Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Listbox or Multibox for Group of Things That Satisfy a Condition

The expressions that I wrote about in my last blog post can also be used in a listbox or multibox. For example, the expression
=If(aggr(rank(sum(SHIPMENTS)),ITEM)<=15,ITEM,null()) which lists the 15 top ITEMs by shipment volume, can be put into a listbox where it will look like a regular listbox for the ITEM field except that it will only show the top 15 ITEMs. [in this example the field SHIPMENTS is the number of cases of product shipped and ITEM is the product or material name]

If you have never used an expression in a listbox before, then go to the listbox properties and open the General tab and scroll up to the very top of the list of fields, there you’ll see the choice for entering an expression.

One thing different here from the kind of listbox that lists a field is that this listbox with an expression will change as your selections change. For our example, it will list the top 15 frozen items when you have frozen products selected but when you change your selection to coffee products it will list the top 15 coffee items. Another difference is that you cannot change the listbox sort option to sort the list by State (meaning the state of whether a thing is selected or not) but you can make the listbox sort things by numeric or character value.

You can set up a multibox with several of these expressions. I have a report with a multibox that has several choices for someone who is interested in finding data problems. Similar to the expressions in the last blog posting, I have =If(sum(SHIPMENTS)<=0,ITEM,null()) that can show me ITEMs with no shipments and =If(sum(SHIPMENTS)<=0 and sum(FORECAST)>0,ITEM,null()) to show me a list of ITEMs with a sales forecast but no shipments, and =If(sum(PROMOTION)>0,ITEM,null()) to show me a list of ITEMs with special promotional forecasts.

So, this is another option for you if you or your report users if you regularly have to select a special group of things; the special groups can be defined in a listbox or multibox or as a calculated dimension as explained in the previous blog post. In my next posting I'll describe how to select a group of things that satisfy a condition using a bookmark.

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1 comment:

Jay Jakosky said...

This is a fantastic idea. When done as a multibox it would be compact & accessible. It's also easy at a glance to confirm that there are no issues.