If you know SQL, creating a request is kind of like creating a SQL statement. However, you are not directly writing the SQL statement. Instead, you use a graphical tool to drag and drop items, and optionally enter the format information as properties of the request. A SQL statement and the formatting codes will be generated for you.
Here are some actions which you can perform for building a request:
- Add columns to a request
- Reorder the display orders of these columns
- Specify the filter criteria for each column
- Specify the sort order in which the results will be returned by one ore more columns
- Format the column value or heading for the results
- Preview the result
- Save the request after you are done
It is very powerful and very intuitive.
You can also create a request to build a Pivot table. The request is then far more then just a SQL statement. You can drag and drop the object to build the pivot table, exactly like you build a pivot table in Excel, if OBIEE is not easier.
A request can also include a chart. You can choose all different chart types and specify the chart properties in Siebel Answers.