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Why do some function buttons keep disappearing from my Webi Toolbars?

September 2016

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If I had a quid for every time I’ve been asked this question over the last couple of years I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this blog post now.

Basically this comes down to which Web Intelligence app you’re using to create/modify your reports. There are two of them, and although you may think you know which one you’ve chosen to use, you can still get caught out depending on how you open a saved document when modifying it.

The first thing to check is your BI Launch Pad/Web Intelligence Preferences. Under the heading “Modify (creating editing and analysing documents) you’ll have three choices:

  • HTML (no download required)
  • Applet (download required)
  • Desktop (Rich client, Windows only, installation required)

Ignoring the third option (Desktop/Rich client) for now, it’s whichever of the first two you’ve selected that’s important here. If you’re using HTML then certain functions within Web Intelligence, such as Group, and Creating New Conditional Formatting Rules for example, as well as features like building queries based on an Excel spreadsheet won’t be available to you. Choose Applet as your default creation tool and you will have access to these features.

Note that your selections here affect the tool that you use for creating new documents and modifying existing ones. So, when you launch the Web Intelligence app from your launch pad, it’s the app you’ve chosen as your default Modify tool that will be loaded.

The use of that word Modify is important. It refers to the tool that you use when you want to make changes to a previously saved web intelligence document. That probably sounds obvious, but lots of people don’t actually use the Modify command when they want to edit an existing document.

This is where your View preferences are important. Back in your Web Intelligence Preferences you also have a choice about which app to use when you view webi documents. Now, you might not have appreciated the difference between viewing and modifying documents, but it can be significant, and comes down to something as simple as how you actually open existing documents to change them.

If you simply double click a document from either your Home or Documents pages in your launch pad, you’ll be viewing it – and therefore the app chosen as your default View preference will be used. This will be the case even if you switch from Reading view to Design view – you’ll still be working with the same tool. If that’s HTML, then you may have the problem of missing toolbar buttons as described above.

If you right click a document and then choose Modify, on the other hand, you’ll be modifying, and therefore your default Modify app will be used.

So if you have the Applet chosen as your Modify preference, but HTML as your View preference, and you open a document for editing simply by double clicking it, then features that were available to you when you created it using the Applet, won’t be available now you’re editing it with the HTML app.

I hope that clear things up a bit for anyone who’s been confused by this. Don’t forget, PPA runs regular monthly scheduled Intro and Advanced Reporter courses from our training centre in Guildford – click here to learn more.

Chris O’Shea
September 2016