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labels 1 through 10 correspond to filters 0 through 9.) So filter 0 is already taken, and I’ve chosen to add my dynamic filter as number 9. To minimize overlap with existing filters, I tend to add dynamic filters beginning with number 9 and working down. (An important side note: this approach is feasible, but more complicated, if ‘Advanced Options’ are used to apply AND/OR logic to the advanced filters.)

So I’ve chosen to add filter number 9. And we know the objective is to specify ‘Make equals Ford’. In terms of defining an advanced filter, that means the Field will be ‘Make’, the Operator will be ‘equals’ and the Value will be ‘Ford.’

The field, operator and value are introduced by pc, pn and pv, respectively. Each is followed by the filter number, an equal sign and the value. So to specify the filter value Ford, we add pv9=Ford.

Let’s look at the filter’s operator. We know it will start with pn9=. After that we use eq for equals, so we specify the operator with pn9=eq. Other operators are not equal (ne) , starts with (sw), less than (lt), greater than (gt), less than or equal (le), greater than or equal (ge), contains (co), and does not contain (nc).

Most difficult is specifying the filter field, Make. We need to find the definition of this custom product field. Under Setup, I select Customize, then Products and Fields, click on the field name and note the URL. Mine is https://na5.salesforce.com/00N700000026joT, so I use 00N700000026joT as the field name in my dynamic filter: pc9=00N700000026joT (to filter on a standard field, look for ?id=xxxxxxx in the field’s URL; xxxxxxx is the field name. For example, the Opportunity Owner field name is Owner.)

That’s everything I need to construct my URL. The three pieces -- field, operator and value -- and any additional dynamic filters are separated by ampersands (‘&’), and a question mark (‘?’) separates the report id from the first dynamic filter.

That’s how I get from https://na5.salesforce.com/00O70000001tMH5 to https://na5.salesforce.com/00O70000001tMH5?pc9=00N700000026joT&pn9=eq&pv9=Ford

Likewise I can create the report for my Acura manager by just changing the dynamic filter’s value: https://na5.salesforce.com/00O70000001tMH5?pc9=00N700000026joT&pn9=eq&pv9=Acura

In this example, I applied a filter to a field that wasn’t already filtered in the underlying SalesForce.com report. I could also change just one component of an existing filter. In my existing report, there’s one existing filter, Probability not equal to 0. To change that to ‘Probability equal to 0’, I just change the operator of filter number 0 to equals (‘eq’): https://na5.salesforce.com/00O70000001tMH5?pn0=eq. What’s returned is the single opportunity that was lost that quarter.

There are two primary benefits to this approach of dynamically filtering a common report rather than creating a multitude of similar reports, each differing only by the filters applied. First, if there’s a change required in the report, I can now make the change in the common underlying report, rather than updating each different version. Second, I can use this approach to edit the URLs via software. In subsequent papers, we’ll look at doing that via cookies in Javascript and by editing a connection string in an Excel macro.

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