Let's drill a level lower to reinforce our understanding.
11. Click the Store
folder (now labeled USA) again.
Notice that the flyout selection now represents second level Store
dimension categories (states); Store appears at the top (and we can
easily "drill up" or "zoom" back to the top level by
clicking its name here), with the categories that are beneath the country level
appearing as the next lower-level drill candidates, as shown in Illustration
Illustration 22: Drilldown
Selection for the Store Dimension - Second Level Categories
12. Click OR to
drill to the Oregon Store data.
"OR" now appears as the label on the Store
folder - and the measures that appear in the crosstab adjust accordingly. We
have drilled to the Oregon category, state level of the Store dimension, as shown in Illustration
Illustration 23: Effects
of the Drill to OR Stores
13. Click USA on the Store
categories list (shown in Illustration 24) to zoom / "drill up"
to the USA Store data.
Illustration 24: Zoom
Back to the USA Level
14. Drag the Product
folder and drop it to the right of the Stores (now states) list on the
report, as shown in Illustration 25. (A "ghost" image will
appear when we touch the dragged object to the drop point, shown circled in our
Illustration 25: The
Drop Point for the Product Dimension
The Product dimension becomes nested within the Store
dimension, effectively breaking down the Stores (now summarized
by state) by Product. The report appears as shown in Illustration
Illustration 26: The
Product Dimension Nested within the Store Dimension
15. Click the 3D Chart
button (see Illustration 27) on the toolbar to present the data in a 3D
Illustration 27: The 3D
PowerPlay displays both the totals and drilled-down data in the 3D
chart, as depicted in Illustration 28. Information about any part of
the data selected in the chart appears both in the lower edge of the window and
in a tooltip that appears upon touching the mouse to the data item. Note also
the presence of an MDX-esque address (my term, not Cognos'), partially
representing the cell "location" in terms of intersects in the cube,
in the bottom left corner of the display, when we click on a given object in
the bar chart.
Illustration 28: The
Data Displayed as a 3D Bar Chart
We can also right-click any data item in the chart and select Explain
from the context menu to see the precise details for the item of data
selected. An example Explain dialog appears in Illustration 29.
Illustration 29: Example
Explain Dialog for a Selected Bar on the 3D Chart
16. Close the Explain
17. Return to the crosstab
report display by clicking the Crosstab button (shown in Illustration
Illustration 30: The
Now let's take a brief look at PowerPlay in Reporter mode.
We can easily shift to Reporter mode with the simple click of a button.
18. Click the Switch
between Explorer and Reporter button (see Illustration 31).
Illustration 31: The Switch
between Explorer and Reporter Button
The switch to Reporter is almost unrecognizable,
initially. We can ascertain that we are in the Reporter mode, however,
by looking at the caption at the top of the PowerPlay window, which now
indicates the combined report / cube name as before (mine is PPlay2.ppr
of MSSQL_Warehouse) followed by "(Reporter)." (The
combined name would have carried the suffix "(Explorer),"
While there are numerous differences in the Reporter and Explorer
modes, perhaps the primary one is the flexibility we have within Reporter
to easily modify the report layout, and break somewhat from the rigorous "leveling"
operation of Explorer in drilldown and other operations. Let's look at
an example of this flexibility in deleting a single category from our report.
1. Right-click the WA
category from the row axis at the left of the report.
2. Select Delete
from the context menu that appears.
A submenu appears, offering us the option to delete Category(s)
or Level. This is indicative of the difference to which I refer between
the two modes. Explorer only allows us to delete Level at this
point (the Category(s) selection is grayed out and disabled). This fits
in with what we have discovered, while in Explorer, about its general
operation: Remember that we noted that when we drill down in PowerPlay Explorer,
we replace a parent category with its child categories in the
report - all simultaneously. The Explorer view is always at the "same
level" at any given time, and displaying all the members of that level.
This is desirable in a browse, perhaps, but makes for inflexible reporting.
Hence, we can often rely upon the more versatile properties of Reporter
to meet needs that are more specialized.