WHITE PAPER Using Oracle Discoverer in HRMS Payroll Balance Examples

Author: Creation Date: Last Updated: Version: Kevin Hicks 8th September 1999 3rd November 1999 4.0

Using Oracle Discoverer in HRMS - Payroll Balance Examples Copyright Oracle Corporation 1999 All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. Primary Author: Kevin Hicks Contributors: Bill Dray, Bill Kerr, Andrew Mcghee

This software was not developed for use in any nuclear, aviation, mass transit, medical, or other inherently dangerous applications. It is the customer's responsibility to take all appropriate measures to ensure the safe use of such applications if the programs are used for such purposes. This software/documentation contains proprietary information of Oracle Corporation; it is provided under a license agreement containing restrictions on use and disclosure and is also protected by copyright law. Reverse engineering of the software is prohibited. If this software/documentation is delivered to a U.S. Government Agency of the Department of Defense, then it is delivered with Restricted Rights and the following legend is applicable: Restricted Rights Legend Use, duplication, or disclosure by the Government is subject to restrictions as set forth in subparagraph (c)(1)(ii) of DFARS 252.227-7013, Rights in Technical Data and Computer Software (October 1988). Oracle Corporation, 500 Oracle Parkway, Redwood City, CA 94065. If this software/documentation is delivered to a U.S. Government Agency not within the Department of Defense, then it is delivered with “Restricted Rights", as defined in FAR 52.227-14, Rights in Data - General, including Alternate III (June 1987). The information in this document is subject to change without notice. If you find any problems in the documentation, please report them to us in writing. Oracle Corporation does not warrant that this document is error free. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, for any purpose without the express written permission of Oracle Corporation.
Oracle Human Resources, Oracle Discoverer, Discoverer, End User Layer and PL/SQL are trademarks of Oracle Corporation.

All other products or company names are used for identification purposes only, and may be trademarks of their respective owners.

2

Contents

Introduction.............................................................................................................................................4 Uses of Discoverer within HRMS ...........................................................................................................6 What is Discoverer? ..............................................................................................................................6 How to Enable Drilling in Discoverer....................................................................................................6 Administrator Edition.............................................................................................................................8 Discoverer Data Folders ........................................................................................................................8 Database Folders ............................................................................................................................10 Custom SQL Folders........................................................................................................................11 Custom Complex Folders.................................................................................................................13 Discoverer Drill Hierarchies................................................................................................................14 Drill Down Hierarchies ...................................................................................................................14 Drill to Detail Hierarchies ..............................................................................................................15 Drill Hierarchy Example .................................................................................................................15 Creating a New Hierarchy...............................................................................................................17 User Edition...........................................................................................................................................19 Creating a Drilled Workbook ..............................................................................................................19 Using a Drilled Workbook...................................................................................................................21 Fundamentals of Drilling ....................................................................................................................26 Multiple Hierarchy Drills. ...................................................................................................................27 Conclusion .............................................................................................................................................31

3

• They primarily show how the drilling capabilities of Discoverer can be used. The issues that will be consider are: ∗ Creating and using a drilled workbook. ∗ Discoverer hierarchy types and their uses. and how it can be used in Oracle HRMS. and ∗ Why multiple drill hierarchies should be used. ∗ The fundamental concepts of drilling. • Describe the use of Discoverer Administrator Edition in creating the structure by which Discoverer users can access Balances. The purpose of this document is to: • Describe the features and benefits of Oracle Discoverer.Introduction Balances are calculated within Oracle HRMS as an integral part of the payroll process. The issues that will be consider are: ∗ Creating and managing data folders. It should be noted that this functionality is UK 4 . The scope of the concepts covered in this document are as follows: • They are intended for use with Oracle HRMS but they can also be adapted to other Oracle Applications. and ∗ Creating a drill to detail hierarchy. Discoverer provides a way of extracting these balances from Oracle HRMS in a structured. • The examples use the GB Balance User Exit to access payroll balances. • Introduce the ways in which users can view payroll balances using Oracle Discoverer User Edition. but user friendly and intuitive manner.

0.1.0.1.2 and Oracle Applications 11.25. Refer to the Oracle Discoverer Administration Guide 3. Oracle End User Layer 3.13.28. The following releases of software were used for the production of the examples given in this document.1 and Oracle Discoverer Release 3.2.Technical Essays. For further information on the use of the GB Balance User Exit refer to Oracle HRMS Implementation Guide . In other regions please check to see if similar functionality exists.1 User Guide for further help.0. 5 .specific.0. Note that this document is not a detailed guide in the use Oracle Discoverer.0. Oracle Discoverer Version 3. Oracle8 Enterprise Edition Release 8.4.

includes a number of components: • The Administration Edition provides an easy-to-use interface for the setup and maintenance of the powerful. 1. The EUL is created from any relational meta data repository and hides the complexity of data structures and drill relationships from end users. designed to simplify enterprises wide deployment. analysis and web publishing tool that enables business users at all levels of the organization to gain immediate access to information from relational databases. • The User Edition provides an initiative data driven interface. This document provides examples of using this functionality to extract information from Oracle HRMS. Thus providing an intuitive way for users to access payroll balances. server-based meta layer— the End User Layer (EUL). allowing them to focus on solving business problems.Uses of Discoverer within HRMS Oracle Discoverer is a reporting. integration with other desktop products and powerful data exploration via drill-anywhere capabilities. not data access issues. This enables the provision of an intuitive interface to the data for users. These hierarchies will then be utilised in the User Edition. The EUL achieves this is two ways: 6 . This document will focus on using the Administrator Edition to create drill hierarchies. • The Viewer Edition allows users to view and navigate through pre-defined Workbooks with any standard Web browser. which hold the layout and formatting of the reports and analyses that the users wishes to perform. How to Enable Drilling in Discoverer There are two areas to be configured within Discoverer in order to enable drill capabilities. What is Discoverer? Discoverer’ unique architecture. This is done through the creation of Workbooks. Discoverer Administrator Edition is used to create the EUL.

They are then able to create their own workbooks. 7 . further simplifying a user’ ability to explore data within their own s workbooks. • Removing the need for the user to understand the details of underlying database structure. Discoverer User Edition allows a user to connect to an EUL.• By providing a way of presenting the data which concentrates the user on their task. By utilizing the drilling hierarchies created by the administrator they are able to build reports with little knowledge of the underlying structures. Moreover it permits the creation of drill hierarchies. to report and analyse the data from the simplified view. 2.

The Business Area can contain three types of data folders. this enables the administrator to group together related database items. These folders define the data that the user will have access to. • Custom SQL Folders. Each business area allows a simplified view of the database to be created.Administrator Edition It is the role of the administrator to create a Business Area using Discoverer Administrator Edition. Users can then be given access to the business area(s) which provide the information that they need. It allows data folders to be created in a Business Area. The Business Area defines the structure around which users will view and access data through Discoverer User Edition. • Database Folders. Discoverer Administrator Edition then allows drill hierarchies to be created based on items within these folders. and • Custom Complex Folders. Discoverer Data Folders The Discoverer Administrator Edition data tab is shown in Figure 1. 8 .

Figure 1 . is based on a SQL query that has been created within Discoverer. It uses the functionality of GB Balance User Exit to obtain payroll balances. the next is a custom SQL folder and the last four are custom complex folders.Administrator Edition Data Tab. The example Business Area in Figure 1 contains eleven folders. The six database folders are based on the following database tables and views. 9 . • hrv_organization_units • pay_all_payrolls_f • per_all_assignments_f • per_all_people_f • per_time_periods • per_jobs The Balance View folder. The first six are database folders.

These folders have informative names and only contain the database items that the administrator wants the users to see. A key consideration is the access users are given to certain folders. By only allowing users to see the four custom complex folders they do not need to be concerned with actual database tables. It is a good idea to do this because it simplifies users choices when building a report.The last four are Discoverer custom complex folders. This is because they have been hidden from the user. Each folder will then appear to the user as one entity. These are based on the columns of the source view that the folder 10 . Database Folders A database folder contains all of the columns of the source table or view. When a database folder node is expanded it is possible to view the column names that it contains (Figure 2). In Figure 2 all but the last item are data items.An expanded database folder. In Figure 1 the first seven folders are greyed out. Figure 2 . These allow the administrator to group together related database items. These items can come from any database or custom SQL folders that is contain within the business area.

Custom SQL Folders Creating a custom SQL folder in Discoverer Administrator Edition allows for the creation of more complex data items without having to create a view in the database. They can be automatically generated by Discoverer based on matching column names. or 2. In these examples it allows for the GB Balance User Exit functionality to be utilised directly within Discoverer.An expanded custom SQL folder. Figure 3 . In the example in Figure 2 it is possible to see that a one to many join exist between HRV_ORGANIZATION_UNITS and PER_ALL_PEOPLE_F.hrv_organization_units is based on. Join option. They can be automatically created by Discoverer based on the primary and foreign key rules that exist in the database. The icon indicates the join type and the name indicates which other folder it is joined to. The last item in the folder is a join item. or 3. They can be defined manually by the administrator using the Insert menu. In Figure 3 the expanded Balance View folder can be seen. There are three options in Discoverer for creating joins: 1. 11 .

BALANCE_TYPE_ID = FEED.Figure 3 shows the items that the folder contains.PAYROLL_ACTION_ID AND PPA. PAY_RUN_RESULTS PRR . hr_gbbal.ASSIGNMENT_ID.TIME_PERIOD_ID AND PAA2. PER_TIME_PERIODS PTP.ASSIGNMENT_ID.TIME_PERIOD_ID = PTP. 12 . in other regions you should check if similar functionality exists.BALANCE_NAME.BALANCE_TYPE_ID AND PRR.calc_all_balances function from the GB Balance User Exit. PBD.RUN_RESULT_ID = PRRV.calc_all_balances(PTP. The query that this folder is built from is: SELECT PAF. This functionality is UK specific. PAY_DEFINED_BALANCES PDB. PBT. PDB.balance_dimension_id = PDB. PAF.ASSIGNMENT_ID = PAF. PER_ASSIGNMENTS_F PAF.TIME_PERIOD_ID. The folder also contains the list of joins imposed on this folder. PDB. as determined by Discoverer based on the SQL specified. PAY_PAYROLL_ACTIONS PPA WHERE PBT. These joins need to be created manually to whichever folders we wish to relate this SQL folder.ASSIGNMENT_ACTION_ID AND PAA2.BALANCE_TYPE_ID.INPUT_VALUE_ID AND PPA.END_DATE. PAY_ASSIGNMENT_ACTIONS PAA2 . PTP.BALANCE_DIMENSION_ID AND EXISTS ( SELECT NULL FROM PAY_RUN_RESULT_VALUES PRRV .LEGISLATION_CODE = 'GB') AND PBT.DEFINED_BALANCE_ID. PAY_BALANCE_DIMENSIONS PBD WHERE (PBT.BALANCE_TYPE_ID AND PBD.RUN_RESULT_ID AND FEED. PTP.ASSIGNMENT_ACTION_ID = PRR.PAYROLL_ACTION_ID = PAA2. PAF.ROWID ROW_ID . PAY_BALANCE_FEEDS_F FEED .INPUT_VALUE_ID = PRRV.balance_type_id = PDB.DATABASE_ITEM_SUFFIX.LEGISLATION_CODE IS NULL OR PBT. Where it does this query should only be considered an example of using Discoverer custom SQL folders.ASSIGNMENT_ID) The query calculates balances using the hr_gbbal. PBT.END_DATE.DEFINED_BALANCE_ID) VALUE FROM PAY_BALANCE_TYPES PBT.

However they are still available to the administrator for use in calculations or conditions. A mandatory condition will be enforced in every users workbook that reports on this folder. This enables the administrator to present related information to the user as though it is one entity. this ensures that their workbooks will not contain unnecessary items. The greyed out items will be hidden from the user. Figure 4 . The Employee Information and Assignments folder in Figure 4 shows items from different tables grouped together in one folder. In this example a condition has been placed on the employee’ effective s end date. When a condition is created on a particular item in a folder it can be either mandatory or optional. This type of condition is useful when spurious results would otherwise be reported. The last three items in the folder are conditions.An expanded custom complex folder. Figure 4 shows an expanded custom complex folder for these examples. This ensures that only the employee’ most up to date s 13 .Custom Complex Folders Custom complex folders allow the administrator to group together items of related information. Conditions allow restrictions to be imposed by the administrator on the items returned when a user reports on this folder.

if a join has already been defined between those database folders. Therefore items from multiple folders cannot be added to a complex folders until the necessary joins have been created between the source folders. The folder in Figure 4 does not contain any joins. The drill down hierarchy bases the results of the report on each shops sales figures. The hierarchy just determines at which level of detail those figures will be viewed.information will be displayed in a report on this folder. However the region figures are based on the sum of the shop figures. The hierarchy allows the user to drill between these levels. However they do allow the results of a report to be view at a number of different levels of abstraction. To establish the suitability of these hierarchies for a given task their features will be considered first. To consider a real life use of a drill down hierarchy the payroll balance example will be briefly put to one side. This is because Discoverer manages the joins between items within a complex folder. 14 . In some instances they must be used with caution. by cities. Therefore drill down hierarchies are extremely useful when a user wishes to view summary information in a number of different ways. The consequence of this is that joins between complex folders are also deduced by Discoverer. the report would not appear to return many rows. This is because they can not be used to limit a query or pinpoint a specific value. This will provide the foundation for the creation of the hierarchies used in this section. If the number of shops was large the report could take excessive time to compute. This is because if we are viewing the results by region. Drill Down Hierarchies Although drill down hierarchies provide excellent data formatting and exploration facilities. but normally this would not be done. Where caution must be taken is if the number of shops is large. drill downs and drill to details. What this means is that when a drill down hierarchy is used all the values are calculated from the outset. It determines what these joins are by only allowing certain items to be added to the complex folder. or by shops. The reason for this would not be apparent to the user as they only see a single row for each region. It is required that the sales figures for a change of shops can be view by regions. Discoverer Drill Hierarchies Within Discoverer there are two types of drills. Discoverer uses the hierarchy that the administrator creates to determine how to calculate figures for regions and cities. Items can only be added from multiple database folders. It is possible to create joins in a complex folder. The database does not contain sales figures for cities or regions.

In the context of the above sales figure example.Drill to Detail Hierarchies Drill to detail hierarchies are extremely useful when the user wants to limit a report based on the hierarchy. To a list of Employees and Assignments for a given business group. This is because performance would be unsatisfactory if a drill down hierarchy were used for the reasons discussed above. the report would function differently. 1. What this means is that values from the lowest level of the hierarchy are only returned when that level is being viewed. Moreover drill down hierarchies are simple to create. The selection of which rows is determined by the row drilled from in the higher level. 15 . Drilling on a given region name would produce a list of cities. They allow the user to drill to more detailed information based on a given criteria. Therefore it is necessary to use a drill to detail hierarchy. Hence these examples will concentrate on the more complex drill to detail hierarchies. To a list of balances for a given assignment and payroll time period. This is opposite to a drill down hierarchy which returns them from the outset. In this example the number of balances for a standard business group could be large. Drill Hierarchy Example In the context of payroll balances it will be necessary to use a drill to detail hierarchy. At the region level of abstraction just a list of region names would be listed. In these examples it is required to be able to drill between. These hierarchies were created under the Item classes tab in Discoverer Administrator Edition. Drilling on a given city would produce the sales figures for shops in that city. An understanding of this concept then makes it clear that drill to detail hierarchies will need to be used when the number of rows at the lowest level is large. A list of Business Groups. To a list of payroll time periods for a given assignment of an employee. What this means is that at each level of the hierarchy only a limited number of rows are returned. 4. 2. 3. The hierarchies that were created for these examples are shown in Figure 5.

from business groups. 16 . It shows the three items that have been added to the hierarchy. These items need not necessarily be called the same thing. This hierarchy determines the relationship between the Assignment ID at the lowest three levels.Drill hierarchies for examples. However conventionally this would be the case as it would not normally be sensible to relate items that do not represent the same thing. These enable drill up and down through the hierarchy. In Figure 6 one of the hierarchies has been expanded. to payroll time periods and finally balances. and which folders that they have been added from.Figure 5 . to employee assignments. In Figure 5 there are four drill hierarchy item classes defined.

17 . 2. This will bring up the Item Class Wizard. 3. At step three the new hierarchy is given a name and description. At step two the items that are required in the new hierarchy need to be added. 1. Item Class option. At step one the Drill to detail check box should be checked the others unchecked. In Figure 7 the items added that would create the hierarchy that was expanded in Figure 6.An expanded drill hierarchy Creating a New Hierarchy To create a summary to detail hierarchy use the Insert menu.Figure 6 .

Item class wizard: Step 2.Figure 7 . 18 .

Creating a Drilled Workbook To continue the payroll balance hierarchy example a new workbook will be created. When creating a s new workbook. For these examples Page-Detail table layout has been used. New. Figure 8 . Then select the type of workbook layout that is required. 1. Figure 8 shows that the Business Group Names folder has been selected. Step 2 allows the items that need to be display in the workbook to be selected.User Edition Once a drill hierarchy has been created by the administrator it is a simple task to make use of it in a user’ workbook. This will display the business groups within the organization. Discoverer will then automatically enable the ability for users to drill from these items. items that have hierarchies associated with them can be included.New workbook wizard step 2 19 . Start the workbook wizard by select File menu. 2.

Step 4 allows conditions to be defined on the rows returned to the workbook. 5. 4.3. or columns. 20 . Figure 9 . Step 5 allows the workbook to be sorted by a given column. For example it would be possible to see only business groups with ID’ between a given range. or names that s start with a given letter. Figure 10 shows the sorts created in the example workbook.New workbook wizard step 3. Figure 9 shows that the default layout has been used in this example. The add button is used to select a new column to sort by. Step 3 allows the workbook layout to be altered. For this example all rows will be returned. adjustments can then be made to the sort criteria.

6. For example averages or sums of two columns that already exist in the workbook. For the example above a workbook looking similar that given in Figure 11 will be produced. 21 . The final step allows calculated items to be created in the workbook.Figure 10 .New workbook wizard step 5. In the example no calculated items have been defined. Using a Drilled Workbook Once the workbook has been created Discoverer will query the database and return the rows that have been requested.

Figure 11 . in this case the Employee Information and Assignments folder. 22 . so the report was executed using the OK button. This dialogue box shows the item that is being drilled from. It is also possible to customise the new worksheet before the query is executed.Workbook listing business groups. In this example the default layout will be used. in this case Business Group ID. To do this use the options button. It also lists the possible items that can be drilled to. To drill on a given business group it is necessary to double click on it’ business group ID. This will launch the drill dialogue box as s shown in Figure 12.

Figure 12 . Properties option in Discoverer Administrator Edition. After the drill in Figure 12 has been executed a new sheet (Sheet 2) is created in the workbook as shown in Figure 13. This shows the user that the drill successfully limited the new query to only return employees from that business group. The default position for each item can be set using the Edit menu. The Business Group ID value is determined by the business group was double clicked on in Figure 11. 23 . The page item allows the user to see that the current worksheet is displaying only employees from the Netcam Corporation. Discoverer achieves this by limiting the query to only employees with a given Business Group ID. The new sheet contains the items from the Employee Information and Assignments folder. The example shows that Business Group Name is displayed as a page item.Drill dialogue box.

As the final step a user is able to drill from a time period to inspect the balances. The user is then able to drill down through the rest of the hierarchies.Figure 13 . Figure 14 shows the worksheet created by Discoverer when a user drills from an employee to their time periods. The worksheet generated is shown in Figure 15.Drilled worksheets of employees. 24 .

Figure 15 .Drilled worksheet of payroll balances.Drilled worksheet of time periods. 25 .Figure 14 .

This feature is what make drill to details so powerful.Edit sheet conditions dialogue. Figure 13 was the report showing the Employees and their Assignments for that business group. When an item is drilled on the goal is to determine more detailed information for that item. 26 . Discoverer has automatically generated the required condition. Had the drill to detail not been created the user would need to do this manually.Fundamentals of Drilling To use a drill to detail effectively it is essential to understand what Discoverer does to produce a new drilled sheet. Discoverer only returned the related rows in the new sheet. The condition limits the query to return employees with a Business Group ID equal to 631. They give the user the ability to limit queries to specific values without the need to understand conditions. This limited the query to only return employees of the given business group. The condition in Figure 16 is created on the Business Group ID as that item was drilled from. Figure 16 . The condition that Discoverer created can be viewed in the edit sheet conditions dialogue as shown in Figure 16. In Figure 11 and Figure 13 a drill was shown on Business Group ID. It achieved this by creating a condition on the new sheet.

Multiple Drill Hierarchies.Multiple Hierarchy Drills. This ensures it is possible to drill from an employees assignments. These two hierarchies enable the required balances to be obtained. It is important that for a given folder multiple items can be 27 . to the time periods of that assignment. Hierarchies can include items from more than two folders. In Figure 17 two drill to detail hierarchies have been expanded. the second allows drilling on Time Period ID. Figure 17 . based on a given Assignment ID and Time Period ID. Often it would be useful to have the ability to drill from one folder to another based on more than one criteria. to the payroll balances of that assignment. This second hierarchy is required to limit the balances returned to only the required time periods. The Time Period ID hierarchy enables drilling from assignment time periods to payroll balances. The first allows drilling on Assignment ID. Discoverer does allow for this although there are a number of issues to consider. Notice that these hierarchies contain different items from the same folder. so long as it makes sense for them to be drilled upon. In Figure 17 Assignment ID is included in the hierarchy of three folders.

Discoverer allows the user to select the option they require from the drill dialogue box as shown in Figure 18.members of hierarchies. they may wish two possible things to happen. This dialogue was displayed when the user double clicked on the Time Period ID. 28 . They wish to drill on all of them. for period 7091. Drill on both the Time Period ID and Assignment ID. or 2. Figure 18 .Drilling on multiple hierarchies. They can now drill to Payroll Balances in two ways: 1. They wish to drill on only one of these items drill hierarchies 2. This is because if a user drills on such an item. 1. Drill on Time Period ID.

Query limited by one condition. Had the user chosen option one the edit sheet conditions dialogue in Figure 19 shows that the query was only restricted by Time Period ID. 29 . If the user wants to drill on both items then they must select All Items from the Where do you want to drill from? List box. However the dialogue box by default indicates that Discoverer will drill on the Time Period ID. This is not what is required as we are focusing in on a particular employees assignments. By selecting All Items in Figure 18 notice that the conditions change to those shown in Figure 20. Figure 19 .Option one would return the balances for that time period for all assignments.

Query limited by both conditions. 30 .Figure 20 .

The examples given show how drills can be used to access Oracle HRMS payroll balances in the UK. These hierarchies provide a powerful and intuitive interface to users for accessing any form of hierarchical data. However these techniques could be used to exploit hierarchical data in other Oracle Applications. 31 .Conclusion This document has explained the use of Oracle Discoverer Administrator and User Editions in the context of creating drill hierarchies.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful