January 22, 2012

Difference between Display and Navigational attribute

We will see the differences in 2 areas.

1) Modelling:

Values of Display attributes will store in P and Q tables.

P -- Display time independent attributes.
Q -- Display time dependent attributes.

Values of Navigational attributes will store in X and Y tables.

X -- Navigational time independent attributes.
Y -- Navigational time dependent attributes. 

2) Reporting:

As we all know drill down in report is possible if the characteristic is navigational attribute and is not if it is display attribute.Now we will see this with some example data.

Lets consider we have objects Customer, country and sales amount. we have the below data.

Customer   country    Sales amount

Cust1          India          200
Cust2          India          300
Cust3          USA           500
Cust4          USA           400
Cust5          UK             600
Cust6          USA           100

Navigational Attribute:

Assume that Country is as navigation attribute to master data Customer. If we want to have an analysis about the sales based on country. Since 'Country' is navigational attribute we have an independent drill down of Country with out the support of Customer in report .

country   Sales amount

India             500
USA             1000
UK                 600

here country is an attribute of customer, as we made this as navigational attribute, it can be standalone in report with out customer.

Display Attribute:

We cannot go for individual drill down to country with out customer, i.e if we want country in our report then we have to drill down customer along with country. Report output will be as below.

Customer  country   Sales amount

Cust1        India           200
Cust2        India           300
Cust3        USA            500
Cust4        USA            400
Cust5        UK              600
Cust6        USA            100

Just observe the report in our first case is having only three records with aggregated value based on country but in the second we have 6 records.

Hope we get clear idea about display and navigational attributes.


  1. Hi

    can we Filter a display attribute in input parameter?

    1. NO.
      Resone :- Variable can be created on characteristics info object but not in Display attribute so we cannot filter display attribute.

  2. hi

    how can we select this nav attr selection in cube (instead of dragging files to nav attr folder)


  3. Great Article .. I only understood the difference from your simple examples.


  4. Very insightful explanation. SAP made easy!

    Thank you

  5. good explanation.

  6. thank you, well explained :)

  7. Thanks...Good one

  8. clear explanation

  9. Very Good Example