What is "Append To Above" in Custom Mode?


#1

Hi,
Since the latest release of Phocas I noticed in custom mode a menu is present (could have been there before this release, but just seen it) called “append to above”, Other than locking the measure I would like to understand what it does. I don’t see anything in the Phocas help about it.


Thanks,

Jon


#2

I just noticed that yesterday too, Jon. When I tried it, it seemed to combine the two columns in some way under the column header of the “above” measure - what that does for me, not totally sure.

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Perhaps a way to do an easier side by side comparison under one column header? If you sort using the column header, it seems to also sort by the “above” measure.


#3

Interesting. I hadn’t noticed that either. I wonder what the use case of that is versus using the new mutli-level column headers.


#4

Pay close attention to the sorting. It actually toggles the sorting between the two columns. The triangle will toggle back and forth between the left and right sides of the header to indicate which column is sorted.


#5

That’s interesting. So four sorting possibilities in one column, basically. I suppose you could use this in my example above, where I could just replace the name on the column from being “Sales$ YTD LY” to “Sales$ YTD Comparison”, or something like that. Or if doing YTD sales$ and quantity, putting both columns under one appended column named “YTD Sales$ and Qty” just to group them.

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#6

But would that be any better than the stacked, or multi-level headers, or whatever you want to call them. Where you do column names as “YTD | Sales $” and “YTD | Sales Qty” and it groups them together.
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#7

I would agree, that having “YTD | Sales” & “YTD | Qty” is far better than “append to above”. What I don’t get is why its locked and greyed out on the grid results, what benefit does greying out the column give to the end user?

My spidey sense is telling me there is more to this than meets the eye…

Come on Phocas, put us out of our misery :slight_smile:


#8

OK Jon - it looks like your spidey sense is spot on!

Appended columns just means that two columns share a heading.

On its own, it probably isn’t especially useful for a large number of users. However, it was required to deliver the enhanced stream mode (introduced in v7.4.3), mainly for legibility reasons, column-width reasons and repetition reasons, which becomes quite significant with complex queries requiring double height headers. Enhanced stream mode is an important feature because it makes multi-stream comparisons simpler, without needing custom mode:

Although I don’t mention it in the video, the enhanced stream mode requires the appended columns to work. You could try it yourself: go into stream mode and then jump directly into custom mode. You’ll see the appended columns at work.

I hope that helps!


#9

Thanks @Tim.Leonard for the explanation makes perfect sense.
Regards,

Jon