Information Design Tool (IDT) is the new tool introduced in SAP Buisness Intelligence 4.0 suite (BI 4.0). This tool is to designe universes in new UNX format. It is also for new semantic layer multisource universes. Below are the features of this new tool.
- The information design tool
The information design tool is the SAP BusinessObjects design environment for creating and publishingnew SAP BusinessObjects universes and connections. The information design tool lets you takeadvantage of these major new universe design features:
• Dimensional universes that support OLAP dimensions and hierarchies
• Multisource universes that federate multiple relational data sources
• A design environment that facilitates designer teamwork and universe resource sharing
• A security editor for universe data and metadata
• Extended connection management
Easier management of repository resourcesThese features are described in more detail in the following sections.You can convert your existing universes created with Universe Designer XI R2/XI 3 and start takingadvantage of the new universe features. Universes created with the universe design tool in SAPBusinessObjects BI 4.0 are can also be converted and edited in the information design tool.Universes created using the information design tool can be used by the following SAP BusinessObjectsdata analysis and reporting applications:
• SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise BI 4.0
• SAP BusinessObjects Dashboard Design BI 4.0
Dimensional universesThe information design tool automatically generates OLAP universes for Microsoft Analysis Servicesand SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse OLAP cubes. The resulting universes are dimensional,including objects such as:
• Dimensions and analysis dimensions (groups of dimensions sharing the same axis of analysis)
• Hierarchies (parent-child as well as level-based)
• Dimension attributes
• Calculated members and measures
• Named sets of members
• Filters based on dimensional business objects
Hierarchical and cascading list of valuesThe query panel is enhanced to allow you to create queries based on hierarchies or members ofhierarchies. The major new features of the query panel are:
• The Member Selector that lets you do the following:
• Use OLAP-style selection on, for example, children, descendants, or parents
• Select hierarchy levels
• Select calculated members and named sets
• Create named sets of members during universe definition
• Select members that will be excluded from queries
• A preview pane that lets you preview result sets
The ability to choose values at multiple levels in a hierarchical lists of valuesMultisource universesUsing the information design tool, you can create a data foundation on multiple relational data sourcesto create a multisource universe. Using this universe, your SAP BusinessObjects data analysis andreporting applications can query multiple relational sources at once. To provide this functionality, thequery engine technology from SAP BusinessObjects Data Federator has been enhanced and integratedinto SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise BI 4.0.The integrated data federation query engine provides many features including the following:
• The ability to federate data from multiple relational databases.
• Relational connections to SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse. These connections let you generatedata foundations as star schemas based on the relational tables in InfoCubes, MultiProviders, VirtualProviders, and DataStore objects. Objects can be defined and manipulated in the data foundationas for any relational connection.
• Relational connections to SAS.
• Use of standard SQL 92 syntax to define joins, derived tables, and business objects. The queryengine translates the queries for all sources, and distributes them.
• Use of database-specific syntax to define expressions for calculated columns and derived tables inthe data foundation. These native expressions take advantage of database-specific functions of thedata sources.
• Improved performance and detection for narrow queries (data coming from large tables that can befiltered using data from small tables). This semi-join technology can select the optimal strategy forretrieving data from data sources during execution, depending on the volume of data.
Design environment: To build a universe, you use editors in the information design tool to define the following resources:
• Connections to OLAP or relational data sources
• Data foundations based on connections to define the schema for a relational universe
• Business layers to define the business objects based on a data foundation or an OLAP connectionYou then publish the business layer which exports the business layer and the resources it referencesto create the universe.Resources are stored in projects. You can share projects in a repository to make resources availableto other designers. Several designers can work on the same project at the same time and can shareand synchronize their universe resources.You can also reuse universe resources. For example, you can base several business layers on a singledata foundation. The data modeling in the data foundation can then be shared by multiple universes.The following new universe features are available when designing the data foundation:
• Multisource universes based on multiple relational connections.
• Calculated columns. A calculated column is a new column in a table that is the result of a calculationbased on one or more columns of the same table.
• Data foundation views. A view is a set of the tables and joins in the data foundation used to focusthe work of the designer on a specific part of the schema.
• Profiling of data stored in a column. Graphs and tables show the repartition of the distinct values ofthe column.• Enhanced contexts to solve join path loops.
• Table families. A family is a set of display parameters that can be used to visually group tables ofthe same type when working in the editor.
• A powerful search panel to visually filter the data foundation tables based on specific characteristics,for example connections, table types, contexts, or families.
• Prompted parameters and lists of values (LOVs) that are inherited by any business layer built onthe data foundation.
The following new universe features are available when designing the business layer:
• Dimensional objects as described in the section on dimensional universes.
• The ability to create and run test queries and store them in the business layer.
• Business layer views. A business layer view allows you to define a subset of a universe as a startingpoint for building a query. With views, it is possible to create larger universes and provide smallerviews that can be business-oriented, for example, a Human Resources view or a Finance view.
• Prompted parameters and LOVs as independent objects in the universe that are shareable:• An LOV can be shared by multiple business layer objects.
• An LOV can be shared by multiple parameters (prompts) or filters.
• For multi-column LOVs, you can choose which columns to display and which column will be usedfor the query.Securing universe data and metadataUsing the Security Editor in the information design tool, you can define universe security for users andgroups. You first define profiles for the universe:
• Data Security Profiles control access to data. Data Security Profiles can be seen as the equivalentto Access Restrictions defined for universes using the universe design tool.
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