Using Activeness

Learn about Start and End dates for entities and relations and the concept of activeness.

Activeness of an Object

Reltio Platform provides out of the box, a Start Date and End Date attribute for all entities and relations. You need not configure these; they are available automatically for all entity types and relation types and they can be used to control the Activeness of the object. When in the Edit mode of an entity profile, you click +Add within an attribute facet, you will see the Start Date and End Date attributes in the drop down list. If you wish to control the Activeness of the entity, use these system-provided date attributes. When editing a relation, again you will see a Start Date and End Date in the drop down list of attributes available for the relation. Use these to control the Activeness of the relation.

When is an object Active?

When determining Activeness, the system uses a concept of Effective Date which for most uses cases is set by the system to the current date. (Later in this section you'll learn about a slight departure from that.)

An entity or relation is considered "Active" if its End Date is later than the Effective Date (or not populated) AND its Start Date is earlier or equal to the Effective Date (or not populated). Conversely, an entity or relation is considered "Inactive" if its End Date is earlier or equal to the Effective Date OR its Start Date is later than the Effective Date.

Note: The End Date of an entity or relation will be set automatically when all of the crosswalks within an entity or relation obtain a Delete Date. See End Dating a Crosswalk for more information.

Leveraging Activeness

When querying or searching for entities, viewing a list of entities in the Search screen, viewing a set of entities and relations in a profile, or retrieving data via the API, the Activeness of the entity or relation governs its participation in your UI experience or the API results. In all cases, the system first considers the Effective Date, and then determines if the entity or relation in question is Active for this date or Inactive for this date. For all of the use cases mentioned, the system uses current date as the Effective Date, and this cannot be changed. If the entity or relation is found to be Inactive for the Effective Date, then the object will not participate in the results. This effect can be overridden for entities if you wish.

To enable Inactive entities to become visible in UI operations, open the Global Filter (funnel icon), and choose either of two options: Show inactive entities only or Show active and inactive entities. As an example, see the image displayed below.

As an example, consider that it is "06-15-2018" today. This then is the Effective Date. Any entity you wish to view (or retrieve via the API) that has an End Date earlier or equal to "06-15-2018", or a Start Date later than "06-15-2018" will not be visible (or returned in the API). To make an Inactive entity visible, you will have to use the Global Filter as explained. The Global Filter settings can be achieved via the API as well, to force Inactive entities to participate in API results.

Note: The ability to make Inactive relations visible is not available at this time.

Activeness and the Hierarchy Facet

When working with a hierarchy, a common use case is to structure a hierarchy a certain way for one period of time, let's say for the period of Q1, but wish to have it structured a different way for another period of time, say Q2 and beyond. The best practice approach to doing this is to set the Start and End Dates of the relations that connect the parents and children, to reflect the period of time that each relation must be considered Active. For example, you might have a relation with Start and End dates of "01-01-2019 to 03-31-2019" (for Q1) which connects 'Texas' to the 'Midwest region'. You might then connect 'Texas' to the 'Southwest region' using an additional relation that has a Start date of "04-01-2019", and no End date (for Q2 and beyond). Suppose today was February 23, 2019. The Hierarchy facet would show 'Texas' as a child of the 'Midwest region'. But if you were to change the Effective Date to "April 15, 2019", then you would see 'Texas' as a child of the 'Southwest region'. The same would be true if you changed the Effective Date to "November 12, 2020" since there is no End date on the linkage to the 'Southwest region'.

Note: The ability to set an Effective Date is supported only in the Hierarchy facet.