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.
(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 question||Simple|
|Supplier’s response in a certain way to more than one question||Complex|
|Buyer’s determining that certain content should be hidden for certain suppliers||Complex|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
Sr. Solution Manager