4 Replies Latest reply on Apr 22, 2013 5:50 AM by IT_User

    Custom Report Wizard



      I have a client that wants to easily extract/export data at the minimum from the database I have built for them.


      They do not want to come to me everytime they want a report, because there could be very many that would need to be made.

      Also, if there are additions to the database, like more tables needed, then there would be more reports needed. (It also does not have to be pretty at all. Ex. Table View is fine, but they require information that is stored in other tables, and can't predict what those fields will be.)


      Does anyone know an easy way to accomplish this?

      The one person kept bringing up Access (Report Wizard) that could make simple reports, so I'm guessing a similar process would be preferable.


      The only thing I can think of is to train them the basics of how they can create their own report in FM, which would require them knowing structures of databases and how FM works. (Basically training them to be basic developers themselves in FM, which I don't think is what they exactly signed up for.)


      Any help is appreciated! Thank you!

        • 1. Re: Custom Report Wizard

          Admittedly, FMP's report tools are very basic but you did say "at the minimum". http://www.filemaker.com/products/filemaker-pro/reporting.html


          Using the 'Modify…' button in the Status Toolbar of Table View, your client can easily add, hide, sort, and summarize columns—including those from other tables; then either print or export to pdf or Excel with the 'Preview' button.

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          • 2. Re: Custom Report Wizard

            One option is to give them a separate FileMaker file with the rights to link to the main database (view-only). They can then create whatever reports they want.


            Another, more sophisticated method involves the creation of a dynamic report writer. It works like this:


            1) Create one or more layouts with the desired appearance, but don't put the "real" fields on them just yet,


            2) Create a series of global fields, one for each field desired on the report.


            3) Allow the user to choose, from a list of available fields, what fields to include on the report.


            4) Using the globals, populate the headers of the report.


            5) Use the Virtual List technique to populate the individual rows of the report via calculation.


            That's the high points. There are several good primers available online for how to do this.





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            • 3. Re: Custom Report Wizard

              Thank you!

              Yes, that is my plan if I can't figure out anything easier.  I would to teach them how it would work, especially when dealing with related tables, because that could be a bit more confusing.  Overall, though, it would take up less time for both of us.

              • 4. Re: Custom Report Wizard

                Yes, they already have a different separate FM file away from where the data is stored. I would just have to format the file a little bit more, which is my plan.


                The sophisticated method is something that we thought may work, but possibly would require a lot of time and effort. (Not sure, but I'll look into it.)  It also may be harder, but not impossible, to do if they (or I) want to add more tables or fields in the future after I have built it.


                Anyways, thank you for the idea!