The IBM® Task Pane is a key component in Planning Analytics for Microsoft Excel that provides access to the list of cubes, saved views, dimension members and saved sets for the active database. It also provides controls for opening alternate data sources and a Workbook tab that provides an overview of report components in the active workbooks and the ability to edit Action Buttons.
Prior to the 2.064 release of Planning Analytics for Excel, the ability to open and close the Task Pane or to refresh its contents required the user to perform these operations manually. However, these actions can now be fully automated within Excel macros using a new set of API calls:
Show Task Pane
For demonstration purposes, we have constructed four action buttons whose VBA Macro code has been customized to use the new Task Pane API commands
The first action button – Show Task Pane – is selected.
The macro runs the new API and the Task Pane is now displayed.
Hide Task Pane
Starting from the last screen shown above, the Hide Task Pane button is run next, resulting in the Task Pane being removed from view.
Refresh the Task Pane
Our beginning screen shows the Task Pane after it has been used to drill into details on several cubes. With this display in place, we now click on the Refresh the Task Pane button.
The source tree gets refreshed with the current content from the connected database, and the source tree rolled up to its default display.
Is the Task Pane Visible?
The final action button What is the Task Pane State? uses the new IsVisible API to check for & display whether the Task Pane is visible or not.
API Code Examples
The following shows the API function used for each of the action button examples:
'=== Show Task Pane
MsgBox "The Task Pane is now visible!"
'=== Hide Task Pane
MsgBox "The Task Pane is now hidden!"
'=== Refresh the Task Pane
MsgBox "The Task Pane has been refreshed!"
'=== Is the Task Pane visible?
sIsVisible = Reporting.TaskPane.IsVisible
If sIsVisible = True Then
sState = "Yes"
sState = "No"
MsgBox "Is the Task Pane visible? " & sState
The new set of Task Pane APIs do not offer much for basic implementations of Planning Analytics for Excel. However, for highly customized implementations where navigation, data processing and a number of other operations make extensive use of Excel macros and the IBM API library, the new Task Pane APIs open additional opportunities to improve the overall client experience.