Displaying forms: Attribute form properties

Attribute form properties are settings that affect the display of the forms. You must select properties for each form when you create forms in the Attribute Editor or Architect in MicroStrategy Developer. In the Attribute Editor, these properties are available when creating a new attribute form, or by modifying an attribute form. In Architect, these properties can be modified using the Properties pane, as described in Creating and modifying multiple attributes.

Attribute form properties include the following:

Categories: Help group the types of forms. The standard category options are ID, Desc, and None. You can create new form categories in the Attribute Editor.

When you have attributes that require multiple description forms, it is a good practice to map the most commonly used or most important description form to the Desc form of the attribute. Each attribute can have only one Desc form; the other description forms must be mapped to None forms. While there is no difference in how a Desc attribute form and None attribute form are used in MicroStrategy, mapping the most commonly used or most important description form can be helpful for project designers to quickly distinguish this attribute form from the other secondary forms.

Format types: Control how the form is displayed and how filters are defined. For example, specifying a format type of Big Decimal allows users to preserve precision when qualifying on a form with more than 15 digits. Big Decimal is discussed in detail in Data Types.
Report Sort: Defines how the attribute form is sorted by default when included in a report. From the drop-down list, you can choose from Ascending, Descending, or None. For information on how attribute forms are sorted when multiple attribute forms of a single attribute define a default sort order, see Default sorting of multiple attribute forms on reports below.
Browse Sort: Defines how the attribute form is sorted by default when viewed in the Data Explorer. From the drop-down list, you can choose from Ascending, Descending, or None. The Data Explorer is discussed in Hierarchy browsing.

Additional examples on how you can use the Report Sort and Browse Sort options to display attribute information are provided in Using attributes to browse and report on data.

Geographical Role: Defines how the attribute form can be used as geographical data with various MicroStrategy mapping features. When using Data Import, this type of geographical information can be automatically detected. For details on how Data Import is able to assign geographical roles to your data, see Strategies to include supplemental data in a project.
Shape File: Defines the shapes used to display the attribute form on various MicroStrategy mapping features. For details on using shape files to define the display of attribute forms as part of the Image Layout widget, refer to the Dashboards and Widgets Creation Guide.
Supports Multiple Languages: Defines whether the attribute form’s information can be displayed in multiple languages using data internationalization. For information on defining attribute forms to allow data to be displayed in multiple languages, see Supporting data internationalization for attribute elements.

Default sorting of multiple attribute forms on reports

When creating attribute forms, you can define the default sort order for each attribute form on a report by selecting a Report Sort option as described in Displaying forms: Attribute form properties above.

If you define multiple attribute forms of an attribute with ascending or descending sort orders, the first attribute form with a default sort order is used to sort the attribute on the report. If the first attribute form with a default sort order is not included on a report, then the second attribute form with a default sort order is used for sorting, and so on.

For example, the Customer attribute in the MicroStrategy Tutorial project has the five attribute forms shown below:

Of these five attribute forms, only Last Name has a default report sort order defined. Modify the Address form so that it has a descending report sort order. If you include Customer on a report with both Last Name and Address, customers are sorted by their Last Name in ascending order. This is because Last Name was created first and therefore is considered for sorting before the Address form. If you remove the Last Name form from the report, customers are sorted by their address in descending order.

This is the default functionality for how attributes are sorted by their attribute forms on reports. It is important to note that you can change how attribute forms are sorted from within a report. In a report you can use advanced sorting to define how attribute forms, metrics, and other report objects are sorted. Sorting defined for a report takes precedence over default sorting defined for attribute forms. For more information on advanced sorting, refer to the Advanced Reporting Guide.