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Overview

As with any new piece of software, there are new terms and names to learn. Here is a list of terms we use that are commonly asked about.

A

Term

Description

Active

Yellowfin content can have two possible states: Active and Draft.
If the content is complete and the user has Activated it, the content will be in an Active state, which enables it to be used by other users. This means that the View / Report / Dashboard / Category / Sub Category, etc, can be used as designed.

Administrator

This is a user that manages the system. Generally Administrators create the source connections, views, and report categories and maintain all of the system options including users, security, and licences. Their role permissions are the least restricted, generally granting them access to all functionality available.

Advanced Function

These are predefined calculations that can be applied to fields in a report. They run after the results are returned from the database as they are not part of the SQL query.
See Advanced Functions for more information

Aggregate

Rather than displaying each unique row (or all rows including repeats if 'Show Duplicate Records' is enabled), Yellowfin will show one row per unique category (or combinations). You will select from a range of aggregation options to do this. For example, if Sum is selected then Yellowfin will add all the numeric results together (or sum them) for each row. If Average is used, Yellowfin will display the average metric value for each row.
See Aggregation for more information.

Alias

This allows a view administrator to provide a table with a new name during the first step of the View Building process. Aliases are often used when multiple copies of a table are used in the one view.
See Aliases for more information.

Analytic Filters

These are User Prompt Filters that are applied to all reports on a single Dashboard Tab.
See Filtered Standard Tabs for more information.

Annotation

These are descriptions of an event attached to a date or date range and displayed on a report and/or chart.
See Report Annotations for more information

Ascending

This is a sort option that moves from smallest/lowest to largest/highest value. This means that numeric values are sorted 0-9 and letters are sorted A-Z.

Average

This aggregation returns the average value of a metric, ignoring NULL values.
See Aggregation for more information

B

Term

Description

Broadcast

This is a method of distributing content. Email Broadcasts send emails to specified recipients that include a piece of content, such as a report. This is sent on a scheduled or once-off basis.
See Broadcasting for more information

C

Term

Description

Calculated Field

This is a type of field that does not come directly from the database. It is created from a formula that may use database fields.
See Calculations for more information

Category

These are folders that are used to group content. Views, Reports, and Fields all use categories, with Reports using a Category > Sub Category structure to group and assign security.
See Report Category Management for more information

Chart

A visual representation of data. Yellowfin has a wide range of chart types available.
See Chart Builder for more information

Client Organisations

Yellowfin has functionality called Client Organisations which allows multiple virtual instances of Yellowfin to reside in the same server instance. This provides a way to create content isolated within one organisation, hidden from other organisation users logging into the same server. This is Yellowfin's Multi-Tenancy solution.
See Client Organisations for more information.

Cross Tab

This is a report output option that allows metrics to be aggregated by multiple categories, displayed as Row and Column headers.
See Table Layout Options for more information.

Co-Display

This function allows you to display multiple reports on the one Report Preview page.
See Co-Display Reports for more information

Collaboration

This is when users work together to share insights into their data and the decision making process. Yellowfin provides features to assist the collaborative process including Comments, Discussions, and Annotations.
See Collaboration for more information.

Comment

This is a note attached to a report in order to discuss its design or results.
See Report Comments for more information.

Conditional Formatting

This is formatting that is triggered when a condition is met. A rule is applied to a field in the report and special formatting, such as highlighting, is applied if the data matches the rule.
Basic rules can also be applied to charts.
See Conditional Formatting for more information

Condition

This is a filter that limits the rows returned from a table, set at the view level. This filter cannot be seen or removed at the report level.
See Table Conditions for more information.

Count

This aggregation returns the total number of records in a field in a report.
See Aggregation for more information

Count Distinct

This aggregation returns the total number of unique records in a field in a report. This means that if a record is found twice, it will only be counted the first time.
See Aggregation for more information

Cross Join

This method of linking two tables matches each row from the first table in the join to each row in the second table, multiplying the number of rows returned in the result.
Note: this join should be used with extreme caution, as it's only appropriate in a handful of cases, and has negative effects on performance if used incorrectly.
See Joining Tables for more information on Yellowfin's use of Cross Joins, and this blog: Visual Explanation of SQL Joins for general join information.

CRUD

Create, Read, Update, Delete. These options are used to define role permissions and relate to SQL statements, allowing the user to create (INSERT records), read (SELECT records), update (UPDATE records), and delete (DELETE records).
See Role Management for more information

CSS

Cascading Style Sheet. This is a type of file used by Yellowfin to define style options for the system that cannot be configured through Administration. Yellowfin's CSS files can be customised during the integration process.
See Custom Images & CSS for more information on customising CSS files for Yellowfin integration purposes, and http://www.w3schools.com/css/ for general CSS information.

CSV

Comma Separated Values. These files store data in plain text form, with each value, or column, separated by a comma character. Yellowfin allows you to import these files in order to report off their data.
See CSV Data Imports for more information.

D

Term

Description

Dashboard

This is a space to display multiple reports and charts in one place, allowing for interactive features to be used across them all at once.
See Dashboard for more information

Database

This is where the data for your reports is stored, called a Data Source within Yellowfin.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database for more information

Data Source

This is the database Yellowfin retrieves results from. Administrators create a Source Connection in order to access the data.
See Data Source Connections for more information

Descending

This is a sort option that moves from largest/highest to smallest/lowest value. This means that numeric values are sorted 9-0 and letters are sorted Z-A.

Dimension

A standard field in Yellowfin can either be classified as a Metric or Dimension. All text fields are automatically classified as Dimensions. The View Builder allows you to define numeric and date fields as Dimensions in order to be used in Drill Hierarchies, and limit the aggregations available to Count and Count Distinct.
Dimension fields retrieve the data that will provide the basis for analysis in a report. Dimensions typically retrieve character-type data (employee names, company names, etc.), or dates (years, quarters, etc.)
See View Builder - Field Types for more information.

Discussion

This is a stand-alone comment thread that allows users to discuss general topics and decisions while referring to multiple reports if required.
See Discussions for more information.

Draft

Yellowfin content can have two possible states: Active and Draft.
If the piece of content is currently being created or edited by a user, then the report will be in Draft mode. This means that other end users will not be able to see or use the content until the editing process is completed by Activating the content.

Drill

Drill refers to the action performed by a user by clicking on a hyperlink in a report that either steps into more detail in the same report, or opens a separate detail report related to the row that was selected.
There are three forms of Drill available in Yellowfin; Drill Down, Drill Anywhere, and Drill Through.
See Dashboard Drill Analysis for more information.

Drill Anywhere

This drill allows you to move up and down a hierarchy that is defined by the user during the drill process.
See Drill Anywhere Reports for more information.

Drill Down

This drill allows you to move up and down a predefined hierarchy within a single report.
See Drill Down Reports for more information.

Drill Through

This drill allows you to click on a row in a summary report and open a related detail report, filtered by what made the row in the summary report unique.
See Drill Through Reports for more information.

Duplicate Records

These are rows with the same values across all columns in a result set. By default, Yellowfin applies DISTINCT to the SELECT SQL statements it generates, meaning that duplicate rows are not displayed. This can be changed on the Report Data page of the Report Builder.
See Report Data for more information.

E

Term

Description

Embed

This is the inclusion of Reports, Charts, and Dashboards in an external webpage using the Javascript API.
See Javascript API for more information

Export

This is a function that takes something outside of the system. There are two types of export in Yellowfin:

  1. Export of Data - allows the user to save a piece of content, such as a Report, Chart, or Dashboard, as a CSV, DOC, PDF, RTF, Text, or XLS file.
  2. Export of Content Definitions - allows the user to save an XML file containing definitions of selected content in order to back it up or transfer it to another instance.

See Exporting Your Report, Exporting Your Dashboard, and Export & Import Report Repository for more information.

F

Term

Description

Field

This is a column in the database that will be used to build reports. Fields can be used as Columns/Rows, Sections, and Filters. They are defined either as Metrics or Dimensions. Calculations can also be created to use as fields, these are called Calculated Fields
See View Fields for more information

Filter

These are fields that are being used to restrict the results returned in your report or dashboard. There are several types of filter in Yellowfin:

  1. User Prompt - these filters allow the user to define the value used
  2. Hard Coded - these filters have the value set at the report writing stage and cannot be changed by the report reader.
  3. Source - these filters are created by an administrator and use the report reader's user details to restrict results to what's relevant to them.

See Filters for more information

G

Term

Description

GIS Map

GIS (Geographic Information System) Maps in Yellowfin refer to several chart types that make use of geographical information, in the form of Points or Polygons.
See Tutorial - GIS Map for more information.

GIS Point

Points are sets of latitude and longitude values used to define geographical locations. Examples of points include the location of customers, staff, and other points of interest. Yellowfin uses points in GIS Mapping.
See Tutorial - GIS Map for more information.

GIS Polygon

Polygons are sets of Points used to define a geographical shape. Examples of polygon shapes include the outlines of countries, states, territories, and regions. Yellowfin uses polygons in GIS Mapping.
See Tutorial - GIS Map for more information.

Granularity

The level of detail in the data. Described as coarse through to fine. The finer the granularity, the more detail and less summarised the data is. Aggregation is used to summarise data.
See Common View & Join Design Issues for more information.

Gridlines

These are the dashed lines displayed across the chart's plot background by default on charts with an x & y axis.
See Gridlines for more information.

Grid bands

This is the alternating shading displayed with gridlines across the chart's plot background by default on charts with an x & y axis.
See Gridlines for more information.

Group

This is a list of users that is created in Yellowfin to assign content and security to.
See Group Management for more information

H

Term

Description

Hard Coded

This refers to when a value is entered and set, rather than allowing a user to change it. In Yellowfin a report writer can hard code filter values, or values in calculated fields. This means that the user is not prompted to provide a value, rather it is always the value the report writer set.
The alternative in these cases is to implement user prompt filters, or use parameters in their calculations.
See Filters for more information

HEX

Hexadecimal (Hex) is a base 16 number system, using symbols 0-9, A, B, C, D, E, and F to represent values 0 to 15.
HTML and CSS use Hex to identify colours by assigning to digits to each colour; 2 x Red, 2 x Green, and 2 x Blue respectively, and prefixed with a hash (#) symbol.
Yellowfin uses Hex codes to identify colours throughout the system, as well as in its CSS files.
See http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_colors.asp for more information.

Hidden

This is a report that has been set to not display in the Report List. Generally heavily detailed reports that are used as children in a drill through relationship are hidden, as they are designed to be accessed through the parent report, not on their own.
See Report Formatting for more information.

HTML

HyperText Markup Language. HTML is a markup language, like XML, that was designed to display data in a web browser, used by Yellowfin in combination with CSS.
See Custom Header & Footer for more information on Yellowfin use of custom HTML files, and http://www.w3schools.com/html/ for general HTML information.

I

Term

Description

Import

This is a function that allows you to add something to the system from an external file. There are two types of import in Yellowfin:

  1. Import of Data - allows the user or administrator to import CSV files containing data they wish to report off. This can be done at the View or Report level.
  2. Import of Content Definitions - allows the user to transfer a set of Yellowfin content into a system using an XML file, either to restore old content, or transfer content from another instance.

See CSV Data Imports and Export & Import Report Repository for more information.

Inner Join

This is a type of link, or join between two tables based on a specified join condition. Only rows that match the condition in both tables will be returned.
See Joining Tables for more information on Yellowfin's use of Inner Joins, and this blog: Visual Explanation of SQL Joins for general join information.

Instance

This is a single installation of Yellowfin running. Some systems may have multiple instances of Yellowfin running. In this case there is often a development instance, testing instance, and production instance. There may also be multiple instances for different production purposes, depending on requirements.

Integration

This is the process of combining Yellowfin with an existing OEM system to create a system that feels seamless to the end user.
See Integration for more information

Interface

This is what the user interacts with. The Yellowfin interface is viewed through a web browser and contains all navigation and content.

J

Term

Description

Join

A Join is an SQL term that describes the logic around joining multiple tables together in order to return results from both tables.
See Joining Tables for more information for more information on Yellowfin's use of Joins, and this blog: Visual Explanation of SQL Joins for general join information.

Javascript API

This is what allows Yellowfin content to be embedded in external web pages. There is basic and advanced usage options.
End users can access the basic functionality through the Yellowfin interface by copying the generated embed javascript and pasting it in their external page.
Advanced users and administrators can access the advanced functionality by following the examples outlined here.
See Javascript API for more information.

K

Term

Description

KPI

Key Performance Indicator. This is a figure used to monitor business performance, such as sales in dollars or units. Performance is tracked against a target and makes use of Conditional Formatting alerts.
See KPI Reports for more information.

L

Term

Description

LDAP

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. This is a way that Yellowfin can access directory information for User authentication and Group management purposes. This allows Yellowfin access to be controlled externally organisation-wide.
See LDAP for more information.

Legend

This is a key that displays values used in a chart or report. In a chart it displays what value is assigned to each colour. In a report it can display the filter values applied, as well as any conditional formatting rules defined.
See Chart Legends, Filter Legends, and Conditional Formatting Legends for more information

Line Shapes

These are shapes added to line charts in order to draw attention to each point of data.
See Line Shapes for more information.

M

Term

Description

Max

This aggregation returns the largest value found in the field.
See Aggregation for more information

Mandatory

This is a field or filter that is required by a report in order to complete the building process or to return results.
See Mandatory Field/Filter and Filter Formatting for more information.

Metadata

This is a piece of content's descriptive information. It generally contains the Name, Description, and Category details for a Field, Filter, Report, View, etc.

Metric

A standard field in Yellowfin can either be classified as a Metric or Dimension. Numeric and Date fields are classified as Metrics by default, but can be changed to Dimension if required. Metric fields have the full range of aggregations available to them. They also have different functionality available to them when used as filters. Metrics do not allow for prompts, as there are generally too many possible values available, so they have slider options available in order to allow users to easily define ranges. Metric filter values cannot be cached.
See View Builder - Field Types for more information.

Min

This aggregation returns the smallest value found in the field.
See Aggregation for more information

Monochrome

This is a colour setting available to charts which, instead of using the default colours defined in Report Styles, the chart uses different shades of one colour selected by the user.
See Chart Formatting for more information.

Multi-tenancy

This is when a single instance of software runs to serve multiple clients or tenants. Yellowfin's multi-tenancy functionality is called Client Organisations.
See Client Organisations for more information.

N

Term

Description

Navigation

This is the way in which users move around the Yellowfin interface. There are various menus and buttons designed to move the user between pages and components of the system.
See Navigation for more information

NULL

This is used to indicate a lack of data, or gap. Yellowfin generally displays these as blank with a 'NULL' tooltip when returned in a report.

Numeric

This is a field or value composed solely of numbers (0-9), without the inclusion of any alphabetic or special characters.

O

Term

Description

OLAP

Online Analytical Processing.

Omit

This option is used when a Report Reader does not specify a value for a filter. This option is not available for mandatory filters.
See Filter Formatting for more information.

Org Ref Code

Organisation Reference Code. These are a method of mapping data values from the database to descriptions, as well as assigning a custom sort order. Org Ref Codes are also used as part of the Raster Map setup process.
See Organisation Reference Codes for more information.

Outer Join

This is a type of link, or join between two tables based on a specified join condition. In Yellowfin, the outer joins used are what's called Left Outer Joins. This means that all rows from the first table (or the left side) in the join will be included, and only rows have matches to these will be included from the second table (or the right side).
See Joining Tables for more information on Yellowfin's use of Outer Joins, and this blog: Visual Explanation of SQL Joins for general join information.

P

Term

Description

Parameter

Parameters are a type of user input field in Yellowfin. They are designed to pass a value input by the user to a calculated field or filter(s). This allows you create What If reports.
See Parameters for more information.

Plot

This is the area of the chart bound by the axes. It does not include the title and legend areas.
See Plot for more information.

Portlet

This is the space that contains a report on a dashboard tab.
See Report Portlet for more information.

Prefix

This is a symbol or character displayed before a value in a field. A common prefix to use is $. Prefixes can be defined at the view, report, and chart level.

Private

This is a piece of content that has access restrictions applied directly to it. Depending on the type of content, different restrictions can be applied:

  • Dashboard - private dashboard tabs can only be accessed by the user that created the tab.
  • Report - private reports can only be accessed by the user that created the report.
  • Comment - private comments can only be accessed by users that have been assigned permission to see both the report and the comment.
  • Annotation - private annotations can only be accessed by users that have been assigned permission to see both the annotation and the report/view/comment they're attached to.
  • Discussion - private discussions can only be accessed by users that have been assigned permission to see the discussion area and the thread itself.

Public

This is a piece of content that may or may not have access restrictions directly applied to it, but generally designed for a far broader audience than that of private content. Depending on the type of content, different restrictions may be applied:

  • Dashboard - public dashboards can be set to Secure or Unsecure. Secure dashboards have a list of users with various levels of access. Unsecure dashboards can be accessed by any dashboard user.
  • Report - public reports can be accessed by any user that has permission to see the category/sub category it's stored in.
  • Comment - public comments can be accessed by any user that has permission to see the report they're attached to.
  • Annotation - public annotations can be accessed by any user that has permission to see the report/view/org they're attached to.
  • Discussion - public discussions can be accessed by any user that has permission to see the discussion area.

Q

Term

Description

Query

This is the SQL request that Yellowfin generates and sends to the database. It defines what results are required for the report.

R

Term

Description

Raster Map

This is an image based heat map created in Yellowfin. The map itself is based on a raster image (created with pixels, rather than a vector image created with shapes). Yellowfin links a unique HEX code colour to a piece of data in the source database in order to create the heat map, using Org Ref Codes. GIF, JPEG, and PNG raster image files are accepted.
See Raster Maps for more information.

Related Report

Yellowfin allows relationships to be created between reports. Related Reports either take the form of Drill Through or Co-Display.
See Analysis & Related Reports for more information

Report

This is the result of an SQL query displayed in Yellowfin. The display can take the form of a table and/or chart.
See Report Builder for more information

Report Writer

This is a user that is responsible for creating the report and chart content in the system.

Role

A set of permissions and functions designed to be assigned to Users of the system. Different roles should be created for different types of user, with Yellowfin providing a set of sample roles with the initial installation.
See Role Management for more information.

Rollback

This allows the user to return to a previous version of content, such as a view. In order for a rollback to be available, the cloning edit method must have been used.
See View Management for more information

S

Term

Description

Scale

This is what controls the y axis of a chart, determining the first and last values, as well as the increments used.
See Chart Formatting for more information.

Section

These allow you to break up a report into sub reports. The table and/or charts will be broken up so there is one per section, rather than one overall.
See Sections for more information

Source Connection

This is a piece of content created by an administrator which defines the method of accessing the reporting data source.
See Data Source Connections for more information

Source Filter

These are filters applied to reports based on the user running the report. This means that a user will only ever see the data that is assigned to them through the Source Filter.
See Source Access Filters for more information.

Sub Category

These are folders that reside within report categories and contain reports. Security is applied at this level in order to restrict access and functions available.
See Report Category Management for more information

Sum

This aggregation adds all of the field values and returns the total.
See Aggregation for more information

SQL

Structured Query Language. This is the language Yellowfin uses to retrieve results from the database, returned as results in table and/or chart.
See http://www.w3schools.com/sql/ for more general SQL information.

Suffix

This is a symbol or character displayed after a value in a field. A common prefix to use is %. Suffixes can be defined at the view, report, and chart level.

T

Term

Description

Tag

These are used to index content to aid in searches.

U

Term

Description

User

This is an account created in order to allow a person to access the Yellowfin system.
See User Management for more information

User Prompt

This is a type of filter that requires users to provide one or more values to restrict report results.
See Filters for more information

V

Term

Description

View

This is a metadata layer created by an administrator that sits between the source connection and Report Builder that defines the fields available to report writers and the join logic required to generate SQL queries.
See View Builder for more information

Virtual Table

These are a View component that allows an administrator to enter an SQL query and treat the results as a table in the view.
See Virtual Tables for more information

W

Term

Description

Web Service

Web Services are used for managing communication between an OEM application and Yellowfin. The Web Services are XML based and independent of the programming language used to develop the OEM application.

What If

What If Analysis is a method of creating reports that make use of Parameters and Calculated Fields in order to test scenarios.
See What If Analysis for more information.

WMS

Web Map Service. A WMS layer is a georeferenced map image loaded from a WMS Server. These are used as backgrounds and overlays for GIS Maps in Yellowfin.
See WMS Layers for more information.

X

Term

Description

XML

Extensible Markup Language. XML is a markup language, like HTML, that was designed as a way transporting data, where HTML designs ways to display it. Yellowfin uses this language to create export files that transport report and other content definitions.
See Export & Import Report Repository for more information

Y

Term

Description

Yellowfin

Yellowfin is an easy-to-use report writer for non-technical users, delivering drag-and-drop simplicity for formatting and data selection. With Yellowfin, you can access information from multiple data bases without special coding knowledge. This is easy because you work with data in business terms that are familiar to you without the need to understand complex technology principles.
See http://www.yellowfinbi.com/ for more information.

Z

Term

Description

Z Chart

This is a type of chart that displays trends over a specified period of time in the form of straight values, accumulative total, and moving total.
See Z Charts for more information