Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Rename queries in Spreadsheet Add-In

This is the new version of the Oracle BI Spreadsheet Add-In (link to OTN) that is due out shortly. Aneel Shenker, fellow product manager and responsible for the Spreadsheet Add-In, posted a blogpost a while back introducing the new Add-In (link to post).
I finally got round to installing the latest internal build (see screenshot) and playing around with it a bit. The install process is as easy as it was before. Since the Add-In runs on Excel, and since Excecl is available only on Windows, the installer also is a native Windows installer that does its job in less than a minute.
One specific feature I shall look at in this post is the "Rename Query" feature.

Look at the screenshot of a query I have in Excel that connects to an Oracle Database Analytic Workspace. By default the name given to BI queries in an Excel workbook are "Query n", where 'n' keeps incrementing by 1 whenever you add a new query to the sheet. As you would suspect, lots of scope for making it more usable - especially if you happen to have several queries in your sheet. And that is exactly what we have done in this update.
A new menu option has been added to the Add-In menu in Excel, called "Rename Query". So, if you want to rename "Query 1" to something else, like "Yearly Measures", then simply type in the new name, click 'OK' and you are done.

A small dialog pops up that lets you enter in a more user-friendly, descriptive name for the query. In this case I decide to name it "Yearly Measures". Click 'OK' and go back to the AddIn menu dropdown and select "Properties".

To verify that the name change has been effected, click the "Properties" menu option from the Add-In menu, and the new name will be visible.

So, to take this example below, where on a single sheet I have four BI queries, the three that I added later all have the generic name:

After renaming the three queries, I now have usable, intuitive names for all my BI queries: