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Bookmarks Development and Testing

Bookmarks Development and Testing

Tableau, Power BI, OBIEE, Cognos, Qlikview, Looker, Micro Strategy, and other developing BI Visualization technologies have pushed business intelligence reporting to the next level in recent years. We mostly employed Excel and Web pages for reporting in the early years of this decade. At such a stage, the functionality and deployment options are limited.

In this new era of BI reporting visualization tools, including Tableau and Power BI, are investigating new possibilities of visualization, broadening the reach of management reporting and analysis to many levels.

In the process of empowering and including many web-based functionalities also with the low code environment in Power BI, bookmarks play an important role to enable many attractive and user-friendly functionalities.

Bookmarks are one of the most powerful features in Power BI. Bookmarks capture the state of the Report Page with Filters and Slicers state, visual state( visibility of the Visuals selected in the selection pane), sorting applied in Visuals, Focus, or Spotlight Mode too.

What is the Data option checked in the Bookmarks?

Data option in the Bookmarks enabled by default and it captures the data applied to the Filters, Slicers, or any other visuals on the page of the report.

 

How to uncheck the data option in Bookmark?

Click on the three dots beside the bookmarks you can see data, display, Current Page, and All visuals options checked

Data tips: When the bookmarks are applied to a few visuals and filters on the same page then the visuals get filtered from one bookmark to another. To avoid this behavior the bookmarks should be updated with the data unchecked.

How Do ‘All Visuals’ and ‘Selected Visuals’ Work in Bookmarks for a Power BI Report?

While applying the bookmark in a report by default ‘All Visuals’ is selected because the bookmark applied should apply to all the visuals on the page. 

Example:

if a report has an option to show the ‘Last Refresh Date’ which is the MAX(Date_table[Posted_Date]) and there should be a Reset Filters option to be applied on the page to reset all the filters applied for a better User experience. 

Here, the Reset Filters are created and applied with the Button Actions associated with the Bookmark. The Bookmark which is updated at the default state of the Filters but there are some more visuals that do not need to be captured at that state. 

In the above Scenario, All Visuals should be avoided and we should select the Selected Visuals only. 

How do the Current Page option work in Bookmarks for a Power BI Report?

By default Bookmarks are updated to capture the state of the current page but if it is unchecked to capture the change on another page too.

The current Page option is a very unique feature to enable the Bookmark applied to another page which may be hidden or open which will eventually change the next page with the selection etc.

Magic Combination of Power BI:

Buttons, Bookmarks, and Selection pane are the magic combination that enables many features in the Power BI Reports. Buttons, Image, and Shape have six options to apply the action.

Button names can be modified and stored for four different states like 

  1. Default State – Text assigned to the default state will be always visible.
  2. On Hoover- Text applied to Hoover state will be visible only on mouse hover
  3. On Press – If the Button is clicked the text applied on the press is visible
  4. Disabled –  Text assigned to this will be visible at Disabled state

 Available actions: 

  1. Back
  2. Bookmark
  3. Page Navigation
  4. Drill Through
  5. Q&A
  6. Web URL

1.Back – Back action is a powerful option that can be used to come back to the same page after navigating to any page.

2.Bookmark: Linking of a created bookmark in the action to a button will apply the bookmarks when we click the button.

3.Page Navigation: Page Navigation action applied to the button navigates to another page or to the given function. Navigating to the given page is straightforward and the using function to navigate is also a good feature.

4.Drill Through – Drill through feature can be applied through this action

5.Q&A – Q&A option can be enabled with this button click action for a better user experience like a button with a name Queries can be used for this action.

6.Web URL – a given Web URL can be used for the external site navigation or an internal function can be used to enable it in the provided column.

Bookmarks Slicer Panel: 

Creating a dynamic Slicer Pane in power BI Reports :

Step 1: Insert an image or button or shape for the ON Action

Step 2: Select a shape to fix the filter within

Step 3 Fix the filters in the shape

Step 4: Select the visuals in the selection pane and open the ‘On button’ and open the ‘Off button” 

Creating forms  and Sales funnel forms with Bookmarks:

With the help of Bookmark features, a successful Sales funnel form for user requirements can be created with Low Code in Power BI reports. With the beautiful functionality of the Current Page option in Bookmarks, we can achieve many use cases which only are possible till now with different WordPress or Web applications or Forms in coding environments.

Let’s discuss the Forms and Sales Funnel creation for user requirements in Power BI reports in detail in the next section.

Maintenance and testing of Bookmarks:

Bookmarks maintenance and testing become a tedious task after the creation of multiples of Bookmarks on each page in the report. 

Common issues at  Bookmarks maintenance and testing:

  1. In the process of development, if the team decides to change the button or the shapes attached to the bookmarks, the bookmarks assigned behind that will be idle and create confusion later in maintenance.
  2. In the regression testing Bookmark, testing takes time and needs to workaround in the reports and pages.
  3. Buttons are difficult to check whether the bookmark action applied to it and works as expected.
  4. Bookmark options when applied with data or filters need to be tested for which filters it has applied. Bookmarks applied on selected visuals need to be carefully checked for which selection it is applied to.

Bookmark testing :

Bookmark testing is not a straightforward task. The following  steps should be followed:

  1. To test the Bookmark state, the button or image or the shape which has been assigned with Bookmark has to be tested whether the action to the same has been applied in the Power BI format actions.
  2. The action may be on but the bookmark might not be assigned or not properly assigned.
  3. If the bookmark is assigned in the action to the button then the bookmark state has to be played and tested.
  4. Some visuals, forms, buttons, and images in the selected pane may need to be deleted as of a result of bookmark development and revisions.
  5. Hidden slicers in a selected form have an impact on the data presented in this report. If the data displayed in a table contains 1000s of entries, and if Slicers are applied to it, data presentation errors may arise on each visual.

If you’re looking for BI Testing Tools to automate your report testing, BI Validator can help. Please contact us for a demo.

Datagaps

Established in the year 2010 with the mission of building trust in enterprise data & reports. Datagaps provides software for ETL Data Automation, Data Synchronization, Data Quality, Data Transformation, Test Data Generation, & BI Test Automation. An innovative company focused on providing the highest customer satisfaction. We are passionate about data-driven test automation. Our flagship solutions, ETL Validator, Data Flow and BI Validator are designed to help customers automate the testing of ETL, BI, Database, Data Lake, Flat File, & XML Data Sources. Our tools support Snowflake, Tableau, Amazon Redshift, Oracle Analytics, Salesforce, Microsoft Power BI, Azure Synapse, SAP BusinessObjects, IBM Cognos, etc., data warehousing projects, and BI platforms.

 

Queries: contact@datagaps.com

Slicers Testing in Power BI Report

Slicers Testing in Power BI Report

One of our clients decided to change their reporting platform to Power BI and started rebuilding their reports. However, they had a large number of reports. The implementation process began with the planning of the development phase. They embarked on the journey by creating eight sets of reports using multiple PBIX files. 

One of the eight reports had 60 pages with 4 to 10 slicers on each page and navigation between the pages. A closer look at the plan reveals that the number of days or hours spent on development is only one portion of the project. A small amount of time in the plan was allocated towards testing and fixing the issues. However, in reality, testing is more painful than development and the fixing of issues took longer than originally planned. Every round of testing may result in changes to the functionality of the report.

Why is testing a report more painful than Development?

Development is a wheeled voyage, but testing and verifying each aspect requires walking back and covering the entire journey. There are numerous parts to test, including functionality, regression, user interface, upgrading, migration, and so on. Why do we need to have a proper plan for testing the reports when the report developer has completed the development as per the requirement?

Power BI reports, like any other software development project, necessitate careful planning and testing. Data issues in reports can lead to a loss of trust in the data displayed in the report if they are not tested. Let’s only discuss the testing of Slicers in this post because it may appear that testing of slicers is simple and won’t take up much time.

How to use Slicers in a Power BI report?

Case 1: Slicers used as a list with selection boxes or horizontal tabs. We may slice this data or report by Organization Name, and the elements in the list are easy to see.

Pros:

  • The user can inspect all of the Slicer’s elements.
  • Any element can be readily selected by the user.
  • Simple to put to the test

Cons: 

  • This Slicer takes up a lot of room in the report.
  • When we only have a minimal number of items on the list, it will be user-friendly.

Case 2: Slicers used as the dropdown in Power BI

   

We can add additional numbers in a limited place using the Slicers’ dropdown kind.

Pros: 

  1. The dropdown menu allows the user to simply navigate the list.
  2. It takes up very little space.

Cons:

  1. It’s difficult to tell whether it’s single or multiple selections.
  2. It’s difficult to see if the search option for multiple selections is activated.
  3. It’s difficult to tell if the list is in the correct sequence.
  4. It’s difficult to see if the Slicer has been assigned the correct field.

We must look at the header when creating dropdown slicers or any other Slicer because the header provided in the Slicer header option is only by default left-aligned, which appears unusual, or even if we apply the name to the Slicer header, it can only be confirmed with the field at by clicking on it.

We must check the dropdown to see if all of the fields in the slicer are available and not filtered at the visual, page, or report level.

Case 3: Slicer used for Navigation function:

Slicers are typically used for bookmarks that have been selected or for a navigation list that has been prepared. This Navigation list is used to apply Navigation from a button or image/icon that has action.

The initial list of needed fields or values in the column, as well as the action applied to it, should be used to test the Slicer navigation.

Case 4: Date Slicers for the data in a date range 

Date Slicer is to define a range of date fields in a dataset.

There are two ways to use a date slicer:

1.  A date field assigned to a slicer will display the Slicer’s calendar selection option. In this case, we can assign a single column and define the range using the between option in the Slicer’s header.

2. We should use two slicers to describe the data if we have two date columns, one that displays the “from date” and the other that displays the “to date.” The range will be defined by selecting the From date Slicer with the option of ‘After’ and the To date Slicer with the option of ‘Before.’ d to specify the date range.

Adjust the slider to define the range.

Case 5: Slicer with a DAX Query

Slicer with a DAX Query, such as producing a list of items in the slicer using the SWITCH function

Testing of the Slicers

Slicer data validation

Slicer data should be validated individually to confirm that the list of items in the field is visible and matches the data source and that the data is not affected by any filter applied in the report.

Slicer format validation 

Slicer layout and format should conform to the report requirements and report development standards of the organization. For example, the color, font, x, and y positions should be validated. 

RLS based Slicer validation

The values displayed in a slicer may change based on the role of the user viewing the report. If there is a requirement to show limited values in the slicer based on the RLS security, the data in the slicer should be validated for different roles. 

Slicer data sorting validation

Sorting applied to the slicer data is important for the end-user to be able to easily use the slicer. The sorting should conform to the requirements. 

Validating data in other visuals based on the Slicer selection

Based on the slicer selections, filters should be applied to the visuals on the page automatically. In the case of Sync Slicers, filters should be applied to the visuals in all selected pages. 

Slicer performance validation

Slicer rendering should be within the expected SLA for the report performance. As the slicer selections are changed, the report should be refreshed within the expected SLA. 

Regression testing of Slicers

Any change in the data model or report can result in a regression issue for the slicer over a period of time. Regression testing of the slicers should be performed to ensure that the slicers are working as expected. 

Interested in learning how to automate the slicer testing using BI Validator? Reach out to the Datagaps team.

Datagaps

Established in the year 2010 with the mission of building trust in enterprise data & reports. Datagaps provides software for ETL Data Automation, Data Synchronization, Data Quality, Data Transformation, Test Data Generation, & BI Test Automation. An innovative company focused on providing the highest customer satisfaction. We are passionate about data-driven test automation. Our flagship solutions, ETL Validator, Data Flow and BI Validator are designed to help customers automate the testing of ETL, BI, Database, Data Lake, Flat File, & XML Data Sources. Our tools support Snowflake, Tableau, Amazon Redshift, Oracle Analytics, Salesforce, Microsoft Power BI, Azure Synapse, SAP BusinessObjects, IBM Cognos, etc., data warehousing projects, and BI platforms.

 

Queries: contact@datagaps.com

Simulating load for BI Stress Testing

Simulating load for BI Stress Testing

One of our customer is planning to roll out new BI functionality to 2000 additional users. They were concerned whether their current BI infrastructure can support this kind of load. So they asked us to perform stress testing using BI Validator with the following two key objectives:

  1. Can their BI system reasonably support a concurrent user load of 200, 400, 600?
  2. What is the number of concurrent users where the performance of their BI System starts going downhill (breaking point)?

We installed BI Validator in their Virtual Machine (VM) and started off trying to simulate the stress tests but soon we found out that BI Validator was not reaching the expected concurrency limits. Upon further analysis, we found that there were two issues that were stopping BI Validator from simulating the expected concurrency:

  • Windows 7 Operating System was not allocating more than 25% CPU processing power to the BI Validator instance.
  • The processor of the virtual machine was dual core AMD and not quad core Intel with hyper threading.

As a result, the number of concurrent users (threads) were not ramping up fast enough to simulate the load.

The solution was to use multiple VMs to simulate the load and have multiple instances of BI Validator running in each of the VMs. Specifically, five instances of BI Validator were started concurrently in each of two VMs (total 10 instances of BI Validator). Each instance of BI Validator simulated a load of 100 concurrent users. As a result, the CPU usage in each of the VM hit 100% and the spike in the concurrent users applied a real load on the BI System. We immediately observed heavy BI and database activity with active sessions in both instances of the BI Server.

The screenshot above shows multiple instances of BI Validator running in the same machine while consuming more than 25 % CPU usage.

This exercise helped the customer understand bottle necks in their BI system. They were able to determine that :

  • Their Presentation Server and BI Server are capable of handling the concurrent user load.
  • Their database instance showed bottlenecks in database memory and caching size as user load started increasing beyond 300 concurrent users.
The Role of BI Validator in Major BI Upgrades

The Role of BI Validator in Major BI Upgrades

Every few years the BI vendors have a major release that forces the companies using these products to uptake a complex BI upgrade project. For example OBIEE 11g to 12c upgrade or Business Objects 4.1 to 4.2 upgrade. Testing is an important aspect of these upgrade projects. The blog explains how customers can leverage BI Validator to test the upgrades.

1. Upgrade Test Plan: This can be used to compare the reports across the pre and post upgrade environments and ensure that they are as expected. If BI Validator identifies any differences in the data sets, it marks the test plans with a “Warning” status.

Note: Since the UI may look very different (OBIEE 11g & 12c), compare the data in the reports as opposed to the pdf option.

2. As part of the above test plan: BI Validator can also ensure that the reports are found in the post-upgrade environment and that there is no degradation in performance.

3. Stress Test Plan can simulate concurrent loads (e.g 10, 100,500 concurrent users) on the reports and dashboards and ensure that there is no degradation when more users access the BI system.

All the above can be achieved with zero programming and just a couple of clicks. Try BI Validator now in few minutes to know how it can help you during the upgrades!

As part of the upgrade, if you are upgrading your ETL, then you may want to look at ETL Validator as well.