Business Objects Version 5 : Introduction

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1 Business Objects Version 5 : Introduction Page 1

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction About Business Objects Changing Your Password Retrieving Pre-Defined Reports Formatting Your Report Using the Slice and Dice Panel The Report Toolbar Sending and Receiving Reports Help Page 2

3 INTRODUCTION Audience Business Objects is a general purpose enquiry and reporting tool which allows users to access information in the University's administration database. The Windows graphical user interface will enable administrators and others with an interest in management information to quickly and easily retrieve data while the powerful reporting and analysis capabilities will permit the professional presentation of information. Prerequisites While no previous experience of enquiry tools is necessary, this document does assume some experience of using Windows based applications. It assumes also an understanding of the information resource which Business Objects will access. About this Document The aim of this document is to get you started with Business Objects. The Business Objects User s guide provides detail about what Business Objects can do, and how to actually do it. On Line Documentation BusinessObjects contains extensive on line help. Many points of detail are dealt with as Help topics available through the BusinessObjects Help Menu. More experienced BusinessObjects users needing to refer to documentation, may find it easier to use on line help rather than this document. Page 3

4 ABOUT BUSINESS OBJECTS What is Business Objects? Business Objects is a windows based PC tool which enables you to access information in the University's administration database. Through a Windows graphical interface, Business Objects allows you to: Create, execute and manage your own queries to retrieve information from the university s administration databases. Execute queries which have been pre defined by BUCS/ MIS. Analyse the information retrieved by a query with different types of reports, various types of charts or by exporting the data to other applications. What Information Can Be Accessed? Business Objects uses the concept of Universes. A Universe represents the information stored in a relational database. BUCS/MIS have designed several Universes which contain particular views of the Administration database. Universes, Objects and Classes Business Objects revolves around the concept of the Universe. A Universe is a meaningful, user orientated representation of a relational database. In practice, there are several Universes which have been designed by BUCS/MIS to provide particular views of the University's administration databases. Page 4

5 New Universes will be created or existing Universes will be enhanced from time to time by BUCS/MIS as the service is developed. Each Universe is constructed with a set of Objects and Classes of Object. An Object is an item of information which is of interest to a user of the information. It corresponds to a selection of data from the database and is, most usually, a column in a database table. For example, the following are Objects in the Financial Reporting Universe: Company, Accounting Unit, Activity etc. Within a Universe, you will find Objects grouped together into Classes. Classes are defined by the Business Objects Manager, solely, to reflect the user's natural grouping of items of information. Their purpose is to make it easier for you to locate and select Objects when building a query. They play no other part in retrieving information. Querying Data Data is retrieved from a database by a query. In Business Objects a query is built using the Query Panel. The Query Panel is a window which enables you to construct a query quickly and easily which will search for information in a particular Universe. Using point and click techniques, the query is built by selecting: The Objects to be viewed Any conditions the data must satisfy The order in which information should be sorted for viewing This manual is not concerned with building queries however, we look at using queries that have already been built Page 5

6 Analysing Query Results Once a query has been executed, the results are presented for immediate viewing in the Universe Workspace window. In many instances, such a simple presentation of the information will satisfy a user's needs. In other cases, however, where the requirements are more sophisticated Business Objects enables the query results to be analysed and processed in a number of ways. It has the following capabilities: Report generation. Chart generation. Exporting query results to other applications such as spreadsheets and word processors. Integration of query results with other windows applications using DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange), i.e. using the Windows clipboard. Page 6

7 CHANGING YOUR PASSWORD Business Objects requires you to enter a username and password. BUCS/MIS will set up this username and password for you. Your username will be the same as your BUCS username. Your password will be the same as your username it is your responsibility to change your password. 1. Open up Business Objects using the username and password provided by BUCS/MIS. 2. Click on Tools, then Change Password. The following window will appear: Your new password can be a word, or string of characters, of any length. Business Objects passwords are case sensitive. Business Objects will allow you 3 attempts to enter your correct username and password. After the third incorrect attempt, you need to contact the Admin Computing helpdesk (ext. 3434) so that your username can be re-instated. 3. Enter the password given to you by BUCS/MIS in the first field. Then enter your new password in the next field, and again in the bottom one. 4. Click on OK. The next time you open up Business Objects, use your new password. Page 7

8 RETRIEVING PRE-DEFINED REPORTS Starting Business Objects To start Business Objects, click the Business Objects icon, or click on Start, Business Objects, Business Objects. This will pop up the Business Objects Identification window. This window requires you to enter your Business Objects user name and your Business Objects password (see below). Click the OK button to proceed. User Name and Password You will be informed of your Business Objects username and password by BUCS/MIS. BusinessObjects Start Up Window When you have successfully logged on, the Business Objects New Report Wizard screen is displayed. The New Report Wizard will appear by default when you start up BusinessObjects. To prevent this happening each time you open BusinessObjects, you can either; uncheck the small box in the bottom left hand corner of the screen next to Run this Wizard at Startup; or; click on the Tools menu, select Options. Under the General tab, uncheck the box next to Show Welcome Wizard. Then click on OK. 1. Click on Cancel, and the New Report Wizard will disappear. Page 8

9 A repository has been set up on the Business Objects server. Part of this repository deals with document exchange. It is a database that stores documents that are sent and retrieved by different users. 2. From the File menu, select Retrieve From, then Corporate Documents A list of files held in the repository will appear: Clicking once on the column header Name will sort the reports into alphabetical order. Double clicking on the right hand edge of the column header Name will resize the column so that you can see the full name of the report. 3. Click on the name of the report you require, then click on Retrieve. The following window will appear to confirm that the report has been successfully retrieved from the repository. 4. Click on OK. The window will disappear, and the report you have retrieved will open Page 9

10 5. Once the report has opened, click on the Refresh icon to update and change (if required) the information displayed. Clicking on the Refresh icon is the command to Business Objects to update the information the report displays directly from the finance database. When entering the values for your report, you can often choose from a list of values by clicking the Values button on the right hand side of the Refresh window. It is often appropriate to enter the % wildcard in a prompt, which represents any amount of unknown characters. You will now be presented with another window which will ask you to select the relevant values for your report. The fields on this window will vary according to which report you are opening. 6. Enter the appropriate values for your report. Business Objects will now re-query the database, and produce the report. 7. The Report Manager, shown below, displays all of the objects available in this report in the left hand section of the screen. To switch the Report Manager on or off, click View, Report Manager. Page 10

11 8. At this stage, it is good practice to save the report to a local drive. Use the Save As option from the File menu, to save the document. Now that the report has run, you can format and re-order the report. 9. Once you have finished with your report you can close it by clicking onto File, then Close 10. To open a report that has been saved on your local drive, either click on File, then Open, or click on the Open icon. 11. Open the required report as you would with standard windows applications. Page 11

12 FORMATTING YOUR REPORT Once you have retrieved a report, you can build on it. A variety of commands enable you to format the data in different ways; you can easily change the basic structure of the report; you can display its data in charts or graphs; you can easily add data and remove data. The commands for formatting reports apply to individual cells, ranges of cells or whole sections of a report. The general procedure is to click the element(s) of the report that you want to format - it will be highlighted. Then, select the required format command. The commands can be found in the Format menu. Shortcuts to many of the Format menu commands are also available on the Format Toolbar. These toolbars may not appear automatically in your Business Objects environment. If you want to display them: Pull down the View menu. Select the Toolbars option from the View menu. This pops up the Toolbars dialogue box showing which toolbars are available and which are displayed. Click the Formatting check box, then, click the OK button. Formatting Toolbar As with most standard Windows applications, the formatting toolbar allows you to change the font, size, colour, justification etc of selected text. Page 12

13 Formatting a Cell 1. Click once inside the cell you wish to format. The cell will be highlighted. 2. Click the right mouse button, and select Format Cell from the list which appears. The Cell Format dialog box will appear, which allows you to modify the format of the contents of cell(s) you have selected. The Cell Format dialog box consists of five tabs. Select the tab for the options you want Number tab Defines how data is displayed in the cells you selected. You can use default number formats and create your own customised formats. Alignment tab Allows you to align data in relation to cell borders. Font tab Allows you to specify the font, font size and font formats of the text in the selected cells. Border tab Allows you to place borders around selected cells so that you can highlight parts of your report. Shading tab Allows you to fill in a component in your report with different colour shadings. You can set the intensity of the shading (from transparent to opaque) by defining a shading percentage. For further help with the formatting toolbar, please use the online help available with Business Objects. Page 13

14 Changing the Width of a Column In some cases, a column may be to small or too big for the information contained within it 1. To change the width of a column, move the mouse pointer to the right hand edge of the column until the mouse pointer changes into the horizontal resize symbol 2. Drag the border to the right or left, or double click to resize automatically: Changing the Height of Rows Sometimes you may want to increase or decrease the row heights. 1. To change the row heights, move the mouse pointer to the lower edge of a row until the mouse pointer changes into the vertical resize symbol 2. Drag the border to up or down, or double click to resize automatically: This will change the height of all of the rows on that sheet of the report. Page 14

15 Changing the Case of Text in a Column In some reports, a column may contain information which displays in both upper and lower case, (particularly descriptions of Activities). 1. To change the column, click on it once to highlight it. 2. Click on Edit Formula on the Data menu. The following window will appear: 3. In the middle column, Functions, click on the + next to All Functions & Aggregates. A list of functions will appear. Move down this list and double click on either InitCap (for initial capitals) or Upper (for all upper case). Make sure that this function now appears in the Formulas field at the top of this window. 4. Next, double click on the description of the column that you are changing in the left hand column Variables. Ensure that this also appears in the Formulas field. Click on OK. You will be taken back to your report where the format of the cells will have changed. Page 15

16 Changing the Page Setup and Printing In some reports, it may be necessary to change page settings, such as the margin size, and whether a report is printed in portrait or landscape 1. To change the page settings of a report, click on Page Setup in the File menu. The following dialogue box will appear 2. Choose the appropriate options (to change the margin settings, click onto the Margins button), then click onto OK 3. To print the report, click onto Print on the File menu, choose the appropriate settings on the Print dialogue box, then click onto OK Page 16

17 Using the Slice and Dice Panel The Slice and Dice Panel is a pop-up window that provides a graphical representation of the structure of the report you are working on. You can perform tasks by dragging and dropping icons that represent the data you are using. With the Slice and Dice feature, you can quickly rearrange, include and exclude data columns, break down and view data by sections, apply sorts and filters and analyse data using functions. To display the Slice and Dice panel, click the Slice and Dice button on the Standard Toolbar. Creating a Sectioned Report To change your report into a master/details style presentation, click the Show/Hide Section button on the Slice and Dice toolbar. The Section box will be displayed. Any object dragged into the upper Section box will be set as a Page 17

18 Sorting Data Using Slice and Dice In the Block Structure box (lower section) click the object that you want to apply the sort to. Click the Apply Sort button on the Slice and Dice Toolbar. The Sort button is displayed as shown below. Click Apply to apply the sort to your report. When more than one Sort is applied, each sort button will be numbered to indicate the priority or order in which the sorts are applied. To remove a Sort, click the Sort button on the object, then press the Delete key. Filtering Data Using Slice and Dice In the Block Structure box (lower section) click the object that you want to apply the sort to. Click the Apply Filter button on the Slice and Dice Toolbar. The Apply a Filter dialog box will appear, listing the available values. Select a value or values, and click OK. The Filter button is displayed as shown below. Click Apply to apply the filter to your report. To remove a Filter, click the Filter button on the object then press Page 18

19 Applying Calculations Using Slice and Dice In the Block Structure box (lower section) click the object that you want to apply the calculation to. Click the Insert Calculation button on the Slice and Dice Toolbar. The Insert Calculation button is displayed as shown below. Click Apply to apply the calculation to your report. To change the type of calculation that is applied, double click the Insert Calculation button on the object. The Calculations dialog box will display a selection of calculation choices. Select the calculation you want, click OK, then Apply. To remove a calculation, click the Insert Calculation button on the object, then press the Delete key. Applying Breaks Using Slice and Dice In the Block Structure box (lower section) click the object that you want to apply the break to. Click the Apply Break button on the Slice and Dice Toolbar. The Apply Break button is displayed as shown below. Click Apply to apply the break to your report. To remove a break, click the Apply Break button on the object, then press the Delete key. Page 19

20 Changing the Order of Columns Using Slice and Dice To change the order in which the columns appear, simply move the objects in the slice and dice panel to reflect the preferred order. To Copy a Business Objects report to Word or Excel Select Edit Copy All then Paste in Word or Excel. This is a quicker and easier method than exporting a file in either text or rich text format. Exporting files is described later in this manual. Page 20

21 REPORT TOOLBAR The buttons on the Report Toolbar help you insert new blocks and cells, as well as work with breaks, filters, sorts and calculations. The buttons you will probably find most useful are described below. Insert Break Applies a break on the variable currently selected in the report. A break effectively breaks the report in to smaller tables. For example; on the Transactions by Vendors report, if you were to highlight the accounting unit column and click on the Insert Break icon, the report would break up into smaller tables showing one accounting unit per table. To delete the break, click on the column which has the break applied, then click on the Insert Break icon. Insert Filter Use the Insert Filter function to filter any information in the report that you don t require. Click on the column you wish to filter, (Accounting Unit is used as an example here), and the following window will appear. The values which are displayed in the selected column in your report will be listed in the window. Click on the value you wish to include in the report, the others will be filtered out. Click on OK. To select more than one value, hold down the <ctrl> key whilst clicking on the values you require. Page 21

22 To remove a filter, click on the column which has the filter applied, then click on the Insert Filter icon. Insert Sort (Ascending Order) This button sorts the report in ascending order using the column that is selected. An Ascending sort can be removed by clicking onto the sorted column then clicking the Insert Sort button Insert Sort (Descending Order) A report can be sorted by a column in descending order by clicking onto the column, then clicking the drop down triangle on the right of the insert sort button, then clicking onto the Insert Sort (Descending Order) button Insert Sum This button inserts the total value of the variable selected at each break in the report and at the very end of the report. Totals can be removed by clicking onto the column which has the total applied then clicking onto the Insert Sum button Insert Count This button inserts the number of occurrences of the variable selected at each break in the report and at the very end of the report. Counts can be removed by clicking onto the column which has the break applied then clicking onto the Insert Count button Page 22

23 SENDING AND RECEIVING REPORTS In Business Objects, you can send reports to other users 1. Open the report you want to send. 2. Click on File, then Send to, Users. The following dialogue box will appear 3. Ensure that the name of the report you want to send is in the Document(s) to send box, and click onto the To button. Page 23

24 The following dialogue box will appear: 4. Scroll down in the left hand column, until it shows the user that you wish to send the report to. Click onto that user then click onto the Add button. The user should now show in the right hand column. Click onto OK, then OK again. You will then get a message saying The Export was Successful. Click onto OK 5. To retrieve a report that someone has sent you, click File, Retrieve from, users 6. You can then retrieve the report in the usual way. Note: You can only retrieve a report sent to you once, so when you have retrieved it, make sure you save it! Page 24

25 HELP If you need help with using Business Objects please contact the Help Desk on extension 3535 Or use the online form at: Your call will be logged in to the University's Helpdesk system and actioned by a member of BUCS / MIS. Up to date news is also available at our website: Page 25

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