About Member Selection, Variables, Functions, and Smart Lists

Like you use components to design business rules, you use members, variables, and functions to design components.

You use member selection in formula, script, condition, member and data range, and member block components to select members and functions that return a list of members. See Adding Members and Functions to a Component.

You use variables to build formulas for formula, loop, and condition components. There are two types of variables: execution variables, which are calculated when the business rule is launched, and replacement variables, which are substituted for more complex formulas or functions. (See Working with Variables.)

You can create these types of variables:

  • Global variables for use in all applications belonging to an application type

  • Application variables, for use in one application only

    Plan type or database variables, for use in one plan type or database

  • Rule variables, for use in one business rule only

Functions are predefined formulas that you can use in loop, condition, and formula components. (See Working with Functions for descriptions of the function types available for Planning applications.) You can use functions to perform calculations like these:

  • Converting date strings to numbers

  • Calculating the averages value of a member across a range

  • Calculating the depreciation of an asset for a time period

  • Calculating the period-to-date values of members in the Time dimension

You use a Smart List to select predefined options instead of typing an option in data form cells in Planning.