A prompt is a question the system presents to a user when a report is
executed. How the user answers the question determines what data is displayed
on the report when it is returned from your data source. For an
introduction to prompts, how prompts save the report designer time, and
how prompts work with MicroStrategy security filters, see the Basic Reporting Guide.
A report designer can include one or more prompts in any report. Prompts
are an effective tool to:
each user who executes the report to request individualized sets of
data from your data source when he answers the prompts and runs the
report. Effectively, each user creates a filter for the report.
the report designer to create a smaller number of reports overall,
using more inclusive objects, rather than having to create numerous,
more specific reports that are individualized to each analyst.
the report designer to ensure that the objects on a report are the
latest available objects in the project. This is possible using a
search object in a prompt. When a user launches a prompt by running
a report, the search object retrieves the latest objects that fit
the search criteria the report designer defined. Thus, no matter when
the prompt was created, each time a user executes the report, the
user chooses prompt answers from a list of the most up-to-date objects
available in the project, including objects that may not have existed
when the prompt was created.
users to keep the objects on their saved reports up-to-date. Users
can save a prompted report so that the objects within the prompt remain
connected to the original objects within the project that they were
originally based on when the prompt was created. If objects are modified
or deleted in the project, the report can reflect those changes the
next time the prompted report is run.
Components of a prompt
The pieces that make up a prompt control how a prompt appears and how
it functions. These components include the following:
||Answer requirement: This component
lets you determine whether users are required to answer the prompt
or an answer is optional. If an answer is required, a report cannot
be executed until an answer is provided.
||Default prompt answers: This component
lets you include a pre-selected answer for the prompt, which the user
can then accept, replace with a different answer, or accept and add
||Title and description: This component
lets you provide a useful name and description for the prompt, which
can significantly impact whether a user finds prompts to be simple
or complex .
||Style: This component determines
the appearance of the prompt and the layout of how users select answers
for the prompt.
Consider your users' needs and the purpose of the report and the objects
on it when you decide on these options. If you plan to apply a schedule
to a prompted report, the decisions you make about answer requirements
and default answers will affect how the report is filtered when it is
automatically executed on schedule. For a table showing how various combinations
of these options affect how a scheduled report is filtered when executed,
see the Advanced Reporting
For details and examples of each of these components and how they work
together, see the Basic Reporting Guide.
For steps to create a prompt, see the appropriate link under Related Topics
listed at the end of this topic.
Stand-alone prompt vs. prompt as part of a report or filter
A stand-alone prompt is a prompt that is created as an independent MicroStrategy
object. A stand-alone prompt can then be used on many different reports,
as well as on filters, metrics, and other objects, and can be used by
other report designers. A stand-alone prompt gives report designers flexibility.
In MicroStrategy Developer, prompts can also be created as an intrinsic
part of a given report, filter, or custom group, at the same time the
report, filter, or custom group itself is being created. Prompts created
as part of another object are saved with the definition of that object.
Therefore, a prompt created as part of another object cannot be used on
any other object. For more information on creating a prompt as part of
a report or filter, see the Building
Query Objects and Queries, for Designers chapter in the Basic Reporting Guide.
For more information on creating a prompt as part of a custom group, see
the Advanced Reporting
Comparing a prompt and a filter
A prompt is similar to a filter because
a prompt determines the specific data to be displayed on a report. The
difference is that you create a filter for a report to provide a single,
specific definition for the report. A filtered report then displays the
same set of data to every user who executes that report. In contrast,
a prompt dynamically modifies the contents of a report based on the user's
answers when the user executes the report. With prompts, users can determine
the objects (attributes, attribute elements, metrics, and so on) that
they want to be part of, or excluded from, the report query that is sent
to the data source. Therefore, a prompt can be seen as a way for each
user to create his filter for a given report. For example:
can choose from several existing filters to determine exactly which
filter screens the data on the report that they are about to execute.
To achieve this, create an object prompt that contains existing filters
and place that object prompt on a report. Then the user can choose
which filter to apply to the report. For more details on object prompts,
see Filtering data based on metrics,
attributes, or other objects: Object prompt.
allow a report to have a dynamic report definition, which users can
change each time that they submit the query by choosing different
answers when prompted. If you create an attribute prompt containing
the Year attribute, users are prompted to select the year for which
they want the report results. The report can be run the first time
by selecting 2005 and then a second time by selecting 2006.