Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Help!, we need somebody, Help, not just anybody, Heelp!!

Can you tell I've been listening to the Beatles tonight?

Anyway, we really do need more Analytics people. We have OBI and Analytics work coming out of our ears, so if you are looking, or know someone with Analytics then please get in touch. Now.

We need all levels, experts who want to contract through to juniors with one project who want to work as a permanent in the UK. (Work permits can be arranged).

Hardly enough time to work on the book. But don't worry it is progressing.

By the way, do you know how how the get totals working in a report that has TopN (or BottomN) in? Just go to the function dialogue for the field and set Totals to 'None'

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Catching up

As I have been in hiding on a secret client site (with no access to the internet) for a while, I thought that I would go for a large blog today.

To start with, there is some new functionality in 10.1 that you should know about. One feature is called a Presentation Variable. Like repository based variables but it is created in the BI Presentation system.

Bascially you set it up from a prompt. Once set it can be used all over the place, but my favorite is the Title of a prompted report, or column of a prompted report.

Try this

On the prompt, set a variable, which can then be accessed in the Title of the report.
For example, if you select a County of 'Wiltshire in a prompt, you set a variable name called VAR_COUNTY,
then in the Title you can display 'Details for Wiltshire' by changing the title to: Details for @{VAR_COUNTY}{All Counties}.

Neat eh?

In the good old days (last year!) we had to rely heavily on False Titles to perform the above. These may still be useful today. These use Narratives in reports to create what loks like a title. The report uses the same dashboard prompt as the report it is presented with. Using the @1 syntax you can present the value in the column, the there have a title which says something like 'Sheep in Wiltshire'. Formatted properly it will look like a title. Place it above the query in the same section. Viola.
Now I just tend to use the Section names as the titles.

I started using some Oracle dev tools this week, and I'm actually beginning to like them. Call me fickle but I have to say that I may be throwing out TOAD and starting to use Oracle SQL Developer instead. The main reason is that it is free!!

Having a quick look through my emails the other day I came across this message.

Someone asked the following question

We have a requirement to switch between the DBs based on the user login. We have two identical/similar dbs. But based on the users, the connection should switch.
Ex: user1 should see the data fram DB1 and user2 should see the data from DB2. Our plan is to keep a single stream of Physical, BMM ,Presentation catalogs and Webcat. Is this possible through Session variables. If yes, how?

Puna replied with this excellent answer

1) Create a table "db_details" in any db with the following details:
Login_Name dbname dblogin dbpassword

2) Populate this table as per your requirements. Create a connection pool in Physical layer which connects to this table (via database)

3) Create three Non-System Session Variables: dbname,dblogin,dbpassword. Create an initialization block with the following SQL Query:
select dbname,dbuser,dbpassword from db_details where Login_Name=':User' and polplute the the above created variables.
Set the connection pool of the initialization block which was created in step 2.

4) Now for the connection pool for which dynamicity is required as per the logged in user, in connection pool of that database in physical layer set the the following properties to:
Data Source Name: VALUEOF(NQ_SESSION.dbname)
User Name: VALUEOF(NQ_SESSION.dbuser)

Make sure if you are using ODBC or DSN's then DSN's with the name "VALUEOF(NQ_SESSION.dbname)" already exist in the system.
So now you will be able to switch DB's based on the Login_Name.
Hope this helps.

Nice one Puna.

If you read this (or know them) please send me your details and I'll invite you to our OBI Developers Forum.

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