2020.10 – A perfect 10

 
 

2020.10 Feature Listing & Notes

Pyramid 2020.10 is the latest release from Pyramid Analytics—representing a follow-up release to v2020 in September 2019. In total, Pyramid v2020.10 adds more than 150 new enterprise-grade features and capabilities to 2020—allowing your organization to improve the way it makes data-driven decisions.

Please visit our release announcement to read about the headline features, or read our blog to understand the driving philosophy of this release.

Discover & Queries

Feature Technical DetailsWhat It Means For You
New Asymmetric and Ragged Queries
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Users can now eliminate combinations of elements and measures within reports. This results in an asymmetric or “ragged” query where specific combinations are excluded from both display and total calculations. Complicated reports designs (and model selections) are now possible through a simple point and click menu that are not normally possible, or otherwise require complex coding.
New Calendar Slicer
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The Calendar Slicer for SQL data sources allows date selections based on a calendar visual and allows multiple dates selections—both range- and formula-based (YTD, etc.)—without complex setups or code. Various date time granularity of dates may also be used (year, month, week, date, etc.) without first creating the columns in the data model. Users can now quickly and powerfully filter reports and dashboards using a specialized date-time slicer. An intuitive front end enables quick and easy filtering using many combinations of date selection criteria without any setup or code.
New Data Catalog Viewer


Pyramid now provides a printable document of the data catalog behind a data model with all details of its dimensions and measures. Automatic self-maintaining documentation and data catalogs for data models in the system provides users with up-to-date documentation on the system—making their use and understanding clearer and more transparent.
New Shape Drop Zone
A new Shape drop zone has been created for graphs with data points—to differentiate data points using shapes (like color and size). The use of shapes provides an additional visual cue for users to better understand visualizations and data.
New Add and Swap menus to complement “Dice”
New context menu options to “add” and “swap” hierarchies on the fly directly off visuals without using drop zones or the Analyze Further functionality. Giving users even more control over the point-and-click process of changing queries greatly expands the self-service capabilities for even non-technical users to ask the next question and “surf” their data.
New formatting options: background fill gradients & patterns, outline colors and settings.
New abilities to customize the colors and fill options of all visualizations—including gradient colors, patterns and stroke (outlines) New options for formatting content can make visualizations both more attractive and easier to use for many users.
New “Current Member” Logic
The “current member” function allows calculations to access the current data point in a report. This enables BI developers to solve more complex analytic logic scenarios and include elements with logical relationships (like parent, child, etc.)—greatly expanding the scope of calculated solutions. This technical feature makes it both quicker and easier for analysts to create complex calculations like rolling averages and percentage-of-parent logic.
Upgrade Advanced Filter Wizard The full filter wizard has been extended to support statistic, numeric, and label filter functions. Statistic functions include average and standard deviation. Numeric functions include above, below, et cetera. Labels can be filtered by text functions including contains, “start with” and “end with.” Powerful new filter options for queries greatly enhances flexibility and extends the analyst’s ability to discover and analyze data.
New Drag-and-Drop Background chips Background chips now have the functionality of other drop-zone chips and can be dragged and dropped onto other drop zones. By giving more objects the ability to have drag and drop capabilities, users will find it easier and quicker to manipulate reports and dashboards.
New visuals: Lollipop chart & measure pie/donut charts New lollipop charts and multi-measure Pie and Donut Charts have been added. Enhanced graphic and formatting options provide more flexible and visually attractive graphs and charts.
New “Blank” maps and map labels A new map type offers a “blank” map to show just the relevant data shapes on a map. Also included are new options to hide and show mapping data labels. Additional map capabilities extends map functionality by providing more ways to view geospatial information.
New text parameters and “quick” parameters The addition of free-text parameters enables users to dynamically apply free-text to filters. Users can also now add parameters directly within most relevant functions using a “quick parameter” wizard. Parameters can be used to drive powerful runtime changes to both the environment and queries. Text parameters allow free-text data entry while the quick parameter wizard greatly simplifies the process of adding and using them.
Upgraded PQL functions: MTD, QTD, WTD, YTD, ParallelPeriod, Caption, AllMembers These updated PQL functions can now be applied to regular hierarchies on SQL data sources as well as standard attributes. New methods for creating sophisticated, hierarchical calculations make sophisticated analytics easier and quicker to create.
New PQL functions: Cousin, Uniquename, Levels, Level, Ordinal, Ancestor, Rank, Loop, and LoopVector New PQL functions to expand the options of creating and using both formulas and logic in the system. New methods for creating sophisticated, calculations.
Added support for Named Measure Sets Extended capabilities for Microsoft Analysis Services, allowing the use of named measure sets. This functionality continues to make Pyramid a first-class analytic front-end for Microsoft Multidimensional and Tabular models.
SAP BW Info-areas and technical names New options to show SAP BW Info Areas to better organize BW models and cubes. Separately, the ability to toggle BW hierarchy and measure technical names and captions. SAP users are used to seeing their data models organized in Area trees and to see technical names that match the internal BW designs. These features will make it easier to find and identify content from within Pyramid.
Upgraded handling of SAP BW/HANA parameters Additional options for saving SAP BW and HANA parameters have been added. This includes report-specific settings. The increased support for SAP BW and HANA continues to make Pyramid a first-class analytic front-end for SAP.

Present & Publish

Feature Technical DetailsWhat It Means For You
New Present Lite


A new simplified user interface for building dashboard presentations is now availalbe—aimed at less experienced users. It includes the most-commonly-used functions commensurate with Discover Lite. By simplifying the user interface building presentations and dashboards, entry-level analysts can now benefit from creating their own dashboards without all the added sophistication of the Present Pro interface. This feature greatly expands the usage of Pyramid for entry-level users
New Flow Grids and Charts for Publish
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This new ability lets the overflow of grids and charts—with many rows—to print over multiple pages. Instead of cutting off the grid and chart or shrinking it into a single page, flow grids and charts brings detailed and transactional reporting to Publish tools. The need to print large sets of data is often an enterprise reporting requirement. Flow grids and charts extend the publishing capabilities to facilitate this common requirement.
New Multi-object selection and layout tools
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New graphic layout and selection tools provide a way to align multiple objects in a presentation or publication; create uniform spacing and better object management (with grouping). Developing presentations or publications that display objects in precise layouts is now easier than ever for content developers with new object alignment, distribution, and grouping options.
New Dynamic Tooltips
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The new tooltip editor allows static and dynamic text messages to be shown with pop-ups in presentations. Dynamic text can be used to inject context sensitive data from existing content. Displaying dynamic tooltip text highlights and enriches the contextual understanding of data in an unobtrusive and user-friendly manner without the need to write reams of code to achieve this.
New Model Last Process Date Users can now display the last processed dates for databases and data models in dashboards and publications. Allowing end users to easily see the processed dates of data gives them a better sense of data quality and accuracy.
Upgraded toolbox options and application layout The toolbox of both Present and Publish has been updated to give users easier access to content creation tools like Smart Discovery, quick slicers, shapes, dynamic text, and logical text fields. The panels in both applications have also been reset to make access to common panels easier and more intuitive. A more ergonomic front-end simplifies the creation and insertion of content and increases development efficiency and ease of use. More graphic options provide more flexibility in designing more aesthetically appealing graphics.
Upgraded Cross-model and Actions editors The cross-model and action editors have been enhanced to use the new function trees, while also exposing better tools for creating more advanced logic and testing. Extending the navigation functions, while seamlessly resolving technical obstacles, creates a more fluid, interconnected system, giving BI developers better tools to build more sophisticated content.
New Jump to Dashboard When choosing the target content of a Jump action, you can now choose both reports and dashboards. Adding navigation functions to include dashboards extends the concept of actions to include presentations.
New Open-in-place actions When launching an action, you can now have the action displayed in the same window/tab as the calling report or dashboard, effectively replacing the calling content with the called content. Enhanced options for embedding content create a simpler, more intuitive environment for end-users.
Auto-add slices from Smart discovery and Discover lite Slicers that exist in Smart Discover and Discover Lite are now automatically included when the Smart Discover and Discover Lite reports are embedded into Present and Publish. The automatic inclusion of logically grouped content creates a more efficient development environment and more productive employees.
New options to build slicers directly from Parameters Parameters can be easily dragged and dropped into Present and Publish apps to generate slicers. Reducing the number of steps to include and manage content increases productivity and makes it easier for analysts to create more flexible dashboards and publications.
Enlarged custom shape library Pyramid has increased the list of available shapes in presentations and publications. Expanded shape options enhance the aesthetics of your dashboards and publications.
New Dynamic text functions for injecting HTML markup
The inclusion of new mark-up functions greatly expands the breadth and depth of content that can be created using data in both Present and Publish. This includes dynamic web links, dynamic lists, and dynamic images, to name a few concepts. Analytic content goes well beyond standard visualizations of data. The new mark-up functions greatly extend the capabilities of dynamic text logic and function, offering a huge foray into new capabilities.

Model

Feature Technical DetailsWhat It Means For You
New Datavard Glue Integration (For SAP) 
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Pyramid now integrates seamlessly with Datavard’s “Glue”—a third-party tool that allows users to trigger and extract raw SAP ERP data. The data can then be ingested into Pyramid by end users for further analysis and reporting. With Glue, Pyramid now enables non-technical users to extract raw data from SAP with a few clicks in an uncomplicated fashion to drive custom data models and subsequent analysis.
New Unpivot tool
This new widget in Model converts cross-tabulated data into a structure that can be used for driving analytical analysis in tools like Pyramid using a point-and-click wizard. Many Excel data sheets are formatted as pivot or crosstabs (ex., “Stores by Month”). This data layout style can now be quickly and easily converted to a data table for loading into a target database, simplifying and speeding up the data preparation process.
New Data Flow tools: multi-select and lasso; node duplicate and copy/paste. New tools inside the Data Flow to allow users to select multiple widgets (either point and click or via lasso) for layout or editing purposes. Also the ability to duplicate widgets and copy/paste them between data flows. Enhanced editing of many components simultaneously simplifies and speeds up design and modification of data modelling
New Data Sources: Exasol, Greenplum, MemSQL, MariaDB, Netezza and Impala Pyramid has added support for six (6) new data technologies that are prevalent in enterprise analytics: Exasol (high-scale in-memory database); Netezza (MPP database); Greenplum (MPP database); Impala (Distributed SQL query engine for Hadoop); MariaDB (enterprise open-source database); and MemSQL (cloud-native operational database built for speed and scale). All six data sources are available for both read and write operations. Pyramid continues to focus on providing in-place analytics that can work directly on key data sources without requiring duplication into other engines. Support for writing models to the new engines also increases the range, flexibility, and user options for high-speed analytic data management using existing enterprise technologies.
Improved capabilities on Azure Blob and AWS S3 Pyramid now supports reading of multiple files from AWS S3 Buckets and Azure Blobs. It also adds the ability to write files back to both destinations. With enterprises moving to “Data Lake” architectures for storage, Pyramid continues to add advanced support for content stored in AWS and Azure.
New Date Table Builder This new Date Table widget in Model generates a set of dates for given a start and end period. This can be used alongside the Time Intelligence widget to create Time Dimensions with no missing values. Creating a clean Date-Time table can be messy. This new source widget allows users to build Date-Time Dimensions without missing values quickly and easily.
Upgraded OData authentication OData support has been extended to include basic and custom authentication. By providing authentication support for OData, users have an extended ability to query and update data using standardized protocols.
New Data Flow Documentation Tool Documentation for all elements within a data model can be exported into a PDF document with URL links that link all components to their destination. Automatic documentation of data flows enhances system documentation, enabling easy traversal of the data model.
New support SalesForce SOQL and custom domains SOQL scripts can now be used to drive data extractions from Salesforce. Pyramid also now supports custom domains for Salesforce. Salesforce analysts and developers can use SOQL to better access the data inside the CRM system. All code is elegantly housed and executed from within the Pyramid ecosystem.
New Excel named table support Excel named tables and ranges can be individually addressed in the Pyramid data model. Excel structures are individually addressed by Pyramid, enabling simplified and more efficient ETL processes.
New Command line support Developers can execute commands from a shell-like feature from within the master flows of a data model project. The ability to call and execute external code and applications from Pyramid’s master flow system greatly expands the options for automating the analytic data pipeline.
New “ALL” level support for SQL data source hierarchies New ability to enable an “ALL” level for SQL-based regular hierarchies. Matching a staple function of OLAP systems, the ALL level makes use of regular hierarchies easier and simpler for users.

Formulate

Feature Technical DetailsWhat It Means For You
New Text parameters and Quick parameters The addition of free-text parameters enables users to dynamically apply free-text to filters. Users can also now add parameters directly within most relevant functions using “quick parameter” wizard. Parameters can be used to drive powerful runtime changes to both the environment and queries. Text parameters allows free-text data entry while the quick parameter wizard greatly simplifies the process of adding and using them.
Upgraded Function menu and search with Intellisense. Upgraded functions menu allows users to now see and search through all functions grouped and organized into their logical categories together with multi-lingual tooltips and usage instructions and context-sensitive help. Improved Intellisense also allows functions to be used more easily in scripting mode. Making the different functions of PQL and MDX easier to find and use greatly improves the accessibility to these functional components.

Illustrate

Feature Technical DetailsWhat It Means For You
New Dynamic tooltips The new tooltip editor allows static and dynamic text messages to be shown with pop-ups in presentations. Dynamic text can be used to inject context-sensitive data from existing content. Displaying dynamic tooltip text highlights and enriches the contextual understanding of data in an unobtrusive and user-friendly manner without the need to write reams of code to achieve this.
New Dynamic text functions for injecting HTML markup The inclusion of new mark-up functions greatly expands the breadth and depth of content that can be created using data in Illustrate. This includes dynamic web links, dynamic lists, and dynamic images, to name a few concepts. Analytic content goes well beyond standard visualizations of data. The new mark-up functions greatly extend the capabilities of dynamic text logic and function, offering a huge foray into new capabilities.
Upgraded formula editor The dynamic text editor has been enhanced to use the new function trees while also exposing better tools for creating more advanced logic and testing. Improved formulate layout and additional tool components provide a more efficient and user-friendly development environment.

Content Manager

Feature Technical DetailsWhat It Means For You
New Content Migration Wizard


Users can easily migrate content from one Pyramid instance to another using the Migrate wizard—rather than manually exporting/importing content or use the APIs. By providing tools to assist in migrating development work, users can benefit from an easily maintainable environment with efficient processes to ensure governance and security.
New Content Audit Trail A new comprehensive audit trail framework has been added—listing dates, time, users and the action performed for all content items. An audit trail improves the understanding of who is creating what and provides a log of events that can be followed when something goes awry.
New Jump to folder via URL Folders can now be accessed directly from a unique URL. This means that you can direct your users to a folder of content using a link. The ability to immediately access content located in folders increases efficiency and improves the end-user experience.
New Save All With a single click, users can now save all open content items. New items will automatically save to the user’s local folder. Quick and efficient functions that execute many tasks in a single click increase the speed of development.
Major Performance improvements Performance improvements have been made to the Data Source Changer, Structure Analyzer, Copy/Paste, and Import/Export. Import/Export has also been upgraded to allow users to keep folder structures. Improved performance means a more productive environment, especially for bulk tasks that can take a long time to perform.

Admin

Feature Technical DetailsWhat It Means For You
New audit trail for tracking events for all objects in the system.
A new comprehensive audit trail framework has been added - listing dates, time, users and the action performed for all key objects in the system (including content and deleted items). An audit trail improves the understanding of who is creating what and provides a log of events that can be followed when something goes awry.
New Custom Fonts and Manager
Administrators can now add and register “web fonts” or upload custom fonts to the application. This makes these new fonts accessible throughout the app – including the themes designer. The fonts can be secured by tenant if needs be. Allowing organizations to select and deploy their own or preferred corporate fonts allows the system to deliver a visual experience of analytic content that can fully match the branding standards of customers.
New options for Custom Maps Enterprise administrators can now select a non-secure option for custom shape maps that will allow all users from all tenants to use those map shapes without having to upload the map shapes multiple times. Vast improvements in performance are achieved by avoiding multiple loads of map shapes for maps that do not require further user security
New options to configure and use R and Python in an offline server environment Developers working on R and Python in an offline server environment can now access and use their code. Extending the work environment for R and Python developers, making development work possible in offline environments.
New Resource Alert engine The ability to notify enterprise administrators via email or mobile when the Pyramid server(s) is low on memory, disc space, and/or CPU resources. This allows administrators to be proactive in monitoring the performance of the Pyramid cluster by notifying them of any impending resource utilization issues.
New SAML authentication for SAP Hana connections New ability to authenticate to SAP HANA sources using SAML assertions. Many HANA implementations use SAML for security. This new functionality allows developers to authenticate users using the same common SSO system for Pyramid and HANA data.
SAML and Azure Proxy login options for Mobile Mobile analytics for Pyramid was inaccessible if the underlying infrastructure is using SAML or Azure Proxy Login. The new mobile client provides a solution to both these authentication issues. Universal access to analytics, including via mobile, is a key facet of Pyramid’s solution. Handling the various types of authentication models removes more roadblocks from end-user mobile access.

Infrastructure

Feature Technical DetailsWhat It Means For You
Upgraded SAP BW engine options (SAP BW 7.2 onwards only) New options to switch the underlying SAP BW query framework to alternative engines. There are many scenarios where the new optimized query options run significantly faster than the regular engine previously released.
Upgraded Mobile Apps for iOS and Android (* Note these will only be pushed to the relevant app stores over the next 2 weeks) New upgraded mobile phone clients to support the new login options for mobile. The mobile clients will match the new server-side capabilities supporting SAML and Proxy authentication options.

Embedding

Feature Technical DetailsWhat It Means For You
New Embed API interface for JavaScript, React and Angular - available direct and via NPM. New JavaScript library to present a more object-oriented approach to using Pyramid’s embedding capabilities. Currently for JavaScript and React (Angular version will be released in a few weeks). Available as a direct link or via NPM. A cleaner API library for embedding will make it easier to use Pyramid’s powerful embedding options for including content DIRECTLY on a host page (without Iframes). React and Angular components, together with compatibility with TypeScript makes the library a welcomed improvement in working with the embed technologies.

Help

Feature Technical DetailsWhat It Means For You
Major upgrade in online help for Discover, Admin Console and PQL/MDX functions As the third stage in building help “2.0”, the topics related to Discover, the Admin console and function library have been fully rewritten and restructured complete with many more details and more examples. As Discover is the heart of the analytical functions of the application, the new Discover help will greatly improve users’ ability to understand and learn how the application and its features work. It covers all 4 ‘flavors’ of Discover: Smart Discover, Natural Language Query, Discover Lite ad Discover Pro.