This chapter provides information about multi-language support in Oracle BI Applications.
This chapter contains the following topics:
Oracle BI Applications provides multi-language support for metadata level objects exposed in Oracle BI Enterprise Edition dashboards and reports, as well as for data, which enables users to see records translated in their preferred language.
Configuring Base and Installed Data Warehouse Languages
After installing Oracle BI Applications, you use the Oracle BI Applications Configuration Manager (Configuration Manager) to configure which languages you want to support in the Oracle Business Analytics Warehouse. You must configure one "Base" language, and you can also configure any number of "Installed" languages. Typically, the Base language specified for the data warehouse should match the Base language of the source system. The Installed languages that you specify for the data warehouse do not have to match the languages that are installed in the source system. The data warehouse can have more, fewer, or completely different Installed languages compared to the source system. Note that for languages that match between the transactional system and the data warehouse, the corresponding record is extracted from the transactional system; languages that do not match will have a pseudo-translated record generated.
Note: You should only install the languages that you expect to use, because each installed language can significantly increase the number of records stored in the data warehouse and can affect overall database performance.
For information about how to configure data warehouse languages, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Configuration Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Applications.
There are two types of translation tables: the Domains translation table and Dimension translation tables. There is a single Domain translation table which holds a translated value in each supported language for a domain. Dimension translation tables are extension tables associated with a given dimension. Depending on certain characteristics of a translatable attribute, it will be found in either the domain or a dimension translation table.
The user's session language is captured in an Oracle BI Enterprise Edition session variable named USER_LANGUAGE_CODE. This is set when users log in from Answers, where they select their preferred language. If users decide to change their preferred language in the middle of a session by using the Administration option to change the current language, this session variable will detect this change. Records returned from a translation table are filtered to those records with a LANGUAGE_CODE value that matches this session variable.
The ETL process extracts translation records from the source system that correspond to the languages installed in the data warehouse. If a record cannot be found in the source system that corresponds to a language that has been installed in the data warehouse, a pseudo-translated record will be generated. Without a pseudo-translated record, a user that logs in with the missing language as their preferred language will not see any records.
A pseudo-translated record is generated by copying the translation record that corresponds to the data warehouse Base language and flagging it with the missing record's language by populating the LANGUAGE_CODE column with the language value. SRC_LANGUAGE_CODE stores the language from which the pseudo-translated record was generated; this will always match the data warehouse Base language.
In the future, if a translation record is created in the source system, it will be extracted and the pseudo-translated record will be overwritten to reflect the actual translated value. Table 2-1 provides an example in which "US" is the data warehouse Base language, and "IT" and "SP" are the Installed languages. The source system only had translated records for "US" and "IT" but did not have a translated record for "SP". The "US" and "IT" records are extracted and loaded into the data warehouse. Because there is no translation record in the source system for the "SP" language, a pseudo-translated record is generated by copying the "US" record and flagging LANGUAGE_CODE as if it were an "SP" record. The pseudo-translated record can be identified because SRC_LANGUAGE_CODE is different from LANGUAGE_CODE, matching the Base Language.
A domain refers to the possible, unique values of a table column in a relational database. In transactional systems, domains are often referred to as list of values (LOVs), which present attribute selections in the user's session language. The storage of the transaction is independent of the user's language; and, therefore, the field is stored using a language independent identifier. This identifier is typically a character code but can also be a numeric ID. The LOV or domain is then based on an ID-value pair, referred to as a member, and the LOV presents the values in the user's session language. At run time, the IDs are resolved to the value for the user's session language.
In the Oracle Business Analytics Warehouse, the number of unique values in any particular domain is relatively small and can have a low cardinality relative to the dimension it is associated with. For example, the Person dimension may have the domain 'Gender' associated with. The dimension may have millions of records, but the domain will generally have two or three members (M, F and possibly U). In the Oracle Business Analytics Warehouse, the Gender Code is stored in the Person dimension which acts as a foreign key to the Domains Translation table which stores the translated values. When a query is run, the user-friendly text associated with the code value is returned in the user's session language.
Depending on certain properties associated with a domain, domains can be configured in the Configuration Manager. In addition to serving as a mechanism for supporting translations, domains can be used to conform disparate source data into a common set of data.
Oracle BI Applications domains are associated with dimensions as fields in the dimension table that follow the %_CODE naming convention. For example, the Person dimension W_PARTY_PER_D would store the Gender domain in the GENDER_CODE column.
Oracle BI Applications domains are stored in the domain translation table W_DOMAIN_MEMBER_LKP_TL. This table stores the translated values for each domain member code. Translated values are usually either a Name or a Description value which are stored in the NAME and DESCR columns of this table. The DOMAIN_MEMBER_CODE column acts as a key column when joining with the %_CODE column in the dimension table. As domains come from various systems, a DATASOURCE_NUM_ID column is used to identify which system the translated value comes from and is used as part of the join key with the dimension table. A LANGUAGE_CODE column is used to identify the language the translated values are associated with. Note that the LANGUAGE_CODE column follows the %_CODE naming convention. Language is considered a domain with a given set of unique values.
The W_DOMAIN_MEMBER_LKP_TL table stores both domains that are extracted from the source system as well as internally defined domains that are seeded in the Configuration Manager. For each of the %_CODE columns that have translated values available in the source system, an ETL process extracts the domain members from the transactional system and loads them into W_DOMAIN_MEMBER_LKP_TL. Internally defined domains—usually domains specific to the Oracle Business Analytics Warehouse and known as conformed domains but can also include source domains—are stored in the Configuration Manager schema and are similarly extracted and loaded into the W_DOMAIN_MEMBER_LKP_TL table through ETL processes.
Only those translation records that match one of the languages that have been installed in the data warehouse are extracted from the transactional system. If translated records are not found in the transactional system matching an installed language, the ETL will generate a 'pseudo-translated' record for that language.
Some source applications store translations that can be extracted and loaded into the translation table. Some source applications do not maintain translations for an entity that corresponds to a dimension table. In these cases, whatever record is available is extracted and used as the Base language record to generate pseudo-translations for all other installed languages.
Figure 2-0 shows an overview of the Oracle BI Applications domain ETL process.
About Oracle BI Applications Domains and Oracle BI Enterprise Edition
The exact mechanism used to retrieve the translated value in Oracle BI Enterprise Edition is the LOOKUP() function. When the LOOKUP() function is used, Oracle BI Enterprise Edition performs all aggregations before joining to the lookup table. The aggregated result set is then joined to the lookup table. Low-cardinality attributes tend to be involved in several aggregations, so it is useful to be joined after results are aggregated rather than before.
In a logical dimension, a Name or Description attribute will use the LOOKUP() function, passing the value in the %_CODE column associated with that Name or Description to the Domain Lookup Table. The LOOKUP() function includes the Domain Name to be used when looking up values. The results from the Domain Lookup table are filtered to match the user's session language and returned as part of the query results.
Domains can be either source or conformed (internally defined warehouse domains). Source domains can come from a variety of transactional systems and so must include a Datasource_Num_Id value to resolve. Conformed domains are defined as part of the Oracle BI Applications and do not require a Datasource_Num_ID to resolve. As a result, there are two lookup tables implemented in the Oracle BI Repository that are aliases of W_DOMAIN_MEMBER_LKP_TL. When resolving a source domain, the source domain lookup requires Datasource_Num_Id to be passed as part of the LOOKUP() function while the conformed domain lookup does not.
As mentioned in Section 2.3, "About Oracle BI Applications Domains,", domains are dimensional attributes that have a relatively small number of distinct members, have a low cardinality relative to the number of records in the dimension, and are often used in aggregations. Dimensions have other attributes that require translation that may not fit one or more of these criteria. Dimensions may have translatable attributes that have a high cardinality relative to the dimension or may have a large number of members, and, thus, are not likely candidates for aggregation. If the domains ETL process was implemented in such cases, performance would be very poor. As a result, these particular attributes are implemented using dimension translation tables.
If a dimension has such high-cardinality attributes that cannot be treated as domains, the dimension will have an extension table that follows the _TL naming convention. If the _TL table has a one-to-one relationship with the dimension table (after filtering for languages), the _TL table name will match the dimension table name. For example, W_JOB_D_TL is the translation table associated with the W_JOB_D dimension table. If the _TL table does not have a one-to-one relationship with any dimension table, its name will reflect content.
The dimension and dimension translation table are joined on the translation table's INTEGRATION_ID + DATASOURCE_NUM_ID. If the translation and dimension tables have a one-to-one relationship (after filtering for language), the join to the dimension table is on its INTEGRATION_ID + DATASOURCE_NUM_ID. Otherwise, there will be a %_ID column in the dimension table that is used to join to the translation table.
Similar to the Oracle BI Applications domain ETL process, when using dimension translation tables, ETL tasks extract the translated values from the transactional system. Rather than the domain staging table being loaded, the dimension's translation staging table is loaded. The ETL process then moves these records into the dimension translation table.
Only those translation records that match one of the languages that have been installed in the data warehouse are extracted from the transactional system. If translated records are not found in the transactional system matching a data warehouse Installed language, the ETL will generate a 'pseudo-translated' record for that language by copying the record that corresponds to the data warehouse Base language.
Some source applications store translations that can be extracted and loaded into the translation table. Some source applications do not maintain translations for an entity that corresponds to a dimension table. In these cases, whatever record is available is extracted and used as the Base language record, which is then used to generate pseudo-translations for all other Installed languages.
Oracle BI Applications does not support Type 2 SCD tracking of dimension translation attributes when the dimension and translation tables have a one-to-one relationship with each other. These tables are joined on INTEGRATION_ID + DATASOURCE_NUM_ID, and, therefore, can be joined to a single record in the translation table. Attributes in the dimension table can be Type 2-enabled, but the current and prior records will always have the same translated value. Figure 2-2 describes the ETL domain process.
In Oracle BI Enterprise Edition, joins are created between the dimension and translation tables as normal. The translation table is brought in as another supporting table in the logical table source. If a user selects an attribute from the translation table, it will be included as a joined table in the SQL that Oracle BI Enterprise Edition generates. If the user does not select a translation attribute, the translation table will not be included in the generated SQL.
To ensure this behavior, the physical join between the dimension and translation tables is configured as one-to-many with the dimension table on the many side.
An important consideration is filtering on a user's language. If the language filter is included in the logical table source as a content filter, the translation table will always be joined whether a user selects a translation attribute or not. To avoid this behavior, opaque views are created in the physical layer that include a WHERE clause on the user's session language. Filtering on the user's language is still possible, but as the filter criteria is not implemented as a logical table source content filter, it is ensured that the translation table is only joined when necessary.
Localizing New Domain Members and Oracle BI Repository Metadata
If you added new domain members that require localization, see the section titled "How to Localize a New Domain Member," in Oracle Fusion Middleware Configuration Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Applications.
Also, to add string localizations in the Oracle BI Repository metadata, see "How to Add String Localizations for Oracle BI Repository Metadata," in Oracle Fusion Middleware Configuration Guide for Oracle Business Intelligence Applications.