When you click 'add' on in the root folder page, you have the option to either add another folder or a VDT. If you add a VDT will be taken to the page below




  1. The name of the VDT
  2. A description of the VDT

This can be used for a full-text description of what the VDT does, the calculations involved, etc.

  1. The folder that the VDT will be stored in (within the root folder)
  2. Toggles confidentiality (only visible to roles and users added in access section)
  3. Add user/role to the access list 


Once a VDT has been added it will automatically redirect to the build/display page seen below. The starting node is highlighted in red.








Add/Edit Node


Each node in the VDT contains information, as well as controls to modify the node or the VDT. The colour of the node is determined by the type of the node (Parent, KPI, Constant or linked VDT), with the colours configured on the Site Settings Page.


A typical parent node is displayed below




  1. The name of the Node, as set up in the Node Edit Dialog
  2. Collapses/expands all the children of this node
  3. It contains the list of fields, as set up in the Root folder edit page, as well as their values.

These values are either calculated, read from the input captured in the Node Edit Dialog or retrieved from the KPI that the node is associated with. The fields shown can be changed by selecting different view options.

  1. This indicates that this node’s values are calculated and show the formula used in the calculation.
  2. Provides node edit functionalities, dependent on the type of node. These are detailed as follows: 




Opens the Create Node Dialog to allow for the creation of child nodes

Opens the Edit Node Dialog

Opens the associated KPI chart

Opens and redirects to VDT associated with the node

Removes a node from VDT

The type of node (parent, KPI, constant or VDT) will determine which fields are present in the edit dialog box. The parent edit node dialog is displayed below.



The fields are as follows:



  • This value will be displayed at the top of the node and is used to identify/describe the node



  • A unique identifier for this node
  • To be used in the expression of the parent node
  • Must start with an alphabetic character and no spaces are allowed
  • Automatically allocated a value from a – z, based on the node’s position, but can be changed to any other valid identifier for ease of use


Node Type


Node Type



  • Indicates that this node will have further child nodes
  • Allows for input of expression to calculate the node’s value based on child node values

Input KPI

  • Indicates that this node’s value is derived from a KPI
  • Exact KPI values are determined by the KPI selected for the node
  • The targets are automatically imported from the KPI targets data but can be overwritten by editing the value in the field view and selecting the override box 


  • Indicates that this node’s value is a fixed (constant) value
  • Values are entered into the “Value” section below
  • Variable value box – if this box is selected it means that the constant value may change in the future. A fixed constant value would be 24 hours in a day, whereas a variable constant value can be a number of trucks that may differ from month to month

Linked VDT

  • This indicates that this node is equal to the output KPI of a linked VDT in the same root folder.
  • These values will also appear as variables in the analysis packages




Expected Trend

  • This can be downwards or upwards and refers to the desired trend of the value of the node. It indicated whether the desired outcome would be a value higher or lower than the associated target
  • This is especially important in the status view as the trend will determine the status colour of the node. If the actual is lower than the target value and the trend is set to downwards, the colour of the node will be green. If the trend is set to upwards, the colour will be red.


Unit of Measure

  • The unit in which the value of the node is measured. The unit is selected from a list of pre-defined options.
  • Units can be added under the Administration tab of PIPware



  • The number of decimal places to be used when displaying this node’s values



  • Can be used for any comments, descriptions or other free-text information relevant to this node



  • The expression to be used to calculate the field values for this node
  • Based on a combination of child node references, expressions and functions
  • See Expressions below for more information




Node Expressions


Expressions are used to specify how a field or child node calculates its value. These can be made up of any combination of the following:


References to other fields (for calculated fields) or child nodes (for calculated nodes)

Constant values

Function calls



For example, the following is a valid expression: pow(a, 2) * avg(a, b) / abs(min(a * 50, b))


In this case:


  • a and b are references to other fields or nodes
  • 2 and 50 are constant values
  • pow, abs, and min are function calls


During the evaluation of the expression, references are replaced with their appropriate values (from the field/node it referenced) and the expression is then evaluated using the standard mathematical order of operations:


  1. brackets
  2. function calls
  3. multiply/divide operations
  4. add/subtract operations



The following functions are currently supported:




Example Usage


Returns the absolute value of a number



Returns the smallest integral value that is greater than or equal to the specified number



Returns the largest integer less than or equal to the specified number



Rounds a number to the nearest integral value



Returns the integral part of a specified number



Returns e raised to the specified power



Returns the smaller of two numbers

min(a, b)


Returns the larger of two numbers

max(a, b)


Returns the average of two numbers

avg(a, b)


Returns a specified number raised to the specified power

pow(a, b)


Returns the square root of a specified number



Returns the natural (base e) logarithm of a specified number



Returns the base 10 logarithm of a specified number



Returns the sine of the specified angle



Returns the cosine of the specified angle



Returns the tangent of the specified angle



Returns the angle whose sine is the specified number



Returns the angle whose cosine is the specified number



Returns the angle whose tangent is the specified number



Returns the angle whose tangent is the quotient of two specified numbers

atan2(a, b)


Returns the hyperbolic sine of the specified angle



Returns the hyperbolic cosine of the specified angle



Returns the hyperbolic tangent of the specified angle