Configuring the Properties of Characteristics

Objectives
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Create a query and configure the properties of characteristics

Characteristic Properties Configuration

By configuring characteristic properties, you can configure the characteristic's presentation or function in the executed query.

Select a characteristic by clicking once on the object in the query.

Note

By double-clicking a characteristic, you enter the modelling environment for the characteristic.

Properties are organized by the tabs General and Hierarchy. Choose each tab to display the current settings for that group.

You can activate manual input or selection for the settings by using the Pencil icon.

If you want to return to the default value specified on the object, choose the Pencil icon again.

The system displays the default settings as non-input-ready fields.

Note

To maintain the properties of multiple characteristics simultaneously, select all the characteristics you want to include using CTRL + click. The Properties pane will display the properties. If there are any conflicts between the properties of different characteristics, for example, one characteristic is displayed as text whereas another characteristic is displayed as key, you will see the message <multiple values>. In this case, select the individual characteristics to view their respective properties.

General Properties

The General tab is where you find the technical name and the description of the characteristic. You can change the description but not the technical name. If you make a change, it does not affect the standard description for the InfoObject.

Under Value Output, the system displays the output type. To change this, choose the pencil icon. Under Display As, you can specify whether the values of the characteristic are displayed, and how. You can choose here from the options created for the characteristic in InfoObject maintenance.

Display Types

The following table provides an overview of the possible display options in the SAP BW system.

Display TypeDescription
Do Not Display

The characteristic is hidden.

This function is particularly useful with the currency/unit characteristic for example, since the currencies are also displayed in the key figures.

[Key] TextThe characteristic values are displayed with their technical key and their description text.
TextThe characteristic values are displayed with their description text.
[Key]The characteristic values are displayed with their technical key.
Text [Key]The characteristic values are displayed with their description text and their technical key.

If you set a display type that contains text, you can select a particular text type under Text Output Format.

Text Display

The following options are available under Text Output Format.

Display TypeDescription
StandardThe shortest available text is used for the characteristic values.
ShortThe short text for the characteristic values is used.
MediumThe medium text for the characteristic values is used.
LongThe long text for the characteristic values is used.

Under Sorting, the system displays the sorting criteria. To change this, choose the pencil icon.

Sorting Criteria

CriterionDescription
Sorting Attribute

Select either this characteristic or the attribute that you want to sort by.

Note that, if you want to sort your articles according to specific criteria, create an attribute for the Article characteristic that contains these criteria, and sort the articles by this attribute.

Sort ByText or Key
Sort DirectionAscending or descending

Under Result Output Format, you can decide under which conditions and in what form you want result rows to be displayed.

Result Row Display

OptionDescription
AlwaysThe result rows are always displayed.
Only if more than one childThe result rows are displayed if there are two or more individual values.
NeverThe result rows are always suppressed.

Under Cumulate Values, you can specify, for each characteristic, that the key figure values can be cumulated for the relevant characteristic attributes, regardless of the aggregation behavior of the key figure.

For example, if the key figure has the standard aggregation SUM, the individual values of an area are cumulated; the first value is added to the second value, the result is added to the third value, and so on.

If the key figure has the standard aggregation MIN, the system checks two consecutive values to determine which value is smaller. The system takes this value as the cumulative value and compares it to the third single value.

In the columns, the values are cumulated from top to bottom, and in the rows, the values are cumulated from left to right. With blocks of single values, a drilldown in both the rows and the columns, the values are cumulated from top to bottom and from left to right.

Caution
You can only cumulate with characteristic values and not with the structural elements of a characteristic structure. The Cumulate Values function only takes effect if you have a characteristic instead of a characteristic structure in the drilldown. If you use two structures however – the key figure structure and a characteristic structure – you can cumulate using cell-specific definitions.

Display Level

The display level allows you to categorize a characteristic in the filter. This means that you can categorize purely technically filters (which are not relevant for end users) as the detail overview (in Detailed Overview Only). These are then only displayed if the detailed view is set for display in the front end. You can therefore create a special view of the filtered characteristics that is tailored to end users.

The following categorizations are available:

  • Also in Simple Overview

    The characteristic always appears in the list of static filters.

  • In Normal Overview

    The characteristic only appears in the list of static filters if the In Normal Overview or In Detailed Overview Only option is selected.

  • In Detailed Overview Only

    The characteristic only appears in the list of static filters if the In Detailed Overview Only option is selected.

Extended

Under Access Type for Result Values, you can define the access type for result values. You have the following options:

Access Type for Result Values

Option

Description

Master Data

When the query is executed, a row of data is always displayed for the characteristic. As long as values have been maintained for this characteristic in the master data, they will be displayed here. The display does not depend on transaction data.

Posted Values

When the query is executed, a row of data is only displayed for the characteristic if there are posted values (values contained in the InfoProvider) for this characteristic.

Under Filter Value Selection, you can define how filter values are selected when the query is executed. You have the following options:

Filter Value Selection During Query Execution

Option

Description

Values in Master Data Table

In the filter dialog, the system displays all characteristic values from the master data, independently of transaction data.

Only Values in InfoProvider

In the filter dialog, the system displays characteristic values contained in the InfoProvider for example, for Business Partner, independently of beforehand selected values for another characteristic for example, Country.

Only Posted Values for Navigation

In the filter dialog, the system displays characteristic values contained in the InfoProvider, for example, for Business Partner, dependently of beforehand selected values for another characteristic for example, Country.

Under Refresh Variables, you can define how to refresh the variables that you use in default values or for defining presentation hierarchies. You have the following options:

Refresh Variables

Option

Description

Dynamically

If you choose this option, the system refreshes the application using the settings from the current navigation view.

As Designed

If you choose this option, the system refreshes the application using the hierarchy and filter settings in the query definition.

Characteristic Properties

Launch this demonstration to learn how the properties of characteristics in the query affect the report. We also start working with attributes.

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