DVD: Filtering Measures based on conditions

Within Analytics we can define different types of Measures like discrete (raw) Measures or percentage or ratio Measures. For discrete measures we can also define a base measure and derived measures. E.g. within the HR domain we can define a Headcount Metric as the base metrics and a male, female and diverse Headcount as the derived measure. When adding up all male, female and diverse it should be identical with the (overall ) Headcount. Another example is within the Procurement domain where we can define an invoice amount and a invoice paid and invoice unpaid derived measure:

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This break-down allows to further understand how a certain metrics is comprised.

Within Oracle Data Visualization there are two possible options to achieve this filtering.

  1. Using the Filter operator
  2. creating a case when statement

Using the Filter operator

The first option is to use the Filter operator within the formula editor:

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Within the formula editor, a measure can be defined from a list of available measures, but it’s also possible to define new measure using a count aggregation on a attribute column like Invoice Number and add a filter on the dimension e.g. Paid Yes or No.:

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However, when using this Filter function with a newly defined measure (like above using a count aggregate on Invoice Number) the filter is not applied in DVD, as can be seen in below screenshot were the count for # of invoices is identical to the count of # of invoices paid:

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This might need to be considered a Bug, since this should apply the filter to the defined measure.

When using an available measure from the drop down list, the filter is correctly applied. E.g. when using the Value measure (representing the amount of the invoice) the filter can be applied for paid/unpaid using the Payment date attribute:

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and correct application of the filter on the data set:

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Thus, the Filter operator may only correclty work when using a actual measure available from the drop-down list and not with newly defined measures “on-the-fly” in the formula editor.

The alternative is to use a case when statement:

Case when statement

Since, the Filter operator doesn’t evaluate the filter correctly, the other option is to use a case when statement that counts the number of invoices if an invoice has been paid like below:

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This formula checks if a Payment date is set and if a payment date is set then it uses the invoice Number for counting:

COUNT(DISTINCT case when PAYMENT_DATE is not null 
then INVOICE_NO 
else NULL end)

This formula (based on the case when statement) applies the intended filter on Payment date correctly and allows to calculate the derived measure.

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To conclude

To apply filter for a measure that is not available from the data-set (defined in the Prepare Tab as a measure) use the case when logic to calculate based on a condition.

If a measure is available you may also use the predefined Filter operator from the formula editor.

DVD: difference in NULL Value handling

When using DVD Version Version 12.2.5.3.0-20190529084035

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there is a difference in the handling of NULL values between the Preparation Tab and the Visualization Tap:

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Within the Prepare Tab the NULL values are interpreted as empty strings, meaning if no Value is provided within the Source (e.g. a Database Table or an Excel Spreadsheet) then it is interpreted as a field with no content like ‘’, but not as a NULL value.

Below formula checks for NULL values using the IS NULL operator, but since null values are being interpreted as empty string, the evaluation is 1 for all values (of Payment date column):

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when changing above formula from IS NULL check to a comparison of an empty string ‘’, the formula shows the below results were content is classified into 0 and 1:

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The above figure shows the evaluation of the field by performing a check with an empty string ‘’. But, when switching from Prepare Tab to the Visualize Tab, the results do not coincide! The check for an empty string is not consistently evaluated, as shown below:

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when using the empty string check on the Visualization Tab, every content of the Payment date field is evaluate to 1 (a value being present).

The Visualize Tab requires the IS NULL check to check for NULL values:

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To conclude

If you want to check for NULL values use the IS NULL or IS NOT NULL operator despite the results shown within the Prepare Tab. There are some Known Issues with the current version of DVD and the handling of null values as documented to some extend (the document is only in respect to Excel files, but above scenario is tested on Oracle Database) in this Known Issue document (from Sept ‘19).

Error with DVD and DVML when installing in directory with spaces

It is recommended to install Oracle DVD into a directory without any spaces. While the installation of DVD will work for a directory with spaces like “C:\Program Files\Oracle\Data Visualization Desktop”, the subsequent installation of Oracle DVML will not work for the same. When installing DVML after installing DVD to a directory without spaces, the following error will be thrown:

"C:\Users\****\AppData\Local\Temp\BiPython_Framework.exe" is not recognized as command file.
Could Not Find C:\Users\****\AppData\Local\Temp\BiPython_Framework.exe
Error: Unable to access jarfile C:\PROGRA~1\Oracle\Data

This behavior is also describes in below Oracle Support Note:

DVML install fails for users with a space in Username Profile (Doc ID 2509892.1)

If the installation into the Program Files directories (like “C:\Program Files” or “C:\Program Files (x86)”) of Windows is intended, the following workaround can be applied to install DVD and DVML into a directory with spaces:

within script:

…\Oracle Data Visualization Desktop\install_dvml.cmd

add double quotes around below pathes (add double quotes shown in red below):

Line 20: … -jar %BI_PRODUCT_HOME%\modules\oracle.bi.dvdesktop.installer\rinstall.jar -download=true       …
Line 27: … -jar %BI_PRODUCT_HOME%\modules\oracle.bi.dvdesktop.installer\rinstall.jar -updateDVMLJSON=true

Afterwards the installation of DVML should run without errors.

Accessing data in Oracle Fusion Applications Cloud for Analytics

The following diagram shows the high-level options to access data within Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) Cloud for Analytical purposes:

Please note: that this diagram is of April 2018 and may not apply in full in future.

For more details on how to connect to Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) Cloud using Visual Analyzer (VA) and DV Desktop (DVD), please reference the previous article.

The details for connecting to FA using ODI (with BI Applications) or BI Data-sync will be described in future articles.

Connecting to Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) Cloud using Visual Analyzer(VA) and DV Desktop(DVD)

The following Article is written as of April 2018. Since, the Cloud is evolving rapidly, it may not apply in full, in future.

The aim of the Article is to demonstrate the possibilities of connecting to Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) Cloud (via OTBI) without any data extraction (ETL). Thus, only using declarative approaches offered by Visual Analzer (VA) of Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service (BICS) /  Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) and the downloadable version of VA, the Data Visualization (DV) Desktop (DVD). The following diagram re-iterates the scope of this Article:

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The following Version and respective features are used as baseline for this Article (as available of April 2018)

 

Product Version
Oracle Fusion Applications Cloud / OTBI R13
BICS 18.1.6.0.0
OAC 18.1.3
DVD 12.2.4.2.0

Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) Cloud comes bundled with OTBI, which provides pre-built BI Subject Areas to access the data stored in FA:

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However, OTBI does have some limitations when it comes to extensibility (no access to metadata model) and adding of additional data sources (limited to data connection of respective FA instance).

The Oracle Cloud offering for “stand-alone” analytics are BICS (and in the future OAC). Hence, there maybe the need to connect from BICS/OAC to Fusion Applications. This is possible by two general Options:

This Article only focuses on the latter three options (declaring the connection details without any data movement).

Connecting from DV Desktop to Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) via OTBI

DV Desktop represents a offline Version of Visual Analyzer and can be downloaded from OTN. Once  installed, it can be used to create a Connection to Oracle Fusion Applictions from the top right create Menu:

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One of the Options from the “select connection type” list is “Oracle Application”:

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This “Oracle Application” is the reference to Oracle Fusion Application’s Cloud via the OTBI URL !

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It will not work with only the Oracle Fusion Application Cloud URL e.g. https://<IdentityDomain>.fs.em3.oraclecloud.com/homePage/faces/FuseWelcome , but only the respective OTBI URL e.g.: https://<IdentityDomain>.fa.em3.oraclecloud.com/analytics

If the URL is entered incorrectly, e.g. when using a trailing “/” it will not save the connection:

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Once the correct OTBI URL, Username and Password are entered and saved, the connection is added to the list of available Data Connections:

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As stated before: These “Oracle Applications” connections will only work with the respective OTBI URL, since the metadata (such as subject areas or Report from Catalog) is retrieved from this URL only. Once the connection is created, the Subject areas are available and the Analysis can be created in DVD:

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Connecting from Visual Analyzer (VA) of BICS to Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) via OTBI

The equivalent of DVD for the web is Visual Analyzer (VA), which is part of OBIEE 12c as-well as BICS (and OAC). The same connection to Fusion Applications Cloud can also be created within VA of BICS. To do this, the VA Projects needs to be selected from the BICS (Classic) Home Page:

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Within VA, click on “Add Connection” under the “Add new Data Source”:

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And choose “Oracle Application” as connection type once again:

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For the web version, the list of available data connections is also much smaller (only Oracle Applications and Oracle Database) compared to DVD. The connection details need to be entered in a similar way for VA e.g. as shown below:

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After the Connection was saved successfully, the Connection can be used to create a Visual Analysis. However, VA of BICS will only provide the possibility to access saved Reports, but not the Subject area’s itself (compared to DVD)!

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Connecting from Visual Analyzer (VA) of OAC to Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) via OTBI

The steps for connecting from VA of OAC to Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) are very similar to VA of BICS. Select VA from the OAC Homepage:

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And create the connection in the same way. After successfully creation of the connection, it is listed as Connection in the Data list:

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VA of OAC is not limited to create Analysis on predefined Reports (compared with VA of BICS). It is also possible to create an Analysis based on the subject area (similar to DVD):

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The screenshot shows, the data preview from the Subject areas:

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Important for Reports and Dashboards

(as of April 2018) The possibility of connecting from BICS/OAC to Oracle Fusion Applications (FA) Cloud is only available with VA. This is not (yet) available for Reports and Dashboards:

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For Reports and Dashboards only a Database Connection can be added, but not a Oracle Applications connection.

Conclusion

  • Oracle Oracle Applications connection Type refers to the OTBI URL of Oracle FA
  • The possibility of connecting from BICS/OAC to Oracle FA is limited to VA
  • VA can be used to connect to OTBI, but cannot be used to connect to the underlying database
  • VA (via DVCS) can be used to connect to OBIEE .