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Author's profile photo Johannes Huhn

Best Practice: Leverage grid presentation of SAP Analytics Cloud’s table widget

Introduction

This blog post shows how SAP Analytics Cloud’s (SAC) table widget can be used to consume data in grids. Many customers use Microsoft Excel in their daily work and hence are familiar with grid layouts of data. Additionally, many users wish and rely on grids. That’s why, we decided to invest into this area and delivered the following improvements:

  1. Improvement of SAC’s table widget performance: We introduced the ‘optimized presentation table’ as the new default as of QRC 2021.3 and extended the functionality to show grids
  2. Provide more flexibility in story building to present data in a grid within SAC’s canvas (and responsive) pages. This allows story builders to use all features and functions of canvas (and responsive) pages

 

There are certain advantages of using SAC’s optimized presentation table in comparison to classic grid pages. The optimized presentation table benefits from several performance improvements such as faster loading in-cell charts and thresholds, smooth scrolling, improved linked analysis usage and much more. If your story still uses grid pages you might consider moving content to optimized presentation tables because end-users can benefit from previously mentioned performance improvements.

Additionally, we will leverage the whole canvas (& responsive) page capabilities. The usage of the table allows us to stick to either canvas pages or responsive pages. This enables us to make use of all available widgets in the story mode. Next to the table widget (that provides data in a grid presentation) we can have Charts, Images, Page Filters, Data Actions etc. on the same story page.

 

Steps to create table widget with grid presentation

  1. Create a canvas (or responsive) page and create a new table widget. Make sure to set filters and drill as preferred. We’ll use and continue using the example below.

Prerequisite: Make sure ‘Optimized Presentation‘ checkbox is opted. We can find this setting in the builder panel of each table widget.

  1. Activate show ‘Grid’ and ‘Column/Row Headers

 

  1. Drag the table to the size you want to fill the underlying canvas (or responsive) page. By clicking on plus/minus sign at the right border of the table widget we can easily add and adjust the number of columns. To add rows in the grid, we can make use of the same plus/minus sign at the bottom border of the table widget.

  1. Now we can leverage the grid to either easily copy paste values from the table to the grid or in this example we model calculations using the formula bar.

  1. Eventually, we can fill our canvas page with Charts, Page Filters, Data Actions etc. We can observe our table behaves like an embedded grid page within the canvas page. Thus, we can make use of the fully-fledged capabilities of the canvas mode. In the following screenshot, we added a few widgets to show explanatory how the table (with the associated grid) is integrated into the canvas page.

 

Some Feature Highlights

  • Fullscreen mode of table: The fullscreen mode of each table automatically expands the table. This is especially useful in case your end-users looking for a table that fits the whole screen and of course provide the grid presentation of data.

  • Adaptive column width: In the Table Structure definition of each tables builder panel we can opt ‘Adaptive Column Width’ on or off. In case we opt it out, users can easily adjust the column width and row height. This is very similar to what end-users know from Microsoft Excel.

 

Summary

As demonstrated, this blog post elaborates capabilities of SAC’s table widget. We took a closer glimpse on how to make tables look more like grids. Furthermore, we showed how grid pages can be remodeled to table widgets providing a similar look and feel in combination with features and functions delivered by canvas and responsive story pages.

 

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      2 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Richard Herrmann
      Richard Herrmann

      Thanks, Johannes, for the detailed insights on how to boost performance of an SAC application by using the table widget while not sacrificing the design of grids.

      Author's profile photo Elizabeth Shyrley
      Elizabeth Shyrley

      Johannes, I saw a good presentation on this theme. My friend did it with a very good source.