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About Thermometers Used in Smart Reports

A thermometer is a partially filled rectangle graph in the dashboard section of a Smart Report. Figure 21 shows the parts of a typical thermometer. The parts are the trigger label, the mercury level, and the thermometer label.

Figure 21. Parts of a Thermometer
Click for full size image

A thermometer frame is derived from the ssThermometer component in the ssSmart.rol library by subclassing. Most of the functionality required for implementing a thermometer is already defined in the ssThermometer library component. A custom thermometer can be defined by adding an ssThermometer component to a frame in a report section; configuring three properties; and writing code to calculate four values and pass them, by way of global variables, to methods in the parent component.

The three properties to configure in the thermometer component are the following:

  • Color. Color of the mercury in the thermometer. Each thermometer in a dashboard must use a different mercury color.
  • Thermometer Label. The text of the label that appears beneath the thermometer.
  • TriggerLabel. The text of the label that appears to the left of the trigger tick mark on the left side of the thermometer.

The four parameters that are passed to the ssThermometer library component are the following:

  • DataValue. The value of the parameter being displayed. This determines the height of the mercury. For example, in a thermometer displaying past revenue for an account, the value of the past revenue of the current account would be displayed as a height relative to the minimum and maximum values for all accounts. Unlike the other three parameters, this one is calculated for the specific entity being reported on—in this case, one account rather than all accounts.
  • MinimumValue. The minimum value for this entity among all like entities (accounts, opportunities, and so on). Determines the value associated with the bottom edge of the thermometer frame.
  • MaximumValue. The maximum value for this entity among all like entities. Determines the value associated with the top edge of the thermometer frame.
  • TriggerDataValue. The value that determines whether the data value for this entity is above, is below, or meets the target established for this kind of entity. In the Past Revenue example, the trigger data value establishes the height, relative to the maximum and minimum values of the trigger tick mark.

These four values are passed in the OnRow method in the thermometer component. They are passed, by way of global variables defined in the report design (top-level) object, to the corresponding method in the parent library thermometer, ssThermometer. The thermometer is drawn based on these four parameters and on the text and color properties specified in the thermometer component.

Much of the effort in configuring a thermometer lies in obtaining values for the minimum, maximum, and trigger from all records, and for the data value from the current record. The thermometer must also be positioned as a flow in the dashboard subpage. These configuration issues are explained in separate subsections.

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