What I miss in the Query as a Web Service (QaaWS) and Live Office query panels

I’ve been using Query as a Web Service (QaaWS) as the means to bring live data into executive dashboards. Sometimes, I get frustrated by features that I appreciate in the Web Intelligence query panel that are missing from QaaWS. The Query as a Web Service user guide documents several limitations with the QaaWS query panel.

  • Multi-cubes cannot be used
  • Combined queries and subqueries cannot be used
  • IndexAware prompts are not implemented

And although it isn’t explicitly mentioned, developers will quickly notice that:

  • There is no View SQL button in the QaaWS query panel

Because of the query limitations, it has often been necessary for me to add a derived table to my universe to achieve the SQL that I’m looking for. Today, I discovered yet another limitation:

  • Query filters cannot use universe objects as operands

The QaaWS Query Panel:

 

Query Panel Query as a Web Service (QaaWS)The Live Office query panel, although it is visually different from the QaaWS query panel (different development team?), is functionally identical. There are buttons for sorting and ranking, but combined queries, subqueries, and view SQL are nowhere to be found. And as with the QaaWS query panel, it is NOT currently possible to build a query filter that uses a universe object as an operand. (The screenshot below shows the three supported options: constant, list of values, and prompt).

Query Panel Live Office

Although I’ve focused on design time limitations in this post, it’s worth noting at run time that neither product currently supports object restrictions (restriction sets) defined in Designer.

Clearly, QaaWS and Live Office have similar capabilities and similar deficiencies as compared to the Web Intelligence query panel. Although the QaaWS application has been redesigned in XI 3.1, it does not contain any new query functionality compared to previous versions. It appears that we’ll have to wait longer (XI 3.2? XI 4.0?) for the query functionality gap with Web Intelligence to be closed.

For now, I’m grateful for derived tables in the universe. However, I sometimes feel that I am doing “unnatural” things to the universe that I wouldn’t have to do if these query panels had the functionality I’m accustomed to in Web Intelligence. Fortunately, the only “user” of the universe is our QaaWS-enabled Xcelsius dashboards – there are no “real” users of Web Intelligence.

Do you have similar experiences with Xcelsius + QaaWS? Feel free to post your experiences and clever solutions.