Use the Report-Report Interface to Enhance Filtering in Your Reports

  • by Iliya Ruvinsky, Managing Partner, Skywind Consulting, Ltd.
  • October 1, 2004
The report-report interface supports drill-through functionality to jump from one report to another. The author explains how more robust filtering can be added via the interface as users drill through two reports.
Key Concept
The report-report interface lets you link together reports that contain a limited number of characteristics so that you can report on a number of different combinations of data online. This helps you to avoid the problem of having particularly large reports with volumes of data that they cannot be constructed online and have to be planned as a background job.

Recently, a client came to me looking for a way to monitor complaint messages after they were opened. The client added a twist by requesting the ability to identify additional complaints received after the initial problem was corrected via drill-through functionality. This required a little ingenuity.

The solution I came up with offers end users a great tool that provides enhanced filtering. I built two reports — a sender and a receiver. The reports have the ability to interact with each other so users can drill into a report and learn if other complaints are registered after a problem is resolved. Using my approach, end users are able to apply characteristic values that differ from the characteristic values that were just filtered. To do this, BEx technology and the Web Application Designer (Web AD) need to work in concert via the report-report interface.

The sender report I created passes filter parameters to the receiver according to the appropriate navigation results. For example, if during navigation the sender report is filtered by the parameters Cal. Year/Month = 04.2003 and Attendee = 00029032, then these parameters are delivered as filtered to the receiver report when an end user drills through the sender. My client wanted the Cal. Year/Month parameter delivered in such a way that the receiver would apply the filter itself to all values less then or equal to 04.2003 (e.g., Cal. Year/Month <= 04.2003) instead of just being filtered by 04.2003 (e.g., Cal. Year/Month = 04.2003).

First, I’ll show you the problem I faced in the BEx environment, when I’ll expand the focus to the Web AD implementation.

The BEx Solution

Before I detail the solution, you’ll need some background information. My client had BW 3.0B with Patch 11 implemented, but my approach can be used with all BW 3.x systems. I used InfoCube 0PE_C02 (Professional Training Provider) and both the sender and receiver reports in this example have identical structures to demonstrate the drill-through parameters in each.

First, create a receiver report and insert the Date characteristic in either the Free Characteristic, Filter, Rows, or Columns of the BEx Query Designer. I used characteristic 0CALMONTH in this case.

Next, I created the variable ZRECEIVE to restrict the Date characteristic by setting the Processing by field to User Entry / Default Value. The variable properties are presented in Figure 1.

Iliya Ruvinsky

Iliya Ruvinsky is a managing partner at Skywind Consulting Ltd., Israel. He is an SAP-certified BW consultant and instructor with more than 12 years of experience working with SAP BW and SAP BusinessObjects. He is an implementation and project management expert, serving for more than eight years as a trusted advisor to a wide range of Israeli enterprises, including in the insurance, energy, sales, and logistics industries. He is a graduate of the University of Tel Aviv, Israel, holding an MBA in information systems analysis.

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