Report Designer

Custom report designer is an optional component and available only if your license purchase includes this feature.

Designing a Report Template

The basic work flow of creating a report template is as following:

Page Layout & Report Sections

The report designer shows you the page layout on top left corner. The page layout consists of up to 5 major sections each of which represents a certain horizontal part of the page or report. When you select a section from page layout, SB will show only the corresponding area of the page in full page width but with a preset height. You may determine how much height should be allocated by each section by clicking "Section Properties" button.

Tip: SpeedBase shows the page margins as a dotted red line. This line has no effect on your design or actual print out and is there only to guide you to keep and align the items within your preferred page margins. You may change the margins from "Report Properties" window (see Custom Reports).

Tip: SpeedBase will show the edge of the printable area reported by the printing device as a solid red line. You shouldn't put any items beyond this line as your device is not capable of creating output on that area.

Creating New Report Sections

When you create a new report, a Data section is automatically created. A data section allows you to place data fields onto your report. There are also optional non-data types of sections which you may create by clicking the "create new page section" button. Available section types are explained below:

Page Header

Represents the area between the physical top edge of each page and preferred top margin. Any item put on this area is printed to the same area on all pages. You may however exclude the first page of the report from "section properties" window.
You may use this area to put page numbers or decoration items that should be displayed on top of each page.
You may change the height of this section by modifying page margins. See Modifying Report Properties

Report Header

Represents the initial fixed (introductory) content that should be printed once only on top of the report.

Data Section

Represents the data area of the report. It starts immediately after report header and depending on data size, continues thru next pages until all data is written. Available data items you can put into this section will be displayed inside object browser on left. Note that, when the report is being created, the data section is printed as many times as the number of records you sent to print.

You may adjust the spacing between each record by adjusting the empty space left on top and bottom of this section which you may also increase or decrease from Section Properties window.

It is possible to create more than one data section. For example, you may have a data section for "invoice", then a subdata section for "related order item(s)" and then a second "invoice" data section. This will allow you to display some of the invoice data above order items and some other invoice data below order items.

Sub-Data Sections

When you click "create new section" button, SB will show you a list of available data sources to select from. If the main catalog (e.g. customer) of the report has 1 to Many type relationships (e.g. orders), those related catalogs will also be displayed as a data source so you can print also related records of the current record. Sub-data sections are processed in the same way as data sections. SB will repeat printing this section for each "related" record.
This section has an additional option "Preferred View", where you can select the desired view in case the menu item has multiple views with different filter attachments.

Report Footer

Represents the final fixed (conclusion) content that should be displayed at the end of the report.

Page Footer

Represents the area between the preferred bottom page margin and physical bottom edge of each page. Any item put on this area is printed to the same area on all pages. You may however exclude the first page of the report from "section properties" window.
You may use this area to put page numbers or decoration items that should be displayed at the bottom of each page.
You may change the height of this section by modifying page margins. See Modifying Report Properties

How Does SpeedBase Generate the Report?

When you actually execute the print command,
  1. The report header section (if exists) is printed.
  2. The first data section is printed. This must be the main catalog (e.g. Customer) for which this report was created.
  3. If the report contains relational data: The next data section is printed. This is typically a related catalog (e.g. Orders) and the content of this section is repeated in the output for each related child record until all are printed.
  4. If the report contains relational data: The next data section might be another main catalog section. This section may contain additional main catalog (e.g. Customer) information plus other objects or totals to show summary data about the current main record.
  5. If you are printing more than one main record (e.g. Customer), the output generation continues from step#2 above.
  6. The report footer section (if exists) is printed.

Adding / Modifying Data Items

Tip: If you need to adjust the position or dimensions of the items with more precision, enter the desired values into the related boxes on top and press enter.

Adding Images/Decoration/Computed Items

You may add images, various shapes, labels and computed objects to enhance your report.

Computed Objects

Page Counter: Prints current page number.
Record Counter: Prints current record number, increases by one on each start of a record section. You may use this item on the record section to show the row number of each record or on the report footer to show the total number of records printed.
Sub-Record Counter: Prints current record number on a sub-data section. Counts each "related" record and resets when a new main data section starts.
Current Date / Time / User: Prints current date, time or logged in user name respectively.
Computed: Calculates and prints a new value from the values on other available fields. Works in the same way as computed fields. Sum(x): Prints the sum of all values printed sofar for the selected data field. e.g. you may place this object into the report footer section to display the total value of order items which were printed.

Example: Assume that you are designing an invoice report with "Customers" and "Related Order Items". The first data section would be a "Customer" section which would contain customer details. The second section would be "Order Items" section which will be repeated during print to show each related order item and payment amount. You may then add another "Customer" section to display the payment total. You may use SUM(X) function in this section to display the total of the payment amounts of all orders for current customer. If you plan to print always a single "main record" (customer in this example) with it's related child records, you may also display the total in the report footer section.

Deleting Design Items

Click on the design item you want to delete. Press delete key from your keyboard or click delete button from the toolbar on top of the designer window.

Creating Tables inside a Data Section

You may prefere to print data in tabular format (grid style) instead of placing each field one by one in free design mode.
To create a table:
  1. Select the data section (or sub-data section) from page layout box.
  2. Click "Section Properties" button, click "Data" tab,
  3. Check the box named "Show data in tabular format",
    Beware that you may not place free style data items and tabular format at the same time. If there are any pre-existing items on current section, they will all be deleted before you can continue.
  4. Add the desired fields to the "displayed fields" box, you may also adjust the column ordering of items.
  5. Click "OK" to save changes, this will create a single data object displayed in tabular format,
  6. You may adjust various formatting properties by right clicking on it and selecting "properties".
  7. You may adjust column widths by dragging the column borders with your mouse.
Note that, the tabular item is displayed as a single line table on design area. When the actual report is created, SpeedBase will add as many rows as needed to the table until all records are printed.

Printing Multiple Columns

It is possible to design a data section with 2 or more columns. You may choose the desired number of columns from "Section Properties" window.
When you adjust a data section to multiple columns, SB will start to display only the first column of the page, cutting the page at the start of the second column on right. You should place all design objects into the first column. While creating the report, SB will use the same design layout for all other columns and fill data from top to bottom on first column and then continue from the beginning of the next column.

Online Help Home Page   ::   SpeedBase Software Home Page