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TIBCO Spotfire® 7.9
The main highlights in Spotfire® 7.9 are significant new inline data wrangling features.
Inline data wrangling
Edit data transformations
Spotfire 7.6 introduced the Source View which provides an overview of your data transformations, calculations and how your data tables are derived from rows and columns combined from multiple data sources. Spotfire 7.7 made add rows (unions) editable and smart by usage of the Spotfire recommendations engine.
With Spotfire 7.9, one of the most anticipated new features of all times is now available; the ability to change data transformation settings. This saves you a lot of time, for example, when a recently added data transformation needs further editing, or if an existing data transformation needs to be adapted to changes in the data source.
Access points for editing data transformations
The image below shows an example of details in the Source View. There are two access points for editing data transformations; one for editing data transformations that are part of a data source, and the other access point is used to edit data transformations inserted as separate steps.
The image below shows the dialog for working with data transformations and how to gain access to the settings dialogs for each data transformation.
Available edit features
The following editing features are available from the Source View:
- Edit a data transformation. (Edit...)
- Delete a complete data transformation group. (The waste basket icon.)
- Delete a data transformation from a group (including deletion of a data transformation in data source step). (Remove)
- Insert a data transformation into an existing transformation group before or after existing data transformations. (Insert menu).
- Change the order in which data transformations are applied. (Move Up/Move Down)
Certain non-editable use cases
In some cases, the ability to edit a data transformation will not be possible. In summary, if a data source (column producer) cannot be refreshed, it cannot be edited. There are two cases when this is the happens:
If the final data table is (top) embedded.
If a data source includes data transformations but its data is not linked or cached, but stored (embedded).
A stored data table with a disabled access point for edit data transformation:
A linked data table with an available access point for edit data transformation:
Indications when something goes wrong in data transformations
With Spotfire 7.9, you will be notified when a data preparation step cannot be applied as expected, or, if a data transformation is no longer necessary.
The image below shows an example of the three levels of indications, depending on severity.
An Error indication
An Error indication is displayed if a data transformation cannnot be applied.
For example, if a column is missing for a calculation (if it has changed or has been removed in the data source, or, if it has been removed when editing a previous data preparation step in Spotfire), you will see an error. With Spotfire 7.9, and the ability to edit data transformations, many errors can be resolved in Spotfire. Once fixed, the error indication will be reevaluated, and hopefully disappear.
A Warning indication
A Warning indication is displayed if, for example, a defined value formatting step no longer can be applied.
For example, this happens if a column's data type (Real) and formatting (Percentage) has been changed using Spotfire's Data panel.
Now, if the data type changes to Real in the data source, Spotfire will not apply the data type change and thus cannot apply the Percentage formatting. A Warning highlights that you need to redefine the formatting on the column again.
An Information indication
An Information indication is displayed, for example, if a data type is changed to the same data type that the column already has, using a data transformation. This can happen if the data type has been wrong before, but now has been corrected in the data source. The data transformation in Spotfire is then no longer necessary, and this is highlighted using the Information indication.
Inline data cleaning
Spotfire now provides an easy way to clean up issues in your data, right when you see them. It is when you visualize data that you spot errors, so why not fix them right there and then? The new Replace value feature lets you change incorrect data values by double-clicking in a table, in the Details-on-Demand, or in the expanded Data panel. There are two flavors to the replace value feature; the ability to replace a single value only, or to replace all occurrences of that value in the column.
Replace all occurrences of the value
For some types of data issues, the natural way to fix it is to replace all occurrences of the incorrect value. This helps you solve issues caused by alternative (mis)spellings like Tomatoes|Tomatos, Color|Colour or even if some rows of data use acronyms such as CA and some rows use the full name California. It can also be used to group categorical values into different "buckets", such as grouping states into arbitrary regions.
Replace a single data value
Replacing a single data value is useful, for example, when you find issues in numerical data. Perhaps the decimal point is in the wrong place, or some other type of error.
Replace specific value from a table details visualization
Replace specific value from the Details-on-Demand
Replacing the single value only requires that there is a defined key that can be used to identify this specific row of data. In the above screenshot, you can see a link to "Select key columns". The link leads to the below dialog that lets you define one or more columns to uniquely define each row of the data table.
How does it work?
Underneath the surface, the changes are implemented using two new data transformations, Replace value and Replace specific value. This means that no data is changed in the original data source. Instead, the value is replaced when the data is brought into Spotfire. It also means that when data is reloaded, the same corrections are applied again, and for the Replace value case new instances of the value in question are also being replaced.
The logic in the Replace specific value case is to replace the value only if it is the same value as when the transformation was created. Thus, if the value is changed in the data source after the transformation was defined, the transformation will no longer have any effect.
Review all changes
The visual Data source view lets you inspect and, if needed, remove the Replace value transformations.
Above, you can see how replace value transformations are shown in the source view.
Recommendations for add rows prefix and postfix support
Before Spotfire 7.9, Spotfire's recommendation engine would automatically detect if new data should be added as rows to existing data. With Spotfire 7.9, the recommendation engine for add rows also automatically matches columns with common names but different prefixes and/or postfixes. For example, the new column 'Sales (2016)' will match the existing column 'Sales (2015)'.
Columns that have the same prefix/postfix will have the prefix/postfix removed from the column name. In the example above, the column name will be 'Sales'.
The prefix/postfix will automatically be entered on all rows in the origin column. In the example above, the origin column will contain '2016' and '2015' for the respective data sources.
Connectors and live query data tables
Microsoft Azure HDInsight is now supported
Starting with Spotfire 7.9, the Hortonworks Hive connector now supports Microsoft Azure HDInsight.
For more information about Microsoft Azure HDInsight, see: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/hdinsight/
Apache KNOX is now supported
Starting with Spotfire 7.9, the Hortonworks Hive connector now supports Apache KNOX, with or without Kerberos.
For more details about Apache KNOX, see: https://knox.apache.org
SAP SSO is now supported with the SAP BW connector
It is common that SAP BW deployments use SAP's SSO solution. Spotfire's SAP BW integration now supports this authentication method in all clients and servers. This enables Spotfire users to analyze SAP BW data without entering their SAP BW credentials manually. It also provides a central location for users and roles administration for SAP BW administrators.
Instructions for how to configure Spotfire for SAP BW SSO is available here: https://community.tibco.com/wiki/single-sign-tibco-spotfire-sap-bw-conne...
Configurable maximum allowed number of rows in live query results
Spotfire 7.9 introduces a new safety setting which allows system administrators to set a limit for how large the data tables loaded using live queries (in-database tables) can be. This is a protection against, for example, ad hoc analysts splitting a bar chart on a fact table's ID column, which could result in a gigabyte data table being loaded into client and Web Player memory.
Google Analytics system web browser authentication
Spotfire's Google Analytics connector now supports Google's new modernized OAuth implementation. The system web browser is now used for user authorization, instead of a built in Spotfire dialog. This means that if a user is already logged into Google in the system web browser, the login step will be performed automatically.
For more details about the reason for this change, see: https://developers.googleblog.com/2016/08/modernizing-oauth-interactions...
New data source versions support
Analysis Services 2016 is now supported
Spotfire 7.9 (and later) now supports Analysis Services 2016.
For details, see the system requirements page here: http://support.spotfire.com/sr_spotfire_dataconnectors.asp#ssas
PostgreSQL 9.5 and 9.6 is now supported
Spotfire 7.9 (and later) now supports PostgreSQL 9.5 and 9.6.
For details, see the system requirements page here: http://support.spotfire.com/sr_spotfire_dataconnectors.asp#postgresql
MySQL 5.7 is now supported
Spotfire 7.9 (and later) now supports MySQL 5.7.
For details, see the system requirements page here: http://support.spotfire.com/sr_spotfire_dataconnectors.asp#oraclemysql
SAP BW 7.5 is now supported
Spotfire 7.5 (and later) now supports SAP BW 7.5.
For details, see the system requirements page here: http://support.spotfire.com/sr_spotfire_dataconnectors.asp#sapnetweaver
Apache Spark SQL 2.0 is now supported
Spotfire's Spark SQL connector now supports Spark 1.6.0 to 2.0.2.
NOTE: The latest TIBCO ODBC Driver for Apache Spark SQL must be used in combination with the connector.
For details, see the system requirements page here: http://support.spotfire.com/sr_spotfire_dataconnectors.asp#apachesparksql
Information Services now supports constrained Kerberos delegation
Spotfire Information Services now supports constrained Kerberos delegation in combination with compatible JDBC drivers.
Nautical Miles unit (new feature)
Nautical Miles is added as a unit of measurement in addition to existing imperial and metrics units, when using radius and rectangle selection.
Get the coordinates of a location (new feature)
You can now right-click anywhere on a map and get geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) for a location.
Easier access to map layer (enhancement)
It is much easier to enable access to the map layer when Spotfire cannot access the Internet or is on a restricted environment. Now, only one unique domain needs to be allowed.
- Continued work towards broader R compatibility, to enable more and more potential applications to be run on TERR. As of this release, 99% of packages on CRAN, almost 10,000 community packages, can be loaded in TERR. (Well done, TERR Team!). Full details on compatibility are available on the TERR Documentation site.
- Significant improvements to TERR performance in many areas.
- TERR can now be used in RStudio to create interactive R Markdown notebooks. R Notebooks allow for direct interaction with R while producing a reproducible document with publication-quality output.
For Spotfire Server 7.9, the logging framework has been upgraded from Log4j to Log4j2. The benefits of upgrading to Log4j2 include the following:
- You can manage logging from the UI. For example, you can start debug logging during runtime, without having to manually edit configuration files.
- Log4J2 is garbage-free, which reduces the pressure on the garbage collector.
- Java 8 feature sets are fully supported, including lazy logging.
If you used a custom-modified log4j.properties file in any Spotfire Server version between 7.5 and 7.8, you must manually add these modifications to the new log4j2.xml file. To learn more about the procedure, please go here.
You can now create multiple Spotfire environments that share the same Spotfire database, including the library and user directory. These environments, which are called sites, can be configured to reduce latency for multi-geographic deployments. Sites also enable the use of a variety of authentication methods, along with different user directories, within the same deployment.
Each site includes one or more Spotfire Servers along with their connected nodes and services. A site's servers, nodes, and services can only communicate within the site, but because the Spotfire database is shared among the sites, all of the sites have access to the users, groups, and library in your Spotfire implementation.
The benefits of using sites include the following:
- You can route user requests from a particular office to the servers and nodes that are physically closest to that office. This reduces the impact of network latency between servers that are located in different geographic regions.
- You can enable different authentication methods for different sets of users who share a Spotfire implementation. For example, internal users can be authenticated with Kerberos authentication while external users, such as customers and partners, can be authenticated with a username and password method.
To learn how to implement sites, please go here.
TIBCO Spotfire® 7.8
Spotfire 7.8 extends the reach of the Spotfire Recommendation engine into the data space, making it easier than ever to add more rows of data to your Analysis. For Administrators, Spotfire 7.8 adds support for authentication through OpenID Connect (OIDC). And for IronPython and C# developers, there are new APIs that enable you to create more easy to use and powerful analytic applications using Spotfire.
Recommendations for Add rows
In Spotfire Business Author the user now can get a Recommendation to Add the data as rows to an existing data table when adding new data, if the Spotfire Recommendation engine determines that this is suitable. Further, Spotfire can automatically match the columns from the original and the data sets. See how this works in this video. and for more details see this article.
Improvements to the SQL server connector
The Spotfire SQL Server Data connector now has added support for SQL server 2016, Azure SQL and Azure SQL Data Warehouse
Configure the maximum amount of in-database rows in the table visualization
In earlier versions of Spotfire, when you kept the data in-database as opposed to loading it into the Spotfire in-memory engine, Table visualizations were limited to showing at most 10000 rows. This has now been changed so that an Administrator can configure the maximum number of rows to display in a Table visualization when running against in-DB data.
The setting which is called TableVisualizationExternalRowLimit is reached through the Administation Manager.
WMS 1.3.0 Support
Spotfire map charts now support version 1.3.0 of the WMS standard.
For Developers - new APIs
KPI Chart API
The KPI chart API allows authors and developers to automatically configure KPI Charts from IronPython scripts or custom tools. This enables creating more user friendly and powerful visual analytics applications for end users. See this article for further details and examples.
IronPython and C# Developers can now define the Layout of visuals on a page in more detail. The new API allows specifying vertical and horizontal proportions to layout the visuals on a page. This means you can now acheive similar layouts using the API as you can when manually arranging visuals on a page. See this article for further details and examples.
Administration Improvements - Federated Authentication: OpenID Connect (OIDC)
Spotfire Server now supports the use of OpenID Connect. OpenID Connect is an open standard and decentralized authentication protocol. Using OpenID Connect allows a customer to set it up so that their users can login with an account they already have. For example, a user can log into Spotfire with Google, Yahoo, or Salesforce. This eliminates the need for administrators to provide their own login systems (such as LDAP or AD).
This enables administrators to reduce the number of usernames and passwords their users need to remember
To setup OpenID Connect with Spotfire Server, there are two prerequisites:
You have to configure a public address URL within Spotfire Server.
You have to register a client at the provider with a return endpoint URL, and receive a client ID and a client secret from the provider.
Read more about this in the Spotfire Server Documentation
New Solutions and Extensions
Spotfire Templates, Data Functions, Accelerators, Extensions and Custom Datasources are available for a wide range of industry vertical and horizontal use cases. Most are provided as free downloads. The most popular, recent offerings are shown below. For a complete list, view all analytics components on the TIBCO Exchange.
The Spotfire Plug-in for Alerting allows you to configure alerts directly from any Spotfire analysis file and can be used to alert when thresholds or rules on any chart are violated. It is an extension for TIBCO Spotfire that integrates with Automation Services via an alerting task that can generate e-mail, text or pop-up alerts.
Live Datamart Custom Data Source
This Custom Datasource is a TIBCO Spotfire® Extension that enables users to build interactive Spotfire visualizations using data stored in TIBCO® Live Datamart.
Customer Analytics and Marketing
Customer Analytics template series is used to analyze customers purchase behavior. It includes Spotfire analysis templates for segmentation, propensity and affinity.
A/B Testing data functions provide analysis for a number of marketing use cases where the goal is to compare the effect of different “treatments” on a response, such as click-through rates, orders or sales dollars. These treatments can be different web pages, different email designs, copy, or promotions.
The Gradient Boosting Machine analysis template and data function are used to create a GBM machine learning model to understand the effects of predictor variables on a single response. Examples of business problems that can be addressed include understanding causes of financial fraud, product quality problems, equipment failures, customer behavior, fuel efficiency, missing luggage and many others.
Clustering with Variable Importance Data Function clusters objects together based on similarities between the objects and ranks the input variables according to their influence on cluster formation.
The Financial Crime Buster Analysis Template guides the user through the tasks of adhoc data discovery, supervised model creation and unsupervised model creation to build a strategy for combating financial crime.
Geoanalytics and Energy
The Contour Plot Data Function generates a contour plot as a feature layer on any map chart
The Decline Curve Analysis Data Function calculates a Hyperbolic Decline Curve Analysis using production oil and gas data.
TIBCO Spotfire® 7.7
Version 7.7 further extends the capabilites of TIBCO Spotfire. The main areas of improvements are in the ability to develop mobile applications, web authoring improvments,data wrangling and management, and administration improvements for scheduled updates, resource pool management and automation services.
- What's new in TIBCO Spotfire 7.7 release document : HTML
- What's new in TIBCO Spotfire 7.7 release document : pdf
Below are more information and articles about specific features.
KPI chart and Mobile
In Spotfire 7.7 it is now a lot easier to create Mobile applications with all types of visualizations. The minimum page size option enables vertical scrolling and seeing one or a few visuals at a time on a small screen, while users on a larger screen can see more (all) visuals at once. In addition the KPI chart now has Sparklines to give more context to the KPI.
- Create rich mobile applications using the minimum page size option
- Sparklines and other KPI chart improvements
Spotfire 7.7 provides a brand new self service connector to Attivio, thus expanding the ability to create analysis files based on Attivio data lake data and unstructured content to business users. With Spotfire 7.7 business users can even author analysis files that uses the power of Attivio's full text search engine. Data is brought into Spotfire on demand, based on what end users search for. SAP BW continues to be a very popular source of data and Spotfire 7.7 delivers some of the most frequently requested features in this area. Both new and enhanced self service data connectors benefit from the ease of use in Spotfire 7.7. By decresing the amount of steps users need to do to edit data connections and deploy connectors to the Spotfire eco system, valuable time is saved.
- Self-service visual data discovery with full text search of Attivio data
- Edit Salesforce.com and Google Analytics data connections in Business Author
- Easier to edit data connections in Spotfire Analyst
- Analyze SAP BW data as values and/or keys
- SAP BW BEx variable values from clipboard and file
- BEx variables aligned with connection settings
- Easier deployment of data connectors
Spotfire 7.7 continues to make it easier to prepare your data. Now it is possible to edit settings directly from the visual data source view.
- Edit add rows settings from the visual data source view
- Edit data sources from the visual data source view in Spotfire Analyst
- Add rows in Spotfire Business Author (web authoring client)
Web authoring improvements
The Spotfire Business Author has a number of new capabilites such as creating and configuring KPI charts, creating multi layer maps, adding color rules and as mentioned above: the capability to add rows to data tables.
The main improvements in administration features are new jobs for TIBCO Spotfire Automation Services to send emails with attachements and to save data to a file, and improved management of resource pools for web player and automation services and for monitoring so called Scheduled Updates.
- Automation Services improvements
- Monitor scheduled updates
- Resource pool workflow
- Easier deployment of data connectors
- Auto-trust Nodes
Custom panel API for Spotfire web clients
With Spotfire 7.7, developers can add custom panels to the Spotfire web clients.
Other API Improvements
Spotfire 7.7 adds APIs for:
- Cross Table sort mode (get/set); Global or Leaf: crossTablePlot.SortRowsMode = SortMode.Global;
- Cross Table empty cell text (get/set): crossTablePlot.EmptyCellText = "-";
- Get and set minimum page dimensions: page.MinimumWidth = 713; page.MinimumHeight = 446;
Spotfire 7.7 improves the use of map charts.
TIBCO Spotfire® 7.6
7.6 is an important release for TIBCO Spotfire, thanks to the modernized client and server architecture. This new foundation is helping make it easier and faster for us to make visualization improvements, and significantly simplifies server administration and managability. This page summarizes the cool new features in TIBCO Spotfire 7.6.
- What's new in TIBCO Spotfire 7.6 release document : HTML
- What's new in TIBCO Spotfire 7.6 release document : pdf
Below are tutorials and video links to learn more about a selection of the new features, and more.
KPI chart and Mobile:
The new KPI chart is a big fan favorite in TIBCO Spotfire 7.6. It is now easier than ever to configure a Key Performance Indicator dashboard in TIBCO Spotfire and make it available to consumers using the TIBCO Spotfire iOS app for mobile devices or the TIBCO Spotfire web client. Create dashboards that let the user browse their KPIs, tapping a KPI to view more detailed KPIs, or to view more details in regular TIBCO Spotfire visuals.
- Monitor your business's KPIs in your phone using TIBCO Spotfire
- A mobile application for monitoring store employee presence KPIs in TIBCO Spotfire
- Using TIBCO Spotfire for visualizing market development KPIs
Another great new visualization is the Waterfall chart, which now works with TIBCO Spotfire Cloud 3.6 and TIBCO Spotfire 7.6. They are useful when you need to show how different component factors contribute to a final result. Waterfall charts are commonly used in financial analysis, but are useful for other use cases as well. So if you're unfamiliar with why you would use a waterfall chart in the first place, start by reading this post on: why use a waterfall chart. Then, explore the "how" to create a waterfall chart in TIBCO Spotfire with the following tutorials:
- Creating a waterfall chart in TIBCO Spotfire
- Using waterfall charts for difference analysis with TIBCO Spotfire
Show top N vs the rest
It can be useful to visualize the Top N of something, versus "the rest". This is a great visualization technique to improve chart readability when you have a few large groups and many smaller ones. This article is relevant for 7.6 and older versions as well:
Inline Data Preparation and Data Wrangling
Below are a selection of new, easy to use tools to prepare and wrangle data. This video shows how they can be used:
Visual overview of data table structures
It is sometimes challenging to understand which data sources and what methods have been used to create combined data tables. To solve this problem, data table data sources and operations can now easily be viewed in the Source view of the expanded data panel. It is possible to see detailed information about operations and preview intermediate resulting data tables after individual steps.
Split columns into new columns based on column values
Sometimes, column values contain multiple pieces of information. Examples are first and last name, or city and zip code. It's now easy to split columns of this type into separate columns containing the individual values from the original column. The original column can then be hidden from the analysis, not to distract and take up valuable space (in, for example, the Data panel).
Unpivot from the data panel
Data can be organized in different ways, for example, in a short/wide or tall/skinny format, but still contain the same information. Often, it is easier to visualize data organized in a tall/skinny format, that is, when the values are collected in just a few value columns. Unpivoting is one way to transform data from a short/wide to a tall/skinny format, so the data can be presented the way you want it in the visualizations. The Data panel (both in TIBCO Spotfire Analyst and TIBCO Spotfire Business Author) now has a built-in unpivot tool on the right-click menu.
Using multiple screens when analyzing data
When you want to simultaneously view more visualizations than will fit on a single screen, you can now analyze your data using multiple screens!
New Google Analytics connector in TIBCO Spotfire Business Author and TIBCO Spotfire Analyst
TIBCO Spotfire Business Author and TIBCO Spotfire Analyst now support direct access to, and analysis of, data from Google Analytics.
New Salesforce.com connector in TIBCO Spotfire Business Author
TIBCO Spotfire Business Author now supports direct access to, and analysis of, Salesforce.com data, without using the installed TIBCO Spotfire Analyst client.
Caching Data using Automation Services
Performance can often be improved by periodically loading data from databases and caching it, so that TIBCO Spotfire analyses requiring the data can be opened quickly and without each analysis hitting the database with queries.
Custom/External Authentication in TIBCO Spotfire 7.5/7.6
Many customers want to embed TIBCO Spotfire Web Player into a portal or other web application and secure access by passing authentication information from the portal to TIBCO Spotfire. Customers also have internal Web application security standards that require Single-Sign-On to all web applications which would include TIBCO Spotfire Web Player. TIBCO Spotfire supports these scenarios via custom and external authentication. With TIBCO Spotfire 7.5, the architecture has changed such that the support for these scenarios has moved from the TIBCO Spotfire Web Player to the TIBCO Spotfire Server.