Shhhh! One Secret to Customizing MicroStrategy

Customizing MicroStrategy

When out-of-the-box MicroStrategy configuration is not enough, and we want to make the web portal more personalized for the user group, modifying the XML files directly can give tremendous flexibility. In this blog post I would like to show a couple of small modifications we have made to our environment.

I always take a back-up of the original XML file before modifying it, so I would suggest the same to anyone trying this. And you should restart the I-server after the modifications to reflect the changes.

File locations may vary based on where you installed MicroStrategy, but my main XML configuration files are located as follows:

Windows Installation: C:\Program Files (x86)\MicroStrategy\Web ASPx\WEB-INF\xml\config\

Linux Installation: /opt/apache-tomcat-6.0.35/webapps/MicroStrategy/WEB-INF/xml/config/

You can find a list of XML files that have the scripts that control the style, color, menus, names, settings, error messages, etc. that configure the web portal. Modifying these XML files make the UI appropriately customized.

Customizing MicroStrategyCustomizing MicroStrategy

In one particular project of ours, we developed a mobile food operations dashboard tool called FoodOps. We wanted to give a different name to the metrics and attributes shortcuts in the Report Object Browser. To do this, I modified the folderLinks.xml file located in the above mentioned config directory.

Default View

Customizing MicroStrategy
The default names for the metrics and attribute links on the left are what we want to customize. 

Customizing MicroStrategy
This is the original folderLinks.xml.

Creating Customized Shortcuts

After making the modification to folderLinks.xml…

Customizing MicroStrategy
…this is what you see in the shortcuts.

Further Modifications

Another modification to the same block could be to remove/add a folder shortcut to make the workflow much more comfortable for the developers. In the following I removed the shortcuts to “Data Explorer” and “Hierarchies” and added a shortcut to the “Share Filters” folder.

These shortcuts have been modified…. 

…by making this change to folderLinks.xml. 

Similarly by making modifications to other XML files you can truly make the web interface very personal to your users’ needs. Have you created a customized view in MicroStrategy? Please share what you did, or a picture even, in the comments below.

What kind of customizations are you trying to accomplish?

Photo Credit: Caza_No_7 via Compfight cc

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