What are BAQs?
Business Activity Queries are a way of creating personalised query results by working through use an easy to use query builder screen and firstly selecting and joining the tables you wish to use, applying any criteria against the tables that you wish, specifying which fields from the tables you wish to display, and in what order you want the data to be listed. BAQs are usually used in dashboards which are explained below but they can also be used to generate a simple web page. Whilst BAQs are simple and easy to create there are further advanced features such as summarised tables and calculated fields.
What are Dashboards?
Firstly, Dashboards are a view of your data. The view can be in a regular grid-type display but can also be a chart view or tracker view. When creating a dashboard you can supply filters against the displayed data but ultimately the views are driven by BAQs which form the basis of the dashboard. You can typically look at dashboards as a way of presenting and offering some control over the data from a BAQ. A dashboard can have multiple BAQs and you can set it up so that one BAQ publishes and the other one subscribes – for example, you can select a specific customer from the first BAQ (which may be a summarised list) and that can drive the data in the other BAQ so that your customer specific data changes depending on the customer that is highlighted in the first view.
More complicated formatting can be done by adding view rules to the dashboard and your dashboards can also be made to be updateable (i.e. you can have tick-boxes or fields in you view show in a way that allows you to update the data directly in the view rather than have to visit a specific maintenance screen).
I will put together some simple training notes soon explaining how you create BAQs and dashboards and how you can set them up to be updateable.