Creating a Query and Running Display and Navigation Attributes


After completing this lesson, you will be able to Create a query and run display and navigation attributes.


Attributes provide additional information about a characteristic. For example, if you assign the attribute Telephone Number to the characteristic Business Partner, you can display the telephone number of the business partner in your query result.

You assign attributes to characteristics in the InfoObject maintenance editor. You can define each attribute as either a display attributes or as a more powerful navigation attribute. Navigation attributes automatically inherit the same features as display attributes.

The following figure illustrates, for the Business Partner (0D_NW_BP) characteristic, the use of the characteristic Postal Code (0D_NW_POST) as a display attribute only, and of the characteristic Country (0D_NW_CNTRY) as a display attribute Country (0D_NW_CNTRY) and additionally as a navigation attribute Country (BP) (0D_NW_BP__0D_NW_CNTRY).

Display Attributes

You can decide if display attributes should appear in the query results. However, navigation steps are not possible. For example, you cannot apply a filter using the values from a display attribute.

To include a display attribute in the query result, open the folder for the characteristic in the InfoProvider section of SAP BW Query Designer. From the Attributes folder, drag the attribute directly on top of the associated characteristic in the query definition.

In the Properties pane, you can define the display functions and change the description for a characteristic attribute.

Navigation Attributes

Navigation attributes can be used in the same way as characteristics to define queries. Navigation attributes appear in the dimension of the characteristic to which they belong.

To use an attribute as a navigation attribute in a query you must enable the attribute at two levels: InfoObject and InfoProvider.

Carry out the following steps:

  1. Enable the attribute to be useable as a navigation attribute using the InfoObject maintenance of the characteristic.

  2. In the InfoProvider (usually CompositeProvider) enable the navigation attribute to be useable in queries.


There may be a slight loss in query performance when compared to characteristics.

Time-dependent attributes enable you to view current transactional data with past attribute values. The key date used in the query definition determines which time-dependent values of the attribute data are applied in the report.

Implementing Attributes

In the following demonstration, you will learn about the added value of navigation attributes compared to display attributes.

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