Sandboxes in Dynamic Reports?

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chewza
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Sandboxes in Dynamic Reports?

Post by chewza » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:47 pm

Hi there

I might well be going blind, but I can seem to find any icons for sandboxes when I'm in a Dynamic Report in Pax.

Any ideas?

Many thanks!

Regards
Chris

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garry cook
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Re: Sandboxes in Dynamic Reports?

Post by garry cook » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:43 pm

I literally came across this last week when doing some budget what-if scenarios. To my knowledge, PAx doesn't have native support for sandboxing in the same way Perspectives did by having a dropdown switch although I'd love to be proven wrong if anyone knows otherwise.

If you export a sandbox based view to PAx as an exploration view, you get the sandbox switch. Ditto Quick Report. Custom or dynamic report though, it removes the sandbox dropdown and totally ignores the Sandbox and just shows Base. Very annoying.

It's another item on my personal "Why PAx is not operationally ready to fully replace Perspectives" list which has been growing over the last six months. If anyone else has found a workaround to this though, I'd love to hear it as it's a significant roadblock to using Sandboxing for Budget planning.

chewza
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Re: Sandboxes in Dynamic Reports?

Post by chewza » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:47 pm

Hi Garry

Many thx. What else is on your list RE pax not ready to replace Perspectives.

Regards
Chris

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Re: Sandboxes in Dynamic Reports?

Post by lotsaram » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:02 pm

chewza wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:47 pm
Hi Garry

Many thx. What else is on your list RE pax not ready to replace Perspectives.

Regards
Chris
Mine might include
* Annotations
* Spreading
* Dynamic reports not supporting alternate hierarchies
* Performance not always being equal or better vs. Perspectives on LAN
* UDCs
* Stability

PAX is perfectly good for new users and new implementations. But where you have a large and established base of skilled users who are happy and productive with Perspectives then any replacement must be better. Any loss of performance or loss of a feature which is important to them is an adoption and acceptance risk.
Please place all requests for help in a public thread. I will not answer PMs requesting assistance.

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Re: Sandboxes in Dynamic Reports?

Post by paulsimon » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:21 pm

Hi Garry

Not tried it myself but I wonder if the recent ability to view the Sandbox as an additional dimension might be a way around the issue?

However, in general i am of the same opinion as you. Neither PAX nor PAW are ready for production use. In particular in PAW until you can select a title element and reference that as a parameter to a TI process then it is of no use for vast majority of apps that we build. IBM seem to have wasted a lot of time putting prompts into the Action Button for a TI process, but people generally want to select a cost centre see the figures and then click an Action Button to submit data for that cost centre. They don't want to be prompted to select the cost centre when they click the Action Button. At present for just about everything we do, we would end up embedding a TM1 Web Sheet in PAW, so there is little benefit in using PAW over continuing with TM1 Web. We have the same issue as you in terms of re-training people from Perspectives to PAX.

Any way I am hoping that by the time we have finished building our Chart of Accounts Meta Data Single Page Web App to allow users to maintain Hierarchies and the plumbing to get them in to TM1, then perhaps IBM will have caught up. Failing that we will do it ourselves using the Rest API.

Regards

Paul Simon

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Re: Sandboxes in Dynamic Reports?

Post by Mark RMBC » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:55 am

Is there a full list anywhere of "Why PAx is not operationally ready to fully replace Perspectives".

If not could Garry share his personal list and I will start one!

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garry cook
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Re: Sandboxes in Dynamic Reports?

Post by garry cook » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:59 am

The biggies are covered above by lotsa. On a lesser scale, the following are user QoL issues off the top of my head that I find very annoying.

I'll caveat first to say two things: -

1) Perspectives is tired and lacking by modern standards. PAx is heading in the right direction and will eventually become a far more effective client interface eventually. It's just nowhere near it yet and has a long way to go on the journey in my view.

2) Splitting the client / dev tools makes sense but they're still too obscure. I spend time in PAW / PAx / Perspectives (on a different remote server due to incompatibility) / Web / Architect now - that's a lot of different environments all with their own "quirks". There may be workarounds to some of this (eg Arc gets round some of these) but for my money, they have an unacceptable impact on productivity for a native install.

If I've missed any obvious answers to the below (eg there's a very well hidden roll up button), please let me know because they drive me mad. In no particular order, here's what comes to mind:


Running processes from the Task Pane doesn't allow you to set the parameters. You can edit the parameter but then it changes the underlying default values held in the TI. You have to create files with Action Buttons for end users / power users to run TI's with parameters (which are most of them).

You also can't quickly check TI code without having to go to PAW.

The Menu button on the keyboard (left of the bottom right Control on most keyboards) is hijacked by PAx - no more Ctrl C / Menu / S / V to do a copy/paste special values, etc so you have to continually keep moving your hand to your mouse whenever you need to simulate a right click. Feels incredibly unproductive after 20 years of using shortcuts. Can't even reprogram it with VBA OnKeys (or at least I couldn't manage to).

Speaking of which, PAx will occasionally randomly hijack your clipboard and paste random hidden cell name ranges instead of what you just copied.

No Default view in a cube? Well, your users can't access that cube from PAX then. Better go write a TI to populate up a Default view for everything.

Alt / Tab navigation becomes really difficult because the server / cube name isn't shown, only the view name (many of which can be Default). You can hover the black button under the export on the cube view to getting a floating pop up with this info. That's very unproductive when working with multiple servers / cube views as you have to select the view as active window to then check this.

No Application folders in PAx is crazy. Whole point of these from a user POV is to make things easier to find and you simply can't - have to go through Web / PAW to even see them. Unless of course it's a view you've saved in the Applications folder in which case you can't even see that in PAW. You can see excel files. You can even see things like Powerpoint files but a totally common item like a view? No dice. Application folders pretty much dead for end users.

No warning when a user extracts a cube view which is bigger than the maximum number of lines they can export, just cuts the view off so they have no idea they're looking at partial data.

Where's the switch for slice to existing / slice to new workbook? I certainly can't find it (including google / documentation hunting) which means you end up dumping stuff accidentally into existing files unless you remember to pen a new file first. Very annoying.

Made some changes to a cube view and want to save the new view? Extract it to Excel first and then click the obscure save as view button (rather than just clicking Save). Then get rid of the worthless excel file (that's probably just extracted into a different file you were already working on due to the point above).

Want to change the view you're looking at? Minimise the current view, scroll to the cube on the task pane, extend it out to find the new one and then right click / open view. Now you've got two different views open rather than recycling the existing one from a dropdown in the existing viewer.

Want to check what account groups an element rolls up into? There's no Roll Up button in the cube viewer. If you want to check what parents an element has, either MDX it (good luck Mr Accountant) or pull into excel to ELPAR it.

No ability to use Sandboxing alongside your dynamic reports (in our cast most of the suite) seriously degrades the usage of this excellent functionality.

No ability from PAx to check / sort cubes by Memory usage as you could do through the properties window previously to get a quick overview. Same goes for element info, etc. You can't even see Chores.

Dynamic Reports on more than one tabs don't format properly when converted from a perspectives created file (both take format from first tab). Get on with recreating / splitting those files and fixing up the navigation.

The "Convert Action Button" to make it PAx ready is also questionable in my experience forcing a re-write.

Do you like seeing RECALC_01 a lot? Cause you will with PAx. A lot.

....etc

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Re: Sandboxes in Dynamic Reports?

Post by Wim Gielis » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:21 am

All good and valid points Garry.
garry cook wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:59 am
The Menu button on the keyboard (left of the bottom right Control on most keyboards) is hijacked by PAx - no more Ctrl C / Menu / S / V to do a copy/paste special values, etc so you have to continually keep moving your hand to your mouse whenever you need to simulate a right click. Feels incredibly unproductive after 20 years of using shortcuts. Can't even reprogram it with VBA OnKeys (or at least I couldn't manage to).
You can have some VBA to copy/paste special as values. This is what I have in my own Excel ribbon. Attach a shortcut and you're done.

Code: Select all

Sub pTurnToValues()

    Dim ar                    As Range
    Dim r                     As Range

    On Error GoTo ErrExit

    If TypeName(Selection) <> "Range" Then
        MsgBox "Select a range first"
        Exit Sub
    End If

    Set r = Application.Intersect(Selection, Selection.Parent.UsedRange)

    AppLevel False

    If r.count = 1 Then

        r.Copy
        r.PasteSpecial xlPasteValues

    Else

        For Each ar In r.SpecialCells(xlCellTypeFormulas).Areas

            ar.Copy
            ar.PasteSpecial xlPasteValues

        Next

    End If

ErrExit:

    AppLevel True

End Sub

Sub AppLevel(b As Boolean)

    With Application
        .ScreenUpdating = b
        .Calculation = IIf(b, xlCalculationAutomatic, xlCalculationManual)
        .EnableEvents = b
        .DisplayAlerts = b
        .StatusBar = False
        .EnableAnimations = b
        .CutCopyMode = False
    End With

End Sub
garry cook wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:59 am
No Default view in a cube? Well, your users can't access that cube from PAX then. Better go write a TI to populate up a Default view for everything.
Indeed write a TI ourselves. Until now I've had a lot of benefit of my generic process to create subsets and views in cubes.

For subsets: Default, level 0, orphans, a reconciliation subset (=total and level 0 elements below). Subsets in 1 dimension or all dimensions of a cube or all application dimensions, or with a name pattern, etc. Static or dynamic subsets. Language-dependent as Default is not Default all over the world. Aliases like Description can be recognized and applied. Existing subsets overwritten or untouched. And so on.

For views: a Default view (containing the Default subsets) and a level 0 view - for smaller cubes only, all level 0 subsets in there. Views in 1 cube or all application cubes, or with a name pattern, etc. Language-dependent again.
Best regards,

Wim Gielis

Excel Most Valuable Professional, 2011-2014
http://www.wimgielis.com ==> 109 TM1 articles and a lot of custom code
Newest blog article: Set up a TM1 model with AutoHotKey as a service or application

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garry cook
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Re: Sandboxes in Dynamic Reports?

Post by garry cook » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:05 am

Thanks Wim, much appreciated.

Was in a bit of a brain dump mode there so didn't articulate well but the core issue I've got with it when I say I can't fix is to re-enable the menu key functionality rather than the specific use case of the special value. That's probably the most common example along with paste special x (format / transpose / etc) but it's trying to get the menu button to re-enable that's my real issue. Things like Format Cells and name definition are outside of the reach of the keyboard without the menu button which I personally find quite annoying. Sounds nerdy but it's a huge bug bear of mine that really interrupts my flow when working in PAx.

I've previously fixed this kind of issue with using OnKeys but restoring the menu key to native functionality didn't meet any success (PAx seems to reserve it) but maybe my VBA-fu is not strong enough. Didn't want to get down to messing with the keyboard / registry settings as it's native to when using PAx (also it's pretty hard lock down on most corporate machines).

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