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How to create a heat map

Updated on September 20, 2019


Heat maps provide an accessible and visually informative graphical representation of key data and rules existing in an application. They can be generated from a summary view report and are grouped by category and type, which are displayed in frames and columns. Data and rules can be shaded according to user specifications, as heat maps are easily customized.

The size and coloring of each region is determined by the largest size of data and/or rules. The larger and darker the region, the more associated data and/or rules, which indicates greater "heat." Lesser "heat" is displayed by smaller and lighter hued regions.

Heat map sorting options can be customized as well as the size, coloring, right/left clicking activities, and filtering capabilities.

Suggested Approach

The example below uses an Order Entry System application which allows employees to submit purchase order requests. The example will demonstrate how to create a heat map that reports the number of purchase order requests created per customer grouped by work status. The heat map displays the work status as the category title of each frame. Columns will be sorted by the number of purchase order requests created per customer.

The size and coloring of each region will directly reflect the number of purchase order requests created with the largest and darkest region representing the work status (in this case either Resolved-Completed, Open, Pending-Approval, Resolved-Withdrawn, New, and Resolved-Rejected) with the most purchase order requests created by customer.

To set up a heat map from a summary view:

    1. Create a summary view rule. On the Content tab, enter the property that will populate the heat map. Since the heat map will represent work status of each purchase order request, enter the following in the Criteria section:
  • Note: Setting the Condition for .pyStatusWork to "Is Equal" and the value as blank is a non-standard use. The Condition and Value fields are not utilized.

    1. The properties entered under the Group By section will determine the structure of the heat map. The size and color of the boxes are determined by the value of the properties entered. Larger and darker boxes represent a greater number/value of properties, while smaller boxes in lighter shades represent a lesser number/value of properties.

Enter first the property of the category for each frame of the heat map. The second property determines the size of each box within each category.

In this instance, .pyStatusWork (Work Status) is the property that determines the size and shape of the frames in the heat map. The property .pyCustomerName (Customer) represents the sub boxes within each frame.

    1. In the Fields section, the values entered under Field determine the sorting of the heat map.

Below, Work Status is the default sorting of the heat map. The heat map can also be sorted by Customer.

  1. Next, create the harness rule that will be used to display the heat map. On the Layout tab, Add a section rule to the harness.
  2. The Section popup displays. Enter the class of your Summary View in the Applies To field. Using SmartPrompt, select HeatMap as the purpose of the section rule. Click OK.
  3. Select the heat map section and click the view Properties icon. The Section Include popup displays.
  1. Click the Display Parameters icon next to the Include Section field. The Parameters popup displays.
    1. Enter the class, name, and owner of the summary view being used to populate the heat map under SummaryViewClass,SummaryViewPurpose, and SummaryViewOwner.

SummaryViewContentPage enter the Page Name for the summary view (found in the Report Source section on the Content tab).

HeatMapMinWidth and HeatMapHeight specify the width and height of the heat map. Measurements are in pixels. For our example, we will specify the minimum width and height as 800 x 500.

HeatRed, HeatGreen, and HeatBlue indicate the RGB value is used to pick a specific hue and brightness, which is then varied in saturation according to the "heat" value. Heat is displayed by shading - with the greatest heat represented by the most vibrant hue which drains towards gray as the "heat" of the heat map lessens (the values decrease).

LeftClickActivity and RightClickActivity (Optional) specify the activity to be called when the user left or right clicks on the heat map.

LeftClickCaption and RightClickCaption (Optional) specify the captions to be displayed on left and right click.

FilterCategories (Optional) checkbox controls whether or not the heat map displays a button in its legend for filtering the heat map by category.

The Parameters popup for our example appears as above.

  1. Click OK and save the harness rule.
  2. Click Run to test the heat map.

    The following heat map displays a count of purchase order requests by current status and customer. Status is displayed as the largest rectangles on the map, since it is the higher-level dimension. Within each rectangle representing a status, smaller rectangles represent counts of purchase order requests that have that status for each customer. As you can see, there are more requests with a status of Resolved-Completed than any other status, since the area for that status is the largest. Also, most requests with that status are for ACME Corporation, since the rectangle for ACME is the largest and darkest within this status. By contrast, the status with the fewest requests is New, with only request, for Manhattan Industries.


Pega Platform 7.1.1 - 7.4 Reporting Financial Services Healthcare and Life Sciences Insurance Communications and Media Government Healthcare and Life Sciences Consumer Services Consumer Services Manufacturing Consumer Services

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