Creating Explorer Information Spaces and Exploration View Sets in BusinessObjects 4.1

  • by Adam Getz, Manager – Business Intelligence, CGI Federal
  • January 26, 2015
Gain an overview of the fundamentals of the Explorer application in BusinessObjects 4.1. Learn how to create and manage Information Spaces, Exploration Views, and Exploration View Sets.
Learning Objectives

By reading this article, you will learn:

  • The fundamental components of the Explorer application in BusinessObjects 4.1
  • How to enable the presentation of data within the Explorer application
  • How to create and manage Information Spaces
  • How to use Information Spaces to create Exploration Views and Exploration View Sets
Key Concept

The foundation of the Explorer application in BusinessObjects 4.1 is the Information Space. An Information Space is a pre-defined dataset that connects to a BusinessObjects Universe, selects data fields from the Universe, and enables the presentation of data within the Explorer application. Additionally, an Information Space is a collection of data fields that maps to organizational data for a specific business operation or activity (for example, sales, employee performance, inventory, orders, or fulfillments). Two other components of the Explorer application are Exploration Views and Exploration View Sets. An Exploration View is a saved exploration on an Information Space that can be used to expose and explore a specific part of the data within the Information Space. An Exploration View usually represents a targeted part of the Information Space that is related to a specific business question. An Exploration View Set is the container for one or more Exploration Views. Exploration Views contained within an Exploration View Set can use either the same or a different Information Space.

SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is a relatively new application within the BusinessObjects 4.1 suite that provides data discovery and query capabilities. Fundamentally, Explorer allows users to rapidly explore data in a highly graphical and intuitive format. The Explorer application can be accessed by users through the BI launch pad portal, which is the common user interface (UI) for all of the BusinessObjects applications. Explorer enables users to rapidly and intuitively find the information they are looking for without having to create and format reports. Users can combine multiple data perspectives into a single view and quickly go from data discovery, to at-a-glance dashboards, to details of the data.

Note
A basic understanding of the BI launch pad application and of BusinessObjects Universes by readers is helpful before reading this article.

The foundation of Explorer is known as an Information Space. Basically, the Information Space is an intermediary or middleware component that connects a BusinessObjects Universe to a BusinessObjects Explorer application. Two other fundamental components of BusinessObjects Explorer that aid in the use of the application and enable re-use are Exploration Views and Exploration View Sets. Exploration Views and Exploration View Sets were introduced in BusinessObjects 4.0 and were not available in previous releases.

In this article, I describe how to create and manage Information Spaces, Exploration Views, and Exploration View Sets as the foundations for using the Explorer application in BusinessObjects 4.1.

Getting Started with Information Spaces and Exploration View Sets

In order to create and manage Explorer Information Spaces, an administrator of BusinessObjects must satisfy the following prerequisites:

  • Have access to the BI launch pad application
  • Create and manage access rights to the Explorer application
  • Have access rights to create and edit Information Spaces and Exploration View Sets

Adam Getz

Adam Getz currently serves as a Manager, Business Intelligence for CGI Federal. In this position, he is leading a large business intelligence and data warehousing implementation for a federal client.  He is a thought leader in the field of information technology and an expert in the deployment of leading business intelligence, database management, and data integration products. He has presented at a variety of local, national, and international events, including the 2006 BusinessObjects International Conference, 2007 Oracle BIWA Summit, 2008 Oracle Open World, and 2010 and 2011 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conferences. In addition, Adam is the creator and main author of bi-insider.com, a website, portfolio, and blog that provides rich technical and functional content to business intelligence and data warehousing professionals. He has also published numerous technology white papers that have focused on various topics within business intelligence and data warehousing. Adam currently serves as the chairperson of the Washington DC Business Objects User Group.

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