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What Good are Selection Steps? Aren’t they just filters?

When I first saw selection steps in OBIEE 11g, I thought what are these for? I started playing with them and found some nice uses for them, which can save development time and deliver results easier than what was required in OBIEE 10g.

Let’s take an example of where I want to look at 3 years of information which is based on top products (> $1,000,000) for 2008; so that, I can see how these products are doing in recent years. I want to achieve results like the following:


Let’s look at how we can accomplish this using OBIEE 10g. I don’t have a 10g environment that looks at the same data set; so, I will use the 11g environment and go through what would be done in 10g to achieve the same results.

So, my first step would be to find the list of Products from 2008 that meet the $1,000,000 mark. So, creating a report with the appropriate filters will return the product list I need.


Sure enough, I get the same 6 products as displayed in the result set I am trying to obtain.


I will just save that report as “Top Selling Product List for 2008”.

Now, I need to get my 3 years of data by Product for this same list of Products. So, I start by creating a new report and filtering for the 3 years I want.


Verifying the results


Now I need to filter my new report using the product list by adding a filter based on the results of the first report.



Checking the results with this new filtering applied, we see we get the results we are trying to achieve.


So, we are able to achieve the results we want using a 10g reporting approach which requires multiple reports and special filtering.

Now, let’s see if “Selection Steps” makes the process simpler for us and if we are still able to achieve the same results.

Again we start with a new report and filter for the 3 years of information we want.


As before, we see we get the full list of products for the 3 years.


Now we will add a selection step instead of changing the report filters in the criteria tab. We select to add a New Step under Products and choose the “Apply a Condition” option.


We define the properties of our new step to match the requirements we were initially provided; you can see the properties we selected in the highlighted areas.


Clicking “OK” to accept our new step, we see we obtain the exact results we are trying to achieve.


Through the use of selection steps, we were able to create a somewhat complex 10g report simpler and faster in 11g.

As you probably noticed, there were 2 other options available to us when we decided to use selection steps which makes this an even more versatile tool in our report development.

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    What Good are Selection Steps? Aren’t they just filters? - Oracle BI Blog - Business Intelligence Consulting Group
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    What Good are Selection Steps? Aren’t they just filters? - Oracle BI Blog - Business Intelligence Consulting Group
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    What Good are Selection Steps? Aren’t they just filters? - Oracle BI Blog - Business Intelligence Consulting Group

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