Information Design Tool (IDT) – Resources Overview

SAP Information Design Tool (IDT) provides the following design resources to extract metadata and build universes.

Information design Tool Resources1

1. Project
2. Connection
3. Connection Shortcut
4. Data Foundation
5. Business Layer
6. Other Resources – Parameter, LOV, Universes, Query and Security profiles

Project:
A project is a local workspace that contains the resources used to build one or more universes and it can be shared with multiple designers for same resources. A project can contain any number of independent resources, for example data foundations, business layers, and connections. All resources contained within a project can be used interchangeably, for example a connection can be used by several data foundations within the same project.

Information design Tool Resources2

Connection
There are 2 different type of connection which universe can access based on the data sources.
1. Relational Data Connection
2. OLAP Data connection
Connection is nothing but parameters that define how a universe can access a relational or OLAP data source. All universes must have association with at least one connection and one connection can be used many / several universes. Also in you can build a multisource-enabled universe that references one or more relational connections. Connections can be local (stored in a local file) or secured (an object in a shared repository that is referenced by a connection shortcut). Local connections are stored in the local project as .cnx files.

Information design Tool Resources3

Connection Shortcut
Connection shortcut is an object that references a secured connection in a repository. The shortcut contains the repository address and port number, the type of connection (OLAP or relational), and an ID that identifies the connection on the server. To create a connection shortcut you need to publish a connection stored in a local project. Connection shortcuts are stored in the local project as .cns files.

Information design Tool Resources4

Data Foundation
Data foundation is nothing but universe structure area in Universe designer that defines the relevant tables and joins from one or more relational databases. You enhance the data foundation by adding derived tables, alias tables, calculated columns, additional joins, contexts, prompts, lists of values, and other SQL definitions. The data foundation becomes the basis of one or more business layers. Data foundations are stored in the local project as .dfx files.

Information design Tool Resources5

While creating the Data foundation you have select your data sources either single data source or multiple-data source and then based on the source selection, you have link the connection for that data foundation.  Below is the Data foundation sample.

Information design Tool Resources6

Business Layer
A business layer is a collection of metadata objects (Class & Objects panel in universe designer) that provides an abstraction of relational database entities or OLAP cubes, understandable by a business user. Objects map via SQL expressions to an underlying data foundation, or via MDX expressions to an underlying OLAP cube. These objects include dimensions, hierarchies, measures, attributes, and predefined conditions.

Information design Tool Resources7

You can add dimensions, hierarchies, measures, attributes, and other objects as the universe design requires. You can validate the SQL or the MDX at any time. You can create queries, lists of values, parameters (also called prompts), and navigation path objects.

The business layer is the universe under construction, and when the business layer is complete, it is compiled with the connections or connection shortcuts and data foundation, published, and deployed as a universe. Business layers are stored in the local project as .blx files.

Information design Tool Resources8

Query Panel
Query is nothing but Query panel option (Tools – Query Panel) in Universe designer and you can test your objects at universe level. The advantages of Query in IDT, you can save your test query as a metadata object in Business layer and use for future testing.

Information design Tool Resources9

Parameter
A parameter is nothing but Prompts in universe designer and it requires a value at query time (input). Parameters can be defined in the data foundation or in business layer. They are inherited by all business layers based on that data foundation.

Information design Tool Resources10

List of Values (LOV)
A list of values (LOV) is a collection of data values that can be associated with an object in the universe, allowing the user to choose values for a prompt. List of values can be defined in the data foundation or in business layer. They are inherited by all business layers based on that data foundation.

Information design Tool Resources11

Universe
A universe is a compiled file that includes all resources used in the definition of the metadata objects built in the design of the business layer. The universe is used by SAP Business Objects data analysis and reporting applications, where the business layer objects are visible for analysis and reporting. Universes are stored either locally or in a repository as .unx files.

Information design Tool Resources12

Security Profiles (Data and Business)
A security profile is a group of security settings that controls the data and metadata that are displayed to users and modifies the parameters defined in the data foundation and/or business layer. Security profiles are defined on published universes and stored in the repository.

A Data Security Profile is a group of settings that define security on a published universe using objects in the data foundation and the data connections. All Data Security Profile settings apply to relational universes only.

Business Security Profile is a group of settings that define security on a published universe using objects in the business layer.

Repository Resources
Repository resources are the universes and connections that have been secured in a repository on a Central Management System (CMS). The Repository Resources View lets you navigate and interact with the folders and resources in repositories. The Connections folder contains the secured connections created using the information design tool and universe design tool.

Note: A Common Connections sub-folder sometimes appears in the Connections folder. The Common Connections folder contains OLAP connections created in the Central Management Console for use in SAP Business Objects Advanced Analysis.

The Universe folder contains universes published with the information design tool (.unx universes), as well as universes created and exported with the universe design tool or migrated from earlier versions (.unv universes).

Convert .unv to .unx universe
You can also convert the .unv universe to .unx universe to avail all the new IDT features. For more details on how to convert .unv universe to .unx universe, please click here

Information design Tool Resources13

IDT Interfaces & Editor

The information design tool interface is composed of views and editors that let you navigate and work on different resources.

Local Projects View – Use this view to create and navigate local projects, and to open and validate resources. You can find Window –> Local Projects.

Repository Resources View – Use this view to navigate repository resources and create secured connections. To view go to, Window –> Repository Resources.

Data Foundation Editor – Use this editor to define and maintain the data foundation structure and its connections. Double-click a data foundation in the Local Projects View.

• Business Layer Editor – Use this editor to define and maintain the business layer and its data source. Double-click a business layer in the Local Projects View.

• Connection Editor Use this editor to edit connection and connection shortcut parameters. Double-click a connection or connection shortcut in the Local Projects View. To open the editor for a secured connection, double-click the connection in the Repository Resources View.

• Project Synchronization View – Use this view to manage shared project resources in the repository and synchronize local resources with the repository. Select Window –> Project Synchronization.

• Check Integrity Problems – Use this view to review the results of last integrity check. Select Window > Check Integrity Problems.

• Query Panel – Use this view to run queries on business layers and published universes. To run a query on a business layer, in the Business Layer Editor Query pane, edit an existing query, or create a query. To run a query on a published universe, in the Repository Resources View, right-click a universe and select Run Query. You can also run a query on a published universe in the Security Editor.

• Security Editor – Use this editor to define security profiles and assign profiles to users. Select Window –> Security Editor.

For more details about project & universe creation process will be discussed in upcoming post. Feel free to post your comments and queries.

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