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The Bedford Coach - Dynamic Cell Access




Anaplan definition:


Dynamic Cell Access provides the ability to control access to line item data in modules and dashboard grids at a very granular level. For any combination of dimensions, you can make the contents of individual line items or entire rows and columns read-only, editable, or invisible (the cell value still exists) which allows a flexible way to control user input and security.


For even more control, use Dynamic Cell Access together with the User lists to control access by user as well as your chosen dimensions. This is useful if you want to allow users to enter data but not view data entered by others.


Dynamic Cell Access comprises Access Drivers (and their dimensions) and the Read Access Driver and Write Access Driver columns in Blueprint view. It doesn't have a dedicated user interface.


Dynamic Cell Access is additional to Selective Access, which restricts per-user access to lists and list items, but not to line item data. If both mechanisms are used together, the most restrictive level of access applies. Depending on your needs, you can use Selective Access to restrict Access Driver Modules to workspace administrators only.



Typical use cases:

  • Security to lock the whole model input.

  • Control which periods can be edited through manual selection and automatically based on formula e.g. the current period.

  • Restrict read and write access to line items at user level



How to use DCA


Access Driver Modules


DCA can be controlled through any line item with a Boolean format type. It is best practice keep these Access Driver line items in an Access Driver Module and store these in a separate functional area.

  • To simplify the management of DCA, it is recommended to name the modules according to the dimension e.g. “Access-Customer-Users” which controls access by customer and user or “Access-Time which allows control on inputs over time.

  • The users list needs to be added to the Access Driver module if you want to control access by user.

  • Each Access Driver module can be used multiple times.

  • Always set up a Read? and Write? Line item in the module to control access on the target module. These can be formula driven or manual.

  • Global Access Driver modules have no dimensions so can control cell data regardless of dimensionality.

  • The Access Driver Module and target module line item need to have compatible dimensionality. This does not apply to Global Access Drivers.

  • One-to-One Match – Access and Target have matching dimensions

  • Target Data has Non-Matching Dimensions – If the target has additional dimensions that don’t match the Access Driver, the Access Driver is still valid.

  • Access Driver has Non-Matching Dimensions – If one or more dimensions in the access module do not match the target module line item then the driver is only valid if the Access Driver summary method is All, Any or Formula and the dimension has a top-level item .

  • The summary method on the Access Driver module will determine if the totals appear in the target module. E.g. NONE will show totals as invisible.

How to create Access Driver Modules


  1. Create a functional area for Access Driver modules to be categorised.

  2. Create an access module with the dimensions required for DCA.

  3. Insert a Read and Write Line item and change to Boolean formula.

  4. A formula can be added to the Line item for example the Time function to make cell values in the Current Period editable or can be left as manual. The below example shows an access module with time.


5. If you want to control assess by User, you can add the users list to the access module dimension.





How to apply Access Driver Modules to Target Module Line Items


1. The Access Drivers can be applied to the either or both Read Access Driver or Write Access Driver columns in blueprint view,


2. Access Drivers can be applied at module or line item level

3. The drop down on the line item shows very Boolean formatted line item in the model.

4. To apply Access Driver at the module level, select in the first row of blueprint view – see example below. This access level then applies across all line items in the modules.


Here we see below that only June, July & August are editable based on the selection in the Access – Time module.



5. Different Access Drivers can be applied in the Read access and Write Access columns to control read only and write access to line item data.


6. For a finer level of granularity, Access Drivers can be applied at line item level.



Example 1


In the example below, we can see how Products and Customer access can be controlled with an Access module.


  1. Create an Access Driver Module with Customers and Products as dimensions.

  2. Add in a read and write Boolean formatted line item.



3. Create a target module with Customer, Products and Time as dimensions.

4. In Blueprint apply the Access module to the line item from the drop down.


5. Here we can see below that cell access can be controlled by customer and product in the access module. We can take this a step further and control access by user – by bringing in the user list in the access and target module.








Example 2 – With Numbered List


In the example below, we are creating user access on a numbered list based on a property.


We want to achieve Brand Level Security, I.e. ensure that only specific users can forecast for a Particular Brand, e.g. Brand A. However, Brand A can be sold in multiple channels in various companies.


We have the following composite numbered list hierarchy (Products SKU L4 -> Brand L3 ->

Channel L2 -> Country L1)






The Brand L3 (Numbered List) has a property called Brand which is list formatted using a list called Brand (flat list of Brands).






1. Create a module with the following line items and lists applied to them. Set the Summary methods for the ‘WRITE Access by Brand L3’, and ‘READ Access by Brand L3’ line items to be ‘Any’.



2. Set the relevant security by User on the first line item ‘Brand Access’.

(*Note that you may need to ask Anaplan to enable the admin to be able to see the Full user list, this is a new feature that is currently being rolled out.)



3. Create a Target Module called Sales, with Product SKU L4 and Month as Lists and Vol and Sales as line items.



4. Apply the Access Drivers in the Module to the two Line items.



5. Review Data. The user only has WRITE Access to Products rolling into Brand A and Brand C and has READ Access to products rolling into BRAND B, D and E.


In summary, the Brand level User Access has cascaded down to Product Level, so we don’t need to have the whole Product SKU L4 level by User (this would take up a lot more space).



Stay tuned for the next edition of the Bedford Coach!




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