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The central element in the Gantt chart customizing is the Gantt chart layout. It controls the whole look and feel of the Gantt chart in TM. It is referred by the page layout in the Gantt chart area. What are the components of a Gantt chart layout and how to set up your own Gantt chart layout? This blog post should guide you through the customizing activity “Define Layouts for Gantt Chart”.

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Let’s begin with the hierarchies. A hierarchy contains object which are then displayed in the same table (selection & chart panel). As the name already indicates it’s possible to combine some objects in a hierarchical manner. So it’s possible to show freight orders above assigned trailer units, trucks above coupled trailers or vice versa. On the hierarchy root you have to define the used field list for the hierarchy which controls all the columns. On the hierarchy levels you have to define the objects you want to display. The level attribute is used to determine a hierarchy.

Take for example the default customizing hierarchy “Truck with Trailer and Trailer (SAP_TRK_W_TRL_A_TRL)”. In this hierarchy the trucks and trailer are on the same level while trailers are also shown on the below level. The result looks as following: the table shows all selected trucks with the coupled trailers below and afterwards all selected trailers on top level. In the SAP default customizing “and” always indicates that objects are shown on the same level; “with” indicates a hierarchical relationship.

     

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After you created hierarchies you can use them for building views. Views should make it very easy for the planner to switch between different aspects of our transportation plan. Currently it’s possible to define views as single or dual view. A single view shows one hierarchy in the full area size whereby a dual view combines two hierarchies.

For a dual view you have to maintain whether the hierarchies should be displayed vertically besides or horizontally above each other. Furthermore you have to maintain two ratios for a dual view. On the view level the ratio which controls the size of the selection panel in comparison to the chart panel. On the view hierarchies a ratio how much space is consumed of which hierarchy have to get maintained for a dual view.

Finally you can create a Gantt chart layout. The Gantt chart layout consists of views and hierarchies. The views should contain all the perspectives the planner usually needs to reach frequently in a planning session. All the selected views will be available in the view drop down list in the Gantt chart to easily switch from one to another. Important to know is that all the hierarchies of the selected views will automatically be available in the hierarchy drop down list. The planner should be able to choose from all the hierarchies he can reach by views all the time. So you will not have to maintain all the hierarchies of your views again in the sub node hierarchies! There you can define additional hierarchies the planner will only need very rare and therefore doesn’t need to easily reach them.

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The layout root level contains some attributes which controlling the whole Gantt chart:

  • Initial view – The view which is displayed when enter the transportation cockpit initially
  • Color schemes for activities and documents – Referring to the color scheme customizing; these schemes control the color of all the activities and documents as well as the pattern used for different execution statuses
  • Color schemes for resources – Also referring to the color scheme customizing; this scheme control the color of non-working and downtimes as well as the colors for overlap, under- or overutilization notifications
  • Cursor line – Controls whether a vertical line is drawn at the cursor position (this can be changed during the planning session)
  • Current time – Controls whether a vertical dashed line is drawn at the current time (this can be changed during the planning session)
  • Synchronize Scrolling – Controls whether in dual views a horizontal scrolling (scrolling on the time axis) of one hierarchy should be synchronized to the second hierarchy
  • Utilization – Controls whether it’s possible to open the utilization charts at all in your Gantt chart
  • Zoom – Controls the initial zoom level. A common misunderstanding is that when you choose “1 day” the Gantt chart shows one day in total on the time axis. The time slot you choose in the customizing will control the time within two vertical lines. If you are interested at all your selected orders in the time horizon you can also choose “Automatic”. With this setting the Gantt chart will analyze all your selection and zoom for showing the begin of the first order and the end of the last order in the planning horizon

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