Monthly Archives: November 2013

WebFOCUS reports with sparklines – the jQuery approach

Summary

This post is going to provide step by step instructions on how to implement sparklines
within WebFOCUS reports using a jquery plugin rather than the standard Information
Builders approach. The major advantage with this technique is it’s quite simple to implement and maintain because of the small code footprint.

Who is this for?

  • Intermediate WebFOCUS knowledge is required
  • Some javascript / jquery knowledge would help but not required if you’re comfortable
    with reading APIs

Backdrop

In most reports, you typically have a column that represents a dimension (a grouping)
and values of measures for that row. Here’s an example:

Additional context that would be useful would be to provide how the measure is doing
over time. This is where sparklines can be used.

Wikipedia’s definition:

A sparkline is a very small line chart, typically drawn without axes or coordinates

Here is an example of a sparkline that shows the trend of a fictitious trading index:

Now I’m going to show you a way to do that with WebFOCUS.

Tutorial

  1. Download the Excel spreadsheet
    here
    and upload it to your WebFOCUS application folder (mine is called sparkline-example)
    by right clicking on the folder, choosing ‘New’->’Upload Data’ and follow the wizard.
  2. This process will create a master file called Sheet1 assuming you choose all default
    options.
  3. Download this
    fex file
    and place into your WebFOCUS app folder that you added the Excel spreadsheet
    to. Read the in line comments to understand what’s going on.
  4. Finally, add the js files to your web application folder. You can download the js
    files here.

If you got everything set up properly, it should look like this when you run the
fex file.

Gotchas

The major gotcha is you will not be able to render this WebFOCUS report
as a PDF or do a page print with your browser. I.e. use this technique only if these are not required.

So what happened to my previous postings?

For those who have visited my blog before, you’ll notice that I don’t have any posts before November 2013. Well, that’s because my old hosting service decommissioned the server without letting me know.

Always the eternal optimist, I see this as an opportunity to reboot my blog. I’m going to revisit a few concepts including some data visualization techniques and WebFOCUS specific examples.

I hope to have something new up later this week.