Earlier this year I wrote a post on the BI plugin for Excel and PowerPoint and how it could help you use Sales Cloud data in presentations and spreadsheets without having to export data into a csv file and import it into excel.
Time to introduce the Smart View plugin now and how it can be used from within MS Office products. It can do more and can be used also in MS Word! Let me go into some of the details and then finish off this post on how to install it and connect it to Sales Cloud
Using Smart View in MS PowerPoint
Imagine scenarios where MS PowerPoint presentations are made as input for a recurring meeting. Instead of someone adding the latest figures in the presentation week after week, or month after month, just add the Sales Cloud table or graph into your presentation and all that is left to do is hit the refresh button to get the latest data from Sales Cloud.
Using Smart View in MS Word
You can get data from Sales Cloud directly into MS Word, or when combining MS Word with a Sales Cloud contact list in MS Excel, you can start using the MS Word mail merge functionality!
Using Smart View in MS Excel
Exporting Sales Cloud data into MS Excel is probably the most often asked requirement that fits the Smart View plugin. No need to export data into a csv file and import it into MS Excel. From now on you can open up your Sales Cloud report directly into Excel! Check out the example below.
Spoiler alert: you can even change and save new report in MS Excel, without having to access Sales Cloud!
How to get started
Let me guide you through the steps on how to download and install the plugin, and then connect to your Sales Cloud instance.
- Connect to Oracle Sales Cloud
- From the Navigator, choose ‘Reports & Analytics’ to access the BI Composer
- Click on the book icon to navigate to the from the simple BI Composer to the Analytics Homepage where more advanced BI solutions for Sales Cloud are available
- Click on the ‘Home’ option in the menu bar, and on the bottom left, under ‘Download BI Desktop Tools’, you can download the ‘Smart View for MS Office’ plugin
- Close all MS Office applications you are using, install the plugin and then we can start getting a connection going with Oracle Sales Cloud from within your preferred MS Office application. I will use MS Excel to show how to connect to Sales Cloud, but it works similarly for MS Word or MS PowerPoint
- Open the Smart View Panel and choose to navigate to Private Connections
- Create a new Connection of type Oracle BI EE
- Add the URL and confirm the URL by connecting using your Sales Cloud username and password. If successful, you will be prompted to save the connection under a name. Choose a meaningful name as you can off course create multiple connections, maybe one to the production instance and one to the test instance?
The URL should be in the following format https://xxxxxxx.bi.xxxx.oraclecloud.com/analytics/jbips where I simply tend to copy the URL from the place I download the Smart View plugin earlier and replace anything that came after ‘….analytics/….’ with ‘….analytics/jbips’
- To finish up the connection, let me quickly show how to navigate within Sales Cloud and open up your first excel spreadsheet:
- In the catalog on the right panel, navigate to the report you would like to use in MS Excel
- Find the View in the report, like a table view and use the ‘Insert as Excel Table’ on the bottom right
- The report structure and the report data gets pulled from Sales Cloud into MS Excel
- Use the menu bar options:
- ‘Refresh’ the data after changes were made in Sales Cloud
- ‘View Designer’ and ‘Publish View’ to change and save your report in MS Excel (add/remove columns/filters)
- Use the report prompts to filter the data
There are some interesting YouTube videos on how to use Smart View. Check them out here