About the Flex Grid Object
  • 25 Jun 2024
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About the Flex Grid Object

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Article summary

This topic covers the Flex Grid Object and its features.

The Flex Grid Object is a powerful reporting tool displayed as an Excel-like table with key features like pivoting, grouping, sorting, filtering, quick charts, and more.

The Flex Grid Object gives end users and developers the ability to leverage large data volumes, rendering reports with more than 1 million rows. In previous versions, end users could only interact with a Data View to display data in a table format, of which the end user's capabilities to display data in different ways was configured by developers and sometimes restricted. With the Flex Grid Object, end users have more autonomy to pivot data in order to analyze data directly from the Flex Grid Object.

In contrast to a Data View that only shows data from a top-down perspective, the Flex Grid also displays data from a bottom-up perspective, giving the end user more self-service capabilities and freedom to create a very detailed dataset where it was not as visually optimized or possible in a Data View before. Below is a table comparing the 2 Objects:

Data View

Flex Grid

Aggregated analysis, general guidelines could be:

  • Optimized for 1-3 dimensions reports

  • Less than 100K rows

  • Less than 30 columns

Detailed analysis, general guidelines could be:

  • 7+ dimensions reports

  • 1M+ rows

  • 30+ columns

Top-down approaches

  • Display Aggregated data: KPIs, small tables, labels, simple charts

  • Drill down analysis

  • Focus on exceptions

Bottom-up approaches

  • Start from details and then pivot

  • Expand/collapse analysis

  • Excel-like filter and sort

  • Detailed information display

Standard/prebuild reports

  • Makers prebuild reports for end users

  • Prebuild dashboards

  • Consolidated analysis paths

Data Exploration reports

  • Makers build open reports for End-users, then end-users generate independently several ad-hoc analysis

  • Customizable dashboards

  • Flexible analysis paths

Flex Grid Highlights

The Flex Grid Object breaks data silos with unmatched performance, allowing the display of datasets for different areas of a business and unlocking unified decision making. The Flex Grid Some of the benefits include:

  • Supports more Entities by row. Supports more than 1 million rows and dozens of columns, allowing a bottom-up analysis not feasible in Excel

  • Better performance. Flex Grid uses a new query method enabled by the new Board 14 Dynamic Engine, which is more powerful and allows the retrieval of large dataset. Furthermore, the new execution logic minimizes the server requests of data, allowing a smooth user experience with all Object interactions and reducing performance latency

  • Self-service pivoting. Less focus on the prebuild or standard reporting which allows end users to achieve their reporting needs autonomously directly within the Flex Grid. Pivot functionalities allow makers to create more open reports and dashboards for end users so they can freely and independently achieve the type of analysis they need

  • Improved filtering and sorting. Filtering and sorting is not configured in the Layout editor configuration as with a Data View, but within the Flex Grid itself. It is possible for a Developer to save a default display configuration of a particular sorting and filtering within the Flex Grid so the end user does not start from the raw dataset. Additionally, manual sorting of fields are also possible

    • Multi-filtering & multi-sorting. It is possible to sort and filter by multiple fields. The Developer can configure the restrictions to a single column or multiple columns

  • Embedded Charts. Charts are possible directly within the Flex Grid itself. Use on-the-fly charts to visualize demand patterns and identify trends

  • Export to Excel. You can export the exact Flex Grid configuration to an Excel workbook directly from the Object without formatting it

  • More flexible formatting. The Flex Grid has even more formatting options than a Data View, found under the Design subpage of the Object Properties panel

  • Large calculations on-the-fly. Leaf-level calculations can now be done on-the-fly directly in the Flex Grid. Now, the calculations are executed at dataset level when the dataset is retrieved from the engine. This is ideal for use cases which would previously require calculations and storing data using Dataflows. For example, this new Object could be useful when making currency conversions, variance analysis calculations, P*Q , etc.

  • Unbalanced hierarchies. The dataset-level execution now allows the table to calculate multiple unbalanced hierarchy aggregations; this is significant because in Data Views, only the most-nested Unbalance hierarchy set By Row was executed

  • Rules and Algorithms. These on-the-fly calculations are executed at dataset-level, now allowing the users to easily display/aggregate calculated values by the available dimensions (i.e. Excel Pivot-like behavior).

Can I use a Flex Grid for the same use cases as a Data View?

Differently from the Data View, Flex Grid is best used for bottom-up approaches, detailed analysis, and data exploration. However, there are some use cases where both Objects are applicable. In these cases, knowing the differences between the 2 Objects is helpful to determine which one is right for your situation. The table below shows which features available in a Data View are limited in a Flex Grid and whether those limitations have been replaced with a Flex Grid-specific feature, are in the roadmap for future releases, or simply not in scope for this new Object:

Known limitations of a Flex Grid vs. Data View


Flex Grid-specific replacement

Ranking functions and Rule Block type

Not Available

Cube types:


Not Available

In roadmap for future release

  • BLOB

Not Available

 In roadmap for future release

Block Settings:

  • Detail by

Not Available

In roadmap for future release

  • Data entry

Not Available

 In roadmap for future release

  • Summary algorithms


 Replaced by Total calculation algorithms

  • Hide/show zeros


Replaced by columns' filters conditions

  • Hide/show totals


 Replaced by columns' expand/collapse option in Pivot mode

  • Aggregation

Not Available

  • Nexel

Not Available

Layout editor:

  • "By Column" axis


 Replaced by Pivot mode

  • Filter & sort


 Replaced by the table filters and sorting features within the Flex Grid

  • Object settings

Not Available

  • Block Drill configurations

Not Available

 In roadmap for future release

Drill Anywhere:

  • Drill-to-Entity

Not Available

In roadmap for future release

  • Drill-to-Screen

Not Available

 In roadmap for future release

  • Drill Procedures

 In roadmap for future release

Object Toolbar (Contextual Menu):

  • Lock & spread

Not Available

  • Search

Not Available

  • Expand/collapse from the toolbar


 Replaced by expand/collapse features in the Object

Object properties in the "Data" and "Design" sections are specific to the Flex Grid Object. Some of the options available for the Data View are not applicable to Flex Grid and vice versa.

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