Introducing proCube Publisher

Introducing proCube™ Publisher

proCube™ Publisher gives you the ability to quickly and easily distribute “secure” electronic reports that display proCube data according to each recipient’s database security access level. When you provide Publisher with your report parameters, it automatically generates and distributes your reports to both the proCube and non-proCube users that you specify.

If your database is secured, Publisher applies the database security access levels pre-assigned in proCube to report recipients. As a result, when proCube users open up your report in proCube, their reports automatically populate with the data that they are authorized to see; and when non-proCube users open up your report, they will see a spreadsheet containing data to which they have been granted access.

Using Publisher, you can create a single report and distribute it to multiple recipients — and each recipient will what they are permitted to see. This automated report generation process eliminates the need for manual report generation and printed reports, saves you time and money, and allows your company to realize a higher return on your proCube investment.

Publisher's direct benefits

The many benefits of Publisher include:

  • Quickens and simplifies the creation and distribution of reports by automating the process, which frees staff to perform other critical tasks.

  • Protects sensitive corporate data by applying database security to the reports you create — while allowing you to specify the output format appropriate for each recipient.

  • Allows you to easily send reports to both proCube users and non-proCube users.

  • Enables you to set up a report once and then automate distribution (via Windows Task Scheduler) to the recipients you specify. And if you make changes to your source data after you set up a report, your reports will automatically reflect those data changes.

  • For notification and tracking purposes, lets users know that reports have been sent out and to whom.

Publisher's functions and features

The following figure summarizes the main processing that occurs in Publisher prior to actually distributing the resulting workbook. Each item in the figure is described in the following paragraphs.

PublisherMainScreen123.png

Figure 1.    Publisher - Main Processing Prior to Workbook Distribution

Looping Through Values

The first and main feature of Publisher is that it loops through values in proCube dimensions that you specify and issues report pages—Excel worksheets—for each combination of values. For instance, if you specify that the Salesperson dimension is to be looped through, then the equivalent of a proCube slice page will be generated for each salesperson and a corresponding worksheet generated, which is included in the published result. (You have the choice as to whether each salesperson’s worksheet becomes its own workbook, or if all salespeople's worksheets are compiled into a single workbook.)

Conditional Publishing

Publisher enables you to specify, in each workbook that will be published, a conditional cell. You use this cell to control what gets published. Here’s how it works:

  • Publisher loops through specified dimensions by retrieving the next set of page values. For instance, continuing the Salesperson scenario, it sets the dimension to John Smith. It then recalculates the entire workbook.

  • Publisher then examines the cell location you indicated as your conditional cell. If the value in the cell is TRUE (conditional cells contain either TRUE or FALSE), the current worksheet is included in the published report. If your workbook included multiple sheets that you flagged for inclusion, all are included.

  • The process repeats, looping through the next salesperson.

With this capability, you can do some powerful things:

  • Prevent certain sheets from being included in reports, such as those with only zeros.

  • Generate exception reports or alerts, such as sending out report pages when a Revenue value falls below a certain amount.

  • Publish pages for ONLY the months in the year-to-date, by setting the condition to compare the value in the Month dimension to the actual, current calendar month. For details on using this feature, refer t Selecting a conditional cell.

Macro  for  Pre-Processing

Publisher enables you to specify, in each workbook that will be published, an Excel macro that will be executed prior to publishing. You can use this capability to perform, for instance, formatting or other automation on the results of the workbook.

Your macro must not alter the structure of the sheet in such a way that the proCube functionality is interfered with, or the successive workbooks in the publishing process will fail as Publisher loops through more dimension values.

This type of open integration opportunity is often referred to as pre-processing or post-processing. From the perspective of the published results, the macro gives you an opportunity to accomplish some pre-processing. Whereas the conditional cell feature enables you to specify what gets published, the macro enables you to specify how it gets published. For details on using this feature, refer to Identifying a macro to execute.

Report Distribution Options

Reports are distributed by Publisher in a number of ways, depending upon your preferences:

  • E-mail it as Excel spreadsheet attachments (*.xls, *.html, or *.pdf files).

  • Send it to a server as *.xls or *.html files. If you use this option, you’ll want to use Publisher’s option to send notifications to recipients, via e-mails that include a link to the report location, indicating that the report is available for download.

  • Send it to a printer.

Prerequisites

Using Publisher assumes that you have a working knowledge of proCube features and functions. For detailed information about how to use proCube, refer to the proCube online help.

Sample database

The examples found in these topics are based on a database called “Acme Trading Company.olp.” and a spreadsheet called “ACME P&L.xls.” These files are provided in the Examples folder installed with your copy of Publisher.

Overview of the three-step Publisher process

There are three steps for publishing reports based on proCube spreadsheets:

  • Step 1: Mark up the spreadsheet. Indicate the dimensions in the Excel spreadsheet that will function as variables in the report generation (i.e., what data will be changing each time the report is generated), and then select the specific sheets in your workbook to include in the report. This process is described in Creating a Report markup.

  • Step 2: Configure a report template. Configure a report template that indicates what the report will look like and who will receive it. Go to Configuring a Report Template for more information.

  • Step 3: Launch the report. Launch the report or send it to the recipients. You also have the option of scheduling automatic report generation using Windows Task Scheduler. For more information, refer to Launching a Report and Scheduling Automatic Report Generation.

 

 

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