Functionality Spotlight: Conditional Content

Getting the Most Out of Ariba Sourcing Functionality!



I recently received an Enhancement Request from a customer wanting to be able to assign questions to suppliers similar to how we can invite suppliers to certain line items.  I responded that the functionality existed in our Conditional Content capabilities that we delivered in 10s1.  The user requested a demonstration and I put a simple one together to illustrate the capabilities.  After the call/webex with the customer, I felt that you would all benefit from a review of the Conditional Content functionality.





Tale of the Tape:
The Feature: Conditional Content
What is it? The ability to show some content to some  suppliers and hide it from others based upon the value of one or more  content questions.
When delivered? 10s1, May 2009
Sourcing Pro/Basic? Available to both Sourcing Pro and Basic


For the demo I am going to create a simple RFP, with 3 suppliers and content that will be visible to some and not the others.  I will utilize both simple and complex conditions, show how they are constructed, and adjust the visibility of the content based upon those conditions.  Lastly, I will view the event as the suppliers so you can see the difference between their content.


Step 1: Create your event…


I started with the Out of the Box standard RFP template and added 3 test suppliers.

event suppliers.png

(Click the any image to see a larger version)



Let’s talk about the event content we need to create and how we need to hide/show certain content.  In this event, I plan to have content that is hidden based upon different scenarios.  Some will utilize Simple Conditions and some will need Complex Conditions.


Conditional Content Scenario
Type of Condition
Supplier’s response in a certain way to one questionSimple
Supplier’s response in a certain way to more than one questionComplex
Buyer’s determining that certain content should be hidden for certain suppliersComplex


What?  You were not aware that we had two different types of Conditions?  Yep, we support Complex Conditions in addition to the Simple Conditions that you most likely knew about already.  Below is a table that explains the two types and points out their differences.


Simple Condition: A condition based upon the value from one content question. These can be created on the fly while editing Visibility on content or in the Condition Editor

Complex Condition: A condition based upon one or more value(s) from one or more content question(s).  These can only be created via the Condition Editor. You have to create them in the Editor and then assign them while setting the Visibility for the Content.



Ok, time to get at it.  I have created the event content and it is time to start working the magic of Conditional Content.  The first example is a Yes/No question where we want to have the supplier provide additional comments if they select “No”.  I created the Yes/No question and I created a multi-line text question that will collect the additional information. 


Edit the multi-line text questionimage009.png
Click on Visibility Conditions and then Create Conditionimage011.png

The Create Conditions screen will appear.  Select which question you want to use for the condition, in this case # 2.1.2, the Yes/No question.  Select the “No” option.


With this condition, We are saying show question 2.1.3, the multi-line text question, when “No” is selected for 2.1.2.


Click “OK”

Review the Condition…


Note: The visibility states when the value is = “False” because Yes/No questions are really a Boolean or  “True/False” type of a question.




Great!  We have the first condition completed and it was pretty straight forward.  Simple conditions are very easy to build, especially working with a “Yes/No” type question.  Other data types will prompt you a little differently for the value that you want to match. 


For text data types, the condition will only be met if there is an exact match.  For those situations, I like to create a list of choices so I know I can make a match.  For example, if I am trying to do a condition off of a question asking about the State where a factory is located, the suppliers could enter “CA”, “California” or “Calif.” and all are meant to mean the same thing.  If you add a list of choices to the question seeking the state information, you will know the right text string to match. 


Numeric fields will ask you for a rangthat you want to match.  If you are wanting the condition to be triggered when the answer is 1, 2, 3, 4 you would enter a 1 and a 4. If you want it just for a 2, then enter 2 for both boxes.image017.png


Our buyer wanted to have some content to be displayed to some suppliers and different content visible to other suppliers, similar to inviting suppliers to particular line items. We can accomplish this with Conditional Content. First, you need to create some content that we can trigger visibility off of.  To do this, we will need to create a question that is buyer required, not visible to participants, and has supplier specific values.  Below, I created a question, whole number type, and assigned a value to each of the suppliers, 1-3.


create basis.png


We will use the values for the suppliers to make the content visible for particular suppliers.  Edit a section that we want to restrict access to only one supplier, in this case, dlmSupply 3, who we assigned "3" to in the above field.  Select the Visibility Conditions link to define the condition:




The condition will show this section to suppliers that have a “3” in the Visibility content question.


Now, let’s try creating a condition that is based upon more than one value, otherwise known as a Complex Condition. When creating Complex Conditions, you will need to go to the Condition Editor.  First, make sure you have all the content created that you will use for the conditions. I have all of mine created so I am going to start creating the complex conditions and applying them.



Enter the Condition Editor by clicking Edit, then Conditions…image023.png
This is the Condition Editor.  You can see the conditions that have been created in the Editor and are available for use in a Visibility Condition. You can edit and delete them here.
Click “Add” to create a new condition and enter the Name and Description.image027.png
Next, we have to build the Conditional Expression.  This condition will be triggered if the supplier is #1 or #3 and they responded “No” to the Yes/No question. So, click on “Undefined” to start building the expression. For this condition we will have two conditions and one will actually consist of two options.image029.png
Here I have created the condition.  It consists of two parts. The first tests if the Visibility is either “1” or “3”.  Those are combined with an “Any of”, meaning either of the two needs to be true.  The 2nd part of the condition is a response of “No” to the “Yes/No” question.  Note that this is combined with the other condition via an “All of” so both must be true to trigger the condition.image031.png


After you have built all your conditions, you can now start assigning them to content controlling their visibility.  I am assigning my conditions at the Section level, hiding all the content that exists within that section.



After assigning all your conditions to the content, you can test that everything is setup as you want. The “View As Participant” functionality, available via the Actions menu on the Content tab, allows you to view the event as a particular participant.




Below we are viewing the event as Supplier 1.  We can see all the sections that were made visible to him.  The last section that is conditioned to show only to Supplier 1 or 3 when they answer “No” is not visible, because we haven't selected anything for that question.



If we select No, the last section appears…


view no.png


I hope this Spotlight on Conditional Content will prompt you to try it out in your next event if needed. If you have any questions about this functionality, please add a comment to this blog post and I will do my best to clarify.  Also, I would like to make more of these Spotlights on other functionality.  Leave a comment with the functionality you would like me to focus on in my next Spotlight.


Thank you!


David Morel

Sr. Solution Manager

Ariba Sourcing