This is the second part of a series on Spotfire Properties. In the previous post, I talked about Document Properties. This week we’ll take a look at Data Table Properties.
Data Table Properties
As the name indicates, Data Table Properties controls everything related to data tables. It’s organized into 6 tabs. No matter which tab you click on, the data table names and the four buttons on the right-hand side of the screen will always be visible. You may notice each of the data tables has a square of color next to the name. This is a visual indicator of whether or not tables are related. If the tables are related, they will be the same color. If the tables are not related, they will have different colors.
- Rename — Allows the user to rename the table
- Refresh Data — Click the button and then choose Refresh Data with or without prompt. This button was CRITICAL before TIBCO added the ability to edit transformations from the Data Panel. In the past, users had to use Refresh Data with Prompt to step through transformations, although this is no longer the case.
- Delete — Allows you to delete tables.
- Set as Default — When new visualizations are added, they are connected to the default table. Change this to the table you use most frequently.
Data Table Properties General
The General tab has most of what users are looking for.
- Store data — This radio button allows you to toggle between embedded and linked to the source. Spotfire defaults to linked. As long as it is linked, the DXP will ping the data source each time the file opens.
- Key columns for linked data — This setting applies to tags and replacing specific values. If you are new to Spotfire, check out this post on tags, which references this dialog. Replacing specific values was a new function added in version 7.9. Users may now double-click on a value in a table and replace that individual value if keys are set up in Data Table Properties.
- Type of data — This box will appear gray and unavailable unless you are importing data On Demand. If loading On Demand, this is where you can change On Demand settings.
- Filters — By default, Spotfire will create a filter for each column of data in the filter panel. You can change this setting by setting the radio button to ‘Manage manually’. I talk about manually managing filters in this post. Spotfire also defaults to caching columns automatically. This setting can be changed in Data Table Properties or in Administrative Settings. You can check out this post for more information on caching calculated columns.
Data Table Properties Source Information
Next, the Source Information tab displays the analysis build steps. Before the Data Panel Source View, this was critical. You may still need Source Information for more detailed information outside the Source View. If I need to rebuild an analysis, I copy and paste this into Microsoft Word for reference.
Data Table Properties Relations
Relations facilitate marking and filtering across different data tables in Spotfire. If this case, I have two tables — Well Location Data and Well Producing Depth Data. I have a common column between them that I want to filter on, so I create a relation to do that. Click the Manage Relations button to see the relations. This screen will be blank unless the user has created relations.
Data Table Properties Column Matches
Column Matches are what allow users to place data from different tables on the same visualization. Spotfire creates them for you when you have the same column (name and data type) in more than one data table. For example, if I have a column called Well Name where the data type is a string in both tables, Spotfire creates the match. In this particular case, my two tables didn’t have columns that matched the name and data type, but I created a column match manually on ComplName and Well_ID.
Data Table Properties Properties
Data Table properties are usually created in Information links and appear in the Properties tab. Users may also create new properties here.
Data Table Properties Scheduled Updates
Lastly, Scheduled Updates primarily impact analysis files used by the Web Player, as described in this blog post. However, they can also assist in optimizing desktop files as well, as described in this blog post. In this dialog, TIBCO provides a link to your server where you can set up scheduled updates for the DXP. It also lists all source data tables contributing to the data table you have already selected above. If you click one of the check-boxes, Spotfire excludes the table from the scheduled update and will reload when a new user opens the analysis.
Now, you know everything there is to know about Data Table Properties!
Guest Spotfire blogger residing in Whitefish, MT. Working for SM Energy’s Advanced Analytics and Emerging Technology team!