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Prompts

Prompt types
Prompt styles
Cart vs. non-cart styles
Required vs. optional prompts
Prompt display
Default answers for prompts
Prompt validation
Prompt summary
View prompt details in report page
Re-answer prompts for reports and HTML documents
Cancel prompt
DHTML optimization
Incremental fetch in prompts
Search in prompts
Operators for qualification prompts
Hierarchical browsing style for object prompts
Text box style
Text file style
Super hierarchical attribute prompt

Prompt types
Prompts allow you as a user to fill in almost any part of the report definition, such as the filter or template, at the time of report execution. The report designer determines which parts of a report will be prompted at report execution and which will not. MicroStrategy Web supports the following prompt types:
  • Attribute Element List prompt allows you to select a list of attribute elements to use as part of the filter criteria in a report.
  • Attribute Qualification prompt allows you to specify a number of attribute qualifications that become part of the filter criteria in a report. If prompted for a date value, you can either type it in or select it from a calendar (if DHTML is on). To select a date from the calendar:
    • Click the calendar icon next to the prompt. A calendar appears. Click on a date to select it. To go to the next month, click the right arrow on the calendar. To go to the previous month, click the left arrow.
  • Metric Qualification prompt allows you to specify a number of metric qualifications that become part of the filter criteria in a report.
  • Hierarchical Attribute prompt allows you to specify conditions based on attributes and attribute elements selected from at least one hierarchy (a combination of an attribute element list prompt and an attribute form qualification prompt) to become part of the filter criteria in a report. 
  • Value prompt allows you to specify a value of any data type, such as text, numeric values, big decimal values, or date to qualify on metrics, attribute descriptions, or attribute IDs. If prompted for a date value, you can either type it in or select it from a calendar (if DHTML is on). To select a date from the calendar:
    • Click the calendar icon next to the prompt. A calendar appears. Click on a date to select it. To go to the next month, click the right arrow on the calendar. To go to the previous month, click the left arrow.
  • Object prompt allows you to select a set of objects to be placed on the template (attribute, metric, consolidation, template, or custom group) or filter(s) (or reports) to be used as the filter criteria in a report.
  • Level prompt allows you to specify at run time the level of calculation for a metric. For example, you could design a report that shows sales totals by time and allow the user running the report to choose whether the totals are at the year level, or at the month level, or at the week level, and so on.
Prompt styles
For each type of prompt, MicroStrategy Web provides several styles that give a different look and type of functionality. In the lists that follow, default styles are shown in bold.
  • Attribute Element List prompt: cart, check box, multiple select list box, single-select list box, option button, pull-down
  • Attribute Qualification prompt: cart, option button, pull-down, single-select list box, text box, text file and shopping cart
    Note: A text file containing preselected prompt answers can be created for prompts of this type. The file is imported and can be used repeatedly for convenience. The file must be written in a specific format so that MicroStrategy Web can interpret it. To learn more about acceptable formats for these text files, refer to the Web SDK. The Web SDK is available in the MicroStrategy Developer Library, which is sold as part of the MicroStrategy SDK.
  • Metric Qualification prompt: cart, text box, option button, pull-down, single-select list
  • Hierarchical Attribute prompt: cart (optional search without qualification) , cart (required search with qualification), cart (optional search with qualification), cart (required search with qualification)
  • Object prompt: cart, cart with hierarchical browsing, check box, multiple-select list box, single-select list box, option button, pull-down
  • Value prompt: text box, calendar (DHTML only), check box, multiple select list box, single-select list box, option button, pull-down, 
  • Level prompt: cart
Note: All prompt styles are specified using the Prompt Generation wizard in MicroStrategy Desktop.

Cart vs. non-cart styles
The cart style provides a richer interface and functionality than non-cart styles:
  • Cart style for object and element prompts supports incremental fetch (of objects or attribute elements) and search (within the prompt), while non-cart styles do not support these.
  • Cart style for object prompts allows users to determine the object order as it appears on the template, while non-cart styles do not.
  • Cart style for qualification prompts allows users to have multiple qualifications, while non-cart styles do not.
Required vs. optional prompts
An indication of whether the prompt is required or optional appears in each prompt title bar and also in the prompt index section when there is more than one prompt in a report or a HTML document. If a report contains a required prompt, you must answer the prompt before you can execute the report. A warning message appears when one or more required prompts are not answered. It is not necessary to answer optional prompts to execute a report.

Your administrator has the option to display all the required prompts first, before displaying any optional prompts, instead of displaying the prompts in their default order. Please contact your administrator to find out whether this option has been selected.

Prompt display
You have two choices of how to display the prompts in any given report, document, or HTML document. You can choose either to display all the prompts on one page, or to display each prompt on its own separate page. To make this selection, click on Preferences in the upper right hand toolbar. Then click on Prompts under User Preferences in the left toolbar. There are two radio button options in the first section called View Prompts. You can view the prompts either all on one page or each on a separate page. Make your selection and click the Apply button.

When prompts are displayed all on the same page, a Back to Top icon will be shown in the top right corner of each prompt. You can click this icon to return to the top of the page.

When prompts are displayed on separate pages, a Previous button (except on the first prompt) and a Next button (except on the last prompt) are provided to the left of the Run in View Mode button, for navigation between the different prompts. If any prompts have not been answered correctly when the Run in View Mode button is clicked, you will be brought to the page where the first problem occurred.

In both prompt display options, a prompt index is located to the left of the prompts. Each prompt is numbered, showing you how many prompts there are in that particular report, document, or HTML document. Clicking on the prompt number icon will bring you to that specific prompt (DHTML only). If each prompt is displayed on a separate page, the prompt index will show five prompts at a time, with two incremental fetch links at the bottom of the index: a small white triangle icon to fetch the next (or previous) five prompts, and a small underlined white triangle icon to fetch the last (or first) five prompts. In the prompt index, you will also find the prompt summary icon . To learn more about this feature, refer to Prompt summary.

Default answers for prompts
The report designer can specify default answers for each prompt in MicroStrategy Desktop. When you run a report that contains a prompt, the prompt is displayed with the default answers pre-selected. If there is a default answer, you can do one of the following:
  • Accept the default answer.
  • Add more criteria to the default answer.
  • Clear all the default answers and make your own prompt selections.
Some default answers for attribute qualification, metric qualification, and hierarchical attribute qualification prompts that were created in MicroStrategy Desktop are not supported in MicroStrategy Web. In these cases, "(default)" is displayed as the pre-selected prompt answer. You can see what the default answer is by looking in the box directly below the prompt.

If you click Run in View Mode when "(default)" is displayed (or selected), the report runs with the default answer. If you choose to add new prompt answers, the new answers overwrite the "(default)" answer completely; the returned report contains your prompt selections and not the default prompt criteria.

Prompt validation
In the area below the prompt title of each prompt, there is information that includes the descriptions and requirements for the prompt. Validation criteria for the various prompt types are as follows:
  • Value prompt: For text data type, the min/max value refers to the length of the input text. For date and numeric data types, the min/max value refers to the input value itself.
  • Object prompt: The min/max value refers to the number of objects you are allowed to choose.
  • Attribute element list prompt: The min/max value refers to the number of attribute elements you are allowed to select.
  • Attribute form qualification, metric qualification, and hierarchical attribute prompts: The min/max value refers to the number of qualifications you are allowed to construct.

Note: Additional validation takes place for certain prompt styles. Refer to Prompt styles for more information.

Prompt summary
You can access the prompt summary by clicking the Summary of your selections icon on the prompt index (to the left of the prompt). The prompt summary displays all the prompts on one page, indicating which prompt(s) are required and which are optional. If there are default answers to a prompt, the default answers will be displayed along with that prompt. As you answer the prompts in a report, the prompt summary will be updated; therefore your most current prompt answer sets will be displayed.

You can execute the prompted report, document, or HTML document, or cancel the prompt from the summary page. Prompt validation is enforced on the prompt page, and will also be imposed on the prompt summary page.

You can visit the prompt summary page as many times as you want during the time you are answering the prompt(s).

View prompt details in report page
From within View mode, you can use the Prompt Details panel to view a summary of your prompt selections for the prompted report you currently have open.

In order for the Prompt Details option to be displayed, however, an Administrator must select the Display Prompt Details in Report Page option in the Prompts page within the Project Defaults.

To access the Prompt Details panel and view a summary of your prompt selections:

  1. Open a prompted report in Grid, Graph, or Grid and Graph mode.
  2. From the View menu, select Prompt Details. The Prompt Details panel displays above the report. If the Prompt Details option is not available in the View menu, the Administrator must enable the Display Prompt Details in Report Page option in the Project Defaults.

Re-answer prompts for reports and HTML documents
You can re-answer prompts for reports and HTML documents using the Re-prompt function, available only with reports and HTML documents that contain prompts.

To re-prompt a report or HTML document, click the Re-prompt icon  at the top of the page.

Cancel prompt
There is a Cancel button on the prompt page (located at the bottom right of the page). If you click Cancel when you run the prompt report for the first time, you are returned to the previous folder page. If you click Cancel after re-prompting, you are returned to the previous report or HTML document page. The Cancel button on the Prompt Summary page works in the same way.

DHTML optimization
Browsers such as Netscape 4, Internet Explorer 4 and later versions (currently Netscape 7.2 and Internet Explorer 6), MicroStrategy Web provides a DHTML on/off setting. This setting optimizes the prompt functionality (for prompts in prompt cart styles only) as follows:

  • It speeds up adding and removing items between the available selections and the selected items.
  • It anchors the prompt currently being answered. In other words, the page will not reposition to the top each time you answer a prompt.
See General under User Preferences for more information about DHTML.

Incremental fetch in prompts
MicroStrategy Web provides incremental fetch functionality in prompts: long lists of attribute elements or objects within a prompt are returned in chunks rather than the complete list all at once. The administrator selects how many attribute elements and objects are fetched for each prompt on a per-project basis. When a user runs a report that contains an attribute element prompt or an object prompt in cart style, the prompt is returned with the first set of prompt elements. The user can then fetch the next set of prompt data by clicking the arrows below the list box. Counts of the attribute elements or objects are displayed, to keep the user informed of the size of the full list.

If the prompts are in non-cart styles, they are returned with only the first set of prompt elements; the rest of the list is omitted.

Note: Incremental fetch works only for:
  • an object prompt that contains a search object (not a predefined list)
  • an attribute element prompt that contains either the full list of elements or a specific filter (not a predefined list)
  • a metric qualification prompt that contains a search (not an attribute qualification that contains a search)
  • an attribute element list within a hierarchical attribute prompt
Search in prompts
When a prompt is in the cart style, MicroStrategy Web may provide a search field in object, attribute element, and hierarchical attribute prompts. This search field is located right above the cart.

The following rules apply to searching in object prompts:
  • Sometimes, MicroStrategy Web does not display the search field. This means that there is already a search object in the prompt, and the prompt selection list is already filtered.
  • Case sensitivity depends on the setting in the database that contains the prompt information.
  • For object prompts of cart with hierarchical browsing style, when you enter search criteria, MicroStrategy Web searches recursively under the current folder, and returns all matched objects in the current folder and all subfolders under it (much like a search within a normal cart style).
  • After performing a search in cart with hierarchical browsing style, the hierarchical capability is disabled (browsing up and down the folders using the gray arrows does not bring back subfolder contents). To return to the hierarchical browsing mode, you must empty the search field and click the search icon.
The following rules apply to searching on element and hierarchical attribute prompts:
  • To search with case-sensitivity, select the Match case check box. This works only if your system (warehouse database) supports this feature. If it is not supported, you can still select the check box, but the search will not be case sensitive.
  • There is no search capability for attributes with the date or time as the data type.
  • If you enter a text string that does not include wildcards, MicroStrategy Web uses the like operator and adds wildcards at the beginning and the end.
  • To return a complete list of elements that start with the same few words, use an underscore between each word. For example, you want to search for all companies whose names start with 'Professional Coop' to return every available result. These results might range from 'Professional Cooperative B' to 'Professional Cooperative Delta.' In order to return every company whose name starts with 'Professional Coop,' you must enter the following search string: Professional_Coop

For more information on search syntax and an example of searching on an attribute, see Search syntax.

Operators for qualification prompts
MicroStrategy Web supports the following operators for attribute qualification prompts:

  • between (value1; value2)
  • not between (value1; value2)
  • = (exactly)
  • <> (not exactly)
  • > (greater than)
  • >= (greater than or equal)
  • < (less than)
  • <= (less than or equal)
  • like
  • not like
  • in (value1; value2;...;valueN)
MicroStrategy Web supports the following operators for metric qualification prompts:
  • between (value1; value2)
  • not between (value1; value2)
  • = (exactly)
  • <> (not exactly)
  • > (greater than)
  • >= (greater than or equal to)
  • < (less than)
  • <= (less than or equal to)
  • highest (rank)
  • lowest (rank)
  • highest %
  • lowest %
  • in (value1; value2;...;valueN)
Notes:
  • Between and not between expect two values separated by a semicolon.
  • In expects a list of values separated by a semicolon.
  • When using like, if you type in a string without a wildcard, MicroStrategy Web adds a wildcard to the beginning and the end of the string.
  • When using highest % and lowest %, the percent sign is not required.
    Note: Any number you enter is regarded as the percentage, so 0.5 becomes 0.5%, not 50%.
Hierarchical browsing style for object prompts
One style for object prompts is a cart with hierarchical browsing. This style provides the capability to browse objects using the folder structures throughout the project, within an object prompt that has been created with this style in MicroStrategy Desktop. Hierarchical browsing style gives you the ability to start from a folder specified by the prompt designer and browse through each subfolder; only objects that match the search criteria specified by the prompt designer are displayed. MicroStrategy Web also displays folder navigation information as you browse through the folder structure.

When you enter search criteria, MicroStrategy Web searches recursively under the current folder and returns all matched objects in the current folder and all its subfolders (much like a search within a normal cart style). Search is not available for all object prompts with this style; the prompt designer decides whether or not a search will be an option when creating the prompt in MicroStrategy Desktop.

After you perform a search in an object prompt with this style, the hierarchical capability is disabled; browsing through the folders does not bring back subfolder contents. To return to the hierarchical browsing mode, you must clear the search field and click the Search icon.

Folder navigation information is displayed at the very top of the prompt; the subfolders are listed in the drop-down box. Click Go next to the drop-down box to retrieve objects in that subfolder. The subfolder then becomes part of the navigation path displayed on the top, and the respective subfolders are listed in the drop-down box. The search box (if one is present) is located directly underneath the subfolder drop-down list. Hierarchical browsing mode always lists objects of the correct type directly in the folder contents list box. The objects displayed in the folder contents list box at any given moment are the ones found in the current folder. Incremental fetch of objects may or may not be available at the bottom of the folder contents list box (see Incremental fetch in prompts).

Text box style
Text box style is a simple style for attribute qualification prompts. You can enter a list of values separated by a semicolon and compose a filter for the report. For example, if an attribute name has two display forms, First and Last, then if you enter Smith, Joe, the filter is composed as: First Name IN ("Smith", "Joe") OR Last Name IN ("Smith", "Joe").

Text file style
For an attribute form qualification prompt, a text file containing preselected prompt answers can be created to be imported and used repeatedly for convenience. The file must be written in a specific format so that MicroStrategy Web can interpret it, as explained in the following guidelines:
  • The input file must be a text file.
  • The text file can be generated from a text editor or a spreadsheet application such as Microsoft Excel. Since each of these programs generates different file extensions, MicroStrategy Web provides the ability to indicate which file extension is being used. This is a Project Default setting that only the administrator can modify.
  • The file should include the elements to be included as answers to the prompt. These elements must be in accordance with the attribute form selected in the Attribute section of the prompt. For example, the file can include different years which can be used to resolve a prompt on Year.
  • You must use either a semicolon (;) or a carriage return to separate each prompt answer. 
    Semicolons can be used in the following format: 2000;2001;2002;2003

    Carriage returns can be used in the following format:

    2000
    2001
    2002
    2003

Super hierarchical attribute prompt
The administrator can design a hierarchical attribute prompt in one of three ways: by embedding one hierarchy within the prompt, by embedding a search on hierarchies within the prompt, or by including all the hierarchies available in the project within the prompt. The resulting hierarchical attribute prompt is presented in one of four different cart styles: required search with qualification, required search without qualification, optional search with qualification, or optional search without qualification. This type of prompt gives you the most flexibility, as you can select different attribute forms or attribute element qualifications from one or more hierarchies in the project.

Use the following steps to answer a super hierarchical attribute prompt.

Note: For a prompt on a single hierarchy, omit 1, 2 and 3 below. For a prompt that embeds a search on hierarchies, omit 1 below.

  1. When you execute a report with this type of prompt, the prompt appears with a list of hierarchies in folder structures.
  2. In the drop-down list, select the folder in which the desired hierarchy is located, and then click Go next to the drop-down list. The list of hierarchies under that folder is then displayed in the list box underneath.
  3. Select the desired hierarchy and click the Go to step 2 button under the list box.
  4. The desired hierarchy appears in the box on the right side of the screen. You can start qualifying on this single hierarchy following the guidelines below:
    • You can select elements under each attribute and/or qualify on each form of the attribute in the hierarchy by selecting the respective tab.
      Note: Depending on the prompt style chosen by the prompt designer, you may or may not see the qualify tab.
    • The search field (if present) has the same functions as the search field in attribute element prompts (refer to Search in prompts). For required search styles, the attribute element list is not displayed until you type in a search criterion.
    • Drill functionality allows you to further filter out your prompt selection by drilling up and down from an attribute element selection to its related attribute element list. To drill, highlight one or more elements for an attribute. In the drill drop-down list below the Elements list box, select which attribute to drill to, and then click the Drill button. The resulting attribute element list is returned to you in the Elements list box. For example, there are three elements for the attribute year: 1998, 1999, and 2000. If you highlight 1998 and 1999, and then drill to the attribute Season, you retrieve seasons only for 1998 and 1999.
    • If you see a warning that says "There are no entry points in this hierarchy," this means the prompt designer did not specify attributes in the hierarchy from which elements can be selected or qualified on. You should contact your administrator.
    • If you see a warning that says "The attribute is locked. Element list cannot be displayed," this means the prompt designer has locked that attribute and will not allow you to browse the elements under that attribute. You can neither select that attribute nor qualify on it.
    • If you see a warning that says "Please enter search criteria. List may be long," this means the prompt designer has specified a required search in this hierarchy. Elements will be shown only after a qualified search string is entered.