Oracle CRM On Demand Dashboards- P6

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Oracle CRM On Demand Dashboards- P6

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Oracle CRM On Demand Dashboards- P6: There are many people I would like to thank as I sit here after having just penned the final chapter of this book. I am sure I will miss many specific people if I tried to list them all, but I am compelled to mention some specific supporters.

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  1. Chapter 5: Dashboard Objects 77 Once you have located the correct URL and have copied it to your Clipboard, you can go back to your Dashboard Editor screen and add the Link or Image object to your layout and paste in the URL. Be sure to provide a caption in the Caption field and select the New Window target. Border around Link or image One thing that you will inevitably notice, and will wonder how to change, is the border that always appears around the link or image on the dashboard. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to remove this border as of this writing. Even with the column and section borders removed, the border around the Link or Image object remains. There are no options offered for formatting the border within the Link or Image properties, so it would seem that we must learn to live with this border for now. The only option that I have found here is to add a background color to the section containing the Link or Image object, but this is probably less desirable than the border. Rename Click the Rename button on the Link or Image object on your dashboard layout to open the Rename window. This Rename window, shown in Figure 5-15, is different from the Rename window on the Section object. Notice that there is no option here to display the heading on the dashboard. In fact, renaming the Link or Image object only changes the object name shown on the Dashboard Editor screen. The name does not appear anywhere else. Delete The final option on the Link or Image Object window is the Delete button. If you click the Delete button on the Link or Image object, the object is immediately removed from the dashboard layout. You do not receive a confirmation dialog, so take care that you do not accidentally delete your Link or Image object with a stray click. FiguRe 5-15. Rename window (Link or Image object)
  2. 78 Oracle CRM On Demand Dashboards Text Objects There is nothing surprising about the Text object. It is as simple as you would expect it to be, but is a useful object nonetheless. Any time you are building out a dashboard and want to offer some instructions to the users, provide some information about the contents of the dashboard, or just put some boilerplate text on the dashboard, the Text object is just what you need. Add the Text object to the dashboard in the same way you would add any other object: drag it from the Dashboard Objects list to a section on the dashboard layout. Properties Click the Properties button on the text object to open the Text Properties window shown in Figure 5-16. Enter your text into the top portion of this window. This text field is not an HTML text field—HTML tags are not recognized here. If you desire bold, italic, or underlined text, you must use the tags provided by the buttons above the text field. The formatting buttons above the text field allow you to add formatting tags to your text. The B button inserts the start and end tags for bold text. These tags are similar to, but are not standard, HTML tags. The formatting tags work like HTML tags in that there is a start tag and an end tag, and any text between the tags is formatted according to the tag type. The exception to this is the Line Break tag, which does not require an opening tag. Table 5-1 shows the available text-formatting tags. FiguRe 5-16. Text Properties window
  3. Chapter 5: Dashboard Objects 79 Format Opening Tag Closing Tag Bold [b] [/b] Italic [i] [/i] Underline [u] [/u] Line Break [br/] TABLe 5-1. Text Object Format Tags There are two ways to enter these format tags into the text field. You can type them in directly, or use the buttons. If you use the buttons, you should first highlight the text you want to format, and then click the button to add the tags. The opening tag will be inserted before the highlighted text, and the closing tag will be inserted after the highlighted text. You can apply multiple tags and nested tags to format text that is bold and italic; bold and underlined; italic and underlined; bold and underlined; or bold, italic, and underlined. Consider the example shown in Figure 5-17 where all of the tags are being used. Compare the text entry field with the preview below it. FiguRe 5-17. Sample Text object formatting
  4. 80 Oracle CRM On Demand Dashboards FiguRe 5-18. Rename window (Text object) Rename Click the Rename button on the Text object on your dashboard layout to open the Rename window. This Rename window, shown in Figure 5-18, is different from the Rename window on the Section object, and exactly like the Rename window on the Link or Image object. There is no option here to display the heading on the dashboard; renaming the Text object only changes the object name shown on the Dashboard Editor screen. The name does not appear anywhere else. Delete The Delete button on the Text object, like the Delete buttons on the other objects we have examined, immediately and without confirmation, removes the Text object from your dashboard layout. You do not receive a confirmation dialog, so take care that you do not accidentally delete your Text object unintentionally. Folders The Folder object lets you place a report folder on your dashboard, providing access to all of the reports in that folder from the dashboard. Users do not need to navigate to the Reports tab to access reports. With a Folder object on your dashboard, you can embed some or all of the reports from the CRM On Demand report library into your dashboard as links. The reports are presented in folders that may be opened and closed on the dashboard screen. Add the Folder object to your dashboard by dragging it from the Dashboard Objects list to a section on the Dashboard Editor screen. Properties The Folder Properties window (see Figure 5-19) that opens when you click the Properties button on the Folder object is quite simple. To set up a folder link on your dashboard, you first need to identify the report folder that you are interested in displaying. Do this by clicking the Browse button to open the Choose Folder window. This window displays the Shared Folders, which includes the Company Wide Shared Folder and the Pre-Built Analysis Folder. You can select one of these top-level folders or drill down deeper into the folder structure and select a subfolder. You will not find individual reports listed here, only the folders, and you must select a folder in order to display anything in the Folder object on the dashboard.
  5. Chapter 5: Dashboard Objects 81 FiguRe 5-19. Folder Properties window The folder you select to display on your dashboard will include all subfolders and reports in the folder. If you select a folder that contains no subfolders, then only reports appear in the folder on the dashboard, just as you would expect. When you click a folder displayed in the dashboard, the section expands so you can see the subfolders and reports within that folder. You can continue to drill down into folders, and the section will continue to expand. You can choose to present the report folder collapsed (the default) or already expanded in the dashboard. Make this selection using the Expand check box on the Folder Properties window. Multiple Folder Objects If you add multiple Folder objects to the same section of the dashboard, the folders appear stacked on top of one another in a single cohesive folder structure. This permits you to present a custom order of the folders if you like, or have a series of report folders, some expanded by default and others collapsed by default. One interesting thing that I have discovered with Folder objects is that the Arrange Horizontally option on the Section object does not have any effect when a Folder object is included in the section. If you want to include objects in your dashboard that appear beside a Folder object, you will need to split the column and use separate sections in multiple columns. Rename Click the Rename button on the Folder object on your dashboard layout to open the Rename window. This Rename window, shown in Figure 5-20, is different from the FiguRe 5-20. Rename window (Folder object)
  6. 82 Oracle CRM On Demand Dashboards Rename window on the Section object. Notice that there is no option here to display the heading on the dashboard. In fact, renaming the Folder object only changes the object name shown on the Dashboard Editor screen. The name does not appear anywhere else. Delete The final option on the Folder object is the Delete button. If you click the Delete button on the Folder object, the object is immediately removed from the dashboard layout. This does not affect the actual report folders—it only affects the dashboard. You do not receive a confirmation dialog, so take care that you do not accidentally delete your Folder object with a stray click. guided Navigation Links Similar to the Guided Navigation property, Guided Navigation links add a bit of logic to the dashboard by controlling whether or not a hyperlink appears on the layout. This is implemented in exactly the same way as the section property in that a report request is used to determine if a link appears or does not appear on the dashboard. Begin by adding the Guided Navigation Link object to the layout by dragging it from the Dashboard Objects list to a section on the dashboard. Properties In Figure 5-21 you see the Guided Navigation Link Properties window that opens when you click the Properties button on the Guided Navigation Link object. The instruction at the top of this window indicates that you should “specify a Source Request to create a conditional Guided Navigation link. The link will always appear if no Source Request is referenced.” This means that if you just fill out the Link Properties section of this screen, it is no different from using the Link or Image object to create the navigation link. The first field on this window is a radio button selector indicating if a source request should or should not be referenced. The default setting here is No. That means any link identified further down this window will always appear in the dashboard, as it is not referencing another source request. If this is what you want, you probably would have selected the Link or Image object rather than the Guided Navigation Link object. If a source request is referenced by the Guided Navigation link, the link will only display if the specified criteria are met. Select a source request in the Source Request field by clicking the Browse button and selecting a report from the Shared Folders. Next, determine when the navigation link should appear on the dashboard. Your choice is to make it appear either when the source request returns rows or when the source request returns nothing.
  7. Chapter 5: Dashboard Objects 83 FiguRe 5-21. Guided Navigation Link Properties window So when would you use something like a Guided Navigation link? Perhaps you have a Sales Performance dashboard that includes a link to a report of active opportunities that are due for follow-up when opportunities exist with past due activities. If there are no past due activities on opportunities, the link accesses a list of new leads ready for attention. Essentially, with something like this, you are helping direct users to the type of activity that they should be doing. If they have past due activities, those should be addressed before they pick up new leads. Setting up the Guided Navigation link requires a simple report that will return rows or not return rows based on the filters that you set up in the report. This report does not need to be designed for viewing if its only purpose is to drive the result of a Guided Navigation link decision. This report can be a simple report that includes only a single column and the necessary filters. Look back to Figure 5-3 for an example of this type of simple analysis. In that example, I am determining if large open opportunities exist, so I have added the # of Opportunities metric column and two filters. One filter eliminates all opportunities that are closed, and the other filter eliminates all opportunities that are less than one million dollars in revenue. The result is either no results or a single row with the number of open opportunities with more than one million in revenue.
  8. 84 Oracle CRM On Demand Dashboards On the Guided Navigation Links Properties window, select the Source Request report that performs the check for records meeting your criteria. If you want the link to appear when the source report returns rows, you will select the If Request Returns Rows radio button. If you want the link to appear when the source report returns no rows, you will select the If Request Returns Nothing radio button. Next, you need to provide the link that will display, or not display, based on the source request results. In the Link Properties section of the Guided Navigation Links Properties window, you have two radio buttons. These are used to identify the type of destination that your link is going to take dashboard users to when they click it. Your first option is Request. This is referring to a report request in Oracle CRM On Demand. Select the Request radio button and rather than enter a URL in the field to the right of the button, you will browse for the desired report. Click the Browse button, and the Choose Request window opens with the Company Wide Shared Folder and Pre-built Analysis Folder listed. Drill down into the folders and select a report. Notice that your personal report folder is not an available option. When you click OK, the URL for the selected report appears in the field. The second option is URL. This option allows you to access any webpage as long as you know the URL for it. For instance, if you want to provide a link to your company home page from the dashboard, you would select the URL option and enter the full URL in the field. The http:// portion of the URL is required. For a link to the Oracle website, for instance, as demonstrated in an earlier section, you would select URL and enter http://www.oracle.com in the URL field. You can also use a mailto URL here to create a link that initiates a new e-mail message. Enter a URL, such as mailto:mike@email.net?subject=Dashboard, and the resulting hyperlink in the dashboard, when clicked, will open the user’s default e-mail application and create a new message addressed to mike@email.net with a subject of Dashboard. As mentioned previously, if you are familiar with JavaScript, you could also enter some inline JavaScript here. Next, we need to indicate what text should appear as our link in the dashboard. If you select another report as the target, the report name will appear as hyperlinked text by default, with the full URL. You can change this by clicking the Use Dashboard Object Name As Link Text check box. With this check box selected, the text that appears in the dashboard as your link will be the name of the Guided Navigation Link object. You might assume that the Caption field content will appear as the link text, but unlike the Link or Image object, this Caption field is used to display some static text above the link. This gives you the ability to offer some instruction or explanation for the link. There is no real practical limit to how much text you can include as your caption. I have never hit a hard limit here either, but it would be rather unusual to include much more than a sentence or two.
  9. Chapter 5: Dashboard Objects 85 Also different from the Link or Image object is the lack of an ability to specify a target for your link. The results of your link will always be opened in the current window, replacing the dashboard. If your destination is a report request, a hyperlink is positioned at the bottom of the resulting window that returns you to the dashboard. Click the Return link, and you are taken back to the previous dashboard. A Return link is not provided for the results of links from the dashboard to a URL. Click OK to close the Guided Navigation Link Properties window and return to the Dashboard Editor screen. Link to Another Dashboard If you want to provide a link to a report, you can use the Request option and browse for the report to select the correct link. There is no browse function for selecting a dashboard, so if you want to provide a Guided Navigation link to another dashboard, you will need to use the URL option and provide the link to the dashboard. To locate the link for the target dashboard, open the desired dashboard on the Dashboard tab. It is important that you open the dashboard on the Dashboard tab and not the preview window that appears when you save the dashboard. Once the dashboard is loaded on the Dashboard tab, and before you click anything else, right-click the blue bar below the Select Dashboard field. Refer back to Figure 5-14 for an example of where to right-click the dashboard to open the menu. If your dashboard contains multiple pages, right-click the blue bar to the right of the tabs. Do not navigate to any of the other pages in the dashboard before right-clicking the blue bar on the dashboard page. When you right-click the dashboard, the context menu appears. Select Properties if you are using Internet Explorer; select This Frame and then View Frame Info if you are using Firefox. On the resulting window, highlight and copy the contents of the Address field to your Clipboard. This is the address for the dashboard content inside the dashboard frame, and is the link you will add to your dashboard to break it out of the frame and open it in a new browser window. Be sure that the address URL is similar to the following example, and don’t let the URL encoding confuse you. Some characters may be URL-encoded, so a / may be represented as %2f: https://secure-ausomxdsa.crmondemand.com/OnDemand/user/analytics/saw .dll?Dashboard&PortalPath=/shared/Company_123456-1ABC2_Shared_Folder/ _portal/Marketing+Quarterly+Initiatives. Once you have located the correct URL and have copied it to your Clipboard, you can go back to the Dashboard Editor screen for the dashboard you are adding the link to and add the Guided Navigation Link object to your layout and paste in the URL. If you want to display the link based on the result of another request, complete the top half of the screen. If you do not base the link on a source request, it will always appear on the dashboard.
  10. 86 Oracle CRM On Demand Dashboards FiguRe 5-22. Multiple Guided Navigation links on a dashboard Self-Referencing guided Navigation By using Guided Navigation links that use the same report as the Source Request report and the link target, if the link appears, you can quite effectively build a report menu that only includes reports that return results. This is useful if you have a number of reports that will often show no results. Unfortunately, as you can see in Figure 5-22, there will be borders around each link. There are no formatting options on the Guided Navigation Link object to remove or change the format of the links. Additional formatting capabilities may be introduced in future releases of Oracle CRM On Demand, but as of this writing, we must live with the default formats on our links. The risk of using Guided Navigation links on your dashboard is that your users might naturally conclude that the dashboard is not functioning properly because links appear and disappear from time to time. I recommend including some explanatory text in a section that will always appear on the dashboard using the Text object. Rename Click the Rename button on the Guided Navigation Link object on your dashboard layout to open the Rename window. This Rename window is exactly like the Rename window on the Link or Image object. There is no option here to display the heading on the dashboard, but if you have selected the Use Dashboard Object Name As Link Text check box on the Guided Navigation Links Properties window, then the name that you provide here on the Rename window will be the text displayed as the link for the Guided Navigation link on the dashboard. Delete The Delete button on the Guided Navigation Link object, like the Delete buttons on the other objects we have examined, immediately and without confirmation, removes the Guided Navigation Link object from your dashboard layout. You do not receive a confirmation dialog, so take care that you do not accidentally delete your Guided Navigation Link unintentionally.
  11. Chapter 5: Dashboard Objects 87 Summary At this point we have reviewed nearly everything that you can put on a dashboard besides reports and filter prompts. Clearly, it is possible to do more with a dashboard than just display reports. I encourage you to consider that dashboards are more than just a report delivery mechanism. With the guided navigation options on sections and links you can add quite a bit of logic, and with the various ways to add links and the Folders object, you can provide navigation options to other webpages and reports. Later in this book I describe the process of embedding dashboards inside of web tabs and other reports, making it possible to present dashboards on screens other than the Dashboard tab. This increases the range of possibilities quite a lot, and coupled with the range of possible report designs that can be used in your dashboards, the mind begins to spin with the potential uses of the dashboard in Oracle CRM On Demand.
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  13. Chapter 6 Displaying Reports on the Dashboard 89
  14. 90 Oracle CRM On Demand Dashboards F inally we come to the chapter discussing the use of dashboards to display reports. Hopefully it strikes you as interesting that the first real description of adding reports to your dashboard comes so late in the book. My intent is that you come to realize how much more a dashboard can be and how the other objects available to your dashboard make the display of your reports on it all the more effective and targeted to your users. In this chapter we will examine the process of adding and arranging reports on the dashboard layout. Many options are available for how those reports are displayed or linked. You will find that some of the objects discussed in the previous chapter can be replicated using the report properties, perhaps with a few more desirable options. Also in this chapter is a brief look at Answers On Demand, the report development tool used to create your reports. This will certainly not be as complete a look at Answers On Demand as you will find in my book Oracle CRM On Demand Reports (McGraw-Hill, 2008), but it will offer enough of an overview for the developer who is tasked not with building reports, but with modifying a report layout for a dashboard. This will be a bit of a primer for the next chapters as well, since you will be using Answers On Demand to develop your dashboard filter prompts, and for a particularly crafty method for deploying a dashboard covered in Chapter 8. Adding and Arranging Reports on a Dashboard Adding a report to your dashboard is quite similar to adding any of the other objects. Locate and drag the report you want to add to your dashboard from the Shared Content section to a Section object on the dashboard layout. If you drop the report onto the layout outside of a section, the Section object is automatically added to the dashboard as well as the report. The primary difference between adding other objects and reports is that reports are listed in the Saved Content section of the Dashboard Editor screen. In the Saved Content section you will find the Shared Folders folder with the Company Wide Shared Folder and Pre-built Analysis Folder within. Clicking one of these folders expands the selected folder to expose the subfolders and reports inside of it. Oddly, and I am without an explanation as to why, there is a slight difference in how the folders react when you click the folder icon and when you click the folder name. You can open and close individual folders by clicking the icon, as you might expect. Clicking the folder name, however, opens the folder and tends to force other folders at the same level to close. Thus, if you only ever click folder names, you will only ever have one folder at each level opened at one time. Clicking the name of an open folder does not close the open folder, but may close other folders at the same level. The reaction of the folders appears to differ across browsers as well.
  15. Chapter 6: Displaying Reports on the Dashboard 91 Reports are listed within each folder in alphabetical order by report name. If you hover your mouse pointer over a report name, a tooltip appears with a description of the report, if one was given when the report was saved. If no description text was provided by the report developer, the name of the report appears in the tooltip. You may also have noticed that your My Folders folder is not included in the Saved Content section. Personal reports are not permitted on dashboards. The concept of a personal dashboard does not exist in Oracle CRM On Demand. Any dashboard is available to all users with dashboard access, so exposing a personal report on a public dashboard would only cause an error, if it were possible. If you have a personal report that you want to include on your dashboard, you will need to open that report in Answers On Demand and save it into a shared folder. It is possible to include reports that are in a shared folder, even if that folder has access controls associated with it to block its content to all but certain roles in Oracle CRM On Demand. If a user opens a dashboard that contains a report that he or she does not have access to due to report folder access controls, the report will simply not appear on the dashboard. No error message appears, so from the user’s perspective, the dashboard is not broken. Anything located on the dashboard below such a report will simply slide up the dashboard as if the restricted report was never there. Each page in your dashboard is limited to a total of six reports. Many people have incorrectly reported this limitation as a limit on the number of reports that a dashboard can include. Your dashboard can include as many reports as you like; you just need to spread them out over multiple pages with six or fewer reports per page. Every report object on the dashboard layout has three buttons in the upper-right corner. The Properties button, the Rename button, and the Delete button are used to configure the report on the dashboard. Next I describe each of the configuration options in detail. We will start with the Properties menu. When you click Properties you are presented with four options: Display Results, Report Links, Show View, and Modify Request. The Rename and Delete options are presented in their own buttons, and are also described next. Figure 6-1 shows the Properties menu opened on a Report object in the Dashboard Editor screen. FiguRe 6-1. Report Object Properties menu
  16. 92 Oracle CRM On Demand Dashboards FiguRe 6-2. Display Results submenu Display Results The first option in the Properties menu on the Report object contains three different ways to display a report in a dashboard. The default, and most common, method is to embed the report in the section so that the report displays as part of the dashboard. You can also set your reports to display as links that, when clicked, open the report in the dashboard window or in a separate window. When you click the Display Results item on the Properties menu, the Display Results submenu opens, as shown in Figure 6-2. embedded in Section For a report embedded in the dashboard section, click the Properties button on the Report object and open the Display Results submenu. The Embedded In Section option is likely already selected, as this is the default. If it is not selected, click Embedded In Section to select that display option. If you make no additional adjustments on the Properties menu, as described next, the report will display in its entirety. There are different strategies for adjusting how reports display in the dashboard. The most common strategy, which I hope to change with the explanations in this book, is to duplicate a report that you want in your dashboard so that you have one version of the report that your users typically access from the Reports tab and another version, or many versions, of the report that include only the elements you want displayed in the dashboard. For instance, I often see companies with a report containing several views that they generally access via the Reports tab. This report will usually have a table, pivot table, and a couple of charts, along with a title view. Now, if they want just the pivot table or just a chart on the dashboard, they replicate the same report and only include the desired view in the report. This is the report that is added to the dashboard. This is a valid method, and works perfectly well, but read on for some ideas on other strategies and their benefits. Link – Within The Dashboard The Link – Within The Dashboard option is really very much the same as adding a Link or Image object that directs the user to a report in Oracle CRM On Demand.
  17. Chapter 6: Displaying Reports on the Dashboard 93 Adding a report to your dashboard and setting the Display Results property to Link – Within The Dashboard displays a link to the report, just like the link you would get from adding the Link or Image object or the Guided Navigation Link object. Clicking the link in the dashboard replaces the contents of the dashboard window with the report results. Adding a report to your dashboard and displaying the dashboard as a link still counts as a report and, therefore, uses one of the six available spots for reports on the dashboard page. If you are pushing up against the six-report limit on your dashboard page, you might consider using one of the other Link objects rather than a report. Of course, as you will read next, there are some additional benefits to the Report object that you must consider as well. Link – in A Separate Window The Link – In A Separate Window option is also similar to adding a Link or Image object that directs the user to a report in Oracle CRM On Demand, and is set to open in a new window. Adding a report to your dashboard and setting the Display Results property to Link – In A Separate Window displays a link to the report that looks exactly like the link you would get from adding the Link or Image object. Clicking the link in the dashboard opens a new window populated with the report results. Report Links Three links appear at the bottom of every report that you run from the Reports tab. You will always see the Refresh, Printer Friendly, and Download links at the end of your reports. Reports displayed on a dashboard, however, do not automatically include these three links at the end of the report. If you want any of these links on the individual reports, you must enable them on the Report object. Do this by clicking the Properties button and selecting the Report Links option. The Report Links window, shown in Figure 6-3, opens displaying a check box for each of the report link options. FiguRe 6-3. Report Links window
  18. 94 Oracle CRM On Demand Dashboards Refresh Link Clicking the Refresh check box on the Report Links window enables the Refresh link on the report within the dashboard. This is in addition to the dashboard’s Refresh link that appears at the bottom of the dashboard. Clicking the report’s Refresh link will resubmit the report query, and the report will execute again within the dashboard. This is particularly useful when your dashboard includes real-time reports with data that changes frequently. Reports will often populate from cached data for increased performance. If the report has been executed recently, it may be cached. This cached version of the report could contain stale data in an environment where data changes frequently. Clicking Refresh will run the report again, punching through the cache, so that the data in the report is current as of the moment it is run—assuming that the report is built on a reporting subject area. A report built on one of the Analytics subject areas is pulling data from the data warehouse, which updates nightly, so the Refresh link is not likely to cause any change in the data included in the report. Printer Friendly Link Clicking the Printer Friendly check box on the Report Links window enables the Printer Friendly link on the report within the dashboard. This link will appear at the bottom of the report. Clicking it opens a small submenu offering you two choices. You can select HTML to open the report in a new browser window that contains only the report and none of the other dashboard content or CRM On Demand user interface elements. Similarly, selecting the PDF option from this submenu opens just the report in a new browser window. This window, however, is formatted as a PDF document that can be sent directly to the printer or saved to your computer’s hard drive as a PDF file. The report’s Printer Friendly link is different from the Printer Friendly link that appears at the bottom of the dashboard. The dashboard’s Printer Friendly link operates in the same way as the report’s Printer Friendly link in that it offers the same HTML and PDF options. The dashboard’s Printer Friendly link, however, opens the entire dashboard in a new browser window for printing. Download Link Clicking the Download Link check box on the Report Links window enables the Download link on the report within the dashboard. This link will appear at the bottom of the report within the dashboard. When clicked, it offers a submenu with five download options. Download To Excel and Download To Excel 2000 both open the report in a Microsoft Excel file. When downloading to Excel, the report is essentially copied and pasted into an Excel file with most of the formatting in place. Charts are included in the Excel file as images. Interactivity is obviously stripped from the report in Excel since the report is outside of Oracle CRM On Demand and
  19. Chapter 6: Displaying Reports on the Dashboard 95 maintaining links back into a secure CRM system in a hosted environment would be difficult. There are two Download Data options as well. Download Data (.csv) and Download Data (.txt) both open up a new file with just the data table behind the report. If the report contains a chart, these download options will not replicate the chart. The .csv option will open the data table in your default application for comma-separated values. If this application happens to be Excel or another spreadsheet program, the values will be placed into separate columns. If this application is a text reader, the commas that separate the values will be present in the downloaded data. The .txt option opens your default text reader with the data from the report. The values are separated by spaces or tabs rather than commas. The final download option is Download Web Page (MHTML). This option generates a .mht file, which opens in a Microsoft Explorer web browser and is an archived webpage. When you save a webpage as a web archive in Internet Explorer, the webpage saves the report information in Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension HTML (MHTML) format with an .mht file extension. All links in the report are disabled. Charts and other embedded content are included in the .mht file. Show View When using dashboards to display reports, you have a number of options for how to set up your reports and how they will be viewed. The most common approach that I have seen among my customers is to create a separate report specifically for the dashboard. This could be a report developed just for the dashboard or a copy of another report that you strip down for the dashboard. Typically, when you add a report to a dashboard, the intent is to include just one view—a table or a chart. Most people will create a report and remove any unnecessary views like the default title and table views. What many dashboard developers do not realize is that copying and stripping down reports for dashboards is completely unnecessary because of the Show View option on the report’s Properties menu. When you click the Show View option in the Properties menu, you are presented with a submenu that contains a list of every view in the report—even views that you have removed from the report. When you remove a view from the report, you see, the view is not deleted. The Show View option allows you to select a single view to display in the dashboard. This means that you do not need to re-create a stripped-down version of a report in order to display only a single part of that report in the dashboard. This is great news for administrators who are concerned about the reports library becoming overrun with a lot of reports. This is even better news for the report developer, who can accomplish many things and fill multiple requirements with a single report. The default selection in the Show View menu is Default Compound View. The Default Compound View selection indicates that all visible views in the report should be included in the dashboard. In other words, the report appears in the
  20. 96 Oracle CRM On Demand Dashboards dashboard exactly as it would if you ran the report from the Reports tab. Because all reports have a Title view and Table view by default, the Show View menu also will always contain the Title 1 and Table 1 options in addition to the Default Compound View. In addition, the Show View menu contains all of the views that have been added to a report; thus, even if they were subsequently removed, it is possible for a report to appear one way when run from the Reports tab, and display a view that does not appear in the report on a dashboard. Modify Request The final option on the Properties menu is Modify Request. Clicking Modify Request takes you out of the Dashboard Editor to the Build and View Analysis screen. The report from the dashboard is opened in the editor, ready for you to make modifications. This is a nice shortcut to Answers On Demand for editing your reports. The Build and View Analysis screen opens up on the Define Criteria step. Here you can modify the columns, filters, and column formats. Moving to Step 2 permits you to modify and add views in the report. If you are not familiar with basic report design and development, the “Designing Reports for Dashboards” section helps you with this task by describing the basics of Answers On Demand and providing some thoughts on particular report configuration options that are most important for the dashboard developer. Of course, if you need a more in-depth study of Answers On Demand, my earlier book, Oracle CRM On Demand Reporting (McGraw-Hill, 2008), is a great resource and covers the topic in great detail. Rename The Rename button on the Report object in the dashboard opens a small Rename window, as shown in Figure 6-4. The name of the report is the default value in this screen, but you can overwrite that name here. The name of the report as listed here only appears on the Dashboard Editor window, unless you have added the report as a link and have selected the Use Dashboard Object Name As Link Text check box. With this check box selected, the text you enter on the Rename window will appear as the linked text on the dashboard. This text does not affect the link target in any way. FiguRe 6-4. Rename window
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