Difference between Entity and Property

Difference between Entity and Property,

In the advanced search option I’ve noticed that for example selecting from Bill to there are a couple of options that work, either Entity and Property.

However when I want to filter for Buylines and use either entity or property I get a difference.

How do I identify the correct option to use, entity or property?

Hi @avazquez1 ,

Welcome to BI 101 :wink:

An Entity is a unique value and is normally the “key” field in your dimensions. Whereas a Property is a description associated with the Key field. Property can (and often does) go into Key but less likley the other way around.

Think of a part number, lets say “1234”. That is a unique reference, this would be an Entity, however the part name is called “Brick”, this is not unique and therefore is not a good candidate for being an entity. However it is very good to describe the entity. However, we sell many bricks so you could imagine a table like this:

Entity Properties Properties Properties
Part Number Name Colour Region Of Manufacter
1234 Brick Blue Pandora
5678 Brick Yellow Oz
1212 Brick Green New Zealand

This is a very basic example, some may argue that Colour and Region of Manufacture could also be entities as they are good candidates for grouping on.

In Phocas the use of Entity should be chosen in the first instance as this will be fast at querying as its unique references, the database is indexed on these values, properties “come aloong for the ride” and can be searched upon too but not as fast.

As to why you are getting a difference between the two choices, this will be down to how the data is being stored. Its difficult to assist without better screen shots, there could be a chance that the results are being aggrigated for example you 10 rows when choosing property but only 5 when choosing entity, it could be grouped up.

There is a video in the academy that may help here: https://www.phocassoftware.com/academy/videos/advanced-search-by-entity

Sorry a bit rushed on the answer about to leave the office for the day. But hope this helps push the ball down the road.


I remember now the report I was trying to produce. I was searching for Customers with a specific type, however the Customer Type column is multivalue separated by a semicolon.

I see from this screenshot that it has code selected. I was searching it with a *like condition in both a code and property search and it was giving me different results.