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Posted Jun 16, 2003

Reporting Options for Analysis Services Cubes: Cognos PowerPlay - Page 11

By William Pearson

Now let's make another adjustment for readability: let's hide the Time column, as it provides no compelling information at present.

29.  Click the column axis dimension selector (Time) once more.

30.  Select Action -> Hide Total from the flyout menu, as shown in Illustration 57 below.

click for larger image

Illustration 57: Hiding the Time Column

The Total column disappears, while leaving the column axis dimension selector (currently displaying Time) available for manipulation. The display appears as partially shown in Illustration 58.


Illustration 58: The Display, sans Total Column (Partial View)

Let's take a quick look at an example of the graphics capabilities within Cognos PowerPlay Web Explorer. Most of the graphics styles can be activated simply by clicking the appropriate toolbar button.

31.  Click the 3-D graphic display button from the bottom toolbar of the Web Explorer display (depicted in Illustration 59).


Illustration 59: The 3-D Graphic Display Button from the Toolbar

The resulting 3-D charts reflect the effects of our nesting Products within the Store Cities. A graphic is presented for each Store, as is partially shown in Illustration 60.


Illustration 60: The 3-D Graphic Displays for Products within Stores (Partial View)

Keep in mind that the graphics are far from static representations; drilldown works here, as well, and can be enacted simply by clicking on the appropriate element of the chart.

Let's return to the crosstab display we occupied previously, only this time let's choose an indented display.

32.  Click the Indented Crosstab Display button from the toolbar, to the left of the 3-D graphic button, and as displayed (alongside the regular crosstab display button) in Illustration 61.


Illustration 61: Select the Indented Crosstab Display Button (Circled)

The display now appears as an indented crosstab, as depicted in Illustration 62.


Illustration 62: The Indented Crosstab Display (Partial View)

33.  Save the report as desired, by clicking the appropriate Save As button on the lower right toolbar. (Note that saving may result in a prompt from Access Manager, after which we will be walked through the setup of various items in Upfront. Upfront is beyond the scope of this article, but help can be found in the online help or within the documentation that is installed with the "typical" installation of the Cognos BI suite.)

We have examined only a handful of the options available in Cognos PowerPlay Web. Cognos PowerPlay is a powerful tool, and is, by far, the current leader in the business intelligence world in depth and breadth of analysis and reporting scope. The functionality available is both robust and easy to use. The zero-footprint interface we have reviewed is also a highly desirable attribute, in many environments, making both deployment and maintenance of the tool much easier than systems requiring client installations on the user PCs.

We will conclude our brief overview of PowerPlay Web reporting for an Analysis Services cube at this point. Much of the body of functionality that is available can be reviewed within the online documentation and other sources, just as it might be for a natively generated PowerCube.

Next in Our Series ...

In this lesson, Reporting Options for Analysis Services Cubes: Cognos PowerPlay, we explored features that integrate Analysis Services and Cognos PowerPlay to provide a vehicle for client reporting and other business intelligence pursuits. The central focus of the article was a basic overview of the steps involved in a simple (non-integrated security) connection of Cognos PowerPlay to a Microsoft Analysis Services cube, and then a high level overview of the use of PowerPlay for Windows and PowerPlay Web for the performance of analysis and reporting upon the Analysis Services OLAP data source.

In our next lesson, we will return to OLAP cube design and manipulation, and begin a new project: we will design and create a simple cube to analyze traffic data for a sample web site. We will construct tables for this purpose, and gain some exposure to the relational side of the cube life cycle in the process. Finally, we will discuss some of the eccentricities involved in constructing such a cube, and provide practical solutions for surmounting these challenges.

» See All Articles by Columnist William E. Pearson, III

Discuss this article in the MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services and MDX Topics Forum.



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