ACG Business Analytics Blog


Upgrade to the Carbon Interface with IBM Planning Analytics

Posted by Matt Berson on June 28, 2023

In the upcoming IBM Planning Analytics Workspace release 89 scheduled for early July 2023, the new carbon interface will automatically replace all existing components that are currently using the "Classic" look. Even though we expect the update to be reasonably seamless, it is advisable that users prepare their organization for this change.

IBM PA Carbon Interface

The carbon interface was first released in December 2021 for the cube viewer and the set editor. This new interface has continued to evolve over the past 18 months and was available as an option alongside the legacy "Classic" interface. Those of us who actively develop dashboards and reports have already starting using the new interface for anything new, however, it is likely that most environments have some dashboards that still leverage the Classic experience.

The new viewer has many improvements from the classic experience. The notable ones, in our opinion, are the following:

  • Responsive grid to give more flexibility for size changes to the display
  • Configurations to toggle information on/off on views such as dimension icons, hierarchy names, and context information
  • Improved visual cues when moving dimensions and new context menu for each dimension; including an option to add related hierarchies
  • Improved alignment options for cells and headers
  • Text fill option

The set editor has also been enhanced, some key features include the following:

  • Improved MDX editor now shows as a 3rd pane rather than a pop-out dialog box
  • Filter capabilities on both available and selected panes
  • Ability to sort Available members; previously only available on selected members
  • Improved settings allow the suppression of the header to show more content
  • Sets can be deleted from the set editor itself; previously only available in the navigation tree
  • Ability to display parents, children or leaves of already selected members
  • Removal of duplicate members

Test Planning Analytics Workspace

Per IBM, the enablement release for the Carbon Interface is Version 89, which will likely be out in early July. As with all major features in Planning Analytics Workspace, you can enable the feature via Planning Analytics Administration under the Features and Configurations.

Enabling Carbon Interface in IBM PA

ACG suggests enabling this feature in a non-production environment and then reviewing and testing PAW reports and dashboards. Although ACG’s testing did not find any major issues, there were some minor adjustments needed to a small amount existing dashboards to fix sizing and eliminate scroll bars on smaller widgets.

Test Planning Analytics for Excel

The Carbon and Classic views have been running in parallel in Workspace for about a 1 ½ years. In that time users could experiment with both experiences, even on the same canvas. This has not been the case with Planning Analytics for Excel; although there is a way to test the new experience.

In September 2022, IBM enabled the new interface for Planning Analytics for Excel; however, you have to explicitly enable by creating and/or editing the tm1features.json file.

To enable the carbon components, in Planning Analytics for Excel the below line must be included in the tm1features.json file

{"EnableWebView2ForCarbon" : true}

Next Steps

It is highly advisable that you prepare your organization for this change. Although there will likely be no major issues, the new interfaces are different. If possible, leverage a pilot group to test your models and applications. Based on the findings from that group, educate and communicate with the rest of your user community.

Topics: IBM Planning Analytics, IBM PAX, IBM PA Workspace, IBM PA for Excel