Tutorial 1 Stage 1 - Creating a basic report

In this stage you will learn how to :-

  1. Create a new report
  2. Enter report design mode
  3. Set the report title and description
  4. Enter the report data access SQL query
  5. Set report column labels and formatting

Create A New Report

Assuming you have configured the northwind project, enter Design Mode from the Admin page and enter the northwind project from the admin page and select the “Create Report” option from the tutorials menu (Alternatively you can point your browser at the URL


You should now enter a pretty empty report front end screen with a title of Set Report Title. You are now ready to start the first stage of building a basic report.

Report design mode

You are in design mode for the new report and you should then see the design screen with selection tabs Format, Query details, Assignments, Criteria and Output.

Press the New Report button. Nothing really seems to happen, but if you were editing a completed report then this button would start from scratch again.

Set the report title

The first configuration task to do is to set the report title by selecting the Format tab and locating the Report Title parameter. Enter the Report Title, say “My Stock Report”. Then click in the Report Description text box and enter a free text description. Now save your entry by pressing the green Apply button on the right hand side of the format parameters. Every time one or more entries are made on a single screen, the appropriate Apply button must be pressed for them to be saved (it is very easy to forget this and have to repeat the process each time.

You will now see the correct report title displayed at the top of the screen. Press the Run Report button at the top. You should also see your title text description on the right hand side. A report description can tell users what the report shows and how best to run it. This is the screen you will run your report from, but we havent entered an SQL statement yet.

Enter the report data access query

Now press return to Design mode to enter the query. Select the Query Details tab. You are presented with the SQL submenu tab which will contain a dummy query. Enter into this box the following query replacing what is already there and press then press the Ok button:

SELECT  ProductID id, ProductName product, northwind_categories.CategoryID, UnitsInStock in_stock, UnitsOnOrder on_order, ReorderLevel,  companyname Company, country, categoryname category
FROM northwind_products 
join northwind_suppliers on northwind_products.supplierid = northwind_suppliers.supplierid
join northwind_categories on northwind_products.categoryid = northwind_categories.categoryid
WHERE 1 = 1  
ORDER BY categoryname

If no error is reported then the query has been accepted.

Now try running this. Press the “Run Report” button to return the report execution screen. To run the report you can use 4 buttons as follows :-

The first button run the report as HTML output in a new window. Note to use this option you will need to enable popups from your site . When you press the button for the first time therefore you may see a warning in the top of your browser which you can click to enable popups.

Then try the second button which shows the HTML in the same window ( press the Back arrow button in the top left (not your browser back button) ).

Then the third and fourth buttons prints to PDF and CSV format.

Now before we move on, just notice the following :-

The SQL button is a short cut to entering the SQL without having to go to the Design Page. Similarly the others offer quick access to change report settings.

Set report column labels and formatting

So lets change some column settings. You can access these options by clicking the Columns button or by pressing the “Design Report” button and select the Query Details tab followed by the Query Columns sub-tab. You will see the list of data columns relating to the query you have entered. You will now set the column label of the cat_desc column. Click on the ReorderLevel column and you will see the column parameters. Locate the Column Title field and enter the text “Reorder Level” and then press the second Apply button. You can do this if you wish for each column, capitalizing and altering the column label text. We will now make the ReorderLevel column right-justified. Select the ReorderLevel column, locate the Justification parameter and change it to Right.

Checking Your Report

Now return to execute mode and run the report. You will notice your column labels have improved and the Reorder Level column is right justified.

  • tutorial_1_stage_1_-_creating_a_basic_report.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/05/04 21:40
  • (external edit)