Improvements to New Layout/Report Wizard

Idea created by realgrouchy on Feb 23, 2016
    Active
    Score1
    • Suresh

    I can create my own layouts, but I figured I'd try the New Report wizard to quickly create a new report layout. Ideally, a sufficiently functional wizard would be useful to advanced users as well as to beginners; however, I am submitting this because FM may want to deal with the drawbacks identified below to make the New Report wizard more friendly to newer users.

     

    I identified the following drawbacks in this wizard: (I went through the steps for Printer > Report)

     

    1. The fields at the top ("Show records from [table]" and Layout Name) are not sufficiently prominent. In all the layouts I have created, I have NEVER seen this before creating my layout, because my eyes go directly to the much more prominent Computer/Touch Device/Printer icons.

    1a. If running this wizard from the "New" button on the "Manage Layouts" dialog, it defaults to the table of the topmost window beneath the dialog. Instead, if I have selected a different layout in the Manage Layouts dialog, the new wizard should default to the table used in that selected layout when I click the "New" button.

    2. My mental workflow is: select layout/report type, then select layout table, and then at the end of the wizard to give the layout a name (perhaps I expect this at the end because I didn't notice it on the first page of the wizard).

    3. You can only select the layout table before entering the wizard; it should be possible to do this on the first step after clicking "continue". This is exacerbated by 1, above. When creating a report, it's crucial to have the right table and if I realize toward the end of the report creation that I've put in the wrong one, then all of my work selecting has been for naught and I can't go back and change it.

    4. On the Include Subtotals and Grand Totals page, it could indicate the name of the table (i.e. "Include Subtotals and Grand Totals for Customers table")

    5. On the "Specify Fields" wizard step, it is not possible to resize the window or columns, so if I am adding fields from a related table or if the fields otherwise have long names, it is frustrating to have to tell them apart by hovering over them.

    6. In the "Organize Records by Category" wizard step, the columns with the fieldnames is even narrower than in step 5!

    7. In the "Specify Subtotals" wizard step, it is only possible to add new summary fields to the database in the current table, whereas if one of my sorting categories is from a related table (or if I started the wizard in the wrong table but I'd rather go through the wizard and change the associated table after without losing my work) I might want to add a summary field in the related table.

    8. When I have selected a lot of fields, it spits them out in a continuous row, with headers in the Header area above the fields in the Body area.

    8a. It would be useful if it indicated somehow that only the first three or four fields will fit onto the layout (in portrait mode); and/or

    8b. It would be more useful if, when there are many fields, the fields are grouped into an array that fits better within the Body field (e.g. if 12 fields are selected, an array of three fields across and four fields down). It's not easy to match up the headers with the fields, but at least they're easier to see (for the report creator to administer on the initial report creation) and they all fit on the page. I ended up just deleting all the fields and headers after creating my report so I could add them in manually.

     

    This is just 'bug report' type ideas. There are probably more ideas out there for actual enhancements. If I were an FM developer, I'd want this wizard to be so good that even seasoned FM devs use it to bootstrap their new layouts.

     

    - RG>