.


An option that terminates the current session and returns the user to the operating system. On some systems, Quit is Exit.


Acronym for Relational Database Management System. A database that allows the definition of data structures, storage and retrieval operations, and integrity constraints. In such a database, data and relations between them are organized in tables.


One row fetched by a SQL SELECT statement.

remote database

A database on a computer other than the local database. Usually a computer on the same network, but at a different node (that is,, a database that you use through a database link).


A set of privileges. A role is assigned to a user ID to grant all of the privileges defined in that role. A role is useful for a DBA assigning the same privileges to large numbers of people.

For example, the database administrator for a staff of airline reservation employees defines the role “reservationist” containing all of the necessary privileges for a reservationist. Then the DBA assigns every reservationist that role (reservationist), instead of having to define all of the privileges for each reservationist.


One set of field values in a table; for example, the fields representing one employee in the example table EMP.


To execute a run-time version of an application or program unit.

scheduled workbook

A workbook that has been programmed to run automatically at a scheduled date, time, and frequency. You can schedule a workbook by choosing File | Schedule.


A collection of related database objects, usually grouped by database user ID. Schema objects includes tables, views, sequences, stored program units, synonyms, indexes, clusters, and database links.

SELECT statement

A SQL statement that specifies which rows and columns to fetch from one or more tables or views.


In Discoverer you can mail a workbook (or part of a workbook) in an e-mail. The data you send can be in the text of the mail message or an attachment. In Discoverer Plus, choose File | Send to send a workbook.


The period between invoking and quitting the executable.


A tab in the workbook window. A sheet displays the results of one or more queries.

side axis

The axis of a sheet that runs vertically along the left side of the sheet. Applies only to a crosstab. See: axis, axis item.


To specify how data in an item should be ordered. For example, you can sort an item from low to high (A–Z) or from high to low (Z–A).


Acronym for Structured Query Language, the language used to define and manipulate data in a database. You can view the current SQL code for a particular sheet by choosing SQL Inspector from the View menu.

SQL script

A file containing SQL statements that you can run to perform database administration quickly and easily. Several SQL scripts are shipped with Oracle products.

SQL statement

A SQL instruction to Oracle. A SELECT statement is one type of SQL statement.


A PL/SQL construct used for conditional, iterative, and sequential control, and for error handling. A semi-colon (;) must terminate every PL/SQL statement.

summary rewrite

The process that Discoverer Plus uses to rewrite the SQL for a query to use a summary table or materialized view rather than the detail data.

summary folder

The folder for storing information about summary tables, and the EUL items that can use them. Summary folders improve performance by directing queries to run against the summary tables' pre-aggregated and pre-joined data which, nevertheless, still satisfies the query requests. The process is automatic from the user's view-that is, to the user it is not apparent that the query is being handled by the summary folder, instead of the base data tables. The net result is quick response times for queries and accurate results.

summary table

Results from a query, listing information in table format.

summary wizard

A predefined set of steps in Discoverer Administrator that prompt the user for the information and choices needed to create a summary folder that will be used when end user queries are rewritten to use them.


The orderly system by which commands, qualifiers, and parameters are combined to form valid command strings.


1. A named collection of related information, stored in a relational database or server, in a two-dimensional grid that is made up of rows and columns.

2. A sheet layout that arranges items in columns. Items appear in the top axis. Use a table to list all information that fits the query criteria, such as sales transactions for the last month. See: crosstab.


A default layout displaying labels at the top of the page and rows of data underneath the labels.

task list

A window in Discoverer Administrator that lists each task for creating a comprehensive business area in logical order. It is helpful in keeping track of the tasks to complete. Click a task to invoke its respective wizard to help you complete the task.


Acronym for Transmission Control Protocol. The underlying communication protocol for exchanging HTTP requests between clients and Web servers.

tear-off menu

A submenu that the user can remove from its source using a mouse or other pointing device and drag to another part of the display screen.

text item

In Form Builder, an item that displays a character string value.

title bar

The horizontal area at the top of a window that displays the name of the application or interface element in that window.


To turn a setting alternately on or off. For example, you can hide or show the Toolbar.


An iconic button used to create and manipulate objects in an application.


Collection of iconic buttons that perform product commands. Usually aligned horizontally along the top, or vertically down the side of a window.

tool palette

A collection of tools


The result of a calculation that summarizes data in a sheet. Examples of totals are minimum, maximum, average, and sum.


A optional report region that can contain closing material for the report, including text, graphics, data, and computations. The report trailer appears last, following the header and body.


A sequence of SQL statements treated as a single unit.


A PL/SQL procedure that is executed, or "fired," upon a specific event.

user ID

a unique character string used to access a database. A user ID always has an associated password. When logging onto an Oracle database, a person must have an authorized user ID and password.


A named object that can be assigned a value and whose assigned value may change over time.


A character used to mean 'any one character' or 'a contiguous set of characters' within a word or phase.


A rectangular area of the desktop that contains an application. Each window has an area where you can interact with the application. Windows can be opened, resized, moved, reduced to an icon, or enlarged to fill the entire desktop.


A window in Discoverer Administrator which is the view into the End User Layer. Use the Workarea window to work with each business areas in the End User Layer. It is where you can create new business areas and folders, move items from one folder to another, and create and edit items. Essentially, everything you do that affects the End User Layer is done in the Workarea.


A collection of worksheets in Discoverer Desktop or Discoverer Plus. Workbooks are documents containing query definitions; they can be stored in database tables and shared with other users over a network. Discoverer Desktop workbooks can also be stored on a network file server and on your PC.


The way Discoverer displays the results of your query. The Worksheet also contains the query to be executed against the End User Layer. Multiple worksheets are stored in a Workbook.


To expand an object to allow more room for editing the contents of the field.