Where are my date ranges in Analytics coming from?
By Jeffrey McDaniel on Nov 15, 2012
In the P6 Reporting Database there are two main tables to consider when viewing time - W_DAY_D and W_Calendar_FS. W_DAY_D is populated internally during the ETL process and will provide a row for every day in the given time range. Each row will contain aspects of that day such as calendar year, month, week, quarter, etc. to allow it to be used in the time element when creating requests in Analytics to group data into these time granularities. W_Calendar_FS is used for calculations such as spreads, but is also based on the same set date range. The min and max day_dt (W_DAY_D) and daydate (W_Calendar_FS) will be related to the date range defined, which is a start date and a rolling interval plus a certain range. Generally start date plus 3 years.
In P6 Reporting Database 2.0 this date range was defined in the Configuration utility. As of P6 Reporting Database 3.0, with the introduction of the Extended Schema this date range is set in the P6 web application. The Extended Schema uses this date range to calculate the data for near real time reporting in P6. This same date range is validated and used for the P6 Reporting Database. The rolling date range means if today is April 1, 2010 and the rolling interval is set to three years, the min date will be 1/1/2010 and the max date will be 4/1/2013. 1/1/2010 will be the min date because we always back fill to the beginning of the year. On April 2nd, the Extended schema services are run and the date range is adjusted there to move the max date forward to 4/2/2013. When the ETL process is run the Reporting Database will pick up this change and also adjust the max date on the W_DAY_D and W_Calendar_FS. There are scenarios where date ranges affecting areas like resource limit may not be adjusted until a change occurs to cause a recalculation, but based on general system usage these dates in these tables will progress forward with the rolling intervals.
Choosing a large date range can have an effect on the ETL process for the P6 Reporting Database. The extract portion of the process will pull spread data over into the STAR. The date range defines how long activity and resource assignment spread data is spread out in these tables. If an activity lasts 5 days it will have 5 days of spread data. If a project lasts 5 years, and the date range is 3 years the spread data after that 3 year date range will be bucketed into the last day in the date range. For the overall project and even the activity level you will still see the correct total values. You just would not be able to see the daily spread 5 years from now. This is an important question when choosing your date range, do you really need to see spread data down to the day 5 years in the future? Generally this amount of granularity years in the future is not needed. Remember all those values 5, 10, 15, 20 years in the future are still available to report on they would be in more of a summary format on the activity or project.
The data is always there, the level of granularity is the decision.