Monday, June 19, 2006

Small but neat feature in 'Answers'

Starting today (yes, this precise instant in time) I shall start posting on the new Oracle BI Enterprise Edition (link on OTN) product features, and here is the first post, albeit a short one.

In 'Answers' (see link for an explanation for what 'Answers' is: actually, it is Oracle Business Intelligence Answers, and is the ad hoc query and analysis component of the Oracle BI EE suite), when you create a request (that would be a report / query / worksheet in Discoverer parlance, though not quite: a query is what is used to fetch data into a worksheet where it is formatted and displayed), data is automatically sorted by the first column, then the second column, and so on. Furthermore, a group sort is also applied so that i the example below the region does not appear multiple times. This report has been created from a Subject Area (think of a subject area as a Business Area in Discoverer) that is built on the familiar Video Stores dataset.
As you can see here, Region is group sorted ascending, and within each region the cities appear sorted ascending.

SELECT STORE.REGION saw_0, STORE.CITY saw_1, SALES_FACT.COST saw_2, SALES_FACT.PROFIT saw_3 FROM "Video Sales" ORDER BY saw_0, saw_1

If you click the 'Advanced' tab, you can see the SQL that is issued to the analytic server, and also the XML representation of the report (request) you are working with.

In the coming weeks and months I will also include posts on the new features in both the Standard Edition as well as the Enterprise Editions of the Orace BI Suite.