Visual BI Extensions – Providing a true hierarchical filter experience
Assuming you are using SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, then chances are high that you are using SAP BW or SAP HANA as a data source for your dashboarding and then you most likely will have to deal with hierarchies as part of your dashboard as well.
At one point your business users will most likely bring up the requirement to be able to filter based on a hierarchy definition the data in the dashboard, and that is when you will notice that Design Studio before release 1.6 does not really provide any hierarchical filtering options and that even with the Tree component in release 1.6 the hierarchical filtering options basic.
As part of the Visual BI Extensions we provide a Hierarchical Filter component since Design Studio release 1.4 already and I would like to give a short overview on the capabilities.
Above you can see a very simple hierarchy being displayed in our Hierarchical Filter component and you will notice a few items right away. The hierarchical filter component does provide the option to either choose specific members, or you can use the option to filter the hierarchy based on the selected levels or the leaf only. In addition you will notice the numbers in the brackets behind the node text, which indicate how many child nodes and how many child leafs are available – this can easily be switch on of off.
Above you can see the display for the tab Level for our sample hierarchy and you can see the user then has the choice to either select the actual members – nodes or leafs from the hierarchy, or the user can create a selection based on levels or even select the item Leaf and then the lowest levels in the hierarchy will be selected – regardless where in the hierarchy ( >> unbalanced hierarchy).
When selecting elements in the hierarchy, the filter dialog behaves like a typical hierarchical filter – meaning that when the user selects for example the entries US and Canada, then the parent node North America is automatically being selected as well.
Above is an example of our simple hierarchy, where the user used the “Leaf only” option, which then selects the lowest members in the hierarchy across the complete hierarchy.
In addition to the functionality above, the real “power” of the component is in the scripting options. The hierarchical filter provides scripting to
- retrieve the selected member with the internal / external key or text values
- retrieve the children based on the selected member with the internal / external key or text values
- retrieve the descendants based on the selected member with the internal / external key or text values
- retrieve the parents based on the selected member with the internal / external key or text values
- set the selected member using script
- set the hierarchy that is being used using script