Hosting Images on Google Drive, Box, or Sharepoint

What is Visual Reference?

Visual reference while planning can be a very powerful tool. The human brain processes image 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Since we are visual by nature, we can use this skill to enhance data processing and organizational effectiveness. Anaplan thrives in this aspect through several visualization options (graphs, charts) to better tell a story about the underlying data.

But what about the images? Don't we all wish that we can see the image of the product one is planning for while doing the planning? That was the premise on which images were introduced in Anaplan almost 3 years back. It is one of the most powerful visual cues when an individual is planning across multiple dimensions. In supply chain use cases, this becomes even more relevant as one has to go through several products. As an individual doing planning, one would love to visually understand the performance (sales velocity, inventory cover, etc.) of a product by associating the image of the product with the underlying data.

With the introduction of grid images in the UX in late 2020, we have now got a place in Anaplan to start leveraging the power of visual cues while doing the planning. But the question remains - how do I host the images that I want to show in Anaplan?

Image Hosting

While there are image hosting sites like https://imgbb.com/ or https://imgur.com/, they may not always suit the need. As an organization, often there is a need of managing the images as a central location which may become tricky to manage in these image hosting sites. Hosting images in file sharing sites like Google Drive, Box or Sharepoint would be easier to manage the images centrally in one location. This article focuses on these 3 applications but it can be expanded to other file sharing applications as well. Step-by-step instruction on how to use these sites as hosting locations for images is below:

Google Drive:

  • Step 1: Upload the image on Google Drive.
  • Step 2: Right-click on the image and click on “Share”.

G1.png

  • Step 3: Change the restriction to “Anyone with the link”.
  • Step 4: Click on “Copy Link” and you should get a link like this: 
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/<file id>/view?usp=sharing​
    G2.png
  • Step 5: The copied link in its form would not work, need to convert it to a usable link in Anaplan. Anaplan image links need to have a file extension (jpg/ gif etc). You can convert the link generated in the previous step into a usable link for sharing using the file id (or simply use the excel utility in the attachment). The converted link should be like this: 
    https://drive.google.com/uc?id=<file id>#xxx.gif​
  • Use the above link in the Text (Link) formatted line item in Anaplan.

Box Folder:

  • Step 1: Upload the image in Box Folder.

  • Step 2: Right-click on the image and click on “Share”.

B1.png

  • Step 3: Click on “Create Shared Link”. Make sure that you change the permission to “People with the link” at the bottom of the pop-up window.

B2.png

  • Step 4: Click on “Link Settings”. Copy the ”Direct Link” at the bottom of the pop-up window. You can use it directly into Anaplan (no transformation needed).

B3.pngB4.png

SharePoint:

  • Step 1: Create a site in your Sharepoint

S1.png

  • Step 2: Once the site is created, open the site and click on "Edit" (top right-hand side)

S2.png

  • Step 3: Add a new section (from the left-hand panel) and choose a section layout as suited for you

S3.pngS4.png

  • Step 4: Click on the "+" sign on the newly created section and choose the option to upload an image.

S5.pngS6.png

  • Step 5: Save and Republish the site. Open the republished site -> Click on the image that you want -> Copy Image Address.

S7.pngS8.png

  • You will get a link to the image but it would not end with the file format. Append the file format (jpg/ png/ gif) in the end and you will get a usable link for use in Anaplan.

 

 

 

 

https://anaplan.sharepoint.com/<<Long Link>>.jpg

 

 

 

 

  • Using SharePoint, you can restrict access to the images to people within the organization. 

Please Note: Anaplan needs the image links to start with "HTTPS" and end with the file format. Double-check this when you are creating the link else you may end up with the image below:

Error.png

Happy Anaplanning and Look forward to that jazzy UX!

References:

The content in this article has not been evaluated for all Anaplan implementations and may not be recommended for your specific situation.
Please consult your internal administrators prior to applying any of the ideas or steps in this article.
Comments

Nice work @anikdas this is going to very relevant when the Management Reporting is released! 👍

The OneDrive tip is very helpful, thanks! I've spent so much time trying to get right link with onedrive.

@anikdas was going to say the same thing as @MarkWarren - The reporting will be out soon and images are going to be critical. Thanks for sharing this how-to!

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