Version 2021

Creating an object

The objects you can create in MicroStrategy Developer fall into one of three groups: schema objects, application objects, and reports and documents.

  • Schema objects: Schema objects are generally created by a project designer and include such things as facts, attributes, hierarchies, and transformations. Schema objects are building block objects; they are used to create application objects. For information on how to create these kinds of objects, see the MicroStrategy Project Design Guide.

  • Application objects: These objects are used to create reports. Application objects are generally created by a report designer and are built from schema objects. This Help contains steps to create these types of objects. Samples of each type of application object are located in the Public Objects folder in the MicroStrategy Tutorial project in MicroStrategy Developer.

  • Report and document objects: Reports (and documents, if you own the MicroStrategy Report Services product) are built from application objects. Reports and documents are the objects that display the results calculated from your data for analysis purposes. Reports and documents are generally created by a report designer. This Help contains steps to create these types of objects.

Before you create a report to display your business data, you must have objects to place on the report. These objects define what business data will be displayed in any report on which the objects are placed.

If you have an internationalized MicroStrategy system that is set up for translated objects, when you create a new object the object's default primary language will be the metadata language preference of the user who creates the object (the object's owner). An object's primary language can be changed at any time. For details on translating object names and descriptions, see the MicroStrategy Administrator help from the MicroStrategy Developer Help menu.

In MicroStrategy Developer and MicroStrategy Web, you use editors and wizards to create and save the report-related objects you intend to use on reports. Steps to create all types of application objects are in this Help system, and links are provided below.

Object editors and wizards

Each object type that you create in MicroStrategy has its own editor or wizard to make object creation straightforward. Separate editors exist for filters, prompts, reports, and so on. Using the object's editor or wizard, you define all the details about that object. For example, to create a metric, you use the Metric Editor. Within the Metric Editor, you might define the metric as the difference between Revenue and Cost, and you might name this metric Profit. The mathematical calculation and the name are both part of this new metric's definition.

When the saved object is placed on a report, the definition you gave to that object becomes part of the report's definition, and in turn affects the SQL that is sent to your data source when the report is run. The SQL determines the appropriate data to be gathered, calculated, and displayed on this report. In this way, the objects you create and place on a report determine the results a user sees when he runs the completed report.

You can determine how MicroStrategy Developer opens object editors using Developer Preferences.

Ways to create objects                 

You can use any of the following methods to create new objects in MicroStrategy Developer:

  • From the File menu, select New, and select the type of object to create, such as a report or a filter. The object's editor or wizard opens.

  • On the toolbar, click the drop-down arrow on the Create a New Object icon, and select the type of object to create. The object's editor or wizard opens.

  • Right-click in an empty area on the right side of MicroStrategy Developer, select New, and select the type of object to create. The object's editor or wizard opens.

    If you right-click an object instead of within an empty area on the right side of MicroStrategy Developer, the New option is not available.

If an object you want to use on a report already exists in the project, but is saved in an inconvenient location, you can create a link, called a shortcut, to the existing object. In this way you create a shortcut object, which can be saved in a location that is more convenient for you. For steps and examples to create a shortcut, see About shortcut objects.

Creating a specific object

  • Attribute: Attributes are the business concepts reflected in your stored business data in your data source. Attributes provide a context in which to report on and analyze business facts or calculations. For example, you have a report containing the Month, Year, and Region attributes, as well as a Revenue metric. When executed, the report displays your company's revenue for each region, during each month and year for which data is available. Because of the attributes on the report, a substantial amount of information is available, including which regions produced the least revenue and which years saw the highest growth in revenue.

    Attributes are created by a project designer when an organization's project is first created. For examples and steps to create an attribute, see the MicroStrategy Project Design Guide.

  • Metric: Metrics are MicroStrategy objects that represent business measures and key performance indicators. From a practical perspective, metrics are the calculations performed on data stored in your database, the results of which are displayed on a report. Metrics are similar to formulas in spreadsheet software. Questions such as "What were the sales for the eastern region during the fourth quarter?" or "Are inventory counts being consistently replenished at the beginning of each week?" can easily be answered by metrics.

    Metric creation is usually the responsibility of advanced analysts. For examples and steps to create a metric, see About metrics.

  • Filter: A report filter is the part of a MicroStrategy report that screens data in your data source to determine whether the data should be included in or excluded from the calculations of the report results. Filters are helpful in clarifying large quantities of data and only displaying subsets of that data, so reports show users what they really need to see. For example, you want to determine the number of injuries to your delivery personnel in 2010 that may have been due to bad winter weather in the northeastern U.S. You also want to know the time of day when most injuries occurred. You place the Delivery Location and Delivery Time attributes on your report. You also place the Number of Reported Injuries metric on the report. But you only want the report to display injuries in your northeast region during the winter of 2010. Without a filter, you would have to sift through a lot of report data on your own. By creating a filter that includes Northeast Region, January 2010, and February 2010,and using that filter on the report, the data displayed when the report is executed is limited to that geographical region and season.

    Filters are an important part of almost all reports. For more examples and steps to create a filter, see About filters.

  • Prompt: A prompt is a question that the system presents to a user during report execution. How the user answers the question determines what data is displayed on the report when it is returned from your data source. For example, an analyst in an accounting company needs a report designed to show actual revenue and forecasted revenue for his company's clients. However, the analyst does not want to see data for every corporation his company does business with; right now he is only interested in seeing revenue and forecasts for certain corporations and only for the current year. The report designer can create one prompt that asks users to select which corporations they want to see data for, and another prompt that asks users what year they want to see data for. The report designer places the prompts on a report. When the analyst executes the report, he is prompted to answer these questions before the report's SQL query is sent to the data source, and as a result the report displays revenue and forecast numbers for only those corporations and year that this analyst is interested in seeing. The analyst can re-execute the report to choose different answers at any time and see different data.

    A prompt is like a dynamic filter, screening data differently each time the user answers the prompt differently. For more examples and steps to create a prompt, see About prompts.

  • Consolidation: Consolidations allow you to group attribute elements in new ways without changing the metadata and warehouse definitions. You can use consolidations on a report just like regular attributes. Consolidations allow you to qualify a report on a row-by-row basis. For examples and steps to create a consolidation, see About consolidations.

  • Custom group: A custom group is made up of an ordered collection of components called custom group elements. Each element contains a set of filtering or banding qualifications. Qualifications are the conditions that must be met for data to be included in the custom group element. For examples and steps to create a custom group, see About custom groups.

  • Report: A report is a MicroStrategy object that represents a request for a specific set of formatted data from your data source. In its most basic form, a report consists of two parts: a report template (usually simply called a template) which is the underlying structure of the report, and the report-related objects placed on the template, such as attributes, metrics, filters, and prompts. For examples and steps to create a report, see About reports.

  • Document: MicroStrategy Report Services documents (called documents) are available with the MicroStrategy Report Services product. Documents are a display of data from multiple reports with special formatting added. Documents are generally formatted to suit your business needs, in a single display of presentation quality. Documents are suitable for presentation to management for boardroom-quality material. For examples and steps to create a document, see Designing and creating documents.