How Business Objects WebIntelligence works
If you are new to the Business Objects product and webintelligence, first you need to understand the concept of the business intelligence system such as Business Objects, and you need to identify which layers of the system you go through to be able to create reports and deliver the data to your user.
The First Layer is the Connection
The Connection is the link you use to refer to the datasource you are trying to get the data from, and it's based on the vendor of your database, such as MS SQL SERVER, ORACLE, MYSQL. You create a connection over those datasources using any available kind of connections such as ODBC connections, JDBC, or Native connections, or some client connections your datasource provides (for example, Oracle client).
After you create the connection, you are ready to create the symantic layer over the datasource. Most of the work must be done at this layer, especially the joins. If there are any joins, outer, inner joins, to be done, you do it here, while you are mapping your business from the database to the semantic layer, based on your business need. Here you identify your joins, your columns, and the fields to be added to the semantic layer. If you do this stage correctly, you will not force your users who create reports using webI to modify the joins or the automatic generated select statement from the webintelligence.
If you use SAP BI as your sourcesystem, then you can simply select an infocube from the list of infocubes. In this case there is no need to create any universes as the schema is already defined in Infocube. Simply export that universe after selecting an Infocube. Then you can stsrt reporting on this universe.
WebIntelligence Design Mode
You use webintelligence (webi) to design and create reports based on an universe you have created previously in the semantic layer.
Based on some selection of fields, filters, and restrictions, the webi "webintelligence" generates a SQL select statement. You can modify this select statment, but it's not advanced. When you are sure of the data returned in the report, save this report to some report name at some folder in BOE (Business Objects Enterprise).
WebIntelligence Runtime Mode
After you create the report and save it, you run this report directly without making the same steps at the design mode. Just refresh the report and extract the updated data.
So now, I want to tell you that the most important stage is the semantic layer stage "creating the universe". Here you can do whatever joins you want to do, based on your business needs.
In this mode, if you want to change the table view of your report to a graphical view, it's very simple. On the left side of your webintelligence screen you will find a list of charts. Simply select one chart and drag and drop it into the report data area. It automatically converts your report report from Tabular view to Graphical view.