ImpactECS In-Depth: Grid Outline View

The ImpactECS grid control governs how information is displayed in a Model. Some better known grid control functions includes auto-filters, summary rows, cell actions, and data validations. For hierarchical data, the grid control Outline View functionality allows model designers to display parent-child data relationships on the ImpactECS screen. This article covers a brief overview of the Outline View control and two typical business use cases for outlines – indented Bills-of-Material and interactive income statements.

About the Outline View Grid ControlImpactECS Outline View Settings

When building an Outline View for an ImpactECS item, the model builder can choose from three distinct configuration options. These options allow model builders to define each row’s hierarchical (or indentation) level based upon specific usage scenarios. To view the Outline View options, select the grid and choose Format > Outline View Settings.


Let’s look at each outline configuration separately:

    1. Use Outline Level Format: This option allows users to manually format each row, specifying each level of the outline independently. Row outline level formats are accessed from Format > Row > Outline. This option is deprecated and is only available for backwards compatibility.
    2. Use a Column for Outline Level: This option is most often used when outline levels are set programmatically and the pre-existing parent/child relationships do not exist in the data. Model builders can choose the column that contains each row’s indentation level expressed as an integer. For example, an indented bill of materials includes a component (or cost object) that is called by multiple parent cost objects within the same Model.
    3. Use Parent Child Relationship: In instances where the outline level is set programmatically and hierarchal relationships are defined, model builders use this option to specify two distinct columns that indicates each row’s unique ID and its parent ID.

    Examples of Outlines in ImpactECS Models

    Model builders can employ outline views on any grid in an ImpactECS model. The following examples are typical uses of outlines to improve model navigation and provide a richer view of model data from a single view.

    Indented Bills of Material
    In manufacturing environments, the indented Bill-of-Materials dictates the hierarchy of products including their sub-products, sub-assemblies, commodities and raw materials. In ImpactECS Models, the hierarchy is generally represented as cost objects that are called on from other cost objects and processes. The screenshot shows an example of the nested, or indented, relationship of products in the grid control Outline View.

    The goal of the indented Bill-of-Materials is to give a comprehensive view of lower level items without opening each object independently. In this example, each level of indentation (or outline level) is set by the value in the LevelCode bucket. Every line item with a LevelCode value of 1 lands at the root level of the grid outline. Lower-level cost object BOM details (Quantity, UOM, Material, etc.) are automatically cloned using a script module and the LevelCode value is increased by 1 to generate the cost object outline view.

    ImpactECS Indented Bill-of-Materials

    Interactive Income Statement
    The primary tool for calculating profitability is the income statement. Profitability models in ImpactECS often include income statement views that show P&L performance for the entire company, a specific group or business unit, or a unique product group or customer type. To ease navigation and manage data, model builders can use the outline view functionality to group items into logical blocks or organizational units.

    ImpactECS - Indented P&L

    In this example, the “Total revenue” line item is a sum of two separate line items: “Product revenue” and “Service and other revenue”. ImpactECS automatically builds the outline using the values in the parent and child ID columns.


    Outline views give ImpactECS model builders more control to define and enhance how users navigate models and access data. To learn more about ImpactECS features, check out some other ImpactECS In-Depth posts.