How do I add fields or adjust the layout of a report?

Answer: ExpressMaintenance includes a very powerful built-in report builder.  All of the standard reports included with ExpressMaintenance are built using the report builder.  It is often desirable to adjust reports to include or exclude certain fields.  While you can develop new reports from scratch, it is usually easiest to edit an existing report that is close to the desired results.

This example will show how to alter a simple report.  It provides some introductory concepts of using the report builder.  More advance uses of the report builder are certainly possible.  However, it is best to have some knowledge of database and report design concepts.

You should make sure your toolbars are enabled in Report Builder.  You can do this under View / Toolbars.  We recommend enabling each toolbar except Report Tree and Data Tree.  You can also arrange the tool bars by dragging them around in the window.

The report used in this example is the Units List By Location report.  We will add the Unit number field to the report.   Adding a field to a report involves two primary steps.  All reports are made up of two building blocks which produce the report that is previewed and printed.  These include:

  1. Query to extract the desired data
  2. Layout / design presentation of the data

First, the field must be included in the query (search) and be included as part of the returned results.  Secondly, the data field must be included in the report design to appear on the report.

Add Data Field To The Query (see screen shot #1 below)

  1. Run the Unit List By Location report to preview on the screen.
  2. Click on the Data tab of the report builder.
  3. The Units table will appear as a box in the upper left portion of the screen.
  4. The Units window includes several buttons that make up the Query Designer.
  5. Click on the Fields button to open the Query Designer to the Fields tab.
  6. The upper section reflects the available fields and lower section reflects selected fields.
  7. Add the “Unit” (for example) field to the report query by locating the “Unit” field in the upper section and double clicking on it. This adds the Unit field to the bottom portion of the screen.  If the desired field already exist in the lower section, the field is already in the query.
  8. Once you have the desired field being extracted in the query, click the Ok button to save the changes in the Query Designer.
  9. You can view the raw query results by clicking on the Preview button in the Units window.
  10. To learn more about the Query Designer, review the help under Report Builder.

Add Field To The Layout (see screen shot #2 below)

  1. Click on the Design tab of the report designer.
  2. Locate the Data Components toolbar which is on the top row by default.  The first button appears to have an “A” in front of a table. When pointing at the button, the popup hint reads “DBText”.  This component is for displaying standard data fields.  If adding a memo field, you will want to use the DBRichText component follow these steps plus notes below.
  3. Click the DBText button and then click in the Detail band of the report layout.  A DBText component will be place in that location.
  4. Click the Place tab in the Page Designer dialog.
  5. Size and adjust the DBText component as desired.
  6. Left click on the DBText component and then look in the upper section to locate the table Data Pipeline and Data Field drop down selection fields.
  7. Select the Units Data Pipeline if not already selected.
  8. For the Data Field, drop down the list and select the desired field such as Unit.  This associates the DBText component with the Unit number field.
  9. Click the Preview to view the results.
  10. To add a label for the Unit field, click on the Label component and place it in the header band.  In the upper section, edit the caption of the label to read “Unit Number” or other desired value.
  11. Click the Preview tab to view the results.
  12. On exit of the report, save your changes.

Other Notes

  1. If you are placing a notes field in the report, use the Advanced  DBRichText component rather than a DBText component.  You will also need to set the band to dynamic height and the component to stretch.  These properties are set by right clicking on the object.  See tech bulletin on notes fields.
  2. If you are placing a graphic field in the report, use a DBImage component rather than a DBText component.  You will also need to set the band to dynamic height and the component to stretch.
  3. For more comprehensive help on the report builder, view the help or other knowledge base topics..

Screen Shot #1 – Adding fields to the Query


Screen Shot #2 – Adding the field to the Report Design (layout)


You can download original report definitions for all reports – click here for list.