4 steps to create a universe

4 steps to create a universe – the Information Design Tool, part 2

To continue our journey to create a universe full of data we will learn the steps to do this mission. The major steps in this process are:

  1. Create a new project in IDT (Information Design Tool).
  2. Create a connection between the HANA system and our project from IDT.
  3. Create a data foundation and a business layer.
  4. Publish to a repository.

First of all we have to define some basic terms that you have to know when handling universes and IDT.

  • Connection: defines how a universe connects to a relational or OLAP database. Local connections are stored as .CNX files, and secure connections are stored as .CNS files.
  • Data Foundation: a scheme that defines the relevant tables and joins from one or more relational databases. The designer enhances the data foundation with contexts, prompts, calculated columns and other SQL definitions. It can represent a basis for multiple business layers.
  • Business Layer: it represents the first draft of a universe. When the business layer is complete, it is compiled with the connections or connection shortcuts as well as data foundation. Then it is published and deployed as a universe.
  • Universe: the compiled file that includes all resources used in the definition of the metadata objects built in the design of the business layer.

Step 1: Create a new project in IDT

No matter if your plan to discover the universe is big or small, you need to have in mind a whole project. Technically speaking, the journey to a universe starts with a new project. We can create a new project opening IDT by opening IDT and then going to File -> New and selecting Project. The project will represent your box full of ideas, a workspace where you can build your universe brick by brick.

The bricks are represented by specific objects like data foundation or business layer.

How to create a project in IDT.

Figure 1: How to create a project in IDT.

 

Project is the house for resources used to build a universe. This project is used to manage the local objects for the universe creation.

In a project, you can have a multiple number of objects like data foundation, business layers, and data source connections etc.

Figure 2: How to create a project: enter name.

Figure 2: How to create a project: enter name.

 

We will enter the project name (in this case we use the name Test). Then we will set the project location in our workspace, too.

You also have the possibility to edit an existing project. You have to go on File -> Open Project Local Project area.

Another very interesting functionality in a project is represented by the locking resource – in this way you are able to inform other developers that you are working on the resource.

Step 2: Create a connection between the HANA system and our project from IDT .

Once the project is created, we have to assign a connection to be able to connect a data source.

This connection will define how the source system provides data. There are two types of connections: Relational or OLAP connection.

A Relational connection is used to connect to the database layer to import tables and joins.

An OLAP connection is used to connect to the multidimensional model like an Information View in SAP HANA.

How to create a project in IDT.

Figure 3: How to create a relational connection.

 

In order to create the connection, we have to enter the system details, the password and the user name.

After we have created the connection, we will test it and then we have to publish it to the repository to make it ready to use for our universe.

How to publish a connection.

Figure 4: How to publish a connection.

 

In order publish the connection, you have to provide the BO Connection Parameters (Repository, Username and Password).

Step 3: Create a data foundation and a business layer.

Once we have an available connection to the repository, we can proceed to create a data foundation for our universe. Data Foundation layer gives you the opportunity to import tables and joins from different relational databases.

In Information Design Tool, there are two types of Data Foundation: Single-source enabled or multi-source enabled.

Single-source Data Foundation supports a single relational connection. Single Source Data Foundation supports a local or a secured connection so the universe designed on this can be maintained locally or can be published to the repository.

How to create a Data Foundation.

Figure 5: How to create a Data Foundation.

 

Multi-source enabled Data Foundation supports one or more relational connections. Connections can be added when you design the Data Foundation or even later. Multi-source enabled Data Foundation is designed on secured connections published in a repository.

We have to define Data Foundation Technical Name and click on Next.

An interesting option in IDT is that you can create a universe on multiple sources. In the next screen, you can see a list of available connections to create the universe (both .cnx and .cns).

.cnx connection is used when we do not want to publish the universe to a central repository (can be used in local universe).

If you want to publish the universe to any repository (local or central), you have to use the .cns (secured) connection.

Once we set the finish button we will have a data foundation.

How does a Data Foundation look like?

Figure 6: How does a Data Foundation look like?

 

Congratulations, you are already half-way on your way to an own universe!

We have a project, a set connection and a data foundation so far. Now we need the other half of the universe, the Business Layer.

To do this, we have to go in the project menu, new and select Business Layer. Here we have to select the connection and also the Data Foundation on which we want to create the Business Layer.

How to create a Business Layer.

Figure 7: How to create a Business Layer.

 

Business Layer contains all classes and objects. You can also check dimensions and measures that are defined in a universe. When you publish the business layer in the repository, this shows the completion of a universe creation.

Once you created the business layer, you have to decide which fields need to work as dimensions (attributes / characteristics) and which fields functions as measures (Key Figures).

To give the universe a better layout, we can create folders for each dimension and one for Measures. Set by default option, measures are also treated as attributes.

Step 4: Publish to a repository.

Our journey to a universe full of data approaches the final step. We have all the elements and only just one click left to the finish line. After an integrity check we have to save and publish the universe to a repository.

How to publish the universe to a repository.

Figure 8: How to publish the universe to a repository.

This article is inspired by tutorials provided by Tutorials Point.

Author
Ionel-Calin Oltean Consultant SAP BI/BW
Phone: +49 (0) 7031 714 660 0
Email: cluj@inspiricon.de