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Writing Text Reports - Revision 1

     

    The Report Writer

    We will be using working examples to explain the settings and options in the report writer.

     

    Working Example - Report Specification Revision 1

    Print an Employee List report, in Name order of all the employees on CS Time’s database.

    1. From the Configuration module’s Reports dropdown menu, select the Edit Reports menu option or click on the ReportEditorIcon.jpg icon. This opens the Browse Report Layouts window. 

     

    WR-1.png

     

    1. Select the Add button which then opens the Edit Report window shown below.

     

    WR-2.png

     

    General Report Settings

    The general report settings can be found in the Properties of the Primary File. 

    1. To change these settings double-click on the Value field next to the setting you want to change.

     

    WR-3.png

     

    1. The reports Description can be any name, which makes logical sense when shown in the list. We are creating an employee list report, so call the reports Employee List by Surname.
    2. Next we need to select and create the report’s Primary File. It is important to remember that the report primary file forms the crux of the report and determines the following:
      1. Sort Order of Data: If you select the primary file to be CS Time’s Employee file, with a sort order of Surname, then the reports will loop through all employees in surname order.
      2. Additional related information which can be displayed: The employee masterfile in this working example references to the employee’s daily hours, shift information and other related information. This information would be accessible to the report via lookups or from the secondary files. The use of these two options will be described later in this manual.
    3. Double-click on the Value field for Primary Source to view the dropdown list for the primary file. Select the required file, i.e. Employee file.
       

    WR-4.png

     

    1. The Order By (Key) dropdown menu will be refreshed with the sort order options now available for the primary file, in this case the employee master file as shown below. The sort orders are described with the word “Key”. This, the DeptKey, will give you a sort order by department and NameKey will give you a sort order by Surname, to give but two examples. If the Order By option User Selects is used when Employee is the Primary file, then the user can select the order in which the employees are to be listed when printing the report

     

    WR-5.png

     

    1. The Report Filter field allows you to add a filter or condition on the primary file.
    2. Server Filter and Server Order Fields are not currently used in the CS Time report writer.
    3. The Type option is used to determine whether the report is a payroll extract or a report and therefore whether it will be visible in the Available Reports or the Available Payroll Extracts windows in the User module.  
    4. The Format option will define whether the report will be formatted in Text, PDF, Html or Xml. PDF or Text formatting is handled by the report writer engine. The rest of the formats are merely displayed via the appropriated viewer, but the formatting of the report according to Xml or Html standards must be done inside the print detail of the reports.
    5. The TnaAccessHRJob, and Web options are used to define which modules will be able to access the report.  Generally, the Tna option must be selected to be visible in the User Module.
    6. The Graphic option enables the graphical editor when set to Yes.  In our first set of working examples we will be focusing on using text reports to teach the fundamentals of writing a report in CS Time so this option must be set to No.
    7. The Chain To option enables you to link (chain) this report to another report so that when that report is generated, this report will automatically be generated there after. The report numbers can be found by opening the required report, to which a report is to be chained, and then using the Report Number below this option.
    8. The Send To options (Printer, File, Email and Screen) and the Destination field allows us to select a default output format and path. Note: This can be changed at run time of the report.
    9. The Number of Lines on Report and Font selection goes hand in hand. You might have to change the “Number of lines” if the font is enlarged or made smaller. The font size will obviously determine the amount of lines which can be fitted per page. Please note that when working with text reports the font size and format is a global option. Individual word or print detail’s font selections can only be set in graphic reports.

    Using a fixed width font like Courier New is recommended when creating a text report. This guarantees that spacing of characters is the same irrespective of the letter. A non fixed width font, like Arial, will take less space for the letter “I” than for the letter “A”.  Having occurrences like this will force the user to place spaces in lines below each other if you require certain information on two lines to be aligned on top of each other.

    1. Click on Ok to save your settings and to create the new report.

     

    Creating a Report Header

    The report header will only be printed once at the beginning of the report.

    1. To create a report header change the report you've just created and click on the Header button.


    WR-6.png
     

    A new print detail will be created above the Primary File.

     

    WR-7.png

     

    1. Now we need to change the properties of the header.

     

    WR-8.png

     

    1. Change the Detail Name if you want to rename the header.
    2. Change the Height to 120.  The Width and Height fields have no effect on the size of the header in a text report - it is only used to make the text box larger for ease of use.
    3. The Number of Lines allows you to set the amount of lines the report detail will contain. The parameter is included in the Number of Lines on Report in the report's general settings. A maximum of 10 lines is available.

    TIPS

    1. Making the Number of lines for the header on reports one more than the actual header, will provide an empty line separator between the report header and the rest of the report body.
    2. Using the shift hyphen (underscore) key combination, i.e. “________” will give a solid line in the report details or header.

     

    1. Type the text for your report header in the text box on the right.

     

    WR-9.png

     

    The <today> and <clock> entries are report fields and are already defined as global fields. Fields are indicated by angled brackets in the report's printable areas.  The <today> field will return the date on which the report is printed on and the <clock> field will return the time the report is printed at.

     

    Creating a Report Footer

    The report footer will only be printed at the end of each page.

    1. Click on the Footer button to create a new footer.

     

    WR-10.png

     

    1. Change the properties like you did for the header and then enter your text in the report footer text box.

     

    WR-11.png

     

    The <page> field is a global field which will return the page number.

     

    Creating a Report Detail

    We must now proceed to give the report a body (according to our specification of employee details).

    1. To create a printable area in the report body, click on the Primary File and then click on the Detail button.

     

    WR-12.png

     

    1. Move the detail line one position to the right using the green arrows... 

     

    WR-13.png

     

    ... so that the result looks like this:

     

    WR-14.png

     

    The tree represents the flow of the report process. In the picture above, the Print Employee details has been moved from being printed once at the end of the report, to being printed every time the report loops through the next employee. It is thus reasonable to expect that in the first scenario before positioning the Details, the report would only have printed the last employee’s details.

    1. Change the description of the Detail Name under the Properties tab.

     

    WR-15.png

     

    Other options that are available:

    • Suppress If Block Empty – This detail will be suppressed if no fields values exist.

    • Block Start – Indicates the start of a block which must be fitted into one page. If not, the next page will be used.
    • Block End – Indicates the end of a block which must be fitted into one page. If not, the next page will be used.
    • Hide –The contents of the detail line will not be displayed.
    • Width – The width of the text box you can enter the detail text into.
    • Height – The height of the text box you can enter the details into.
    • Number of Lines – Number of lines to be used.
    • Condition – Allows a parameter to be entered. If the parameter returns true, the details will be printed.

    The report detail has been populated to print the Employee Number, Employee Surname and Employee First Name as shown above.

    1. Select Ok and save the report.
    2. Now run print the report to screen and it should look like this:

     

    WR-16.png

     

    Permalink:  http://tinyurl.com/p2k6bsa

    Page last modified 10:01, 27 Jan 2015 by cay-lynne CS Time/TNA Documents > Reports > Writing Reports > Writing Text Reports - Revision 1

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