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‘Unboxing’ Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service (BICS): Creating and Sharing Your Content
Posted on May 25, 2016
Author: John McGale, Performance Architects

Service Workflow – Report Authoring

The next step in our “unboxing” of Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service (BICS) workflow is to create reports.

There are four basic concepts to understand when creating reports in BICS. A report is called an “Analysis,” has a drag-and-drop interface for querying data, and is the starting point for nearly all BICS content (besides Visual Analyzer Projects). You will select attributes from the model you have just created and place them in order in report. You will then create “Filters” to restrict your data by certain parameters.


A new Analysis with columns and filters

You will then preview them in a “View,” which is essentially a data visualization. By default, your data will appear in a table view. You can then choose other views and arrange them on the pallet on which they appear. Lastly you will take your Analyses and add them to a “Dashboard.”


Previewing a Funnel View in Analyses, BICS Catalog

Once you’re satisfied with your Analyses, you can save them to the BICS file system called the “Catalog.”  You can create a new Dashboard to house the Analyses and other objects like Dashboard Filters.

As mentioned previously, you will first select reports from the Catalog and drag them onto the dashboard.  A column and a section will be created automatically. You can then add multiple columns and sections and arrange them in any number of ways. You can also add other controls such as “Text,” “Folder,” “Action Links,” and “Action Link Menus.” Another common object to create and add is a “Dashboard Prompt,” which dynamically drives the content of the embedded Analyses.


Viewing the Dashboard Editor with embedded objects

Below you can see a completely finished dashboard from the user’s perspective.  You can have more than one visualization within a single Analysis to give your dashboard an even higher level of information density.


Viewing a completed dashboard

Now that you have created your Analyses and Dashboard, you’re ready to secure them in order to decide who can view them. To secure Analyses and Dashboards in BICS we use the Catalog.  As mentioned previously, the Catalog is similar to Microsoft Windows File Explorer. You can store files in the root directory or create folders to house them.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to navigate to the Application Console and choose “Manage Users and Roles.” You will then create an “Application Role,” or use an existing role, and then associate that role with your user and with your Catalog objects. BICS provides several standard roles and typically the “BI Consumer” role is used for provisioning end users.


Fig 31. Viewing Application Roles and Users

Once you have completed “User-to-Role” provisioning, you’ll then organize and secure your objects stored in the Catalog. Select a folder and then click on the “Permissions” control to change the “Application Roles” associated with the “Catalog Object.” Once this is completed, you’re ready to share your content.


Setting permissions on Catalog objects

Users will typically access your content indirectly through a Dashboard, instead of directly accessing the content through the Catalog. To open a Dashboard, navigate to the “Dashboards” menu and you’ll see a list of the dashboards you are allowed to see.  Click the dashboard you wish to view and it will open in another browser tab.

 

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