BusinessObjects: General Report Writing for Version 5

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1 BusinessObjects: General Report Writing for Version 5

2 Contents 1 INTRODUCTION PURPOSE OF COURSE LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE REQUIRED TERMINOLOGY Universes Objects Classes STARTING A NEW REPORT CREATING AND EDITING BASIC QUERIES QUERY PANEL CREATING A QUERY EDITING A QUERY APPLYING CONDITIONS TO QUERIES DELETING AND EDITING CONDITIONS DELETING A CONDITION EDITING A CONDITION APPLYING CONDITIONS BY USING A PROMPT DIFFERENT TYPES OF OPERATORS USED IN CONDITIONS LOGICAL OPERATORS AND OR USING PREDEFINED CONDITIONS COMBINING LOGICAL OPERATORS MODIFYING YOUR REPORT CHANGING THE WIDTH OF A COLUMN MOVING A COLUMN THE REPORTING TOOLBAR Insert Break Insert Sum Insert Count Apply Filter Apply Ascending Sort...27 Page 2

3 1 Introduction 1.1 Purpose of Course This document is provided as part of the 'Designing Reports in Business Objects Version 5' course. The purpose of this course is to teach users how to set up and manipulate their own Business Objects reports. The data used in this course is not specific to any area within the University. After attending, the user will be able to apply the principals explained in this course to the data that they work with. 1.2 Level of Experience Required It is assumed on this course that you have some familiarity with Business Objects and are able to download and open reports, as well as apply basic formatting. If you have not done this before, you are strongly advised to attend an introductory Business Objects course before attending this one. 1.3 Terminology Universes Business Objects revolves around the concept of the Universe. A Universe is a cut-down version 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. Examples are the registrations universe, the financial reporting universe and the staff universe. Each Universe is constructed with a set of Objects and Classes of Object. Page 3

4 1.3.2 Objects An Object is an item of information which is of interest to a user of the information. It corresponds to a column in a table in a database, or a column with a condition on it, for example in the financial reporting universe, the Research AU object is Account Units where the third digit is an 'R'. Other examples of objects used in finance are Company, Activity, Account Code etc. There are three types of object, each of which can be distinguished by the symbol shown to the left of it. The different types of object are as follows: Dimension: A dimension is a key object that you are likely to base your query on. Detail: A detail refers to a piece of information you may need to see in the results of a query, but would not usually use to form the basis of the query. Measure: A measure object is numerical data that is based on a calculation involving other objects Classes Within a Universe, you will find Objects grouped together into Classes. Classes are defined by the Business Objects Manager 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, although in complex universes, such as finance, they are used to ensure that incompatible objects are not used in the same query. Page 4

5 2 Starting a new report 1. A new report is created by activating the New Report Wizard. This is activated automatically when you start Business Objects. If you are already in Business Objects, it can be activated by clicking File, New. The first dialogue box in the New Report Wizard is shown below. 2. Click Begin 3. The next dialogue asks you how you want to access your data. Leave Universe selected, then click Next 4. The next dialogue box asks you which universe you wish to access data from. You will see a list of all the universes that you have permission to access. Select the universe you wish to access the data from then click Finish. Following the above steps will take you into the query panel for the universe that you selected. From here you can specify what information you wish to show on your report. This is explained in the following sections. Page 5

6 3 Creating and Editing Basic Queries 3.1 Query Panel A Business Objects query is created in the query panel, which is shown below. On the title bar at the top of the query panel window it shows the name of the universe you have selected. In the window above the 'Island Resorts Marketing' universe has been selected. All of the classes within the selected universe are shown in the Classes and Objects column to the left of the screen. Objects within a certain class can be revealed by clicking the + button to the left of that class. Objects within a certain class can be hidden by clicking the - button to the left of that class. For example in the Island Resorts Marketing universe, the Age group object can be found within the customer class. Page 6

7 3.2 Creating a Query A query is created by dragging the appropriate objects into the Result Objects box towards the right of the query panel, then clicking the Run button on the bottom right of the query panel. When the query is run, a table will be produced. The columns shown in the table correspond to the objects that were placed in the results objects box. The following example describes how to create a query in the Island Resorts Marketing universe that shows how many guests there are for each customer. 1. Create a new report in the Island Resorts Marketing universe as described in section 2 2. Drag the Customer object and the Number of guests object into the Results Objects box. Note: Double clicking onto an object also adds that object to the Results Objects column. 3. Click the Run button. After a brief wait, the results of your query will appear as shown below. Note: In Finance universes, you cannot run a query without applying a condition. The process of applying conditions will be described later. Page 7

8 3.3 Editing a query A query can be edited by going back into the query panel. Once in the query panel, any further objects can be added to the Result Objects box as before. Objects can be removed from the Result Objects column by clicking on that object and pressing <Delete> on your keyboard. The following example describes how to modify the query so that instead of showing the number of guests for each customer, it shows the number of guests for each year. 1. Go back into the query panel by clicking the Edit Data Provider button on the standard toolbar 2. Click onto the Customer object in the Result Objects column 3. Press <Delete> 4. Drag the Year object into the result objects box to the left of the Number of Guests object 5. Click the Run button The results of the query will appear as shown below Note: As Number of guests is a measure object, the number of guests is automatically calculated for each different year, just as in section 3.2, the number of guests was calculated for each different customer. Page 8

9 4 Applying Conditions to Queries A condition is used on a query so that it only returns a selection of the available data, rather than returning all of the data. For example, in the Island Resorts Marketing universe, you may wish to show all of the customers whose Country of origin is France. A condition consists of three parts: Object: Eg Country of origin Operand: The object value to be searched for, eg France Operator: The relationship between the object and operand, eg Equal to The following example describes how to create a query that uses the condition suggested above. 1. Create a new query in the appropriate universe which in this case is the Island Resorts Marketing Universe. Once in the query panel, you must specify the objects you wish to show in your query as in the previous section. In this case place the Customer and the Country of origin objects into the Result Objects box 2. Drag the object you wish to place a condition on into the conditions box, which in this case is the Country of origin object. An Operators column will then appear in place of the Classes and objects column as shown below Page 9

10 3. Double click the appropriate operator, which in this case is the Equal to operator. An Operands column will then appear in place of the Operators column as shown below Page 10

11 4. In this type of query, the operand can either be typed in or chosen from a list of values. To type in the operand, double click Type a new constant, type in the appropriate value (in this case France), then press [Return] To choose the operand from a list of values, double click onto Show list of values. This will cause the following dialogue box to appear Double click onto the appropriate value, in this case France The condition should now look as shown below Page 11

12 5. Click the Run button The report that is created will show customers whose Country of origin is France, as shown below Note: i) In the financial reporting universe, objects within the GL Posting Data class and the GL Balance details class already have conditions attached to them, so you should not apply conditions to these objects. ii) There are many predefined conditions (see section 9) which can be used rather than setting up a condition from scratch. Page 12

13 5 Deleting and Editing Conditions Once a condition has been created, it will sometimes need to be altered or deleted altogether. 5.1 Deleting a Condition A condition can be deleted as follows: 1. Click with the right mouse button onto the condition you wish to delete 2. From the drop-down menu click Delete 5.2 Editing a Condition If only part of a condition needs to be changed, ie the operator or operand, it is quicker to just change that part of the condition, rather than deleting the condition altogether and starting again from scratch. A condition can be partially altered as follows: 1. Click on the part of the condition you wish to change. The classes and objects column will change to an operators or operands column, depending on which part of the condition you clicked on 2. In this column, double click onto the operator or operand you wish to use. That part of the condition will now have changed Page 13

14 6 Applying conditions by using a prompt It is often the case that the value of the operand in a query is regularly changed. In the previous example, the user may not always wish to see customers from France, but may wish to see customers with other counties of origin. Using a prompt in a query allows the user to change the value of the operand without going into the query panel each time. The following example describes how to set up a query that prompts the user for the customer's country of origin. 1. Follow steps 1 to 3 in section 4 2. From the Operands column, double click onto Type a New Prompt 3. Type in what you wish to appear in the prompt, in this case 'Enter customer's Country of origin', then press [Return]. The condition should look as shown below 4. Click onto the Run button. This will cause the prompt to appear 5. Type the appropriate value into the prompt, or click onto the Values button to choose it from a list of values, then click OK The report will now show information in the category chosen from the prompt. If the user wishes to change the operand again, the prompt can be re-activated by clicking onto the refresh button Page 14

15 7 Different Types of Operators Used in Conditions The conditions shown up to this point all use the Equal to operator. There are several other operators available when specifying a condition, some of which are explained below: Greater than allows you to specify that the object must be greater than a certain value. For example the condition Revenue Greater than picks records for which the revenue is more than 300,000. A similar principal applies to the conditions Greater than or equal to, Less than and Less than or equal to. In list allows you to specify more than one value for an operand. For example if you wished to see records involving customers from France, Japan and UK, you would choose Country of origin as your object, In list as your operator and Show list of values as your operand. From the list of values, France, Japan and UK can be selected by holding down the [Ctrl] key and clicking each country. Is null picks out any records that don't have any value for the object in the condition Matches pattern allows you to specify wildcards. Wildcards are special characters that can be used to specify unknowns in the data. Business objects uses two wildcards: _ means any single unknown character % means any number of unknown characters For example, the condition Customer Matches pattern 'M%' picks out any customers whose name begins with M. Page 15

16 8 Logical Operators If you want to set more than one condition in a Query, you will need to connect them together using the And or the Or Logical Operators 8.1 And Using the And operator between two conditions specifies that both conditions must be met. It therefore makes the query more specific and results in fewer records being picked out. The following example describes how to set up a query in the Island Resorts Marketing universe that shows the revenue received from the customer 'Larson' in each quarter of the year Create a new query in the Island Resorts Marketing Universe and drag the objects Customer, Year, Quarter and Revenue into the Result Objects box 2. Specify the condition Customer Equal to Larson 3. Drag the object Year into the Condition box below the first condition. The And logical operator should appear as shown below 4. Select the appropriate operator and operand to make your second condition Year Equal to FY95 5. Run the query The report that is created will only show records involving Larson in 1995 Page 16

17 8.2 Or Using the Or operator between two conditions specifies that only one of the conditions needs to be met. It therefore makes the query less specific and results in more records being picked out. The following example describes how to set up a query that lists the revenue received from all companies in each quarter of 1995 and the revenue received from Larson in each quarter of every year. To do this we must again specify two conditions, but as we wish to widen the criteria, we must use an Or rather than an And. 1. Set up the same objects and conditions as in section 8.1. The conditions should look as shown below. 2. We must now specify that we wish to include any records for which the Customer is 'Larson' Or the year is Change the And to an Or by double clicking onto And 3. Run the query. You will now see any records for which the Customer is Larson and also any records for which the financial year is 1995 Note: i) Double clicking onto an Or will change it back to an And ii) You can specify more conditions by dragging another object into the Conditions box below the other conditions Page 17

18 9 Using Predefined conditions Conditions can set up by the administrator and made universally available for users to apply to their Queries. In the query panel at the bottom of the Classes and Objects column there are two radio buttons as shown below. The left hand radio button is the default, corresponding to the Classes and Objects column. Clicking into the right hand radio button will cause the left hand column to show the predefined conditions instead. Like objects, predefined conditions are grouped into classes. Predefined conditions within a class can be expanded by clicking onto the + button to the left of that class. For example, as shown below, within the Resort class in the Islands Resorts Marketing universe, there are predefined conditions which would cause the report to only show records for a certain resort. Predefined conditions are applied by dragging them into the Conditions column. They can be combined with other conditions using logical operators as described in Section 8. Page 18

19 10 Combining Logical Operators You can specify as many conditions as you need to in a query. Sometimes all conditions may be combined by the And logical operator. The multiple condition in the query below specifies that all records shown in the report must be for the customer 'Baker', the resort 'Bahamas Beach' and the year This query produces the results shown below Page 19

20 Sometimes it may be necessary to combine And logical operators with Or logical operators. When this is the case, one has to be careful how the logical operators are combined. This type of situation occurs in the following example, which shows how to set up a query that specifies that all records must be in the fourth quarter of 1993 or in the first quarter of In logical terms the condition that will produce these results is as follows: (Year Equal to FY93 And Quarter Equal to Q4) Or (Year Equal to FY94 And Quarter Equal to Q1), where information in brackets is analysed before combining it with any other condition. 1. Create a new query in the Island Resorts Marketing universe and add the objects you are interested in to the results objects box. In this case we will use the objects shown below 2. Add the conditions so that the condition box looks as below Page 20

21 3. Change the second And to an Or, by double clicking onto it. The condition box will now look as below The Or, along with the two conditions it is combining, has now indented to the right with brackets around it. In a Business Objects query, this means that these conditions will be combined before combining with any other conditions. In logical terms, this query will currently be analysed as follows: Year Equal to FY93 And (Quarter Equal to Q4 Or Year Equal to FY94) And Quarter Equal to Q1. This will not show the information we wish to see as the brackets are in a different order to what they should be. So the positioning of the logical operators needs to be changed. The position of logical operators can be changed by clicking the logical operator with the right mouse button and choosing Shift Right or Shift Left from the drop down list 4. Click with the right mouse button onto the Or and select Shift left (This will change the Or back to an And) 5. Click with the right mouse button onto the top And and select Shift right 6. Click with the right mouse button onto the bottom And and select Shift right Page 21

22 7. Double click onto the middle And again to change it to an Or. Your condition box should now look as below Both sets of conditions joined by the And operator will now be combined before the sets of conditions are combined with each other, which is correct for this example 8. Run the Query. Your results will show any records in Quarter 4 of 1993 and Quarter 1 in 1994 as shown below Page 22

23 11 Modifying your report Once you have set up and run your report, there are a number of things that can be modified without going back into the query panel 11.1 Changing the Width of a Column The width of a column in a report can be changed as follows: 1. Move your mouse pointer upwards into the top cell of the column you wish to resize until the pointer changes into a downward pointing arrow as shown below 2. Click once to select the column 3. Move you mouse pointer to the right hand edge of the selected column until the pointer turns into the horizontal double headed arrow shown below 4. Drag to the right to increase the width, drag to the left to decrease the width Page 23

24 11.2 Moving a column A column in a report can be moved as follows: 1. Select the column you wish to move as in section Move your mouse pointer into the selected column and drag to the position you wish to move the column to 3. Release the mouse Page 24

25 11.3 The Reporting Toolbar The layout of the report can be changed in certain ways by selecting a column and activating buttons on the reporting toolbar. The reporting toolbar can be switched on or off by clicking View, Toolbars, then checking/ unchecking the Report check box. The buttons you will probably find most useful on the reporting toolbar are described below. Note: When using reporting tool buttons, only the data area of a column should be selected unlike in the last section, where the whole column was selected. The data area of a column is selected by simply clicking anywhere within the column except on the top cell Insert Break This button applies a break on the variable currently selected in the report. A break effectively breaks the report into smaller tables. For example, on a report that shows the Resort in each record, if you were to select the Resort column and click on the Insert Break button, the report would break up into smaller tables showing a table for each Resort. A break can be removed by clicking onto the column which has the break applied, then clicking on the Insert Break 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 Page 25

26 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 count applied then clicking onto the Insert Count button Apply Filter This button filters any information in the report that you don t require. The following example describes how to apply a filter that only shows records with a certain value in the Resort column. 1. Click on the column you wish to filter, in this case the Resort column Click the Apply Filter button The following dialogue box will appear. The values, which are listed in the dialogue box, correspond to all the values displayed in the selected column in your report. Page 26

27 2. Click on the value you wish to include in the report, then click OK. Note: To select more than one value, hold down the <ctrl> key whilst clicking on the values you require. To remove a filter, click on the column which has the filter applied, then click on the Apply Filter button. Note: You cannot apply a filter to an object unless that object is part of the report. This example only applies to reports that include the Resort object and therefore the Resort column Apply Ascending Sort Click on a column, then on the Apply Ascending Sort icon to sort the report in ascending order by that column. Click on the sorted column, then on the Apply Ascending Sort button to remove the sort. Note: In Business Objects, a sort remains on a column until it is removed. If a sort is applied to a second column, priority is given to the first column that was sorted, and the second column sort will only apply to records which have the same value for the first column. Page 27

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