What's New in proCube

proCube takes a quantum leap in performance and usability. It delivers more than twice the performance and supports more data points than previous proCube releases. Administrators and power users can now work from proCube Management Studio to administer servers and design slices from multiple databases. And through this new interface or from Excel, all users can instantly generate immense or complex queries.

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Figure 1.    proCube Management Studio

New to proCube 

proCube updates include increased querying performance, a new user interface, and ribbon integration for Excel 2007.

Increased memory allocation and querying performance

proCube's 64-bit architecture was developed on Windows x64 platform to take advantage of significant gains in memory access (2 terabytes running Windows 2008 Enterprise Server for 64-bit versus 4 GB for 32-bit). But significantly increasing proCube's memory wasn’t enough – the actual memory allocation also got an overhaul. When performing queries, proCube now takes memory from working space, and when finished, proCube returns the memory to make it available for the next query. Unless you’re running Amazon.com-type data, you simply can’t run out of memory.

When running large data sets, the proCube query engine focuses on the areas with data and suppresses the areas that don’t have data, i.e., areas that contain zero data. This optimized query engine lets you apply multiple stacked dimensions that answer business questions much faster and with more intelligence, and it obsoletes any problems associated with scalability.  proCube gives users the ability to create new and exciting relational-style views within a multi-dimensional database thus enabling them to view data across multiple, stacked dimensions within a single report.

The New proCube Management Studio

proCube Management Studio combines two separate applications in one. Now you can simultaneously manage your servers, connect to multiple databases, create slices, and browse your data all within a single interface.

proCube Management Studio incorporates these new features:

  • Direct server access – server administration is built into proCube Management Studio. When you log on to a server, that server displays in the Server View column, and you can open your database and cubes from the same interface where you browse data.

  • The Ribbon - a visual representation of commands that enables you to quickly find the features that you need. The Ribbon replaces traditional menus and toolbars, and represents a new and more efficient way to get your work done.

  • Multiple slice display – slices are displayed from one database or from several. Each displayed slice gets a color-coded tab that can be clicked to display its data in the browser or be clicked to close it. At the far right of the slice browser, click to open a pull-down menu that gives you access to that cube’s slices. Here you can change focus to another slice view.

  • Infinite data – proCube Management Studio’s data browser has been optimized to support an infinite number of data points.  For example, we designed a slice that returned over a billion records in less than one minute!

  • Constraining areas with zeros – show/hide rows and/or columns that contain zeros or do not contain data.  This lets you display only the data relevant to your business questions.

  • Apply grid numbers – label rows and columns with grid numbers to make data easier to interpret and values easier to reference.

  • Member data – A new Count column for the Page, Column, and Row dimension views shows the number of members in each dimension. A new Calc column lets you know when your slice data is out of sync with your selected dimensions.

  • Zoom – enlarge rows/columns to make your data easier to read. Zoom dynamically or zoom by selecting preset values. 

  • Log views – examine the behind-the-scenes machinations of a slice in an easy-to-scan file.

  • Style – change the “look and feel” of proCube Management Studio using various Windows-based styles.

Excel 2007 and Excel 2010 support

proCube now supports both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Excel 2010. proCube also integrates its commands into the Excel 2007 and Excel 2010 Ribbon interface. All of the commands from the previous version of proCube are included — the Ribbon integration makes those commands easier to access within Excel.

Using proCube's new features

This section illustrates and describes how to use proCube Management Studio’s new design and functionality.

New Ribbon User Interface

Menus and toolbars are replaced with the Ribbon, which is part of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface. The Ribbon helps you quickly find the commands that you need to complete a task. Commands are organized in logical groups, which are collected together under tabs. Each tab relates to a type of activity, such as working with slices. To reduce clutter, some tabs are shown only when needed. The Ribbon is also featured in Excel 2007/2010.

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Figure 2.    proCube Management Studio’s Ribbon commands

If you prefer your commands to appear on a toolbar that you can click for immediate action, you can customize the Quick Access Toolbar. Adding commands to the Quick Access Toolbar (shown in Figure 2. just below the Ribbon) gives you quick and easy access to commonly used functions in both proCube Management Studio and Excel.

Using Server View

Server View (as shown in Figure 3.) lets you add and manage a server. Here you navigate through servers you have access to, and the databases under those servers.  Under each server/instance, you’ll find nodes for your defined data: Cubes, Dimensions, and Slices.

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Figure 3.    Server View

Adding a Server

From the Server View, click the Server button, and select Add Server as shown in Figure 4. The Add Server Dialog opens. Enter a valid server name (e.g., server1\inst2) and click Add to add that server to the list. Click OKto close the dialog. Your server appears in the Server View (click the Server View’s Refresh button if needed).

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Figure 4.    Server View – Add Server and Connect to Database

Navigating within Server View

The top node of Server View is the Servers node. Expanding that node displays your available servers. Expanding a server node displays the databases that have been added to that server.  Since there is one database per server (as recommended by proCube), you can connect to the database by right-clicking on the server or on the database and then selecting Connect to Database, as shown in Figure 4. If your database is secure and your client has automatic authentication enabled, you will connect directly to your database; otherwise you will be prompted to enter your login credentials.

Browsing and working with slices, dimensions, and member data

You browse, display, and work with data from the Server View employing these methods:

  • Expand the Cubes’ node, highlight a cube, right-click, and select Browse. This creates a new slice using the default dimensions for Page, Columns, and Rows defined for that cube. The dimensions can be arranged to display exactly the data you desire. You can save your slice by naming it – a saved slice appears under the Slices node as shown in Figure 5. Dimensions and Slices in a Cube.

  • Expand the Dimensions’ node to display the dimensions defined for all cubes under that database. Double-click a dimension to open the Dimensions dialog where you can work with any of the dimensions saved under that database (assuming that you have security rights for this).

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Figure 5.    Dimensions and Slices in a Cube

  • Expand the Slices’ node to display all of the slices defined for a database. Slices appear under two separate Slices nodes: under a specific Cube and under the Slices common to the database. Dimensions also appear in a similar manner under a specific Cube and under the Dimensions node common to the database as shown in Figure 5. Double-click a slice to open it and display the dimension views for Page, Columns, and Rows plus the actual data for that slice as shown in Figure 6.

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Figure 6.    Dimension Views and Slice Data

proCube Management Studio’s default calculation mode is set to manual. To populate slices with data, click Calculate or press F9.  To change the calculation mode to automatic, refer to Setting proCube Options.

  • Member data – A new Calc column for the Page, Column, and Row dimension views displays an asterisk (*) when one of its dimensions has changed and is no longer in sync with the currently displayed slice's data (this holds true if proCube is set to manual calculation - automatic calculation will update the slice). Simply recalculate the slice to display the new data in accordance with the changed dimension. A new Count column for the Page, Column, and Row dimension views shows the number of members in each listed dimension. If the dimension count changes, the member selection updates automatically.

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Figure 7.    Member Data – Page Dimension

Working with tabbed slice displays

Once you select and display a slice, you’ll notice that above each slice’s data is a tab. These tabs make it easy to manage multiple slices and click back and forth between them. A slice tab has a fixed labeling format:Cube:Slice name (e.g., Margin:Margin Account). Slice tabs are automatically color coded when more than one slice tab displays as shown in Figure 8. The menu to the far right displays the current slices and provides another way to open and select those slices.

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Figure 8.    Tabbed Slices

proCube Management Studio can display slices from multiple databases simultaneously. There are slices displayed from different cubes as shown in Figure 8.

Viewing Data in Slices

proCube Management Studio includes new functionality to help you to better view your slice data. These new tools appear on the Report ribbon.

Tool

Name

Description

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Zeros Display

Display only the relevant data to your business questions by constraining data that contains zeros. This new functionality lets you show rows and/or columns that contain zeros or show/hide all zeros within the slice.

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Preview

Toggle on/off the Page, Column, and Row dimension views to create additional space to display slice data.

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Grid Numbers

Label rows, columns and grids with numbers to make data easier to interpret and values easier to reference.

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Zooming data

Decrease the data area’s view by 10 times or increase it by four times. Zoom dynamically using the slider bar or zoom using preset values by selecting them from the pull-down.

Setting proCube Options

Click the large, orange proCube button in the upper left-hand corner of the application (refer to Figure 2. proCube Management Studio’s Ribbon commands) to open the Options dialog. From this dialog you can set different proCube options, such as preferences, format, and licensing. You can set automatic calculation mode, which saves you from having to press F9 after opening or changing a slice, and automatic authentication of the database, a setting that expedites logging into a database.

Toggling Displays

Several views in the new proCube Management Studio can be turned on or off. For example, you can turn off the Server View to increase the area where you display slice data. Open the Database > Home ribbon to access toggles for the display of these views.

Tool

Description

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Toggles on/off the status bar display in the lower, right-hand corner of the current server name and database.

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Toggles on/off the Server View. This view contains the available servers, the ability to navigate to/within them, and the ability to select cubes, slices, and dimensions for viewing and processing.

logviewtoggle.png
 

Toggles on/off an account of the import, export, and error reports for the workstation.

Configuring Style

Change the look and feel of proCube Management Studio. Choose from Windows 2000, Office XP, Windows XP, and multiple Office 2007 variations, among others.

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Figure 9.    Style Drop-down

In the upper-right hand corner of proCube Management Studio, click Style to open the pull-down menu containing these different options. Selecting a style applies that style to proCube Management Studio.

proCube Ribbon integrated into Excel 2007 and Excel 2010

The proCube ribbon interface is integrated within Excel 2007 and Excel 2010 to provide proCube functionality to Excel users as shown in Figure 10. The Ribbon can be minimized as needed.

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Figure 10.           proCube Ribbon in Excel 2007/2010

The table below identifies the function accessed by each ribbon command.

Ribbon Commands

Name

Description

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Slice Wizard

Helps you to create reports directly within Excel through an easy-to-use Wizard. This Wizard connects you directly to a cube and its data.

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Cube Wizard

Enables you to select a cube for your Excel report.

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Member Wizard

Allows you to select and configure members for the Excel report.

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Drill Through

Allows you to see the source of an Aggregate data value as the proCube intersection of dimensions. If you are using Xchange, it will also allow you to see the relational source of data.

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Expand Children

Enables you to drill down to the children of a parent hierarchical member from within an Excel report. Available for OLAPTable only.

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Collapse Children

Enables you to drill down to the children of a parent hierarchical member from within an Excel report.

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Spread Across

Spreads values across multiple cells based on an entered amount or a value from a cell in the spreadsheet. Data is written back to the cube.

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Launch proCube

Launches proCube Management Studio (assuming it is installed on your workstation).

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About

Opens a dialog listing proCube version information.

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Automatic Excel Calculation

Automatic calculation mode automatically recalculates all open workbooks each time a change is made and whenever a new workbook is opened. Select to activate this automatic mode. If deselected, Manual calculation mode is active. Excel will only recalculate the ACTIVE worksheet when you press F9 or CTRL+ALT+F9, or when you save a workbook. For large worksheets with multiple selections, it is advisable to use Manual calculation mode.

 

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