4 Replies Latest reply on Nov 21, 2013 3:19 PM by MatthewMackay

    Back To Basics - Report Creation



      Back To Basics - Report Creation


           I asked a similar question a long long time ago and am looking to get a fresh perspective on the problem.

           I've been working on a solution to be used with Filemaker Go. The report currently uses the 'Append to PDF' function to create a report from several different layouts/tables. We therefore have to produce the reports through Filemaker Pro. It works fine at the moment but I'm trying to make the process more efficient.

           Ideally the report will be created on the iPad using 'Save records as PDF' function. I understand to do this I need all information on one layout. The solution consists of 4 tables, Property, Rooms, Inventory and Photos. A report will consist of 1 property, several rooms, 10's of of inventory items and 10's of photos for each room. 1 inventory item can sometimes span a whole page depending on how much the user chooses to describe/comment on.

           I've been reading various articles and forum posts about creating a report table that pulls info from all required tables but am struggling to apply the method to my solution. The number of rooms, inventory items and photos has to be limitless.

           Any methods welcome.



        • 1. Re: Back To Basics - Report Creation

               Can you outline the basic relationships involved? That will be a key part of how you might produce the report that you need.

               I can guess that you might have:

               Property----<Rooms----<InventoryItems----<Pictures     (---< means "one to many" )

               But could easily be guessing wrong about that.

          • 2. Re: Back To Basics - Report Creation

                 Pretty much spot on except pictures are not related to Inventory items.

                 One property to many rooms

                 One room to many inventory items

                 One room to many pictures


            • 3. Re: Back To Basics - Report Creation

                   Too bad, my first guess is much simpler for report purposes...

                   Without pictures in your report, you can set up a list view report layout on InventoryItems and include fields from Rooms and Property in sub summary layout parts, headers, footers and grand summary layout parts while putting fields from InventoryItems in the body.

                   The presence of 0 to many related records in pictures, linked to Rooms, complicates the process, however. You can try setting up the report that I just described, but in the sub summary layout part where you'd put fields from Rooms, also put a portal to Pictures. Specify a very large portal with way more rows than you ever expect to need. This will make for a very large sub summary layout part. Then select the portal and set it to "slide up", "resize enclosing part". This portal should shrink down to just the same number of rows as you have pictures when you preview/print or save as PDF.

                   Key facts about sliding layout objects:

              1.           It's only visible in preview mode and when you print/save as PDF...
              3.           Sliding fields will shrink but not expand.
              5.           All layout objects below and in the same layout part as the slide/resize field need to also be set to slide up and resize.
              7.           Objects in headers and footers will not slide.
              9.           Portals will shrink/slide to fit the number of rows of records, but fields within the portal row will not shrink/slide.
              11.           Fields will slide up only if Top alignment is specified for it and will slide left only if Left alignment is specified.
              13.           Consistent side borders are difficult to achieve with sliding fields.
              • 4. Re: Back To Basics - Report Creation

                     I've used the large portal method and have almost got it to work. There's a small issue that I can't seem to rectify though.

                     I currently have the portal spanning 5 pages. The first page containing the portal comes out fine, but on each subsequent page the portal rows move up ever so slightly. By the 5th page, they've moved up to the point they're crossing over the page break.

                     I've been making tiny changes to layout part sizes, page margins etc but can't get it to stay still.

                     Hope that makes sense and hope someone has also experienced this.