Attribute Dependencies

Attribute Dependencies section gives control over selected Attributes. By setting up rules, user will be allowed only to select certain Attribute Values and see certain Values based on other selections. In this way, by setting up rules, user will get a correct configuration of the product.

Each attribute dependency has one or many conditioning attributes and one dependent attribute. User will determine how will that rule affect the dependent attribute: select, disallow, or allow. Than can be determined as many dependencies as needed within one rule with different conditions that affect the same attribute. While attribute dependencies provide a user friendly way of creating rules for accurate configurations, it does not allow for complex conditions or multiple actions. For more complex rules, the Rules administrative section will be used. In the Rules section, flexible and powerful rules can be created by using standard CPQ tags. Attribute Dependencies are useful for simple configurations that do not require complex conditions.
To access Attribute Dependencies click the Products link under the Products the admin menu. Choose the manual method of product definition for a product. Under the Current Product menu select the Attribute Dependencies link.
Figure A shows the main screen that is displayed for Attribute Dependencies. The title bar will display which product is currently being configured. A list is then given of each existing rule for that product. In this example there are rules already created. Each rule can have many dependencies within it.


Figure A-Attribute Dependencies List

Click Add New to add a new rule. By selecting a rule from the list and clicking Edit, changes can be made to an existing rule. Selecting a rule and clicking Delete will remove the rule from the product. Clicking Add New will bring up the screen shown in Figure B. Editing a rule will bring up the same screen, with the exception of the buttons at the bottom of the screen, shown in Figure C.


Figure B-Attribute Dependencies Edit

Figure C-Attribute Dependencies Actions

Dependence Rule Description – Enter a name for the Attribute Dependence. This name will appear in the list on the main Attribute Dependencies screen. Dependence Rule Long Description – This description is only seen at this screen. It can be useful for other administrators that may access the system to understand the Attribute Dependence.
Dependence Rule Type – The rule type determines how the rule will behave. There are four rule types to choose from. They are as follows:
Disallow – This type prevents a user from being able to select the values chosen. Specified values will be removed from the choices given to the user.
Allow – Prevents user from selecting any other values EXCEPT the ones chosen. The specified values will be the only values available to the user.
Calculate Single to Select Only One – When the conditioning value is chosen, another value is automatically chosen for the user. It can only be one value and the user cannot deselect the value. Other values cannot be selected.
Calculate Single to Select One – When the conditioning value is chosen, other values are automatically chosen for the user. It can be more than one value and the user cannot deselect the values. Other values can be selected and deselected, though.
Dependence Rule Rank – The Rule Rank determines which rules are executed first. If multiple rules involve the same value(s), the rule rank will determine which of those rules takes precedence.
Conditioning Attributes – Select an Attribute from the list. This Attribute will be the value that, when chosen, will trigger the Dependence Rule.
Dependent Attribute – Select an Attribute from the drop down box. This Attribute will be the value that is affected by the Dependence Rule.

Note: Attributes available in the Conditioning and Dependent lists are only those that have been selected in Product Attributes (see the chapter on Defining Product Attributes)
Effective Dates – If applicable, enter the dates that the Dependence Rule is effective. Clicking the Calendar icon next to the box will bring up a calendar to select the date (see the chapter on Effectivity Dates).
When finished entering all the information, click Add a New Rule. This button is only available if a new rule is being created. Editing a rule displays other buttons, which are shown in Figure C.
Modify Desc. And Rank – Used to edit only the Description (long or short) and the Rank. Clicking this button will not update any other fields.
Save Changes – Used to update all the fields (including Description and Rank).
Edit Dependence List – Brings up the Dependency List shown in Figure D. Click this to edit dependencies without updating any fields.

Figure D-List of Attribute Dependencies

Main Screen – Opens the main Attribute Dependencies screen without updating any fields.
After a new rule has been added a confirmation screen will appear will two buttons. One button will open the main screen which lists all the Dependence Rules. The Edit Dependence List button will open the screen to pick the affected Attribute Values.
Clicking the Edit Dependence List button brings up the screen shown in Figure D. This page will display any existing dependencies that have been created. To create a new dependency, click the New Dependency Rule button. This will bring up the screen shown in Figure E.

Figure E-Edit Attribute Dependencies

This screen is used to choose the conditioning attribute value(s) and the dependent attribute value(s). If values are not available on this screen, go to the Product Attributes admin section and under Attribute Values pane for the attribute ensure that the correct values are selected (see the section on Attributes).
In the Condition section, select the value(s) that when selected will trigger this dependence rule. To select multiple values hold down the Ctrl key. Click the button to bring the value(s) into the right box. The values in the right box are now selected as Condition Values.

Note: If more than one value is selected in the right box, the relationship between them is AND. This means that all the values in that field need to be selected in order for the Dependence Rule to be triggered.

In the Dependency section, select the value(s) that will be affected by the Dependency Rule. To select multiple values hold down the Ctrl key. Click the key to bring the value(s) into the right box. The values in the right box are now selected as Dependent Values. To remove a Value from the Condition section or the Dependency section, select the Value in the right box and click the button to send the value into the left box.
When the conditioning value(s) and the dependency value(s) have been selected, click the Generate a Dependency List button. This will save the dependency, and the newly created dependency will be displayed in the dependency list for that dependency rule. Add more dependencies by clicking the New Dependency Rule button. Clicking the Main Screen button will open the Attribute Dependencies main screen. When a dependency is saved, it is listed on the dependency list page. It is displayed with a short description of which values are being affected and an Edit and Delete button. Clicking the Edit button will open the selection screen shown in Figure E. Dependencies can be deleted by either clicking the Delete button next to each Dependency or by clicking the Delete All Dependencies button.

Note: Attribute Dependencies run after Triggers but before Rules in the system’s processing order. See the section The Order of Things for more information.

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