Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Support For OBIEE And Other Goodies Added To Smart View

Oracle has just released Smart View Patch Set Update which brings dozens of fixed defects but also a big bunch of new features into everyone's favorite Office add-in. Read on to find out what's new in this release.

New Feature Highlights 

Support For Oracle BI EE

Smart View now allows users to connect to OBIEE or later - after this long-awaited version gets released first. The following features are (or will be) available:
  • Connecting to OBIEE Presentation Server
  • Viewing the contents of the Presentation Catalog
  • Importing BI Answers views from Presentation Catalog into Office programs (Excel, PowerPoint, Word)
  • Copying OBIEE Dashboard content and pasting it into Smart View client documents. The data, metadata, and view layout are all copied.
  • Programming OBIEE features using Visual Basic: adding OBIEE objects, managing prompts etc.
For complete overview of the OBIEE features in Smart View see the Readme file for the PSU on Oracle Support.

Shared Connections Definition File

This feature seems to have been invented because EPM Workspace does not (yet) integrate with OBIEE. To use OBIEE connections in the Shared Connections menu in Smart View, you need to create an XML file which contains the provider connections for your EPM and OBI environment. The path to the XML file is then specified in the Shared Connections URL field in the Smart View Options dialog box, after which the entries should appear in the Shared Connections menu.

Office Table Report Object

A new MS Word only feature allows you to insert a table that is formatted just like tables in Office applications normally are. Office tables can be imported into for example HFM Smart Slices and then used as a part of Word documents. Table formatting tools and styles can be utilized and they are preserved when data and members are refreshed.

Other New Features

Smaller additions that are also worth mentioning:
  • Document Contents is a new pane that displays the structure of the current Office document in a tree format 
  • Cells containing HsGetValue functions can now be copied between Office applications (Excel, Word, PowerPoint)
  • Shared Connections can be used in functions for HFM, Essbase and Planning
Be sure to log on to Oracle Support and study the full Readme file for PSU as the file also contains information about fixed defects and known issues and their workarounds. And remember that according to the EPM Certification Matrix you can use Smart View with older EPM/Hyperion releases too (HFM, Planning and Essbase 11.1.2.x,, and 9.3.3 are compatible - see the Certification Matrix document for full details).