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All About Annotations

Posted by Alan on October 23, 2008

Today I have decided to talk about the concept of Annotations.  Annotations are a nice feature of PerformancePoint, but there are some limitations to keep in mind: 

  • Annotations can only be entered in at the leaf levels of dimensions (i.e., individual cell level) in the PPS matrix and nowhere else.  They are entered against a specific value and cannot be entered against a range of values.
  • When opening a form or report the user must select “View -> Annotations” from the PeformancePoint Ribbon Bar in order to activate the showing of Annotations.  Annotations will then display as a “redish/pinkish” box if an Annotation is present.  To see the specific Annotation, the user must right mouse click on the cell and select “View Annotations” and a pop-up window will open to display the annotation.  As far as I know, there currently is no way to default having Annotations automatically highlight when you connect to PPS.
  • As Assignments flow through the approval process, the Annotations will flow with them.
  • When a user opens a form with a page filter on it, when you move between different Dimension Members (e.g., Department1, Department2, etc.) the matrix will change and the Annotations at the cell level will appear and disappear. Annotations do not roll-up!  This means if a user is looking at “All Departments” and there are Annotations in cells at individual Department levels (i.e., Department1 or Department2), the user will have to change the filter selection to Department1 or Department2 in order for the Annotation to become visible.  There is no out-of-the-box alert that an Annotation exists at a leaf level.
  • All users who have PPS will be able to view Annotations within the input form in PPS.  There is no security on individual Annotations.
  • Reports created and reviewed via the Excel Add-In will also display the Annotations.
  • There is no out-of-the-box way to print Annotations if a user prints the Excel input form.
  • Annotations are stored in the PerformancePoint relational database and not in the cubes.  Therefore any external reporting tool being used to display the data will have to access both the cubes and the relational databases.

I have also worked out the specifications to display a roll-up of Annotations within the body of an input form using SQL Queries and data connections to Excel.  When I get more time, I will detail how to do it.

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2 Responses to “All About Annotations”

  1. Peter Eb. said

    Just a quick clarification about security: If you can read the data cell, you can read all the annotations. There’s still security, it just should match exactly to the cell security. In approval/review scenarios if you don’t have permissions to a cell that the contributor did, you will still be able to see the added annotations (and values) in the current changes sheet.

  2. Alan said

    Peter, thanks for the clarification on my bad wording about security. Double thanks for net new information on seeing annotations in the current changes sheet. I hadn’t even thought about that.

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