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Answered

Display vendor specializations in smart view

Sancho Leath 2 years ago in Home Portal / Smart Projects updated by mark 1 year ago 10

I am trying to display the specializations of vendors in the smart view of vendors. I can get the Specializations criterion for the filter, but not as a column, which would show all the specializations of the vendors in the list. Am I missing something? Or is the column missing in this section of XTRF?


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Here is a screenshot of the smart view selection in the vendor section:



I am also just noticing that I apparently cannot sort this view by Specific Evaluation! Aaargh ...
Many of these views would be so much more useful if there wouldn't be all of these odd restrictions, such as limited fields available, not sortable by each column.

Wow. I never realized that you can't get that data point into a column. Would be good to have that...

Answered

Some columns and some filters are not available.

If data has plain representation in the database, it is very likely available as both filter and (sortable) column.

If data is calculated before shown as a column, it is less likely to be a filter or available for sorting, such as the evaluation data. This is actually very similar to the case of custom (or virtual) columns - they are dynamically calculated and there is no natural way to sort them.


When one is the context of a particular job, ie. in Vendor Selection Rules, sorting by evaluation is made available. That is why, you can find it there, because it makes perfect sense in that context.

Of course, it is technically feasible, but as always we would like to understand what the use case here is and whether people are willing to sacrifice performance or data accuracy.

Thanks for the explanation. Just left with a few questions:

- Can we agree that data columns should be available if filters refer to that data? It seems rather logical from my vantage point. In other words, I would like to see the data set that is being used as a filter. In this case: Specializations. The good news is that this data "has plain representation in the database".

- I understand the current limitation of customer or virtual columns. It seems that quite a few users have expressed their interest in eliminating this limitation. Is this already on the roadmap or would you like more convincing arguments from us users? 

- Regarding the specific case of sorting vendor smart views by Specific Evaluation: As outlined in https://xtrf.userecho.com/communities/1/topics/930-ranking-vendors-by-customer-and-job-type-when-using-job-offer-rules, we are ranking our vendors periodically based on overall feedback from external and internal team members instead of using job-based evaluations to define the ranking of vendors. How can I produce a list of this ranking based on Specific Evaluation in the current architecture? In addition to using such a Smart View for the periodic ranking meetings, it serves as a reference list for all PMs (who maintain a list of bookmarks to quickly access various Smart Views they need as daily reference pages). Since it is technically feasible and does not impact data accuracy or sacrifice performance unless users specifically configure their Smart Views to contain a number of computed columns, can you please make it available. What is logical is often a matter of perspective. It seems that the user perspective differs from the developer perspective at times ... which is not earthshaking news in the IT industry. Let me know if you require more convincing arguments.


BTW: Just checked and I cannot confirm that sorting by evaluation is available even in the Vendor Selection of a particular job (popup when clicking on Select Vendor for a job within a live project). This is another area where it would make perfect sense to have this sorting function. In essence, it represents the manual process of the automated Vendor Selection Rule.




Sure, we agree that consistency between columns and filters should be there. Newly added columns have had a corresponding filter. The inconsistency we are all facing is a legacy to clean up.


No need for arguments to confirm a need exists for sorting virtual columns. As said before it is a choice between accuracy and performance now, and as always: of prioritization.


I do not think you can expect such per-client ranking of vendors in current architecture in a way other than having dozens of views for manual reference.


Automated rules do not use smart views. They are separate features. That is why you can get the sorting in the rules, but not on the smart views.

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Just a thought: I have been thinking of a way where sorting virtual columns would be possible, within your framework. The problem here currently is that the virtual columns are being loaded on post-load. On itself this is a good software architecture: fast loading speeds, and having to wait slightly longer for retrieving the specific virtual column data.

You could keep this functionality/design and add, on top of that, a sorting method for virtual columns. When someone tries sorting on a virtual column, the software will retrieve all the records -> process all the virtual columns that the user wants to sort on (in memory) -> skip x pages and take 25 (for paging) -> return the 25 items to the user.


The user cost will be that when he tries to sort a virtual column (but only a virtual column), he will notice some performance degradation, because all the data has to be processed in the background. But a user will most probably understand and accept this behavior as the functionality is more important than the waiting time. On the waiting time itself, I have noticed that on externally retrieving data through the browser API. I get 400 ms per 25 items (with virtual columns), I expect you to do that much quicker as it is an internal operation. Also you wouldn't have to change anything to your current core architecture, which make this a quick and nice feature implementation.

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We're realizing that we need to spend more time on vendor data management, and reviewing the specializations that vendors select when they sign up. Not being able to create a report that shows their specialization is a real limitation. Is there any way we can either get this data out of the system or prioritize getting specialization as a viewable column in the vendor area?

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This is a sticking point for us, as well. It's cumbersome to report on vendor specializations, particularly when that information is stored in two separate places and both need to be checked manually.

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@XTRF, can we reopen this and place it in the requested topics so people can vote on this?