When you make data available to users, you must also give the users access to the objects in the shared database that structure the data. When you distribute objects, you provide read and write access to the data referenced by those objects.
Financial Analyzer supports the following methods for transferring information.
1- Distribute Structures- Enables administrators (including the system's super administrator) to transfer database objects to their users.
2- Distribute Data- Enables administrators (including the system's super administrator) to transfer data to their users.
3- Refresh Structures- Enables users to incorporate database objects distributed to them by their administrators.
4- Refresh Data- Enables users to update the data that they view or use with the most current version of that data from the shared database.
5- Submit Data- Enables administrators and Budget workstation users to contribute data to the shared database.
- To Analyst and Budget workstations in the tier immediately below you in a multiple-tier environment
- To administrator workstations in the tier immediately below you in a multiple-tier environment
- To the shared database
Importance of distribution : It is important to ensure that users have immediate access to the most current versions of objects. If there is a discrepancy between the version of an object that users are working with and the version that is in your shared database, the users will be unable to contribute data based on that object to the shared database.
The following list outlines some of the conditions under which you would need to distribute structures to the shared database and to the users that you support:
- You have created a new database object for one or more of your users.
- You have modified an existing database object, to which one or more of your users currently has access.
- You need to delete an object from the shared database and remove access to it from one or more users.
- One or more new users needs access to objects in the shared database.
- You need to provide one or more users with access to additional objects, to which they previously did not have access.
- Dimension values
- Financial data items
- Documents (reports, graphs, worksheets, and data entry forms)
- Solves and group solves
- Profiles for submit, refresh, and copy data
- Custom (Add-In) Menu
- Saved selections
Limits on document distribution : Do not distribute more than 3000 documents. Also, bear in mind that distributing an extremely large number of documents, such as 1000, might degrade system performance.
Distribution profiles : A distribution profile captures the information in the selection grid and saves it for reuse. You can apply the profile at a later time -- either exactly as is, or as a template for defining similar distributions. You can save the information that you enter in the Distribute Structure dialog box as a distribution profile.
Distributing structures for new dimension values: If you distribute new dimension values to your users, you must also redistribute the dimensions with which the values are associated. If you do not redistribute the dimensions along with the new dimension values, users may have trouble contributing data associated with those values back to the shared database.
When structures have the same name : If you distribute a structure to a user who has already created a structure with the same name in their personal database, the new structure will appear in the "DBA Items to Overwrite Personal" column when the user performs a Refresh Preview. When the refresh is performed, the current structure in the user's personal database will be overwritten by the newly distributed structure.
Submitting structure distributions to the Task Processor: After you specify structures for distribution, you must submit the distribution. Submitting a distribution sends it to the Task Processor.
If your system is not set up to continually run the Task Processor as a separate workstation or in the background, you must manually start the Task Processor so that the task will run.
Distributing Data from Administrator Workstations
When to distribute data: As an administrator, you can distribute slices of data that you entered into your personal database to the shared database that you maintain and to subordinate workstations. This feature enables you to control when your users receive specific types of data, such as currency translation rates, because users receive notification that they need to refresh their data, and they cannot contribute new data to the shared database until they have refreshed their personal databases.
It is important to be careful when distributing data, because the data that you distributes overwrites data in the shared database. You can only distribute data for financial data items that you specifically marked for this purpose when you created them by selecting the Distribute Data option in the Maintain Financial Data Item dialog box.
Selecting data for distribution: You choose Distribution, Distribute Data from the Manage menu to distribute slices of financial data to users and to the shared database. This opens the Distribute Data dialog box, where you can select a financial data item and define an associated data slice.
Submitting Data from Administrator Workstations
As an administrator, you are responsible for submitting data that your users submit to your shared database up to your administrator's shared database. This responsibility applies to all administrators below the super administrator level. Because the Super administrator workstation is positioned at the top-most level of the tiered structure, the shared database that the super administrator maintains contains the highest level of consolidated data.
A shareable document should be based on structures that reside in the shared database. Users who receive a shareable document cannot see any personal structures.
Super administrators and administrators define structures that are appropriate for their users and distribute those structures to the shared database and to their users. Users must then refresh structures in their personal databases so that their view of the data is consistent with their related shared database.
- Budget workstation users can set the Automatic Refresh option in the Options dialog box so that a refresh process is automatically initiated if new structures are available to be refreshed when they log onto their systems. They can also choose not to set this option, which enables them to refresh structures manually.
- Analyst and Administrator workstation users must always refresh newly available structures when they log in. For these users, the Automatic Refresh option is always on.
Depending on the type of workstation that you are using, one of the following types of refresh processes will take place:
Super administrator workstation -- The Super administrator creates all new structures that exist at the top level of the tiered reporting structure; therefore all structures that can be refreshed come from one or more external sources. Structures from an external source are loaded directly into the Super administrator's personal database.
Administrator workstations -- Administrators can receive structures both from external sources and from the administrator at the next highest level in the tiered reporting structure. If structures have been loaded from an external source into the administrator's shared database, the refresh process brings those structures into the administrator's personal database. If structures have been distributed to the administrator, the refresh process brings those structures into the administrator's shared database.
Budget workstations -- Budget workstations refresh structures from their administrators shared database. The structures are refreshed from the administrator's shared database into the Budget Workstation user's personal database.
The Task Processor enables an administrator to maintain the shared database. All administrator distributions, solve definition processes, and data submissions to the shared database are routed to the Task Processor, where they wait in a queue until they are processed. This procedure:
- Enables multiple users to submit tasks simultaneously
- Gives the administrator the opportunity to monitor the processing events
1) A Task Processor workstation can be defined as part of the administrator's workstation, which gives the responsibility of updating to the administrator.
2) A Task Processor can be defined as a separate workstation, which allows the administrator to continue working without being responsible for processing data submitted by users.
3) A Task Processor can be defined directly on a server.
1) The size of the company
2) The number of users within the administrator's database network
[To increase the efficiency of distributing and sharing data, Financial Analyzer processes all tasks using the Task Processor and tracks them using the Task queue.]
- Information you can obtain from the Task queue
- For each task, the Task queue displays the following information:
- The user who initiated the task
- The task type (such as "Distribution")
- Whether the task is pending or has been processed
- When the task was submitted for processing
- If pending, when the task is scheduled to be processed
- If pending, the task's position (priority) in the queue
- If processed, the elapsed time.
- If processed, when processing was completed
1) DBA -- An administrator who has access to a personal and shared database and to the set of features that are available in the Administrator workstation. On the web, DBA users access data from the shared database
2) Budget -- A user who has access to a personal database and to the set of features that are available in the Budget workstation. For a budget user who will access Financial Analyzer through the Windows client, you can create a budget user as thin- or thick client. On the web, budget users access data from the shared database.
3) Analyst -- A user who has access to a temporary personal database and to the set of features that are available in the Analyst workstation. For a Windows client, an analyst user's personal database must be connected to the same instance of Express Server that is connected to the shared database.
4) External -- A user who has access to the shared database of his or her administrator and to a set of features that are available through the Financial Analyzer Web interface, through the Express Spreadsheet Add-In, or through a custom application that accesses the Financial Analyzer shared database.
- Operating system -- Choose this option to select users who will access Financial Analyzer through the Windows client. You can also use this option to select web users who will not use Oracle Applications to access Financial Analyzer.
- Oracle Applications -- Choose this option to select web users who will use Oracle Applications to access Financial Analyzer through a single sign-on.
For Windows client users and web users who will not use Oracle Applications to access Financial Analyzer, you also have the option to manually type in a user name.
Controlling Access to Shared Data
Data access restrictions: As an administrator, you are responsible for controlling read and write access to the shared database on your level in the tiered structure. By default, users have both read and write access to data in the shared database. When appropriate, you can prevent one or more users from writing to a particular slice of data to which they would otherwise have access.
Write access profile: A write access profile enables you to select a slice of data and prevent specific users or all users who have access to that data from contributing data to the shared database for values of the slice.
When you restrict users' write access to data, you prevent them from writing new data values to the dimensions in the shared database; you do not restrict the users' ability to view that data or to work with it in reports, graphs, worksheets, or data entry forms.
Following are some of the ways in which you might want to restrict access to data for a financial data item.
1) Preventing all users from accessing values of one dimension; you can deny access to one or more values of a single dimension. For example, if you want to prevent all users from changing Actuals data in the shared database for the month of June, you can deny write access to the June value of the Time dimension for the financial data item. This action denies all users write access to the June Time dimension value and to any Actuals data dimensioned by June.
2) Preventing all users from accessing a combination of values of two or more dimensions; you can deny write access to one or more values of two or more dimensions. For example, if you want to prevent all users from changing Actuals data for the organizations London, Chicago, and New York for the month of November, you can deny write access to the London, Chicago, and New York values of the Organization dimension and to the November value of the Time dimension. This action denies all users write access to those dimension values and to any Actuals data dimensioned by those values.
3) Preventing specific users from accessing dimensions
You can deny write access to one or more users. For example, you might deny write access to Actuals to users who are entering data into data entry forms over the web. This will prevent the users from overwriting data cells for Actuals.
Financial Analyzer allows you to design your own reports. In addition, you can create two special types of reports:
1) Asymmetric report -- Combines the values of two dimensions, or the values of a dimension and a financial data item
2) Ranking/Exception report -- Identifies values meeting specific exception criteria, ranking criteria, or both exception and ranking criteria
1) Ranking report -- Displays data in an order that meets a set of criteria that you specify. For example, you might rank products by volume within a market area and time period.
2) Exception report -- Displays data associated with dimension values that meet cutoff values within parameters that you specify. For example, you might display expense items for which variance is greater than 10% within a cost center and time period.
3) Ranking-then-exception report -- Displays data in an order that meets a set of criteria that you specify, then displays a subset of the ranked data that meet cutoff values within parameters that you specify. For example, you might rank the top 100 products by volume for a year in the U.S. and then display a ranked subset of those products for which sales exceeded $1.5 million in the U.S. for the year.
4) Exception-then-ranking report -- Displays data associated with dimension values that meet cutoff values within parameters that you specify in an order that meets criteria that you specify. For example, you might display products for which sales exceeded $1.5 million in the U.S. for the second quarter and rank the top five of these products by volume change from year ago in the U.S. for the second quarter.
- Enter new financial data into your database
- Make changes to existing data
- Drill through levels of data
- Perform calculations such as growing, spreading, and increasing data
Since worksheets enable you to enter, drill down, and perform calculations on data, they are essential for developing budgets, forecasts, and what-if analyses.
Data entry forms support Web-based data collection. An authorized user who has a browser can use a data entry form to accomplish the following tasks:
- Enter new data into the shared database
- Make changes to existing data in the shared database
- Calculate summary data based on data that is newly entered
Data entry forms are designed for controlled data collection. Although users can enter data and run predefined calculations, they cannot use the forms to develop budgets, forecasts, and what-if analyses.
Data entry form workflow: An administrator creates a data entry form on an Administrator workstation in the Windows client and distributes the forms to the appropriate users. The administrator can distribute data entry forms to any type of user: administrator, budget, analyst, and external.
A user accesses the data entry form through the Web interface. He or she opens the form and enters or modifies data.
When data entry is complete, the user submits the data to the shared database. If a solve definition has been associated with one or more financial data items in the form, the data is recalculated.
When a user views the data entry form through the Web interface, locked cells will be displayed in gray.
- Are objects that you create and name expressly for the purpose of grouping your documents so that you can work with them more efficiently
- Enable you to organize documents logically, which means that you have complete control over the way in which your documents are arranged in each folder
For example, you might always want to print a certain group of documents together at the end of the month. You can group these documents together in a folder, so that you can print them together whenever you need to. You can also choose the order in which the documents in a folder are printed.
1- Express Server, including Oracle Express Web Agent. The following configuration options must be selected in Express Configuration Manager:
- The WebAuthenticationType property on the Web Agent tab must be set to FORM.
- The RequirePasswordEncryption property on the Security tab must be set to NO and the RequiredSecurityLevel property must be set to HOST or NONE.
2- A supported Web server such as Apache.
Browser requirements: Users must have an appropriate browser installed on the PC. For information about browser requirements, refer to the release notes for Oracle Express Web Agent.
You can define programs that perform the following tasks:
1- Load values into dimensions and related dimension metadata objects
2- Load information to structure hierarchies and attributes
3- Load data into financial data items