Community perspective: Version compare and dynamic module line item description update

There are times when we need to generate output modules with the ability for version comparison. Although Anaplan has its own version comparison function, sometimes we need to build a dynamic scenario creation and comparison function.

Please see Planual instructions for versions before proceeding with custom versions, as standard versioning also has the capability to show variance.

This article will cover:

  1. How to create a custom version list and do a dynamic comparison
  2. How to dynamically update the comparison module line item description, as per the I/P version selection

If the output dashboard looks like below, the module grid shows the same name as the selection of the versions.


If you change it, then the module line items will change as follows:


Module settings:

Say we have a data module (DATA01 Forecast upload) holding the forecast values, and we have loaded the different versions of the forecast. In the module, we have used a custom list called Version List.



This is to have different versions to store the values. There can be as many versions as we want, as this is a custom list (keeping in mind the workspace size limit).


Calculations of the forecast take place in another module below (CALC02 Forecast Calculations). Here we are pulling the volumes from the data module above.


Final output module (OUT02 Version Compare) shown below, which is also published in the dashboard.


Settings for the same explained below.


The module above has the Attributes (Volume, Price) as the module line items and Custom Version (Version Compare) the dimensions.

Part 1: Here in the module, we used another custom list (Version Compare). This list is type number list.

Part 2: Here in the formula. We are trying to get the calculated forecast from the module CAL02 Forecast Calculations (shown above) and use other modules for the lookup function for custom versions.

Part 1:


It has a property which is formula-driven, and the property is set as a display name property of the list.

The formula to calculate (or dynamically update) the display name is explained below in the article under the module (CALC01 Version Calculate)



Part 2: For the formula we have used two modules: INP01 Version Input and CALC01 Version Compare.


Compare version line item in module (OUT02 Version Compare) will always do a compare between From Version and To Version.

INP01 Version Input: This a simple version input module (published on the dashboard) to get user input.


CALC01 Version Calculate: This module will help to get the values in "From" version and "To" version; also, this module helps to calculate the dynamic update of the module line items.


The line item Selected Version calculates the version display names.


The first item in the list (Version Compare) will have the display name value from the From Version and the second item in the list will have the display name from the To Version. The final item will always have a display name of Compare Version.


This is how we can achieve a version comparison and dynamically update module line-item description, as per the I/P version selection.


  • Clarity and Transparency, it's important to ensure that the version comparison and dynamic module line item description updates are clear and transparent to users. The purpose and impact of these changes should be clearly communicated, so that users understand what has been modified and how it affects their experience. User Feedback and Input, involving the community in the decision-making process can be valuable. Seek feedback from users and stakeholders to understand their needs and preferences regarding version comparison and line item description updates. This can help in refining the changes and ensuring they align with user expectations. Ease of Use and Accessibility, consider the usability and accessibility aspects of version comparison and line item description updates. The changes should enhance the user experience, making it easier for users to understand the differences between versions and providing them with relevant and up-to-date information in the line item descriptions. Customization and Personalization, offering customization options can be beneficial. Users may have different preferences or requirements, so allowing them to tailor the version comparison and line item descriptions according to their needs can enhance their overall experience and satisfaction. Documentation and Support, provide clear documentation and support resources to help users understand how to effectively utilize the version comparison feature and adapt to any changes in the line item descriptions. This can include tutorials, FAQs, and accessible help resources.

  • One of the reason, why we switched to custom versions. I wanted to add, that there is only one state of the selected versions and so only one comparison been calculated. That leads to problems in a multi user environment, when several users try to compare different versions.

    We added a custom user list and integrated that list in the version selection module and in the comparison output module as well. The reason for us not to use the native user list was, that only a few users will take adventage of the comparison feature and we didn't want to pump up the workspace usage unnecessarily.