Mastering OLAP Reporting: Meet Business Needs with Matrix Dynamics, Part II - Page 6

March 20, 2006

Having now made the primary (now the "nested") matrix data region a data item within the context of the second matrix data region, we can leverage the power of the matrix mechanism to control matrix behavior, just as we can use it to manage data, via row and column groups, and so forth. We shall see a demonstration of this in the following steps.

20.  Right-click the upper left corner of the parent matrix data region, in the manner we did before with the now-nested matrix.

NOTE: It is important, once we venture upon nesting data regions within each other, as we have in this example, to always be aware of "where we are" within the object set we transit. We can always keep an eye on the Properties window, where we can see that we have selected the intended matrix. (Using descriptive naming conventions at creation, versus the default names, for our report items certainly enhances our ability to use the names we see in the Properties window, and elsewhere, with a greater degree of utility).

21.  Select Properties from the context menu that appears, as depicted in Illustration 32.

Click for larger image

Illustration 32: Selecting Properties ... for the New Matrix ...

22.  Click the Groups tab on the Matrix Properties dialog, when it appears.

23.  Click the single item appearing in the Columns list box, as shown in Illustration 33.


Illustration 33: Select the Column Entry ...

24.  Click the Edit button to the immediate right of the Columns list box.

The Grouping and Sorting Properties dialog appears, defaulted to the General tab.

25.  Select the following using the drop down selector, to the right of the top line in the Expression list, under the Group on label:

=Fields!Sales_Territory_Group.Value

The Grouping and Sorting Properties dialog - General tab appears as depicted in Illustration 34.


Illustration 34: Grouping and Sorting Properties Dialog - General tab

26.  Click OK to accept changes and return to the Groups tab.

27.  Click OK once more, to dismiss the Matrix Properties dialog.

28.  Click in the textbox watermarked "Rows," within the parent matrix data region to display the gray column and row headers for the matrix once more,

29.  Pass the cursor over the bottom left edge of the row headers.

30.  When the cursor becomes a double-headed arrow, click to "grab" the bottom of the row.

31.  Narrow the bottom row of the parent matrix by dragging upward, as shown in Illustration 35.


Illustration 35: Narrow the Bottom Row of the Parent Matrix ...

Note that narrowing the bottom row in the parent matrix in this manner compresses all rows of the nested matrix. Had we tried to narrow the individual rows within the nested matrix, we would have met with difficulty sizing one without sizing others. This is one of several awkward aspects of nesting a matrix within another matrix: we would do well to weigh such eccentricities with the gains in presentation capabilities, before deciding upon this avenue in our reporting projects. (Other issues, such as impaired export to Excel and other file formats, should also be taken into consideration, of course).

32.  Highlight the column group label expression =Fields!Sales_Territory_Group.Value) in the column heading textbox for the nested matrix.

33.  Right-click the highlighted expression.

34.  Select Cut from the context menu that appears, as depicted in Illustration 36.


Illustration 36: Moving the Column Group Label Expression to the Parent Matrix ...

35.  Click again in the parent matrix textbox marked "Rows," to give the parent matrix (along with its column and row headers) the focus, once more.

36.  Click within the group column heading textbox for the parent matrix, to enter the textbox.

37.  Right-click from within the textbox.

38.  Select Paste from the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 37.


Illustration 37: Transplanting the Column Group Label Expression to the Parent Matrix ...

39.  With the cursor still in the textbox housing the newly copied Column Group label expression, click the Bold formatting button in the toolbar atop the Report Designer.

40.  Click the Center formatting button, lying several buttons to the right of the Bold button, next, as depicted in Illustration 38.


Illustration 38: With Textbox Selected, Click Bold and then Center ...

41.  With the textbox housing the newly copied Column Group label expression still selected, pass the cursor over the top right edge of the column headers.

42.  When the cursor becomes a double-headed arrow, click to "grab" the right edge of the rightmost column header.

43.  Narrow the right column of the parent matrix by dragging left (enough to tighten the columns around their respective labels – I ultimately took mine to about the 4.75 inches point on the ruler atop the canvas), as shown from a starting point in Illustration 39.


Illustration 39: Narrow the Right Column of the Parent Matrix ...

44.  In a similar manner, narrow the column to the immediate left of the one just adjusted – the column containing the Rows textbox – to about the .5 inches point on the ruler.

45.  Click the upper left corner of the gray column and row headers of the parent matrix to select the matrix, once again.

46.  When the matrix becomes highlighted, as before, use the directional arrow keys to move the parent matrix data region to the upper left hand corner of the canvas, as depicted in Illustration 40.


Illustration 40: The Parent Matrix Data Region Flush with the Upper Left Corner of the Canvas

47.  Delete the image / label textboxes we earlier moved out of the matrix.








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