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For Want of a Nail…

Posted by Alan on April 25, 2008

So I spent about two hours this morning swearing and doing my best not to put my fist through the screen of my monitor.  Why you ask?  Well next week we are doing a presentation to a client that is interested in PerformancePoint.  So I am doing some mock-ups that are relevant to their business model. 

So to that end, I had created some dimensions, added them to a brand new model, deployed it and authored an input form in the Excel Add-In.  Pretty straight forward stuff.   I go back into the Modeler, create a simple cycle and then back into Excel to test it.  The assignment shows up fine, but for the life of me I can’t get my data entry grid to turn yellow!!!

So back into the Modeler.  I check my security and confirmed that I had remembered to grant the roll access to the model.   I check that the cycle has referenced the correct time period as my input form as well as the scenario I was expecting to use.  Everything was fine.  So I go and synchronize my dimensions again and I deploy the model again.  No luck.

So as my frustration builds, I create a brand new input form and all that goes with it.  No luck.

Now I am really frustrated to the point where I create a brand new model and then create a brand new input form.  No luck.   And the worse part is that it is still too early in the day to begin drinking heavily.

So I take a break from it and jump on this fancy thing we call the interweb and start doing some searches and checking some of the PPS blogs I read.  Luckily I see this new post by Peter Eb. on his blog about hiding filters to clean up your input form and while it is not the issue that I was facing it got me thinking in a different direction.

As it turns out I had a dimension in the model that I was originally planning on using, but when I created the input form I decided I did not need it.  When I recreated the model I had just blindly copied what I had in my first model, including the dimension I was not going to use.  And if you have a dimension in your model, it has to be on your input form (even if the member is set to none and it is hidden) or you are never, ever going to be able to do data entry.

If you are wondering what the title of this post has to do with the content then read the following proverb:

For Want of a Nail
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

It just goes to show you how something as small as having an unused dimension in a model can break everything else.   When working with PPS modeling, pay attention to detail.


2 Responses to “For Want of a Nail…”

  1. Thanks for this post Alan. I have been teaching a PPS course down here in recent months. There’s always at least one student in the class who gets the “no yellow cells” problem. I have never really had a “let’s check this first” piece of advice to give for this specific problem. Now I do, thanks!


  2. Subvisible said

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Subvisible!!

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