Design Charts

This chapter covers the following topics:

Introduction to Design Charts

Use Design Charts to express explicit compatibility relationships that are complex and cannot be described using Explicit Compatibility Rules. A Design Chart sets up an array of relationships in the runtime Oracle Configurator so that if the end user selects any of the options included in the Design Chart, that selection can affect the logic state of other options in the Design Chart.

Like other Compatibility Rules, a Design Chart does not select options. Instead, it sets the logic state of any options that are incompatible with the end user’s selection to Logic False (which corresponds to the Auto-Excluded selection state), and displays a contradiction message if the end user selects one of the incompatible (excluded) options.

Design Charts provide a simple, efficient way to define the relationship between a Model’s Primary and Secondary Features.

A Primary Feature is an Option Feature or BOM Option Class that defines the variations of the product or service being configured. The compatibilities defined in the Design Chart are based on the Primary Feature. A Secondary Feature can be either a Defining or an Optional Option Feature or BOM Option Class. A Defining Feature participates in the unique combinations that define the options of the Primary Feature. The options in an Optional Feature can be arbitrarily compatible or incompatible with the options of the Primary Feature. Refer to the example in Design Chart Example for more information.

Features that are participants in a Design Chart must be Option Features, and they must have the following settings:

BOM Option Classes that participate in a Design Chart must have the Optional Children are Mutually Exclusive setting set to Yes. For more information, see Compatibility Rule Participants and Maximum Selections.

For important information about the default runtime behavior of Design Charts, see Gated Combinations.

To build a Design Chart, see Defining Design Charts.

Design Chart Example

In this example, a hypothetical automobile company designs and manufactures several models of sport and full-size pickup trucks. Part of the Model structure appears as shown in Example of Automobile Model Structure .

Example of Automobile Model Structure

the picture is described in the document text

Design Chart for Automobile Model Structure shows the Design Chart for this product.

Design Chart for Automobile Model Structure
Model
Sport 1500 2500 3500
Displacement
200ci X
250ci X X
350ci X
Fuel
Gasoline X X
Diesel X X
Transmission Type
Manual 4 Speed X X
Manual 5 Speed X X
Automatic X X X X
Towing
Bumper X X
Standard X X X X
Heavy-Duty X X X

In this Design Chart, Model is the Primary Feature. Its Options represent the types of trucks that are available. Each truck Model is defined by the engine displacement and fuel used. Therefore, Displacement and Fuel are the Defining Secondary Features. Each of the Primary Feature’s options are defined by a unique combination of Defining Secondary Features.

Only one option of each Defining Feature can be compatible with a given Primary Feature option. When multiple Defining Features are specified, as in this example, the combination of compatible options must be unique for each of the Primary Feature’s options. Each column contains a unique combination of options. Note how the combinations of options specified for Displacement and Fuel are unique for each truck Model.

Various combinations of transmission type and towing package are available for each truck Model, so these are Optional Secondary Features. When the end user chooses the Sport Model, it must have a 200 cubic inch gasoline engine, but it can have either a manual 4 speed or an automatic transmission, and either the Bumper or Standard towing package.

Examples

The tables in this section show three different examples of how the Design Chart shown in Design Chart for Automobile Model Structure functions at runtime. Each example assumes the end user has not yet made any selections from the Pickup Truck Model. Note that examples 1 and 2 assume different Minimum Selections values for all participating Features.

Runtime Effects of Selecting Design Chart Options - Example 1 shows the effects at runtime when an end user starts by selecting the Sport Model, and the Minimum Selections of all participating Features is set to 0 (zero).

Runtime Effects of Selecting Design Chart Options - Example 1
Feature Option Logic State
Model Sport User True
1500 Logic False
2500 Logic False
3500 Logic False
Displacement 200ci Unknown
250ci Logic False
350ci Logic False
Fuel Diesel Logic False
Gasoline Unknown
Transmission Type Manual 4 Speed Unknown
Manual 5 Speed Logic False
Automatic Unknown
Towing Bumper Unknown
Standard Unknown
Heavy-Duty Logic False

The end user selected the Sport option, so the logic state of this option becomes User True. Because the Maximum Selections for the Model Feature is set to 1, the logic state of the other truck Model options becomes Logic False. Throughout the rest of the Pickup Truck Model, the options that are not defined as compatible by the Design Chart become Logic False. The options that are compatible remain Unknown. (Remember: This example assumes the Minimum Selections on all participating Features is 0.)

The example in Runtime Effects of Selecting Design Chart Options - Example 2 shows the effects at runtime when an end user starts by selecting the Sport Model, and the Minimum Selections for all participating Features is set to 1.

Runtime Effects of Selecting Design Chart Options - Example 2
Feature Option Logic State
Model Sport User True
1500 Logic False
2500 Logic False
3500 Logic False
Displacement 200ci Logic True
250ci Logic False
350ci Logic False
Fuel Diesel Logic False
Gasoline Logic True
Transmission Type Manual 4 Speed Unknown
Manual 5 Speed Logic False
Automatic Unknown
Towing Bumper Unknown
Standard Unknown
Heavy-Duty Logic False

Note that when the Design Chart constraints leave only one available option, that option becomes Logic True. In this example, these options include the 200ci and Gasoline options.

The example in Runtime Effects of Selecting Design Chart Options - Example 3 shows the effects at runtime when an end user starts by selecting a Defining Secondary Feature, which constrains the Primary Feature. The end user selects a 250cc engine, which limits the available Truck Model choices to 1500 and 2500.

Runtime Effects of Selecting Design Chart Options - Example 3
Feature Option Logic State
Model Sport Logic False
1500 Unknown
2500 Unknown
3500 Logic False
Displacement 200cc Logic False
250cc User True
350cc Logic False
Fuel Diesel Unknown
Gasoline Unknown
Transmission Type Manual 4 Speed Unknown
Manual 5 Speed Unknown
Automatic Unknown
Towing Bumper Unknown
Standard Unknown
Heavy-Duty Unknown