Exporting Spotfire to PDF with Action Control Button

Recent Spotfire versions include the ability to export visualizations, pages, or the entire analysis into a PDF from the File menu or even with an Action Control button.  Finally!  Version 7.12 includes extremely user friendly customization options while previous versions require some IronPython code:  we will address both here.

The 7.12 version gives the user an interface for customization that we could previously only access via IronPython.  Spotfire has delivered what many users for years have clamored for, so check it out after the break…

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How to insert a live Spotfire in a PowerPoint

I’m embarrassed to say that I have telling people this wasn’t possible for the longest time but turns out, the Office Add-ins store had a plugin for HTML code in PowerPoint.

Setting up the Add-on

Go into PowerPoint, and from the top select Store. This opens the Office Add-ins for PowerPoint:

Search for HTML and select Office Apps Fiddle for PowerPoint.

Adding the script

Drop in your new add-in and select HTML.

Use the code listed here and replace it with the link to your Spotfire file. Serious caveat: You will need to log into the server every time, but that can simply be prep for your meeting.

Finished! The web player will be interactive inside the PowerPoint and works great. This presentation will stay current with your live data.

For some further improvements, you can use JavaScript mashup to integrate it a little better.



Spotfire: Utilizing Column Properties (and How to Make Your Own)

Did you know that you can create your own Column Property and then designate a property value for each column?  Did you know that you can do this not only in the Property Control window but also in the Column Property window for even more flexibility?

Why might you want to create your own Column Property?  Maybe you want to group a handful of columns together by some shared quality.  Why might you want to do that?  Both Custom Expressions and Search Expressions can utilize a Column Property, so you can create these properties for columns and then reference the columns with a shared quality.

Frankly, there is a lot of uncharted territory and potential innovation within this relatively unknown Spotfire feature, so our main focus today will be to discuss briefly what Column Properties are, demonstrate two ways to make your own, and show one possible use case.

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Using Spotfire Search Expressions to Limit Columns in Data Function Parameters Window

Recently, I added a hierarchical column to a data table only to see a data function break and scream error messages at me as a result.  The data function used the table in question and included all of the columns of the data table using “*” in the Parameter Input Search Expression window.  However, the data function did not know how to handle a hierarchical column as an input.  So, how could I exclude this column while keeping all of the others without hard coding them, so that they would remain dynamic for data replacement purposes?  The Search Expression window is the answer.

In the Edit Parameters window, I chose the data table input, then typed “not ColumnType::Hierarchy” in the Search Expression window.  Each column has a column type, which we can see in Column Properties.

This Search Expression calls the Hierarchy column type, then excludes it with “not”.  That’s all it took to fix my data function!

Search Expressions can be very powerful in limiting data table metadata so that only columns, categories, or certain data types get utilized by different Spotfire capacities.  Check out a recent blog I wrote about using Search Expressions in Property Controls to get a more in depth look at different expression terminology.

Using Spotfire Search Expressions to Limit Property Controls

Spotfire Property Controls like drop-down menus and list boxes can become cumbersome when a dataset has numerous variables and/or multiple data types.  What if we don’t want all columns to be available to the user for industry reasons (some columns wouldn’t make sense) or simply efficiency reasons (too many columns to sift through)?  What if only certain data types would be appropriate to use?  Fortunately, Spotfire lets us limit these list Property Controls via Search Expression.

Maybe you’ve seen those little search boxes in Spotfire which allow you to search for data (columns, categories, etc).  Maybe not, as I’m finding out even many Spotfire experts haven’t.  Search Expressions act distinctly from Custom Expressions.  These expressions do not use mathematical operations.  They do not use brackets to denote a column.  You cannot use another Document Property within the limiting expression.  These expressions serve only to search for strings using a simplified language (usually with the goal of selecting or limiting something).  Property Controls, Data Function Parameter windows, and the Information Designer are a few of the places you might find a Search Expression window and today’s discussion on Search Expressions will most likely apply to all of the scenarios.

So, let’s take a look at how we can use Search Expressions in different ways to control and limit the options in our list based Property Controls.

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Well Spacing: More Than One Number

With the rise of unconventionals and the increase in wells permeating already tapped fields, Well Spacing has become the hot topic du jour.  But, what is well spacing?  Does it refer simply to how many wells are in one area?  If so, is that area defined by a circle or rectangle or other definition?  What is the make-up of the nearby wells?  Today, we will examine some common terms and approaches to analyzing well spacing.

Two templates that utilize the features that we will discuss in today’s post are Well Spacing Feature Calculations and Horizontal Well Spacing Model.

Key terms we will discuss today:  Voronoi Diagram, circular and rectangular radius, Area of Interest, intersect area, intersecting wells, closest wells, closest distance, aggregated well statistics.

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Update to Troubleshooting Long Load Times

A few months ago, I authored this post on troubleshooting long load times.  There is now an even easier way to figure out which tables are slow loaders.  As of version 7.12, this information is available in the Help menu — Support Diagnostics and Logging.  Go to the Diagnostic Information tab and scroll down to the Application Information section.  The load time information will be at the bottom of that section.  It will tell you how long each table is taking to load.