Execution Model Details

The execution model of GoodData.UI is used to specify what data to compute on an Analytical Backend. Parts of the model are also used as input to the visual components to tell them what data to obtain and render.

This document builds up on the execution model basics and goes into more detail about the available types and functions available for their creation and manipulation.

Execution model concepts

To simplify the creation of various types of objects that specify what data to render, the model uses a combination of two typical object creation patterns: factory function and builder.

Creating objects

The model provides a single factory function to create each type of objects. There are several conventions:

  • The factory functions are always named new<ObjectType>.
  • The factory functions can create only syntactically valid objects; all essential object parameters are required arguments to the function call.
  • For simple objects, optional parameters follow the required arguments.
  • For complex objects (such as measures), the last parameter is a modifications function which you can implement. This function will receive an instance of the builder with methods to customize different parameters of the object under construction.

Accessing object properties

The model provides accessor functions to access object properties. The naming convention for an accessor function is <objectType>Property(object), where the first and only parameter is the object to access.

Examples: attributeAlias, measureLocalId, measureFormat, filterAttributeElements

Modifying objects

The model provides specialized functions to allow modification of complex objects: measures and attributes. There are several conventions:

  • The modification functions are always named modify<ObjectType>.
  • The first parameter is the object to modify.
  • The second parameter is the modification function. This function will receive an instance of the builder with methods to customize different parameters of the object.
  • The modification functions treat input as immutable. They will create new objects instead of modifying the inputs.

Local identifiers and referencing objects

The localIdentifier, or localId for short, is a user-assigned identifier that you have to use when referencing attributes and measures in the scope of a single visualization or execution.

The execution model automatically generates stable localId’s as it creates the attribute and measure objects. You can pass the attribute and measure objects by its value. However, if you want to use the same attribute or measure multiple times in the same visualization, you have to create a copy of the object and assign it a different localId yourself.

You can use the modify<ObjectType> functions to override the localId of an attribute or measure. The builder instances that your modification function receives have functions to manipulate localId. The behavior of the modification functions in regards to localId is as follows:

  • If you call m => m.defaultLocalId(), the default logic for localId generation will kick in after all other object modifications are applied.

  • If you call m => m.localId(customValue), the modified object will have your custom localId.

  • If you do not call defaultLocalId or localId, the modification object will have the same localId as the original object.


Each attribute is defined by its displayForm - also known as label in GoodData Cloud and GoodData.CN - that will be used to slice the data. You can create an attribute definition using the following factory function:

    const attribute = newAttribute("<attribute-displayForm-identifier>");

Each attribute requires a localIdentifier that you can use to reference the attribute in the scope of the execution (for instance, when specifying sorting). The factory function assigns a stable localIdentifier for you.

You can optionally override the localIdentifier and also the title of the attribute in the factory function call:

    const attribute = newAttribute("<attribute-displayForm-identifier>", m => m.localId("myLocalId").alias("My Attribute"));

You can modify an existing attribute using the modifyAttribute function:

import { newAttribute, modifyAttribute } from "@gooddata/sdk-model";

const attribute = newAttribute("displayFormIdentifier", m => m.alias("My Custom Name"));

// notice the call to defaultLocalId() - this ensures the new object will have a different, generated localId
const sameAttributeDifferentName = modifyAttribute(attribute, m => m.alias("Corrected Name").defaultLocalId());


You can limit the execution by providing one or more filter’s. Multiple filters are always interpreted as an intersection of all individual filters (f1 AND f2 AND f3...).

The execution model provides several factory functions to create filter objects, one function for each type of filters supported by GoodData.UI:

  • newPositiveAttributeFilter
  • newNegativeAttributeFilter
  • newAbsoluteDateFilter
  • newRelativeDateFilter
  • newMeasureValueFilter
  • newRankingFilter


Measures in the scope of execution indicate what values the Analytical Backend must calculate and include in the result, potentially sliced as indicated by the different attributes in the execution.

You can construct measures of multiple types:

  • Measures created by aggregating facts in your logical data model
  • Measures created by referencing an existing, potentially complex MAQL metric
  • Arithmetic measures constructed by combining existing measures as operands of arithmetic operations
  • Time-over-time comparison measures constructed by “shifting” the calculation in time

The factory functions are the following:

  • newMeasure creates a new measure from a fact or a MAQL metric.
  • newArithmeticMeasure creates a new arithmetic measure.
  • newPopMeasure creates a new period-over-period comparison measure.
  • newPreviousPeriodMeasure creates a new previous period comparison measure.

The modification function is modifyMeasure. It modifies measure-agnostic parameters (format, alias, localId) of any type of a measure.


import { newMeasure, newArithmeticMeasure, modifyMeasure } from "@gooddata/sdk-model";

const measureFromMaqlMetric = newMeasure("maqlMetricIdentifier");
const measureFromFact = newMeasure("factIdentifier", m => m.aggregation("avg").alias("Custom Name"));
const measureWithFilter = newMeasure("factIdentifier", m => m.filters(newPositiveAttributeFilter("displayFormId", ["value"])));

const arithmeticMeasure = newArithmeticMeasure(
                                [measureFromFact, measureFromMaqlMetric],
                                m => m.alias("Custom Name For Arithmetic Measure").format("$#,#0.0")

// notice the call to defaultLocalId; this ensures that this new measure will have a different localId - one that reflects
// that the title and the format is different.
const modifiedArithmeticMeasure = modifyMeasure(arithmeticMeasure,
                                    m => m.alias("Different Name For Arithmetic Measure").format("$#,#0").defaultLocalId()

You can find examples for the other factory functions together with a detailed description of time-over-time comparison measures in Time-over-Time Comparison. The arithmetic measures are described in Arithmetic Measure.

Aggregation inside a measure

Each measure created from a fact can specify aggregation of data. Aggregation is represented by a string value that defines the aggregation type.

"sum"Returns a sum of all numbers in the set
"count"Counts unique values of a selected attribute in a given dataset determined by the second attribute parameter (ignores the measure’s format value and uses the default value #,##0 instead)
"avg"Returns the average value of all numbers in the set; null values are ignored
"min"Returns the minimum value of all numbers in the set
"max"Returns the maximum value of all numbers in the set
"median"Counts the statistical median - an order statistic that gives the “middle” value of a sample. If the “middle” falls between two values, the function returns average of the two middle values. Null values are ignored.
"runsum"Returns a sum of numbers increased by the sum from the previous value (accumulating a sum incrementally)

Filters in a measure definition

Each measure can be filtered by attribute filters. Filters are represented by an array of IFilter objects.

Only one filter of the DateFilter type is allowed in the measure’s filter definition.

  • When both the measure filter of the DateFilter type and the global filter of the DateFilter type are set with the same date dimension, the measure date filter overrides the global date filter for this measure (global date filters are still applied to other measures that do not have a measure date filter defined).
  • When the measure filter of the DateFilter type and the global filter of the DateFilter type are set with different date dimensions, the filters are interpreted as an intersection of those filters (f1 AND f2).

Show a measure as a percentage

When the execution runs on the Analytical Backend, the result measure data is, by default, returned as raw values (numbers).

If you want the measures data to be displayed as a percentage instead, you can use the modifySimpleMeasure function of the execution model to turn on the computeRatio functionality:

import { modifySimpleMeasure } from "@gooddata/sdk-model";
import * as Md from "./md/full";

// This will modify an existing simple measure, turn on the computeRatio functionality and associate a new, default localId
const ratioMeasure = modifySimpleMeasure(Md.$FranchiseFees, m => m.ratio().defaultLocalId());

// This will modify an existing simple measure, turn off the computeRatio functionality and associate a new, default localId
const noRatio = modifySimpleMeasure(ratioMeasure, m => m.noRatio().defaultLocalId());

When the property is enabled, the measure’s format value is ignored. The default format #,##0.00% is used instead.

Sort items

The execution model provides factory functions to create sort items and the respective locators:

  • newAttributeSortItem creates a new attribute sort item.
  • newMeasureSortItem creates a new measure value sort item.

For both of these, you can specify an attribute or measure either by localId or by passing the actual object.

The second parameter is always the sort direction.

When sorting by measures that are scoped for a particular attribute value (for example, in pivot tables), you must specify one or more attribute locators to pinpoint the exact measure to sort by. You can conveniently create attribute locators using the newAttributeLocator factory function.


import { newAttribute, newMeasure, newAttributeSort, newMeasureSort, newAttributeLocator } from "@gooddata/sdk-model";

const attribute = newAttribute("displayFormIdentifier", m => m.alias("Custom Dimension"));
const measure = newMeasure("maqlMetricIdentifier", m => m.alias("My Measure").format("#0"));

const attributeSort = newAttributeSort(attribute, "asc");

const measureSortWithoutAttributeLocator = newMeasureSort(measure, "asc");
const measureSortWithAttributeLocator = newMeasureSort(measure, "asc", [newAttributeLocator(attribute, "element-uri")])

Attribute area sorting

You can specify that the attribute sort should sort attribute values based on an aggregation function applied to all valid values belonging to each attribute value. This is extremely useful when sorting stacked visualizations such as stacked bar charts or area charts.

Currently, only sorting by the sum function is supported.

The following example shows sorting a table with two measures and a Year attribute. You can set sorting based on the Year attribute with:

import { newAttribute, newAttributeAreaSort } from "@gooddata/sdk-model";

const attribute = newAttribute("displayFormIdentifier", m => m.alias("Custom Dimension"));

newAttributeAreaSort(attribute, "asc")

Consider the following original data:


The sorting function (sum) is applied to all attribute element values for each attribute element (2006 and 2007). Notice that the area sort is summing up values across different measures (M1 and M2):

1 + 2 = 33 + 4 = 7

Attribute values are then sorted by this computed value (3 and 7, respectively):