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Report Definition Rules - Beyond the Basics

Summary

Report definition rules provide power, flexibility, and ease-of-use for report designers and report users, these rules are intuitive, provide an all-in-one-page design interface, intelligent defaulting and pre-defined reusable report elements.

Use a report definition rule to define a report or a personal version of a report. This rule generates HTML that displays selected data in many types of formats, and allows a wide variety of user interactions with the displayed results.

Because the report definition rule is a unified type for all reports, business users can more easily create and organize their own reports.

What are Report Definition reports?

Report definition rules are similar to two other types of report rules: list view and summary view. Report definition rules, introduced in V6.1, provide much of the functionality of these earlier rule types, plus new features, and are easier to define than the list view and summary view rules.

Summarized reports similar to Summary View rules

These reports contain two types of columns. At least one of the columns in the report must be a summarized column. A summarized column contains data that uses one of the following built-in functions:
COUNT(), SUM(), AVG(), MIN(), and MAX().

All non-summarized columns on the report are considered "group by" columns. The summarized data is grouped by, or broken down by, display counts of class instances (or record counts) or summarized values based on numeric properties.

In the example below, the summarized data are the number of Purchase Orders per Operator. The information is displayed as a bar chart.

List-type Reports similar to List View rules

These types of reports display unsummarized or detailed data for individual work objects or class instances.

How to Complete the Rule form to create a new Report Definition

Create a new Report Definition rule using the following steps:

  1. Use the New dialog box to enter a name for the report that meaningfully describes the purpose of the report.
  2. Complete the Design tab (below) to:
    • Define which properties, functions, or expressions are to be included as columns in the report, and the settings that control how each column appears (heading, width, format, sort order, and so on.)
      You can define these by entering the appropriate values in the fields below, within the Columns to Include section.
      Note: You can only show properties that correspond to exposed database columns.
    • Define filtering conditions in the Rows to Include section. These define which class instances are to be included as rows in the report or in summarized data. The Rows to Include section operates similarly to the criteria section on the List View form.
    • Define general settings to control the appearance of the report under General Report Settings.
    • Click Include a Chart and then complete the Chart Definition dialog to add and configure a chart display of the report’s data within the Report Viewer. This can only be done for Summarized reports.
    • At any time while completing this tab, you may click Save & Preview to save the current report definition and display the results in the Report Viewer.
  3. Complete the Data Access tab to define joins to other classes, declarative indices, and/or reports.
  4. Complete the User Interactionstab to control how users can interact with the report within the Report Viewer, such as:
    • Whether users can modify the report, print it, export it to Excel, and so on.
    • Whether SmartInfo icons appear on each row of detailed reports, to display additional information about each row.
  5. Complete the Parameters tab to document the name, description, and data type of parameters used in the Report Definition rule.
  6. Enter a Full Description on the History tab which explains the report in more detail.
  7. Click () to Save the rule or the Save & Preview button to save and preview the rule in the Report Viewer.

Tips and Features

  • AutoComplete is available when defining properties in the Designtab.

    • AutoComplete replaces SmartPrompt in rule form and Report Viewer.
    • AutoComplete shows matches on name or label.
    • Best Bets are properties used in other reports.
    • Matches can include properties in other classes.
  • Click Save & Preview at any time to save the rule and run it in the Report Viewer. You can edit settings from the Design tab in the Report Viewer as well (you do not need to close the Viewer and return to the Design tab).

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