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RittmanMeadConsultingOBIEE11gR1:HierarchicalColumns,andEnhancementstoPivotTableViews

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OBIEE11gR1:HierarchicalColumns,andEnhancementstoPivotTable
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July13th,2010byMarkRittman
Inourpreviouspostings,welookedatthenewuserinterfaceforOBIEE11g,andhowthemetadatalayerfortheBI
ServerhasbeenenhancedtobetterhandleOLAPstyledata.Inthisposting,wellmovetothefrontendandseehow
dimensionalsupporthasbeenenhancedinOracleAnswers11g,inparticularthroughanewfeaturecalledHierarchical
Columns.
IfyoufollowedthedevelopmentprocessforOBIEE11gR1andinparticular,thenewfeaturesplannedforOracle
Answers,youllprobablybeawareofenhancementstohowAnswershandlesOLAPstylehierarchies,andhowpivot
tableviewsinAnswershavebeenupdatedtomoresuitthetypeofanalysisperformedbyEssbaseusers.Inaprevious
postinginthisseriesIlookedathowtheunderlyingmetadatainOBIEE11gR1hasbeenextendedtonowencompass
ragged,skiplevelandparentchildhierarchies,andinthispostingIlllookathowthe11greleaseofAnswers(now
partofthe11gUnifiedFramework)canmakeuseofthesethroughhierarchicalcolumnsandgeneralenhancementsto
pivottableviews.
Inthisexample,IhavealogicalmodelcalledStoreSalesSalesthathasfourlogicaldimensions.Thismodelhas
thenbeenusedtocreateacorrespondingpresentationmodel,thatexposesthesedimensionsashierarchicalcolumns.

Thedetailsofthesedimensions,andhierarchicalcolumns,areasfollows:
Products(LevelBased)dimensionhasasingleregular,balanced,levelbasedhierarchy(asperthe10grelease)
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Staff(ParentChild)hasaparentchildhierarchy,withanautomaticallygeneratedclosuretablebehindit
Stores(Ragged&SkipLevel)hasasingleskiplevelandraggedlevelbasedhierarchy,and
Times(TimeDimension)hastwobalanced,levelbasedtimehierarchies(oneforcalendar,oneforfiscal)
Thedatasourcebehindthismodelisrelational(Oracle11gR2),andnowIwanttostartreportingonthisusingthenew
hierarchicalcolumnsfeatureinOBIEE11gR1.
IstartbyloggingintotheOBIEE11gR1unifiedframeworkandcreateanewanalysis.Iselectthispresentation
model,andthentakealookatwhatsavailabletomeintheCriteriapanel.

StartingwiththeSaleslogicalfacttableandtheStoreslogicaldimensiontable,Icanseetheonemeasure(Amount),
thecolumnsintheStorestable(nowcalledAttributeColumnsin11gR1),andthedimensionplusitslevelsjustbelow
theattributecolumns.Thisdimensionisreferredtoin11gR1asaHierarchicalColumn,whichgivesusthreetypesof
columninthisrelease(measurecolumns,attributecolumnsandhierarchicalcolumns).
IstartoffbyaddingtheRegionNameattributecolumntomycriteria,alongwiththemeasure.IswitchtotheResults
panelandseethattheoutputlooksverysimilartowhatIdhaveseeninOBIEE10g.Thisistopreservebackwards
compatibilityforproductssuchastheBIApplications,whichwillstillbeabletoshowreportsanddashboardsinthe
samewayasifyoudbeenusingOBIEE10g.

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WhenIselectanattributecolumninmycriteriaandthenswitchtotheResultspanel,thedataisautomaticallyshown
inatableview,asitwouldhavebeeninOBIEE10g.
Inowcreateanewanalysis,butthistimeselecttheStores(Ragged&SkipLevel)hierarchicalcolumn,alongwiththe
measure.StartingwiththeAllStoresgrandtotallevel,Iclickonthe+signsnexttoeachmember,andstartdrilling
intothehierarchy.NoticehowtheSFOconcessiondoesnthaveastoreasaparent,andinsteadrollsupintotheNorth
CAregion(thisistheskiplevel).NoticealsohowtheFishermansWharfstorehastwoconcessionsunderit,whereas
theotherstoresdont(thisistheraggedelementofthehierarchy,whereleafmembersarentnecessarilyatthesame
hierarchylevel).Finally,notehowtheAllStoresgrandtotalleveliscalculatedbasedonthedimensionmembersthat
areitsdescendants.

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RittmanMeadConsultingOBIEE11gR1:HierarchicalColumns,andEnhancementstoPivotTableViews

IcandoasimilarthingwiththeStaff(ParentChild)hierarchy.Asthenamesuggests,thisisaparentchild,orvalue
based,hierarchy,andagainIcandisplayitintheResultspanelandlookatthenumbers.Notehoweverthatwith
parentchildhierarchies,thevaluesforeachmemberarentcalculatedbasedonitsdescendants,andinsteadtheyjust
displaythetotalassociatedwiththatmember(i.e.thereisnoautomaticrollupofnumbers).

Nowthisdifferenceinbehaviourbetweenparentchildbackedhierarchicalcolumns,andlevelbasedbacked
hierarchicalcolumns,isinterestingasthereisnowaytotellfromtheAnswerssidewhattypeofhierarchyyouare
workingwith.Iwonderifthiswillchangeinfuturereleases?
Youcanincludemorethanonehierarchicalcolumninapivottable,andindeedyoucanmixandmatchattribute
columnsandhierarchicalcolumnsinthesameview.Intheexamplebelow,IhavetheStaff(ParentChild)hierarchical
columndownthelefthandside,whichisthenbrokendownbytheQuarterattributecolumnfromtheTimes(Time
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Dimension)logicaltable,withtheProducts(LevelBased)hierarchicalcolumnalongthetop.

Youcanalsonesthierarchicalcolumnswithineachother,suchasintheanalysisbelowwhereIvenestedTimes
(TimeDimension)withintheStaff(ParentChild)hierarchicalcolumn.

Sofar,sogood.AsImentionedbefore,pivottablesthemselveshavehadarevampinthisrelease,withoneofthekey
featuresbeingtheabilitytoswapdimensionsaboutwhenthepivottableisdisplayedinthedashboard(in10g,youhad
toreturntoAnswerstorearrangethelayout).Intheexamplebelow,ImmovingtheTimes(TimeDimension)
hierarchicalcolumnsothatitsundertheProduct(LevelBased)hierarchicalcolumn,bygrabbingthegrabbarabove
theTimes(TimeDimension)hierarchicalcolumnandthendraggingittothenewposition.

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Youcanalsosortthepivottablebyclickingtheupanddownarrowsthatappearovercolumnsoralongrows,oryou
canrightclickanywhereinthepivottableandaccessacontextualmenufromthere.

Anotherfeatureinthisnewreleaseistheabilitytocreatedynamicgroups(oftenreferredtoascustomaggregates)for
example,tocreateacustomaggregatemadeupofAlisonChisel,CassandraBarryandPetesims(allofwhichareat
differentlevelsinthehierarchy),IpresstheNewGroupbuttonintheResultspanelmenu,andthenselectthese
membersofstaffforthegroup.

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AfterpressingOKtocreatethegroup,Icanseetheminthehierarchicalcolumn,andIcanalsodrillintothegrouptoo
(theoldCalculatedItemoptionisstillthereaswell,forbackwardcompatibility).

Hierarchicalcolumnsalsobringanotherbonus,intheformofbeingabletoaccessalternatehierarchiesina
dimension.IntheTimeslogicaltableIveexpandedintheviewbelow,Ihavetwohierarchicalcolumns,oneforthe
calendarhierarchyandoneforthefiscalhierarchy.Inthepast,Icouldonlydrilldownononeofthesebutnowyou
canseebothhierarchieslistedintheCriteriaview,andIcanselectwhichoneIwanttodrilldownon(notquiteas
goodasDiscoverer,whichletmedisplaybothonthereportatthesametime,butitsgettingthere).

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Theresoneothermajorchangewiththeintroductionofhierarchicalcolumns.Forattributecolumns,youcanstill
filterinthesameway,pickingthecolumnandthensettingupthefilter(ProductName=Shoes,orAmount<100,
forexample).Withhierarchicalcolumnsthoughyoucansetupstepbystepfilters,whichwillseemfamiliartoanyone
whousedOracleBIBeans,orDiscovererforOLAP,inthepast.Inthisexample,ImdisplayingtheAmountmeasure
bytheStores(Ragged&SkipLevel)hierarchicalcolumn,andIveopeneduptheSelectionStepswindowatthe
bottom,whichallowsmetodefinestepbysteprestrictionsandadditionstothesetofstoresthataredisplayedinthe
pivottable.

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Iwanttochangethistostartwithalistofstores,thenrestrictthislisttojuststoresthathavesoldover100,butthen
addbackinanystoresthatareinthetop10%basedonsales.

ThisclearlyowesaiottoOracleExpressandOracleOLAP,whereyouwouldprogressivelyrestrict,expandand
redefinethestatusforadimension,andthedialogowesalottoasimilaroneinDiscovererforOLAP.Froman
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initiallook,itdoesntlookaseasytocreatecomplex,multidimensionalconditionssuchasgivemethelistofstores
whosesalesareinthetop5%ofstoresbasedonlastyearssalesacrossjustthefoodandbeverageproductlines,but
thisissomethingIllneedtoplayaroundwithalotinafutureposting.Fornowthough,wevegotthetraditional
abilitytoapplysortsagainstcolumns(attributecolumnsinOBIEE11gR1speak),orwecanusetheseselectionsteps
forwhenwereworkingwithhierarchicalcolumns.Thisfeaturewillbeespeciallyusefulforparentchildhierarchies
(includingoneswithEssbaseasadatasource)thatdonthavelevels(akacolumns)tofilteragainst,insteadhaving
membersthatarearrangedintoanarbitraryraggedhierarchy.

Inthenextpostinginthisseries,wellbetakingthisonestepfurtherbylookingathowEssbasesupporthasbeen
improvedinthe11greleaseofOBIEE.Inthemeantime,ifyoureinterestedinseeingmoreofOBIEE11ginaction,
BIWASIG(theBusinessIntelligence,WarehousingandAnalyticsSIG)arerunningawebcastonWednesdayonData
VisualizationBestPracticesusingOBIEE11g,runbyourfriendsDanandTimVlamis.Attendanceisfreeanditllbe
agoodchancetoseeademoof11g.
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PostedinOracleBISuiteEE|11Comments

Comments
1. kranthiSays:
July13th,2010at12:58pm
@mark
Awesomepost,manybigthingsabouthierarchies.
InbetweenwhenwouldDevelopersguidebyyourelease??expecteddate??
Regards,
Kranthi
2. kranthiSays:
July13th,2010at1:00pm
@mark
Awesomepost,manybigthingsabouthierarchiesanddiscovererwayoffdrilldownandfilters.
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InbetweenwhenwouldDevelopersguidebyyourelease??expecteddate??
Regards,
Kranthi
3. krisSays:
July13th,2010at3:57pm
@Mark,
Thiswasawondefulpostandthingswereexplainedreallywell.
Notrollingupthenumberswhenitsaparentchildrelationshipdoesmakesenseinthiscaseastheywontaddup
tothegrandtotalpropelry.
Also,anyinfoonwhetherthepivottablebugs(around30Krowlimit)arealreadyfixed?
WhathappenswhenyouexportthesehierarchialcolumnstoExcel?Doesitpreserveallthegroupingsonboth
rowsandcolumns?
Kris
4. KevinSays:
July13th,2010at4:54pm
GreatpostMark,Thanksforthepreview.DoyouhaveadateforyourOBIEEbook?
5. MarkRittmanSays:
July13th,2010at8:03pm
@Krisyes,frommylimitedtesting,theindentationandgroupinginhierarchicalcolumnmembersis
preservedwhenexportingtoXLS.
@Kevinprobably12monthsorsofromnow.Wewaiteduntil11gtostartwritingagain,sonowitsoutwell
resumeinthefall.
6. DanVlamisSays:
July14th,2010at3:43am
Mark,
Greatpostwithlotsofgreatinformation.Thanksfortheplugforthepresentation.Takecare.
7. JayeshSays:
July19th,2010at8:41am
Mark,
Nicepostasusual.
Ihavefewquestionrelatedtohierarchicalcolumns.
1.DoeshierarchicalcolumnsworkonlyinPivotview?AsIhaventseenexampleofhierarchicalcolumnsin
anyotherviewssofar.
2.IfhierarchicalcolumnsworkonlyinPivotview,thenonaddingthecolumninanalysisandnavigatingto
resultstakestowhichdefaultview(asforgeneralanalysisittakestotableview).
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Thanks.
8. MarkRittmanSays:
July19th,2010at12:11pm
@Jayesh
Hierarchicalcolumnsworkinthetabularviewaswell.
regards,Mark
9. MalvikaAgarwalSays:
January27th,2011at1:01pm
HiMark,
Iamfacingissuewithkeepingadimension(nonmeasure)columninthepivottablehierarchyview.ihavea
hierarchyofcatalogandassociatedmeasurecolumns.ineedtoputaflagcolumninthereportandwhentheflag
valueisYthenthemeasurecolumnsshouldbedisplayedasBoldandinitalics.Inconditionstabicreatedthis
conditionanditworksfine.theissueisthatduetoaddingofthisflagcolumnmyreportisnotgettingdrilled
down.e.g.letssayihaveahierarchyasA>A1,A>A2,B>B1.Ahas2childrenwhichhavefurtherchildren
andBhasonlyonechildandB1willhavemorechildren.NowwhenidrilldownonBthenitgetsopenedbut
whenidrilldownonAthenitdoesnotgetdrilled.Thisscenarioisforallthenonmeasurecolumnsevenwheni
donotputanyformatingcondition.Ihavealsotriedtochange(increase)theNoofelementsatthislevel
propertyofthehierarchyintheBMMlayerbutnosucess.Kindlyletmeknowwhatiscausingthiserror.
10. wimdewetSays:
March9th,2012at4:52pm
HiMark,
WewanttoimportanoldOracleExpress(OLAP)cubetoOBIEE11g(11.1.5/6)
Doyouhaveaclearmigrationpathdocthatwecouldpossibleusetodothis?
Muchappreciated!
11. KaraSays:
December12th,2012at10:13pm
Doesanyoneknowifyoucanlimitthenumberofrowsthatcomebackinapivottablein11gtodisplaythefirst
25rows.Wearein10grightnowandwecanlimitthisinatablebutnotapivottable.

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