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What’s New in the TIBCO Spotfire 3.3 Platform

TIBCO Spotfire 3.3 comes with big improvements to the bookmarkings functionality, a large number of visualization enhancements and significantly improved scalability.

Collaboration and Guided Analysis

Capture and Share Insights and Views Using Bookmarks

Bookmarks have been completely redone. The new bookmarking functionality allow users of both TIBCO Spotfire Professional and TIBCO Spotfire Web Player to save all analysis settings in a page. Private bookmarks allow users to keep their own list of favorite settings, while public bookmarks allow users to share their insights with others in real time. 

Link to Analyses and Bookmarks in the Library

Once an analysis has been published to the library, you can reach it or share it using a number of different link types. A bookmark URL can be included in documents, web pages or emails and guide other people to an interesting aspect or starting point in an analysis. 

Images as Action Links

In the text area, action links can now use images for their appearance. To use this feature, edit a text area and add an action link, then use the drop down to set the control type as link, button, or image. 

Visual and Analytic Enhancements

Horizontal Bar Charts

The bar chart can now be configured so that the bars extend horizontally. Not merely a matter of aesthetic preference, this option greatly improves the readability of the bar identifiers.

Show Only Top/Bottom N in Cross Table

Condense your cross tables down to only the most important facts. Now you can limit the cross table to show only the top or bottom N values per category. The analyst uses column sorting to control which measure is used to judge top or bottom values. When used at the same time as the subtotal feature, you can get both your summary and your critical details right in the same place.

Set Level and Location of Subtotals in Cross Table

In Spotfire 3.2 we introduced subtotals in the cross table, but subtotals were always applied to every parent level of a hierarchy. Now in 3.3 you can specify which levels of the cross table hierarchy should have subtotals applied. Also, you can choose to place the subtotals as the first or last row of the cross table row group.

Compensate for Missing Time Series Values

Spotfire 3.3 now has the option to show time series as a more natural continuum. Prior to 3.3, categorical axes in Spotfire were purely data driven. As a consequence, plots with date or time hierarchies weren't capable of illustrating missing time periods when no data existed for them. Now in 3.3, you can configure axes to show complete time hierarchies for a more natural, comprehensive view of time series data.

This feature also elegantly handles a tricky common visualization issue – the cumulative stacked bar chart. Spotfire now has a more intuitive behavior for these plots. Prior to 3.3, cumulative stacked bars could appear choppy or jagged due to missing values. Now these missing values are accounted for, and the result is a cleaner display that is easier to interpret and analyze. 

Tiled Markers for Grid Layouts in Scatter Plot and Map Chart

A new tiled marker option makes it easy to visualize and analyze grid-like data in Spotfire. Typical application areas include visualizing high throughput screening plates in research, as well as semiconductor wafer layouts for high-tech manufacturing.

Labels for this tiled marker type are specially designed to work smoothly for these analysis cases – labels are centered and will only appear if enough screen space exists to display them. Also relevant for these analytic cases: the scatter plot now supports mouse-wheel zooming for quick navigation of these kinds of visuals.

Hollow Markers in Scatter Plot and Map Chart

Hollow markers can convey a better sense of overlap and density in your data, and also offer a greater diversity of choice to help distinguish data categories. Also, it is certainly worth noting that the new horizontal and vertical hash marker types are helpful additions, for example when visualizing chromosome maps in genomic research.

Line Color and Width

When using line connection between markers in the scatter plot and map chart, you can now set the width of the line and have the line color be the same color as the markers.


Use Images as Labels and Tooltips

Add greater analytic depth and immersion by using images directly as marker labels (scatter plot only) or as tooltips (in all plots except box plot). If you can get the image into the dataset, or access it via URL (see below), you can show it right in your analysis. Show chemical structures, geospatial geometry, corporate logos, brand logos, advertising campaign artifacts, and more.

Today's IT departments increasingly rely on centralized services for delivering business application data, and images are no different. Spotfire 3.3 includes a simple configuration console for retrieving images via a simple URL so they can be used in labels and tooltips. The URL does not have to point to a web service this could also be used to retrieve images directly from a networked file system.

Label Formatting for Bar, Line, and Combination Charts

Spotfire 3.3 will now match the value formatting used on the y-axis of the plot to its marker labels. This feature can handle cases of multiple scales. This is available for bar, line and combination charts.

Labels in Map Chart Regions

When using the interactive shape mode of the Spotfire map chart, you can now label the shapes. Especially in geographic mapping cases, it is not always easy to determine the best location for a region's label, so this is why Spotfire 3.3 will let you manually determine where to place region labels. Just right click the map and choose to "Edit Label Positions."


Improved Scalability and Stability

TIBCO Spotfire Web Player now uses significantly less memory per user when many users look at the same analysis. The TIBCO Spotfire 3.3 platform also contains all patches released for TIBCO Spotfire 3.2.1 and 3.2 as well as a number of other bug fixes and enhancements.

Automated Creation of Information Models

Spotfire 3.3 Information Services users can automatically generate 1-to-1 mappings of the existing tables and columns in their data sources. This helps a lot when the work has already been done to nicely model and expose tables for business applications such as Spotfire, so the mapping step is more about transparency than transformation. For example, if you use Spotfire Application Data Services, you do the work in ADS to expose Spotfire-ready tables and columns, so a simple transparent mapping of those elements through Spotfire Information Services can now be accomplished in one click.

Increased Uptime When Changing Configuration 

Now, Spotfire system administrators can view and edit the current server configuration without stopping the servers in the cluster. The services don't have to be stopped until any new changes are saved and applied.

Client-Side Logging for Troubleshooting Purposes

The logging has been enhanced to provide more information needed to debug issues. You can now change the client logging level and easily get access to the log itself by going to Help > Support Diagnostics > Logging.

User Control over Password

TIBCO Spotfire Users can now change their own passwords. This option is only available if you are using Spotfire database authentication.

Spotfire Qualification

TIBCO Spotfire Qualification is a new product that allows you to verify that an analysis in TIBCO Spotfire gives the same results on different installations of TIBCO Spotfire. This is done with the TIBCO Spotfire Qualification tool, which exports all parts of an analysis for a user-defined "gold standard" application. The tool can then automatically compare that gold standard with exports performed on other computers, or after upgrades of TIBCO Spotfire.