In the world of Information Technology I understand the requirement for and the importance of system documentation. After some time even the team members who worked on a project will find well organized documentation useful in remembering how a system works and how all the pieces work together. A Clarity implementation is no different and good documentation is important for the long term success of the implementation.
I typically however don’t see the cost / benefit of having a consultant spend days and days going through each and every Clarity file to document the minute details of the report or template (e.g. Page Options, Data Sources, Data Maps, … ). It’s not that I don’t see any value in this, I just don’t see it worth the hours and hours of cost.
What if however you could create exactly this documentation, but in less than a minute! What if you could run it at anytime and have documentation that is never out-of-date! What if you could have instant Clarity Documentation!
For many years I had been wanting to build such a wonderful tool and finally these past few months I had the chance. Clarity clients who install the OLAP Solutions Clarity 7 Instant Documentation Add-On can now create report and template documentation whenever they want, including the ability to have descriptions, developer notes and usage statements, simply by selecting a Clarity menu item. The resulting printer friendly HTML output will list each and every Clarity file in the system and can be easily inserted into a Word Document or printed to a PDF. The tool works for both all Clarity 6.x and 7.x formats.
The following is a sample of the output for the Depreciation Allocation template (note that not all possible sections are displayed in this sample):
In an effort to keep this post to a readable size, the following are point-form notes on the area documented by the tool:
- Description – descriptive text added within Studio by the designer
- File Name
- Clarity Version
- Last Modified Date
- Clarity File Size
- Excel Last Modified File Date
- Excel File Size
- List of all Clarity Features that have been enabled, for example Zoom-In, Linked Documentation, Relational Popup, Cascade, …
- List of all Data Sources used by the file along with their type (E.g. Relational, Essbase, Analysis Services).
- List of all Queries used in the file along with their Type (OLAP, Relational), their Source and the Dimension (if applicable).
- List of all Page Options defined in the file along with their Type (List, Tree, Text), their Source Query and whether they are visible
- Order presented in the documentation is the same order the user see the option when the report / template is run
- List of all the Data Maps defined in the file along with their type (OLAP, Relational) and their Source.
- List of all the Jobs defined in the file along with the type (Server, Browser, Excel)
- List of all the Events defined in the file along with their Type (Server, Browser, Excel, Tool), their Trigger (e.g. After Save, Before Build, …), their Executed Job Name and their Job type (Server, Browser, Excel)
If you have any ideas for enhancements to the Add-On or are interested in the Add-On for your Clarity implementation please send me and note and we’ll discuss how we can make your Clarity implementation the best it can be!