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Introduction to Oracle

Discoverer
Chapter 2

Copyright 2001 California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Discoverer General User's Guide


Chapter 2 - Page 1

Introduction to Oracle Discoverer


06/25/01

Introduction to Oracle Discoverer


Chapter Objectives
At the end of this chapter, the student will be able to:

Understand the various Discoverer components and their use

Understand the Caltech data warehouse environment

Copyright 2001 California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Discoverer General User's Guide


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Introduction to Oracle Discoverer


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Discoverer Components
Overview
Oracle Discoverer is an ad hoc query tool that operates in the Caltech data warehouse
environment. Discoverers desktop-reporting features provide users the ability to
generate financial reports and analyze financial information easily and quickly.
Discoverer has three main components:
User Edition: the end user component; it provides the graphical interface utilized
by users on a day-to-day basis to generate reports and analyze data.
Administration Edition: the administrator component; it is the tool used to design
and present the hierarchy of financial data known as the business area which is
accessed by users from the User Edition.
End User Layer (EUL): the metalayer that shields users from the complexity of
the relational database from which Discoverer retrieves data. Conceptually, the
EUL resides between the database dictionary (table definitions) and the User
Edition. Physically, it is comprised of a number of database tables and views
organized into business areas (i.e., Finance, Human Resources, etc.)
Figure 1.0 illustrates how the three Discoverer components are integrated.

Copyright 2001 California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Discoverer General User's Guide


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Introduction to Oracle Discoverer


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User Edition
The Oracle Discoverer User Edition is an easy-to-use, read-only data access tool. It
provides logical and intuitive access to financial information in the data warehouse.

Administration Edition
The Administration Edition builds and maintains the End User Layer. Its design
determines how users access and view data. This is where the administrators define the
business areas used by the User Edition.

End User Layer (EUL)


The End User Layer insulates the user from the complexity of the database. It provides
an intuitive, business-focused view of the database that can be tailored to suit each user or
user group.
The EUL generates SQL statements on the client and communicates with the database
using SQL*Net. When a user selects objects from the business area, the EUL generates
the appropriate SQL statements that define the selections from a table, view, or column.
When a user executes a query, the EUL executes that SQL statement and sends it to the
database, which in turn sends the results to the User Edition interface. Thus, the user
does not have to understand SQL to access and retrieve data. It is all handled by the
EUL.

Copyright 2001 California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Discoverer General User's Guide


Chapter 2 - Page 4

Introduction to Oracle Discoverer


06/25/01

The Data Warehouse Environment


Overview
Caltechs data warehouse environment is comprised of WEBSTER, Discoverer, and two
read-only relational databases. However, WEBSTER and Discoverer do not store data.
The tables, views, and columns from which WEBSTER and Discoverer retrieve
information, are stored and housed in the Express and RDBMS databases. These
databases are generally updated from OGM information on a nightly basis.
Figure 1.1 illustrates how the data warehouse environment integrates with the Oracle
Financial applications.

The Application login and System Status link from the Caltech Support provides a
detailed explanation of how up-to-date the information is in WEBSTER and Discoverer
each day.

Copyright 2001 California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Discoverer General User's Guide


Chapter 2 - Page 5

Introduction to Oracle Discoverer


06/25/01

The Application Login and System Status Page


1.

Open the Caltech Support page from the following URL:


caltech.support@caltech.edu.

2.

Select the Application Login and System Status link.

Copyright 2001 California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Discoverer General User's Guide


Chapter 2 - Page 6

Introduction to Oracle Discoverer


06/25/01