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Prepare your Reporting Calendar

Now that you can find your way around Flow Config, let’s start configuring your system. One of the first things to do is configure your reporting Calendar. Flow can use multiple Calendars, but for the purposes of this lab, we will configure the default “Production” calendar.

Calendars and Shift Patterns tell Flow how to structure time-based data for reporting purposes. For example, your reporting day may start at 06:00 in the morning or your reporting year may start in March. The Flow calendars allow you to configure these things. When the Flow Engines run, they will use the Calendars to create reporting “time periods”.

Select the “Context” tab under the Information Model view and double-click the “Production” calendar in the “Calendars and Shifts” view …

In the calendar editor you will be able to set the following properties:

  • Description – used for reporting (can be left blank)
  • Management – by default Flow will manage a calendar’s “time period” creation automatically based on the standard Gregorian calendar system, applying the applicable offsets where required. There may be times where a specific “time period” definition is required. In this case, time periods will need to be created in the Flow database manually using the “CreateManualTimePeriod” stored procedure.
  • Year starts in – used to define the month in which the reporting year will start (e.g. financial year)
  • Week starts on – used to define the day on which the reporting week will start.
  • Day starts at – used to define the hour and minute at which the reporting day will start.
  • Hours split into – used to define the duration of “minutely” time periods. It is important to note that “minutely” in Flow does not mean a single minute, but rather a sub-hourly period that has this duration. The smallest “minutely” time period duration is 5 minutes. If this setting is set to 60 minutes, then Flow will not allow the creation of minutely measures.
The above Flow Calendar settings can only be modified when all Flow Engines are undeployed.

 

Click on the “Default Refresh Offset” bar …

The Refresh Offset for a measure is the “delay” or offset from the “Period End” to the time the retrieval of a measure will be performed by the Flow Engines. Each calendar has a set of default refresh offsets that will be used when a calendar is first linked to a measure.

Click on the “Purge Age” bar …

Flow has the ability to automatically remove old data. This ensures a well maintained system. For example, if we set the minutely time period’s Purge Age to 90, the Engines will automatically remove minutely measures’ data that are older than 90 days. By default the Purge Age for each “Time Period” type is set to 0 days, which implies that purging is disabled.

Purging is only recommended for large systems that have accumulated a few years of data.

 

Shift Patterns

 Expand the “Production” calendar. By default, your new Flow System’s “Production” calendar has a pre-configured Shift Pattern. Shift Patterns in Flow are defined by a Date and Time from which the Shift Pattern is valid. Additional Shift Patterns can be added to the calendar, as long as they have a different Date and Time. This mechanism provides the ability to change Shift Patterns over time.

Double-click the “2010-01-01 06:00” Shift Pattern to open its editor …

 Notice that this default Shift Pattern has a 3 x 8 hour shift scheme, repeating each day of the week. The start of the week is defined by the Shift Pattern’s parent Calendar. The start of the day is defined by the Shift Pattern’s parent Calendar.

By definition, a Shift Pattern has a duration of one week (i.e. 7 “Production” days). Flow will repeat the pattern from the Date and Time definition every week, up until a new Shift Pattern definition is found.

If you needed to start a new 2 x 12 hour shift scheme, starting on Sunday 1st November 2015, you would create a new Shift Pattern named “2015-11-01 06:00” under the “Production” Calendar. You would then open the Shift Pattern and shuffle the individual shifts around as required. If you needed to rename or add a new “Shift” type, you will find the Shifts defined in the “Toolbox” tab, under “Shifts”.

 You can drag these “Shifts” onto the Shift Pattern canvas to create and manage your shift patterns.

 

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