QAD BI Portal Designer > Visual Items > Creating Visual Items
  
Creating Visual Items
The following visual items can be created in the portal:
 
Grids
Forums
Charts
Gauges
 
Grids
The grid allows for a simple, straightforward arrangement of information in a sorted format. The columns within a grid are sortable, either ascending, descending, or nested sort.

Grid Designer
Follow these steps to design a grid:
1 Click New from the visual item toolbar.
2 The designer opens with the Grid item type selected.
3 Choose a grid style.
4 In the Query selection pane, click Browse. Navigate through the folders, select a query, and click Open. The information from the query populates the right pane.
Note: The General tab displays the name and a brief description of the query. The Security tab displays the security roles that can view and edit the query.

Query Folder
5 Click the Grid Columns header bar.
6 Select a measure’s check box to add it to the grid. Measures that are unselected do not appear on the grid.

Grid Columns
7 Click a measure and format the text using the following options:
 
Pattern
Font
Font color
Alignment
Font size
 
8 If desired, click the Actions header bar and link this grid to another visual item or report. For more information, see Linking Visual Items.
9 When finished, save the grid. See Saving an Item.
Charts
Charts allow the designer to display information in the following graphical options:
 
Column 2D
Pie 2D
Area 2D
Column 3D
Line
Doughnut 2D
Pie 3D
Bar 2D
Doughnut 3D

Chart Designer
Follow these steps to create a chart:
1 Click New from the visual item toolbar.
2 Select Chart from the list of visual items.
3 Choose a chart type.
4 Click the Query header bar and click Browse. Navigate through the folders, select a query, and click Open. The information from the query populates the right pane.
Note: The General tab displays the name and a brief description of the query. The Security tab displays the security roles that can view and edit the query.
5 Click the Chart Columns header bar.
6 Select the levels and measures to display in the chart. To remove a level or measure from the chart, unselect the check box.
Note: Levels represent dimensions and measures represent the facts in a query.
7 Click the Labels header bar and enter labels in the following fields:
Title
Appears above the chart.
Subtitle
Appears directly below the title.
X Axis Label
Appears along the horizontal axis.
Y Axis Label
Appears along the vertical axis.
8 Click Refresh Chart to see the titles and labels displayed on the chart.
9 Click the Options header bar. Select any of the formatting options:
Stacked (multiple measure). Displays different measures proportionally related to each other.
Scroll. Adds another scroll bar within the visual item when you have a significant range of data to display on a chart. This option only works on multi-measure 2D charts with more than one measure being displayed.
Show Value Labels. Displays the full value on the chart.
Abrv Value Labels. Displays an abbreviation of the value on the chart.
Decimal Display. Determines how many numbers are after a decimal point. Select 0 if you do not want to show the decimal point.
Glass effect (2D charts). Applies a glass effect to 2D charts.
10 If desired, click the Actions header bar and link this chart to another visual item or report. For more information, see Linking Visual Items.
11 When finished, save the chart. See Saving an Item.
Gauges
Gauges are a specialized form of visual item used to show some value compared to a target.

Gauge Designer
Follow these steps to create a gauge:
1 Click New from the visual item toolbar.
2 Select Gauge from the list of visual items.
3 Choose a gauge style.
4 Click the Query header bar and click Browse. Navigate through the folders, select a query, and click Open. The information from the query populates the right pane.
Note: The General tab displays the name and a brief description of the query. The Security tab displays the security roles that can view and edit the query.
5 Click the Gauge header bar.
6 From the Actual Value (from Query) drop-down list, choose a value to represent the gauge needle.
7 Choose between the two Range Value options for the gauge:
Range Values: Provided. Displays ranges based on percentages. Click and move the colored triangles on the color bar to adjust the ranges corresponding to the colors. Enter minimum and maximum values in the Min and Max fields.
Range Values: Use Query. Displays ranges based on values from the query. From the drop-down lists, choose the values of Minimum Value, Threshold 1 Value, Threshold 2 Value, and Maximum Value.
8 Choose the range colors that represent the values on the gauge. The range colors default to green, yellow, and red.
9 If desired, click the Actions header bar and link this gauge to another visual item or report. For more information, see Linking Visual Items.
10 When finished, save the gauge. See Saving an Item.
Heat Maps
Heat maps allow you to compare information displayed through size and color.

Heat Map Designer
Follow these steps to create a heat map:
1 Click New from the visual item toolbar.
2 Select Heat Map from the list of visual items.
3 Choose a heat map style. The styles provide options for the color value display:
Style 1. Small values are red and large values are green.
Style 2. Small values are green and large values are red.
4 Click the Query header bar and then click Browse. Navigate through the folders, select a query, and click Open. The information from the query populates the right pane.
Note: The General tab displays the name and a brief description of the query. The Security tab displays the security roles that can view and edit the query.
5 Click the Heat Map header bar.
6 Select the measures for the Size and Color drop-down lists:
Size. The selected measures appear in the Size Shows drop-down list.
Color. The selected measures appear in the Color Shows drop-down list.
7 If desired, click the Actions header bar and link this heat map to another visual item or report. For more information, see Linking Visual Items.
8 When finished, save the heat map. See Saving an Item.
Linking Visual Items
The Actions pane gives you the ability to link two visual items together so that the user can drill from one visual item to another item with more detailed information. Linking actions can be applied to grids, charts, gauges, and heat maps.
Follow these steps to add a linking action to a visual item:
1 In the visual item designer, click the Actions header bar and click Add New.

Visual Item Actions Pane
2 From the Action Type tab, select whether the user dills into a visual item or drills out to a report:
Drill In. Changes the viewer and adds breadcrumbs. The drill-in option is only available when linking two visual items together.
Drill Out. Opens a report in another window. The drill-out option is only available when linking a visual item to a report.

Visual Item Action Type
3 Choose the Action Binding tab and select how the visual items are linked:
No context (accessed via menu). Links the visual item by a menu.
Bound to selected item(s). Links the visual item by the selected items in the visual item; for instance, a section of a pie chart or a column in a grid. From the drop-down list, select the columns on the visual item that you want to link.

Visual Item Action Binding
4 Choose the Action Target Item tab to identify the link-to object; for example, a more detailed visual item or report that was previously created.

Visual Item Action Target
5 With Link to library item selected, click Browse.
Note: The Link to hierarchy feature has no function at this time and is a placeholder for a future BI release.
6 Navigate through the folders, select the desired report, and click Open.
7 If a list of dimensions appears in the Parameter Binding columns, select the desired value in the From drop-down list:
From. The From-column values represent the columns available in the query that underlies the current visual item. Select which value is sent to the query in the link-to item as a value for the required parameter.
If you are linking to a visual item that requires a parameter, but you do not have any value in your current query that matches that parameter, choose Use Default in the From column. This option forces the query that underlies the link-to item to use its default value for the parameter.
To. This value represents the parameters in the query that are used in the link-to item.
8 When finished, click OK.
Note: After the visual item links are configured, the link information appears in the Actions frame. To edit the link, click Edit. To delete the link, click Delete.
Free-Form Items
The free-form item is an advanced metric type of visual item that allows for conditional formatting. This visual item gives you the ability to develop a high-level summary on a dashboard where the totals come from different queries. Because a free-form item allows formatting on a per-cell basis, the format of the cell can change depending on the value of the data within the cell. For example, a cell can be highlighted in red if the figure falls below a given threshold.

Free Form Designer
Follow these steps to design a free-form item:
1 Click New from the visual item toolbar.
2 Select Free Form from the list of visual items.
3 In the Query Properties pane, click Add. Navigate through the folders, select a query, and click Open. The information from the query populates the right pane.
Note: The General tab displays the name and a brief description of the query. The Security tab displays the security roles that can view and edit the query.
4 To add additional queries to the free-form item, click Add and select another query.
5 A folder for the query appears in the Query Properties pane. Open the folder and then drag and drop the value into the Free Form items pane.
6 Click the query item.
7 Click the Text header bar to modify the font and bounding box. For numerical values, apply any changes to the pattern and add any currency and percentage symbols if needed.

Free-Form Text
8 With the query item selected, click the Conditional Formats header bar and add conditional formats to the item. For example, a cell can be highlighted in red if the figure falls below a given threshold.
Follow these steps to add conditional formatting:
a Click Add. An operator appears in the conditional format pane.
b Select the desired value from the When drop-down list.
c Select the appropriate operator.
d Set the value of the item by entering a specific number in the value field or by selecting a value from the drop-down list.
e Set the font and background color options. These format options are applied when the conditions created in steps b through d are met.

Free-Form Conditional Format
9 With the query item selected, click the Links header bar to link the query item to a report. Click Browse, navigate through the folders, select a report, and click Open.
From. The From-column values represent the columns available in the query that underlies the current report. Select which value is sent to the query in the link-to report as a value for the required parameter.
If you are linking to a report that requires a parameter, but you do not have any value in your current query that matches that parameter, choose Use Default in the From column. This option forces the query that underlies the link-to report to use its default value for the parameter.
To. This value represents the parameters in the query that are used in the link-to report.

Free-Form Links
10 Drag and drop any of the following graphic items into the Free Form items pane:
 
Label
Horizontal Line
Vertical Line
System
11 Format the graphic items using the options available in the Selected Item Properties pane:
Label. Select the label to modify the title of the label, the font, and the bounding box.

Free-Form Label Item
Vertical and Horizontal Line. Select a line to modify the length, width, and color.
System. Select the system variable to modify the variable type, the font, and the bounding box. The following variable types are available:
User Name. Adds the user name to the dashboard. For example, the designer can add Welcome{username} so that the user sees a personalized greeting when logging on to the dashboard.
Email Address. Adds the user’s e-mail address to the dashboard.

Free-Form System Variable
12 When finished, save the free-form item. See Saving an Item.
Parameter Bars
Parameter bars allow the user to change the parameters for one or more visual items on a dashboard. For example, if there is a series of visual items showing the sales data for the current month only, a parameter bar can be added to the dashboard that would allow the user to pick the month for which the system displays sales data.
Follow these steps to create a parameter bar:
1 Click New from the visual item toolbar.
2 Select Parameter Bar from the list of visual items.
3 Click Add to create a parameter bar selection.
Note: To delete any parameter bar selections, select the item and then click Remove.

Parameter Bar Designer
4 Click the parameter bar selection and enter a new title in the Display Label field. The default display label for new parameter bars is Please Select.
5 From the drop-down list, choose a selection control for the parameter bar:
Combo Box. Permits a single selection.
Selection List. Permits multiple selections at the same time.
6 Set the Parameter Selection Source:
Use Dimensional Value. Select this option if a dimension contains all the values required for the drop-down list. Click Browse, select a dimension, and click OK.
Use Query Library. Select this option to limit the number of values to display to the users. Click Browse, select a dimension, and click OK.
If specific values are required in the parameter drop-down list, create a query with those values before setting up the report parameters.
7 Set the Parameter Default Value. This step is optional.
Supply Value. Select this option and enter a default value in the field.
Use Query Library. Select this option and click Browse. Select a dimension and click OK.
8 When finished, save the parameter bar. See Saving an Item.
Image Items
With the image item, the designer can add any graphic to the dashboard.
Follow these steps to create an image:
1 Click New from the visual item toolbar.
2 Select Image from the list of visual items.

Image Designer
3 Click Upload Image. Navigate through the system folders, locate the image file, then click Open.
4 A preview of the image appears in the Image Control pane.
5 When finished, save the image. See Saving an Item.
Messages
The message item allows you to create custom messages for a dashboard such as text blocks, organized lists, or links to Web sites.
Follow these steps to create a message item:
1 Click New from the visual item toolbar.
2 Select Message from the list of visual items.

Message Designer
3 Click Edit and enter the content in the message window.
4 Edit the content using the font and paragraph formatting tools.
5 If desired, add hyperlinks. To add a hyperlink, highlight the text in the message and then enter the Web address in the URL field.
6 Select the user roles that are allowed to edit the content of the message. The users who are given editing access can edit the content directly from the dashboard.
Note: If all the user roles are unselected, including the Read-only check box, all roles can edit the message.
7 Select Read-only if you do not want the message to be edited by anyone.
8 Select the Auto Refresh Interval. The refresh interval is set in multiples of 5 minutes with a range of 0-30 minutes.
9 When finished, save the message. See Saving an Item.
Forums
The forum item can be placed on a dashboard to allow users to see the most recent topics for all or selected forums.
Follow these steps to create a forum:
1 Click New from the visual item toolbar.
2 Select Forum from the list of visual items.

Forum Designer
3 Enter a title in the Header Text field.
4 Set the number of topics that appear in the forum by clicking the up and down arrows.
5 Select a forum from the Restrict to Forum drop-down list to display topics from that forum only.
Note: If this choice is left blank, this forum displays topics from every forum.
6 If desired, select the check box to show current dashboard topics only.
Note: If this option is selected, the forum displays topics that were generated in that dashboard only. If this option is not selected, the forum displays the topics that were generated in all dashboards.
7 Click the refresh button to update the forums list.
8 When finished, save the forum. See Saving an Item.
Report Browsers
The report browser displays a list of reports, which you can view and run directly from the dashboard.
Follow these steps to create a report browser:
1 Click New from the visual item toolbar.
2 Select Report Browser from the list of visual items.

Report Browser Designer
3 Enter a title in the Header Text field.
4 Click Select Folder. Navigate through the folders, select the desired folder, and click Open.
5 The folder appears in the Report Links Control pane.
6 When finished, save the report browser. See Saving an Item.
Link Lists
The links list is an organized table of links to Web sites and reports.
Follow these steps to create a link list:
1 Click New from the visual item toolbar.
2 Select Link Lists from the list of visual items.

Link Lists Designer
3 Enter a title in the Header Text field.
4 Select Allow user to add own links to allow users to add to the link list directly from the dashboard.
Note: If this check box is unselected, only the designer can add to the links list in the Designer menu.
5 Click Add Link.
6 Enter the URL, a title for the link, and a brief description, and click OK.

Add Link Window
7 To add a report, click Add Report. Navigate through the folders, select the desired report, and click Open.
8 If necessary, remove items from the list by clicking the Remove button.
9 If necessary, edit items on the list by clicking the Edit button.
10 When finished, save the links list. See Saving an Item.