Understanding Stratum.Viewer

Stratum Under CoversThis is the fourth and last in a series of blog entries where I have been discussing the four main integrated components of Stratum. I have covered Stratum.ServerStratum.Planner and Stratum.Connector. Today I will discuss Stratum.Viewer.

Stratum.Viewer is an HTML web client that serves end users wishing to access and analyze the data stored in the Microsoft Analysis Services OLAP cube generated by Stratum.Connector.  Stratum.Viewer is installed on a Windows server and as part of the installation process we create a Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) website that utilizes Windows Authentication to secure access to Viewer.

Once a user connects to the Stratum.Viewer website they can either run existing Views or create new Views depending on their level of access. When creating new or modifying existing Views users connect to the Stratum.Viewer Meta data tables in SQL Server using the SQL Server Native Client. When a user runs a View, Stratum.Viewer generates a multi-dimensional expression (MDX) that accesses the Analysis Services cube generated by Stratum.Connector to retrieve the requested data.

There are four levels of user access in Stratum.Viewer: Casual, Advanced, View administrator and Security administrators. Casual users have access to basic View features such as running Views, drilling-down, editing pre-defined sorts and filters, exporting data to Excel and saving modified Views as their own personal Views. Advanced users can edit/add dimensions and measure items to existing Views, add charts and conditional formats, create user lists, etc.

In addition to Casual and Advanced functionality, the View Administrators can create new Views, set up View and User Profile Groups, as well as assign users to existing groups and security roles. Security Administrators have the added functionality of creating new users, new security roles and enabling updates for measures to support the advanced capabilities of the write-back features in Viewer.

Stratum.Viewer also integrates with Microsoft Sharepoint through the use of web part technology. Users can easily do a “save as web part” from any View they can access in Stratum.Viewer. That View web part can then be accessed and added to any web page in Sharepoint. Stratum.Portal Services provides a number of additional web parts beyond the View web part. These web parts can be installed directly into a Sharepoint folder and made available for use on any Sharepoint web page. The most recent release of Stratum.Viewer provides iPad users access to a subset of the full functionality available to Microsoft IE users.

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