One of the Features in Web Intelligence 3.x and 4.x version for filtering and interacting on report data elements in the report is Input Controls. In this session, let’s look into the available Input Controls and how they operate.
In short, Input Controls are HTML Elements such as Radio Box, List Box, Combo Box and so on which can be associated with an object(s) to populate a selection list which, when users select value(s), can be passed as filters to other report elements such as tables, charts, sections, reports, etc. as dependents of this Input Control to display values related to selected items only. Input Controls in combination with Report Element Linking, form a great combination of tool sets to create Hybrid Dashboards using Web Intelligence Reports.
As shown in the figure, we have Input Controls namely, Entry Field, Combo Box, Radio Buttons, List Box, Calendar, Spinner, Simple Slider and Multiple value Input Controls namely Check Box, List Box, Double Slider.
From the Left Pane of the Report Design Mode, we can select Input Controls Section and click on New Button or from Analysis Tab and Filters Sub Tab – Input Controls List we can select an Input Control of choice to create a new Filter. We can also right-click on a Report Element such as a table and from Filter Menu select Filter by a New Input Control to start the Input Control Creation Dialog boxes from the context menu.
We can give a name, description, list of values, default values, condition to satisfy for the value in comparison from the Report Element such as tables or charts and assign which Report Elements are subject to this filter for interactivity and display from the report. Numeric Values can also be used for filtering for desired Measured objects using Input Controls such as Entry Field, Spinner, Simple Slider and Double Slider other than the usual Dimensions. We can create one or more Input Controls in a report and also sort them as per our priority so that most used Input Controls appear first. The RESET button allows us to reset values to the original default values.
The snapshot below shows sample Input Control Elements which can use to filter data in tables, charts and other report elements:
On the left hand side, we see samples for Single Value Selectors such as Combo Box, List Box, Radio Buttons typically used to Filter Dimension objects. For corresponding Measures, we can use Entry Field, Simple Slider and Spinner. In the Center, we see multiple value selectors such as Check Box, List Box for Dimensions and Range selection for Measure values using Double Slider. Finally, on the Right Side, is a sample of Calendar Input Control which can be used to assign a Date Object and use the Calendar to select Begin and End Date to filter the values in the table for that selected Date Range as shown in the table below the calender.
We also have Tree List Input Control which can be used for Hierarchical Cube Data based objects which typically would come from SAP BW Info Providers. In short, Input Controls are great tools to allow additional filtering on the data which is retrieved and saved at the report level. They typically would appear on the left pane of the report panel in the Input Control Section. We can have multiple Input Controls in a report covering multiple Report Elements. In combination with Report Element Linking which we will look into in more detail in the next section we can build comprehensive Hybrid Dashboards using Web Intelligence Reporting Tool.