Xcelsius Tip: Using the Map Component

The map components in Xcelsius are both one of the most visually appealing Xcelsius components while at the same time being the most frustrating.

The main outcry from users comes from the the lack of on-click functionality, meaning you can’t click on a picture of a state and drill down into that state’s information.  The programmers designed the component so that when you HOVERED your mouse over the picture of the state, the information would display in a pop up, but for some reason didn’t translate the same functionality over to when you CLICKED on the picture of the state.

Some other power users use the “hot zone” method to replicate on-click functionality as seen in Kaylan Verma’s example.  However, this method is very tedious and the results are still not perfect, as it is still possible to click on a state and not have the “hot zone” register.  What I suggest is putting each of the state abbreviations on the state itself (yes, this is still tedious) and setting the label as a hot zone.  This keeps the functionality consistent so the user knows exactly where to click and how it should respond.  It is also good for the smaller states, if you’re trying to click between Maryland and Delaware for example.

While working with Xcelsius on one of my projects this week, I discovered another “surprise” feature about the map components.  When you put in more than 4 map components into an Xcelsius dashboard, the whole thing crashes.  Plain and simple.  The lookups stop working and your results flash on the screen.  Thanks Business Objects.

I often wonder what my Xcelsius capabilities amount to in the big scope of things.  It seems like knowing Xcelsius’s limitations are the most valuable thing to an Xcelsius developer.  By knowing what Xcelsius can’t do, it greatly speeds up the development process and prevents you from overcommitting during requirements gathering.  The problem with this approach is that when Xcelsius gets upgraded and these random bugs are taken away, my capabilities go away along with it.

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