Reporting and Analysis
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User-defined objects (UDOs) are objects that a user creates and that get processed on the database server, different from variables that get processed in a report via the BusinessObjects Enterprise server or on your desktop UDOs are available only for the particular user and from the PC in which the objects were defined The definitions for user-defined objects are stored in a local file in the universe folder as universeudo, where universe is the name of the universe to which the objects belong Because the objects are stored in a local file, they cannot be shared with other users and you cannot schedule documents that contain UDOs via the scheduler For this reason, I recommend keeping user-defined objects to a minimum and prefer that the universe designer create a common object or that you use a report formula or variable (see 14 for a discussion of where to build the intelligence) A user-defined object gets converted to SQL, so any transformations or calculations are performed on the server With report formulas and variables, the transformations and calculations occur on the local PC For this reason, if the universe designer has not included certain objects in the universe, you may need to create a user-defined object to minimize the number of rows of data sent across the network For example, let s assume you want to get a count of the number of orders for each month To use the BusinessObjects CountAll function in a report, you would need to retrieve all the individual orders For companies with high order volumes, this may be millions of rows of data and, therefore, not possible If you use the SQL COUNT function, then the server counts the number of orders and returns only one row per month You create a UDO by either selecting User Objects from within the Query panel or selecting Tools | Universes and then selecting User Objects Once you create a UDO, the objects are stored in a separate class, User objects As the objects are universe-specific, you can reuse UDOs in multiple documents Similar to Report Variables and the Variable Editor ( 21), the User Object dialog box has two tabs, a Definition tab, in which you define the object name, type, and qualification, as well as a Formula tab, in which you apply the calculation or transformation, as shown in Figure 24-6 If you will be creating UDOs, I recommend reading s 9 and 11 to understand some of the options here If you designate an object to be a measure, you specify two aggregates: the projection aggregate that is used in the report calculations and the SQL aggregate that is used on the server The projection aggregate is the function on the Definition tab The SQL aggregate is the numeric function on the Formula tab Also note that the list of SQL functions here are database dependent From the Formula tab, if you select the option Get Assistance On Functions, Desktop Intelligence will prompt you to enter any required parameters
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Advanced Formatting Capabilities
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This section describes three advanced formatting capabilities within Desktop Intelligence: how to hide a block, create templates for formatting documents consistently, and creating user-defined hierarchies and groups for drilling and subtotals
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FIGURE 24-6 User-de ned objects are processed on the database server
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The Appearance tab, shown in Figure 24-7, allows you to position a block within a page or to hide it entirely The Hide Cell option will change to a Hide Block or Hide Section Header, depending upon which component you selected, and allows you to specify a formula to
Reporting and Analysis
conditionally hide the block This option is quite powerful for multiblock reports and master/detail reports For example, if you have a report that contains a chart for trend analysis and a detail table beneath to show budget variance, you may only want to show the detail table when the total variance exceeds a certain value To conditionally hide the block, do the following: 1 From the Table Format dialog box, select the Appearance tab 2 Check the box Hide Block 3 Enter a formula or click Edit Formula to launch the Formula Editor You do not need to specify an If statement For example, to hide a block when the total variance for the block is greater than 95 percent, enter = <Variance> > 95 4 Click Apply to see the effect of this setting, and then OK to close the dialog box In a master/detail report, you will want to hide both the block and the corresponding section header, so be sure to use the same options and formula for both report components The Hide Block setting evaluates the entire table or minitable in a master/detail report It will not hide individual break levels or rows To hide these, you need to use Filters, which are explained in 19