Sunday, May 17, 2015

OBIEE New features - Interface, part 1

This post is about changes of User Interface of OBIEE If you are looking for information about serious new features, you should read the brilliant, interesting and generally not-bad post by Robin Moffatt: What’s New in OBIEE for Systems Administrators and Developers. Mark Rittman covered the long awaited support of Hive2 and Impala here.

They say "the god is in the details"; It seems that that god of details, that so often stays in Cupertino, had a visit in Redwood Shores, with the release of OBIEE
You want an example?
 It's the little things some of them nobody bothers to mention in the "New Features" documentations. For example: the "View Properties" option we can access without entering/editing the specific view:

Or the  ability to have much better control in session Manager (Robin Moffatt has more to say about it)

 If you are a printing person:

  • The Custom Orientation control for PDF and PPT.
  • The marks that specify whether to include charts, images and formatting.
  • New option to specify whether to wrap text in columns.
  • New option to limit column width.
  • Unfortunately the change of default of Print Rows to all, didn't work for me. 

Of course they are cooler features:
Search in analysis metadata is one of the long awaited options:

(I'm personally less excited about the Sort option there).

One more great feature is the Save Column option:
Just the same way we can save filters and use them in various analysis, we can now save columns/formulas. This way complex columns, with variables, calculations... can be used. This is critical for advanced users.

There is one more somewhat similar feature of Global Variables:

In the Global Variable Menu we can press the Plus sign and add a new Global Variable:
There I can select name and paste/type a Value. there is something tricky with the Type, for example the formula 100*"Base Facts"."Revenue"/"Base Facts"."Billed Quantity" the type was text and not number.
Now I can reuse the Variable:

The result is the same as similar formula, of course:

The question is when to use Global Variables and when Save Column, is not clear to me at this point.

One more nice feature is the Treemap:

As all visualizations, you can drill in it etc...

The colors can be binned or continuous and there are sets of colors available:

I will continue with more new features and hidden jams in the next part.

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