Now that you have designed reports containing filters and limits, you can better understand how a report is generated. The following table describes the steps to execute a report.
These four steps are the data definition section of the report execution. The data definition establishes how the data is accessed and manipulated in the data warehouse. Up to this point, this chapter has discussed data definition and the functionality that creates it.
The other functions noted in step 4 comprise the view definition, which represents how the data is viewed and manipulated in the Intelligence Server. The remainder of this is concerned with manipulating the final report data set generated in step 3.
Data definition and view definition objects
The following tables are samples of the information stored in the data definition and the view definition.
Report designers are generally concerned with data definition while report creators usually focus on view definition. Report designers work on the details of reports to create a context or environment for the report creators to work in. This environment allows report creators to work within defined limits, ensuring that only reasonable queries are submitted to the database. Reasonable means that irrelevant data setscannot be created, nor can huge amounts of data be retrieved from the warehouse. This designer-versus-creator convention allows a group of report designers to be trained about more advanced report functions while report creators can manipulate reports without needing to understand the report execution details. Through privileges, you can assign different levels of functionality to different users.
The Intelligent Cube takes advantage of the separation of the data definition and the view definition. The cube is a shared copy of the report data saved in memory and is used for manipulation of the view definition. The division allows multiple reports with different views to share a common data definition. This division allows the Analytical Engine to perform highly interactive analysis against a set of data without accessing the data warehouse. In practical terms, you can modify reports and navigate through the data without leaving the executed report or waiting for an additional execution against the data warehouse.
The following diagram represents the Intelligent Cube, different views that can use the Intelligent Cube, and its underlying report cache.
The report view is an in-memory representation of the current view of a report, based on the view definition of that report. Each user running the same report has a unique report view on the Intelligence Server. Manipulating the report views is done after the report has been executed and uses Intelligent Cube technology. Intelligent Cubes are automatically instantiated whenever a report is executed; you do not have to manually create Intelligent Cubes.
The MicroStrategy Intelligence Server leverages the Intelligent Cube technology for in-memory report manipulation, such as formatting and sorting. You can exploit Intelligent Cubes when you design reports by allowing report creators to use Intelligent Cubes when they manipulate the view definition of reports.
For the purposes of MicroStrategy, the data definition is equivalent to the intelligent cube.
The report cache is created by an Intelligence Server schedule based on the data definition and the caching properties of the report. It contains pre-processed report data and is stored on disk. The Intelligent Cube is identical to the report cache but is stored in the Intelligence Server memory. However, the Intelligence Server uses sophisticated memory management rules to decide if and when to move an Intelligent Cube to disk.
The Analytical Engine has been enhanced to use Intelligent Cubes to allow manipulation of the data displayed in the report view.
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