Dec 21 2011

Why Can’t I Validate Prompts?

Categories: Prompts, Rants Dave Rathbun @ 9:23 am

One of the possible enhancements we have been requesting for years is the ability to validate prompts. (We’ve also been looking for the ever-so-popular ability to use a formula such as “Today()” as a default for a prompt but this is different.) If we had true cascading prompts in Web Intelligence that would eliminate one use case for validated prompts but not all. I had someone comment on my blog recently asking about how to validate one prompt selection against another and that started me thinking… what would something like this look like if we did get it? Continue reading “Why Can’t I Validate Prompts?”


Aug 04 2010

Too Many Objects? Too Many Rows? Try Prompting For Level of Detail

Categories: Prompts, Universe Design Dave Rathbun @ 6:06 pm

A while back I was on a project where the users wanted to set up reports that initially displayed about six different dimension objects and a bunch of measures. They also wanted to have the flexibility of dragging a different set of dimension objects on the report and either adding to or replacing an existing dimension. The idea was good. The amount of data brought back was a problem. I was able to fix that with some interesting prompt objects in the universe.

The Problem Definition

For the example I will present in this post I will once again use my version of Island Resorts Marketing universe which I have converted to Oracle. I will create a report that initially shows the Resort and (for simplicity) a single measure (Revenue). The report will be designed to let the user drag on additional details like Service Line and Service. But I will design my objects in such a way that if the user doesn’t want to see the information at that level of detail they don’t incur the overhead (row count) simply because the object is present in the query. In order to accomplish this, I will prompt the user with a list that includes the tokens ‘Resort’, ‘Service Line’, and ‘Service.’ The user will select the lowest level of detail they expect to use on the report. In this particular example the selections are hierarchical, meaning that selecting ‘Service Line’ implies that the Resort data will also be present. There is another option ‘None’ that can be selected if they want to deactivate the entire list.

Note that XI 3.1 offers a new feature called Query Stripping (in service pack 3) that works for BW and other OLAP queries and does this process automatically. It is not (yet) available for relational databases. Continue reading “Too Many Objects? Too Many Rows? Try Prompting For Level of Detail”


Nov 01 2008

Designer XI 3 New Feature: Extended Prompt Syntax

Categories: 2008 GBN - Dallas, Prompts, Universe Design Dave Rathbun @ 7:44 am

The @Prompt() function has been around for a very long time. There have been subtle changes made to it over the years to support some of the new Web Intelligence extended options but they were not always documented. I don’t know about you, but I find using undocumented features a bit daunting. :)

Continue reading “Designer XI 3 New Feature: Extended Prompt Syntax”


Jul 21 2008

Using a “Magic Date” Value in Prompts

Categories: General, Prompts, Universe Design Dave Rathbun @ 7:21 am

In the first post on designing universe prompts I talked about the idea of having a default date value present in a prompt. In case you don’t want to read the entire post, here is the executive summary:

You can’t do it, sorry.

At the end of that post I mentioned something called a “magic date” that I frequently use in my universes to get past this limitation. That’s my subject for today.

Problem Definition

I have a date prompt in my universe. I would like to be able to provide a default value of today’s date. This would allow my users to click-n-go on the report without having to update the date value each time. It is also essential for scheduled reports, which is something I didn’t really touch on last time. When I schedule a report, I have to provide values for every prompt. I have a long series of posts on how to create some dynamic date objects that can be used for scheduling, but those were not prompts.

In a nutshell: I need a way to accept a prompt value and convert it to today’s date for user convenience and for scheduling. Can I make that happen?

Continue reading “Using a “Magic Date” Value in Prompts”


Jul 15 2008

How Can I Make “Today” My Default Prompt Value?

Categories: Prompts, Universe Design Dave Rathbun @ 11:18 pm

I have seen this question come up frequently on BOB lately. And if the question keeps coming up, it becomes an easy idea for a blog post. That way, once I document a concept or a solution I have somewhere consistent to link to. The short answer to the question, unfortunately, is no. But let’s investigate and explain a bit further than that, shall we?

Continue reading “How Can I Make “Today” My Default Prompt Value?”