Monday, December 13, 2010

Column Selector feature in OBIEE and Qlikview

Hi,
In one of the projects, there was a requirement to have column selector. There should be some fixed columns in a report and some columns which the user should be able to change by simply selecting the column from a list and not going to the design mode or ad hoc mode.
Here we will see how we did it in OBIEE using the column selector feature and how we can do it in Qlikview.

Lets first create a simple request in OBIEE Answers as shown below. I have selected two dimension column and a fact column here. Click on Add view and from the list select Column Selector.















Now you will see the columns you have selected in column selector mode as shown below.














Select the check box below column 1 and click on the columns from the list of columns available in the left. Similarly do it for column 2 by clicking on the check box and selecting columns. Uncheck the check box which says" Automatically refresh when a new column is selected". Click on OK and you will see the column selector present in your compound layout.














Now you can check by selecting different columns and clicking on Go button to see that the columns in the reports gets changed.
You can also have some columns fixed and some columns changeable. To do so, create a dummy column "None" and make it hidden in the column properties as shown below.














Now go to the Column selector view and select the columns you would like to see in the list as shown below.














Click Ok and come to the compound layout and you will see only one column which is a fixed one. In the column selector, you will notice that None column is selected. When you select any other column from the column selector, the new column will get added to the report as shown below. If you again select 'None' column, it will again hide.















Isn't it a nice feature and very easy to use for end users and equally easy to develop.

Now we will try to implement the same feature in Qlikview and see to what level we succeed.
Create a simple report in Qliview again using 2 dim columns and one fact column.















Now lets create two Groups (Cyclic) and add the columns required in these groups as shown below.














Now, select these two newly created cyclic groups in the report as shown below.














Click Ok to see how it works. Just close to column headers, there will appear cyclic icons. When you click on this icon, the list of columns will appear and when selected the column will replace the existing column.














This is also very simple. But I did not find anything to make some columns fixed and some columns changable. I tried creating a dummy column and added that dummy column in cyclic group. But as the these groups are embedded in the report itself and not a seperate entity as in OBIEE, the dummy column when selected shown all blank rows as shown below.
















This would definitely not be acceptable to the users. So I tried to make a column hidden based on a condition but that made the cyclic icon hidden alongwith the column hence the user can not select any other column from that group.
You can hide any column based on certain condition as shown below but it did not served the purpose here.














I am not sure if there is some way to accomplish this but with out of the box features and not by writing some macros.
If anyone has any pointers, please do suggest.



Regards
Manohar Rana

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