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PickList to show Alias but store Element Name

Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:13 pm
by paulsimon

I tried submitting this as an RFE but IBM's site did something to prevent pasting text so after trying IE and Chrome and getting the same problem I gave up.

I believe that there should be an option when specifying a TM1 PickList to make it return the Element Name when the developer has specified the list of valid values as a Subset with an Alias.

The PickList is very useful for allowing a user to pick from a list of valid values. However, most dimensions have a Code as the Element Name, eg Account Number 10001, and then an Alias which may be the Description, eg 10001 - Sales excluding Tax.

An Account dimension will typically have hundreds if not thousands of codes. Setting up the Picklist Subset to display the list of Codes ie the Element Names, without the description will not be much use as the user probably doesn't remember what a 1000 different codes mean. Therefore the developer will probably draw the PickList from a Subset with the Description Alias.

The problem that this then creates is two fold:

a) What will get stored in the cell will be the Description rather than the Element Name, eg 10001 - Sales excluding Tax. If the Description for Account Number 10001 changes, then the value in the cell will be invalid.

b) Storing the code and description rather than just the code (element name) takes up more space.

The ability to make the PickList return the Element Name into the Cube Cell but to display a list from a Subset showing an Alias would make the PickList far more useable for real world applications.

If a developer wanted to display the Description then they could organise this by adding a measure alongside the one holding the code, and use a simple rule such as ['Explanation'] = S: attrs( 'MyDim', DB( Cube, ... , 'Code'),'Description') ;
That is relatively easy to do, and the key thing then, is that if the Description changes, then it will automatically show the latest Description and the system will still work, because the underlying code ie the Element Name was stored.


Paul Simon

Re: PickList to show Alias but store Element Name

Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:04 am
by Andy Key
Let me know if you ever do get this into the system as I'd certainly vote for it.

It's something that they already do via the Metrics setup interface in PM, but would be useful in standard picklists.

Re: PickList to show Alias but store Element Name

Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:28 am
by lotsaram
I would also definitely vote for it. I usually have an additional measure in the background to get the principal name but it would be great for this workaround to be able to go away.

Re: PickList to show Alias but store Element Name

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:12 pm
by Glass
I know this one has been lingering for a while, but having been bitten by it recently I'm giving it a +1000.

Picklist should be able to show alias for user-friendliness, but store the principal name for developer sanity. I recently had a project where they changed their naming convention for project names and applied it retrospectively, so any stored references to the old aliases died.

Required a fairly substantive exercise to ensure all TIs converted elements to their principal name (although I'm guessing from a best practice perspective I should have already done this - self slap on the wrist), and updating reports which stored user selections via DBSS to do a DIMNM(DIMIX) conversion to store the principal rather than the alias.

Having a display alias but storing the principal would be a great addition, particularly when you don't have control over when the alias may change on a whim.

Re: PickList to show Alias but store Element Name

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:37 pm
by lotsaram
Pretty sure I saw this one on a fix or new feature list. Not sure if it was for PAL or 10.2.2 FP6.

Re: PickList to show Alias but store Element Name

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:03 am
by gtonkin
Just checked on the RFE that I logged based on this related thread - there was an update on 9 Nov 2016, but still open. I have not had a chance to play with 10.2.2. FP6 so cannot confirm if they have addressed but not communicated this functionality.