BusinessObjects: Create a Variable


This procedure demonstrates how to create a variable and insert it into a report. A variable is a formula that has a name, type and qualification. A variable is more powerful than a formula. You can apply sorts, breaks and sections on it, and easily use it in multiple locations in a report.

Reports must be in Design mode in order to work with variables.

Step-by-Step Process

  1. Click the Main Panel icon Main Panel icon.
  2. Screenshot of Main Panel showing the Document Objects and New variable icons.

  3. Click the Document Objects icon Document Objects icon to open the Document Objects panel.
  4. Click Add a new variable Available objects icon.
  5. Enter a variable Name.
  6. Screenshot of Create Variable window showing the Name field, available functions, available objects, available operators and validate formula sections of the window.

  7. If necessary, select the desired Qualification (Measure, Dimension, or Detail).
  8. Double-click to add options from the Available Objects, Available Functions and Available Operators sections. The results display in the Formula box.
    • You can manually type the formula in the box. Every formula must begin with an equal sign (=).
  9. Click Validate formula Check icon to validate formula.
    • If formula errors are found, correct the formula and re-validate.
  10. Click OK.
  11. Drag the new variable from the Variables section of the Document Objects panel to the desired place in your report.
    • A yellow highlighted area shows where the variable will be inserted if dropped at that point.
  12. Screenshot of a variable being dragged from the variables section of the document objects panel into the report.


  • To edit a variable, click the three-dot More menu next to the variable in the Document Objects panel and select Edit.
  • To quickly view the formula of a user-created variable, hover over the variable in the Document Objects panel.