Argos Report Writer Guide

Argos Report Writer Guide
Enterprise Reporting Solution
Report Writer Guide
Document version 1.0
Last Updated 8/7/2013
Trademark, Publishing Statement, and Copyright Notice
© 2013 Evisions, Inc. All rights reserved.
This software and related documentation are provided under a license agreement containing restrictions on use and disclosure and are
protected by intellectual property laws. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or
transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), or for any purpose, without the
express written permission of Evisions, Inc.
The information contained herein is subject to change without notice and is not warranted to be error-free. Product features referenced
herein for a period of time may not match product contents. Evisions, Inc. does not warrant that the functions contained in the software
will meet your requirements or that the operation of the software will be uninterrupted or error free. Evisions, Inc. reserves the right to
make changes and/or improvements in the software without notice at any time.
This software and documentation may provide access to or information on content, products, and services from third parties. Evisions, Inc.
and its affiliates are not responsible for and expressly disclaim all warranties of any kind with respect to third-party content, products, and
services. Evisions, Inc. and its affiliates will not be responsible for any loss, costs, or damages incurred due to your access to or use of thirdparty content, products, or services. Evisions, Inc. does not endorse the content or developer of any products or web sites mentioned.
All information in this guide is designed for instructional purposes only. Evisions, Inc. makes no guarantees regarding the accuracy or
performance of any techniques used in this guide. Software configurations and environments may vary, and some techniques used in this
guide may not operate efficiently under all configurations. This guide may contain examples of various technologies or products, which
are the sole property and responsibility of their creators.
Trademarks are the property of the respective owners for any products mentioned herein.
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Table of Contents
Introduction
7
Evisions Support Site
7
In Product Help
7
Security
7
Sample Database
8
Getting Started
9
Starting Argos
Connect to the Server
Start Argos
9
9
9
Change Password
9
Navigation
10
Action Area
10
Navigation Area
Explorer view
Shortcuts View
10
10
11
DataBlocks
12
Dashboards
13
Default Dashboard
13
Running a Dashboard
14
Reports
15
CSV Report
15
Banded Report
15
Extract Report
16
Creating a Dashboard
17
Refresh Tab
18
API Tab
18
Saved States Tab
19
Executing a Dashboard
19
Creating a CSV Report
20
Report Name and Description
20
Choose the Database Fields to Use
21
Execute the Report
22
Add Additional Fields Using Expressions
22
Filter and Sort the Data
Filters
Sort
26
27
28
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Creating a Basic Banded Report
29
Basic Banded Report
30
Select the Report Type
30
Including the Database Fields in the Report
31
Adding Bands
32
Editing the Report Design
33
Resizing and Aligning Fields
Resizing Objects
Aligning Fields
Selecting and Aligning Multiple Fields
35
35
36
36
Enhancing the Report
37
Sort Employees by Department Name
37
Add Date, Page Number, and Page Count
38
Creating the Group Bands
42
Moving Dept. Name to Group Header Band
45
Add Child Band Following the Group Header Band
46
Add Employee Count and Salary Sum
47
Create Sum of Salaries Expression
48
Adding the Summary Band
51
Formatting Numeric Output
53
Selecting/Creating the Format Mask
53
Group By Expression
56
Create the Basic Report
57
Create a Band Group
57
Create the Expression
58
Place Expression into Group Header Band
59
Creating Mailing Labels
61
Select the Mailing Labels Report Type
61
Select the Fields to Use
61
Edit the Fields
62
Suppress Printing of Empty Lines
64
Printing Groups on a New Page and Resetting the Page Count
66
Force Group Header on new page
67
Reset the COUNTER expression
68
Conditional Printing
69
Starting with a Blank Report Type
72
Create a New Report
72
Adding Bands
72
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Using Sub-Detail Bands
73
The Report Contents
73
Create the Title and Detail Bands
74
Create the datasets
75
Create the Four Sub-Detail Bands
79
Move fields into the Sub-Detail Bands
79
Obtaining tables from an external database
81
Adding Parameter Input to the Report
82
Link with Band
84
Lonely Group Header Band
84
Lonely Group Footer Band
84
Creating a Chart
87
Create the Title, Column Header, and Detail Bands
87
Add a Summary Band
88
Add a Chart Object
88
Follow the Chart Wizard
88
Creating an Extract Report
91
Introduction
91
Sections in the Extract Report
91
The Report Specification
92
Report Creation Steps
94
Create a New Report
94
The Extract Report Editor
96
Configure the Report
97
Add Datasets
98
Add the section for the T Record Type (Title Section)
Add the section
Add fields to the section
Save your work and test the report
100
100
101
104
Add the section for the A Record Type (Detail Section)
Add the section
Add the fields
105
105
105
Add the section for the B Record Type (Detail Section)
Add the section and fields
Save your work and test the report
107
107
108
Add the Sections for the C Record Type (Header and Footer Sections)
Add a Header Section
Add a Footer Section
Add the fields to the C Record
108
108
109
109
Add the Section for the F Record Type (Summary Section)
Add the fields
111
111
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Save your work and test the report
111
Execute the Report
The Report in Delimited Report Format
The Report in XML Report Format
112
112
113
The API Interface
114
Introduction
114
Step 1: MAPS API HTTP Referrer
114
Step 2: Enabling API on a Report
115
Step 3: Execute the Report using the Report Unique Identifier
API Automatic Mode
Sample Get
Sample POST
GET/POST Parameters
API Interactive Mode
Sample Interactive
116
116
116
116
116
117
117
Examples
117
MAPRAPI (MAP Report API)
118
Argos Resources
119
Support Site
119
CO-OP User Community
119
Important Links
120
Getting Help
121
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Introduction
Argos is a powerful reporting solution designed for everyone from novice users to the
most seasoned technical experts. For ease of use, Argos users are divided into three
distinct types:
Argos
DataBlock Designers: Argos “power users” who create DataBlocks.
Evisions solution for building and deploying
reports and dashboards across the enterprise.
Report Writers: Intermediate users who use DataBlocks to build a variety of reports.
Report Viewers: Casual users who are able to run reports, then save and distribute the
output in a variety of useful formats.
DataBlock
Each user type has a corresponding guide associated with it. This guide is intended for
Report Writers. Regardless of your level of expertise, Evisions recommends that you become
familiar with this guide before moving on to more advanced features.
A prerequisite to reading this guide is reading the Argos Report Viewers Guide. This guide
describes how to log into Argos, how to navigate through the Argos User Interface, and
how to execute reports. Therefore, this basic information need not be repeated in this
guide.
DataBlocks are the foundation of Argos. They
contain user input forms and queries to retrieve
information from one or more data sources.
Reports in Argos have a DataBlock as their
“parent” and each DataBlock can contain
multiple reports.
Explorer Tree
The Argos Explorer Tree is a way to view and
navigate the folders, DataBlocks, and reports in
Argos.
Once you have completed this guide, you should be able to:
n Create a Dashboard
n Design a Comma Separated Value report
n Design a Banded report
n Design an Extract report
This guide is not intended to be a comprehensive reference guide that covers each and
every option within Argos. The intent is to provide a sufficient number of examples to aid a
new Argos user to get started quickly, with the In-Product Help used as a reference for each
feature within Argos.
Support icon on Argos toolbar
Evisions Support Site
The easiest way to get to the Evisions support site is to access it through Argos. Under the
Help menu is a link to the Support page. A link to the Support page also exists on the
Argos toolbar. All the technical documentation available for download is found under the
Support page.
Evisions can also provide more in-depth and even customized training via our Professional
Services department. Visit the Consulting Services page on the Evisions web site at
http://www.evisions.com/Services/Overview.aspx
In Product Help
In addition to the Support site is In-Product Help. You can get to In-Product Help a few
different ways. There is a link under the Help menu to Argos Help. There is a button on the
toolbar, and you can also use your F1 key. Most screens within Argos have a link to Argos
Help as well.
Security
Access to reports is managed by DataBlock Designers and Administrators by permitting or denying access to Argos objects. The only level
of security available to report writers is a private report. Making a report private is an action reserved to the user types that can edit a
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report. So this means a few things. You cannot create a private report for someone else. And only report writers and above can create
private reports. Report Viewers, since they cannot create or modify reports, cannot make a report private.
The next security concept is for your information only. You will not be able to implement it, since it is implemented within the
DataBlock. The DataBlock Designer has the ability to restrict access to a piece of data based on who runs the report.
Sample Database
The examples in this guide are based on an MS Access database that was created to assist
you with becoming familiar with Argos. The database can be downloaded from the
Evisions web site at:
http://www.evisions.com/Default.aspx?tabid=67&id=745.
The name of the file is “Sample_Database_and_DataBlocks.zip” and after unzipping the file
name of the database will be “Sample.accdb”. Five DataBlocks are included in the zip file
that were used to create Banded Reports in examples 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 11 in this
guide. The DataBlocks are named as follows:
Example 1_3_4_9 - basic banded 20100526.argosexport (used by examples 1, 3, 4, and 9)
Example 5 – resetexpr 20100526.argosexport
Example 6 – conditional print 20100526.argosexport
Example 8 – sub-detail 20100526.argosexport
Importing a DataBlock
To import a DataBlock, select a folder within the
Explorer tree where you want the DataBlock to
reside under, right-click and select Import. You
can then enter the location and file name of the
DataBlock to import. You can also find the
Import option under the File Menu in the Argos
Main Interface.
Example 11 – chart 20100526.argosexport
Example 12 – Extract Report.20100929.argosexport
Each DataBlock contains the reports that were created within each example.
You can use the database and DataBlocks to follow along with the examples in this guide.
If you choose to do so, import the five DataBlocks into Argos and follow the examples to
create the reports.
A description of the database contents (.pdf file) can be downloaded from the Evisions web
site and is named “Argos User Guides Sample Database Description” and is located at
http://www.evisions.com/Default.aspx?tabid=67&id=746. The document also describes how
to create the ADO connection to the sample database.
Contact your MAPS Administrator to install the database and create the ADO connection.
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Getting Started
Browser support
Starting Argos
Argos is Windows PC software which is web-enabled, meaning it is accessible from your
web browser via an Internet connection. Before launching Argos, you may need to disable
any pop-up blockers running on your computer. To disable the pop-up blocker in
Microsoft (MS) Internet Explorer, select Tools, Pop-up Blocker, Turn off Pop-up Blocker. You
should be able to re-enable the pop-up blocker once you have downloaded the software.
Connect to the Server
Argos is designed to operate using MS Internet
Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and
Apple Safari browsers.
Java
Launching applications is done via Java. If Java is
not installed on your PC, you will be prompted
to install it.
Type the web address provided by your system administrator into the address bar of your
browser to access the Multiple Application Platform Server (MAPS) launch page. This
webpage provides a central access point for all MAPS applications, including Argos,
FormFusion, IntelleCheck, Datamasque and the MAP Server Configuration Tool.
Multiple Application Platform Server
Start Argos
MAPS is the server that delivers the Argos
software to users. Once Argos is installed, users
connect to MAPS which fetches data and
performs other tasks for them.
Click Argos from the list of Evisions applications.
FormFusion
Click the Argos button to launch Argos. Enter your user name and password (obtained from your system administrator) in the
Login box. The Remember this user and Remember the password for this user are check
boxes (available as determined by the MAPS Administrator) that are optional and should
not be used on shared computers. Check them as desired.
Evisions’ solution for enhancing documents and
managing distribution via email, imaging
software, print, etc. Users can rearrange and add
data and images, change the layout, format
fonts, etc.
IntelleCheck
Evisions solution for payment processing –
Accounts Payable, payroll and refund checks,
Direct Deposit Advices and electronic refunds.
Click the Login button.
DataMasque
Change Password
To change your password, select Tools from the menu at the top of the screen and then
select Change Password. You must know your current password in order to change it. The
password strength indicator will help you determine if your password is secure enough. It
is advisable to contact your system administrator before changing your password to verify
that the change will not produce any undesirable results.
Evisions solution for removing Personally
Identifiable Information from any SQLcompliant database.
Password Strategies
The following strategies will help you make a
more secure password.
n Increase password length.
n Include letters and numbers.
n Use both upper and lower case.
n Use special characters [,{!?, etc.
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Navigation
Argos has been designed with an intelligent interface that knows your user type and
configures menus and buttons to show only those actions permitted. Menus across the top allow you to take simple actions such as logging in to the product,
finding items in the Explorer, customizing your Argos toolbars and changing your
password. You can also access the integrated Help system or visit the Evisions web site
that has many helpful resources available. The most common actions are replicated as
buttons just beneath the menus.
At the very bottom of the screen, the status bar tells you what server you are logged in to,
your username and user type.
Between the top and bottom toolbars is the Argos work area. The work area is broken
into two halves. The left half contains the Navigation area while the right half contains
the Action area.
Icon
Action Area
Explorer Objects
Folder
The right hand side of the screen will have buttons for any actions you can take on a
selected object. The buttons that show will depend on the type of object you select in
the Navigation area.
DataBlock
CSV Report
Navigation Area
Banded Report
This area contains the objects that you can perform actions on. There are three different
views you can use for the Navigation area by clicking the desired tab (Explorer or
Shortcuts). Each of these views is described below.
Extract Reports
(Delimited, Fixed Width,
XML)
Explorer view
The Explorer is the default view for the Navigation area, in which a simple menu of
available folders and objects is displayed. Argos objects that can be found in the Explorer
include:
Private Report (Banded)
System created
Dashboard
Folders – Contains objects, including other folders
User created Dashboard
DataBlocks – The “parent” object for one or more reports
Schedule
Dashboards - Display-only reports for quick reference.
Explorer objects
CSV Report – A comma-separated values report
Banded Report – A fully-formatted report
Extract Report - A text report that meets pre-defined specifications
Report Viewers do not have privileges to add,
modify, or delete objects within the Explorer tree.
Schedule – Reports may be scheduled to run automatically
Some objects can be flagged as private. Private objects will not show up in the Explorer
for users other than the creator and the administrator. These objects will have the
“private eye” icon like the sample private Banded report icon on the list to the right.
Within the Explorer tree, reports always reside beneath a DataBlock parent. A DataBlock
can have many “child” reports. Any object that has child objects will have a “+” next to it. Simply click the “+” to expand the object to view its children.
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Are my reports secure?
You may be wondering about the security of
reports in Argos. Each object can be assigned to
groups or individuals as needed. Unauthorized
users would not be able to see objects they lack
permissions for. It is even possible to have security
all the way down to individual fields in a CSV or
Banded report.
Is my data secure?
All data transmitted from the server to Argos is
“point-to-point” encrypted, meaning that anyone
other than the intended user would see only
gibberish. Once a report is created, care should be
taken with resulting file(s) to ensure data security.
Explorer Navigation
If you use a DataBlock or report frequently, you can right-click on it and choose “Add to
Shortcuts”. Adding objects to the Shortcuts makes it easier to find what you need.
Shortcut
Shortcuts View
A Shortcut is a reference to a DataBlock or
Report. It can be shared (so all users can see it) or
private (My Shortcuts) so only the creator can see
it. Click the Shortcuts tab to switch to the
Shortcuts view.
This view can be very convenient as it shows only your available shortcuts. You can even
rename a shortcut to something other than the original name. To find the original object
in the Explorer view, right-click a shortcut and choose “Locate” (see figure on the right). Deleting or renaming a shortcut has no effect on the original object.
Options for Shortcuts
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DataBlocks
Although Report Viewers and Report Writers do not create DataBlocks, an understanding of
the components of the DataBlock can be helpful in understanding the relationship
between DataBlocks and the various report types.
The DataBlock is the foundation from which all reports are created and contains Forms and
Queries. Only users with DataBlock Designer privileges can create DataBlocks.
Queries obtain data from a database. The results of a query may be displayed on-screen
on a dashboard, or output to a CSV, banded, or extract report. Dashboards and reports are
"child" objects of the DataBlock in the Argos Explorer tree. Formshold the information that you see on a dashboard when you run it. Dashboards are
used for two purposes:
n To obtain input selections from the user executing the report. The input selections
can be passed to the queries to limit the results. n To display results on the screen.
A dashboard can have multiple forms, and may provide a way of switching between forms.
Reports associated with a DataBlock
When you run a report, it launches the default dashboard associated with that DataBlock.
The dashboard allows you to enter any parameters that are needed to run the report.
These parameters are then passed to the queries that retrieve the data. Depending on how
the dashboard is configured, you may see the query results on the screen, or you may need
to run the report using the report options at the top of the dashboard to get your results.
All reports underneath a DataBlock (CSV, banded, or extract) use the same queries in that
DataBlock. The difference between the report types is in how the data (query results) are
displayed.
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Dashboards
All DataBlocks have at least one dashboard which is created along with the DataBlock. The dashboard is used to gather any input
parameters that are needed when you run a report. Dashboards can also display results on the screen, if the DataBlock designer configured
it to do so.
Dashboards are a good choice when you need to access information quickly, but do not need to save results as you might when running a
report. A good example is a situation where you want to view sales results for the organization. The dashboard could display a sales
summary by region for each quarter. It may have additional "drill down" functionality on the dashboard, such as the monthly sales results
for each salesperson. The results display on the screen immediately.
In order to save and share data with other users, you can run a report to generate a PDF of the same data, based on the information and
options entered into the dashboard. In this case, you can run a banded report from the dashboard, and then send this PDF to the desired
recipient.
Running the default dashboard for the "List of Names" DataBlock
In the screenshot above, the dashboard on the right executes when launching the "List of names" DataBlock. This dashboard is the default
(system) dashboard for this DataBlock. You can run any of the reports associated with this DataBlock by selecting the appropriate report in
the Report Options drop down at the top of the dashboard. The report will include names beginning with the same letter you selected on
the dashboard.
Default Dashboard
When a DataBlock is created, Argos also creates a default (system) dashboard, which is shown with a small padlock. The system dashboard
is named "Dashboard" and cannot be renamed or deleted.
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Running a Dashboard
You may run a dashboard by any of the following methods:
1. Click on the Run Dashboard button when the dashboard is selected.
2. Right-click on the dashboard icon and select Run Dashboard from the menu.
3. Double-click on the dashboard.
4. Right-click on the DataBlock and select Run Dashboard from the menu to run the default dashboard for that DataBlock.
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Reports
Argos reports exist underneath a DataBlock, and use data from that DataBlock and/or its
dashboard to generate the report. There are three different types of Argos reports: CSV,
banded, and extract.
Dashboard
A "screen-only" view of the DataBlock form,
which can be used to enter parameters and/or
display information and results.
CSV Report
A “Comma Separated Value” or “CSV” report is the simplest of the Argos report types. A
comma delimited file is a text file that separates the desired columns with a comma or
other specified delimiter. This type of report is especially useful when obtaining data for
manipulation in spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel. It is also useful when
creating files used by third party applications.
CSV Report
A “Comma Separated Value” file is generated by
the report, which can then be viewed in
spreadsheet software such as MS Excel.
CSV Report Delimiters
A “Comma Separated Value” file generally has
fields separated by a comma. However, other
characters can be used to distinguish the fields. Other common delimiters are:
n spaces
n tabs
n periods
n quotation marks
…but we still call them CSV files.
Banded Report
Banded reports are fully-formatted PDF reports that give the report writer complete control
over the location and appearance of the information in the report. The term "banded"
comes from the fact that the report is organized into logical bands (groups) of data. For
example, a "title" band may contain the title of the report, report date and logo. A "page
header" band could hold the page number. Similarly, the report data is organized into
"group" bands, "detail" bands, and other logical groupings.
Banded reports may also include custom fonts, rich text, charts, images, and other
information. They can be used to create mailing labels, letters, and many other output
formats that can be printed or emailed directly to recipients.
Banded Report
Argos’ fully formatted report.
Extract Report
Creates text reports that meet pre-defined
specifications.
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Extract Report
An Extract Report is designed to create output files that meet pre-defined specifications. This feature is especially useful for creating delimited output that is more complex than a
simple comma-separated file (CSV), for creating a fixed-width file in which each field is
precisely positioned on a given line, or for creating an XML file. This could include files
that you might upload to a government agency, clearinghouse, or service bureau.
Extract Reports are somewhat similar in design to a banded report. They are comprised of
several sections, which behave like the bands in a banded report. There are two important
differences, however:
n Extract reports are not divided into "pages". They are designed to create an output
file, not printed output.
n Extract reports can loop through multiple datasets. In contrast, a banded report can
only process each record in a dataset once.
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Creating a Dashboard
If you highlight a DataBlock you can see the option to create a new report in the detail
pane.
You can also right-click on the DataBlock and go to New Report. The “Create a New Report”
dialog box appears. Give the report a name and a description if desired.
Next, choose what kind of report you want to create: Dashboard, CSV, Banded, or Extract. As
you select each report a description of the report type is shown to the right. (Select
Dashboard). If the DataBlock does not contain a report query, the CSV and banded reports
are not accessible and will be greyed out.
Dashboard Report
Displays results on the user’s browser
Icons used to represent the report
types
Click Create.
If you highlight the new report you will see 3 options in the detail pane. You can Edit the
Report, Edit the Data, and Delete the Report. The Edit Data button is for XML experts who
want to edit the underlying object XML.
Edit the Author of the report
Note the Author of the report shown in
the figure to the left. By default, Argos
sets the Author to the user name of the
person logged in. Click “Author” to
change the Author of the report as shown
below
Report Writer Actions
Editing the author of the report
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Dashboards are shortcuts to the form created by the DataBlock Designer, so there isn’t
much more you can do other than create it. If you click Edit Report you can edit the report.
The Design button is grayed out and you don’t have access to it. There are a few tabs: the
Refresh, API, and Saved States.
Editing the details of the Dashboard Report
Refresh Tab
The Refresh tab allows you to refresh the variables within the DataBlock. This is mostly only
useful for Dashboards.
API Tab
The API tab is part of the optional Advanced Reporting module. API stands for Application
Programming Interface which allows a report to be called from a web page or portal, or
even a third party application. Only Administrators can configure and access the API tab.
Making a report API accessible is a very useful feature when you want people to have
access to a report created by Argos, but you don’t want to give them Argos access. All the
different types of reports, Dashboard, CSV, Banded, and Extract can be called using the API.
Making a report API accessible does have significant security implications, which is why it
can only be done by an Administrator.
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Saved States Tab
The last tab is the Saved States tab. A Saved State is a point in time snapshot of a
Dashboard or an OLAP cube or chart. The data is saved as a file that can be viewed at any
time. Saved States are configured via the scheduler by an Argos Administrator or a
DataBlock Designer. As a Report Writer you can allow or disallow the running of the
Dashboard by checking or un-checking this box.
You can also manage the Saved States files by deleting any that you don’t want. The states
shown are stored on the MAP Server, however you can also copy a Saved State onto a PC
by clicking the ‘Save’ icon. You will then be able to supply the destination and file name of
the Saved State.
The Report Viewer can choose whether to execute a state stored on the MAP Server or one
stored on any PC. The Argos Report Viewers Guide provides an explanation of this.
Creation and execution of Saved States is
described in the Argos Report Viewer
Guide.
The Saved States Tab
Executing a Dashboard
After making the desired changes within any of the tabs described above, click OK to
complete the creation of the report.
The Dashboard will now appear under the associated DataBlock and can be executed by
selecting the appropriate action listed under Report Viewer Actions. Execution options are
fully explained within the Argos Report Viewers Guide.
The created Dashboard
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Creating a CSV Report For this example, the Employees table within the sample database will be used. The table
contains the following fields which are all used in the Report query. Field name
Description
CSV Report
emp_id
Employee Number
last_name
Employee Last Name
first_name
Employee First Name
A “Comma Separated Value” file is generated by
the report, which can be viewed in MS-Excel or
other similar spreadsheet applications.
hire_date
Hire Date
salary
Salary
dept_id
Department ID
location_id
Location ID (a department can exist in several locations)
Street_Line1
1st line of address
Street_Line2
2nd line of address
Street_Line3
3rd line of address
city
City
state
State
zip
Zip Code
Field Names in Employee Table
Report Name and Description
To create a CSV report you start the same way you did the Dashboard. Highlight the
DataBlock and click on New Report.
Give it a name and a description, and click the “Comma delimited” icon.
Creating a new CSV Report
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Click Create, then the following dialog box will appear. Editing the Report
Click the Design button which brings up the following dialog box:
Choosing the fields to appear within the report
Choose the Database Fields to Use
This dialog box above allows you to specify which fields within the Report Query will
appear in the report. For this example the emp_id, last_name, first_name, salary, dept_id,
and location_id fields will be used. Double-click each field name to move the field to the
window on the right as shown in the figure below. The fields within the window on the
right will then appear in the report. You can also single-click each field name then click the
right arrow to move the fields to the right.
You can change the name of each field to something more meaningful since this name will
appear in the column header in the spreadsheet application. Right-click on each field or
highlight the field and click ‘ab’ to create an editable box where you can change the names
as shown in the following figure:
After fields are moved to the window in
the right you can:
Click the red X to delete a field from the report.
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Use the up/down arrows to move a field up or
down.
Editing fields
To change the name of a field within the right
hand window, click the “ab” item, then change
the name of the field.
Right-clicking on any field provides all available
editing features
Changing the field names
Execute the Report
Click OK to complete the report design. You can now execute the report using the methods
described within the Argos Report Viewers Guide. The figure below shows the resulting
CSV file imported into Excel. Note that the column titles within the first row match the field
names that were modified above.
The CSV report within Excel
Add Additional Fields Using Expressions
Even though the report has been created, you can edit the report to add fields from the
DataBlock or add fields created from expressions. To illustrate this, two fields will be
added to the report. The first field will have the last name and first name concatenated
into one field (with a space between the names). The other field will contain the date
the report was run. This will illustrate how to utilize the Expression Builder.
Highlight the report within the Navigation Pane, click Edit Report, then click the Design
Button to bring up the “Edit CSV Report” dialog box again as shown in the following
figure.
The completed CSV report available to be
executed
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Preparing to add new fields
To add the first field, click E=mc2 (in the upper right of the dialog box) which brings up
the Expression Builder dialog box shown below.
icon
Function
Choose functions
from library
Add system
variables.
Lists available
database fields.
+
Concatenate fields.
Leading/trailing
spaces are removed.
The Expression Builder dialog box
Click the Green circular icon which brings up the list of database fields, then doubleclick on Employees.last_name which places the field within the Expression Builder.
Expression Builder (first item in expression)
Click on the plus sign (to concatenate) and a blank space (surrounded by single quotes)
to leave room between the last and first name.
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Expression Builder (second item in expression)
Click the green circular icon to display the list of fields, then add the first_name field.
Expression Builder (final item in expression)
Click OK then enter the name for this new field.
Entering a name for the new field
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The figure below shows the new field (lastfirst) added to the original list of fields.
The new field concatenating last/first name
To create the other field which will contain today’s date, a similar process is used. Within the above dialog box click E=mc2 then click the fn item to display a list of
available functions.
The list of Date & Time Functions
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Click Date&Time, then Now to obtain today’s date. Click OK and name the field “Today”.
New field containing today’s date/time
Run the report and you will now see the concatenated last/first name in column G and
today’s date/time in column H.
The CSV report showing the two new fields
Filter and Sort the Data
When you first create the report (or edit an existing report) you see the Edit Report dialog
box shown below containing the Filters and Sorts tabs.
Contact your DataBlock Designer if you
receive the following pop-up message
when using the Filters or Sort Tabs: “To use this feature edit the DataBlock and insert
special character sequences into the Free Type
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Filters
The Filters tab allows the report writer to activate additional filters to the report query. Any
filters here are run after the filters in the DataBlock report query are run.
The Filters tab allows you to activate additional
data filters at the report level rather than having
to modify the WHERE clause of the DataBlock's
report query.
Creating a filter
To add a filter you need to activate additional filtering by checking the “Activate additional
filtering” box.
You can create filters by selecting the list of fields and filtering them by the expression
operators (+ < <>, and, or, etc.). For example to view salaries above 60,000, double-click on
Employees.salary, click >, then enter 60000. The resulting filter is shown below.
Although in this example filtering is done using
only one field, a filter can consist of multiple
fields with associated operators (=, <, <>, etc.)
Filtering salaries above 60,000
Click OK and run the report to view the application of the filter.
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Sort
Click on the Sort tab and the following will appear.
Sorting Options
Double-click Ascending/Descending to toggle
sort by ascending or descending order.
As shown in the figure at the left, you can sort
using multiple fields. The figure illustrates
sorting by department name (ascending), then
by salary within the department (descending).
The Sort Tab within the Edit Report dialog box
You need to activate sorting by clicking the “Override the main report query sort” box
Move items over that you wish to sort on by double-clicking on the item or single-click
then clicking the arrow pointing to the right.
You can reorganize fields by clicking the up or down arrow. You can change the sort order
to ascending and descending by clicking on the double arrows.
Filters and sorts involve editing the report so once they are turned on, only a Report Writer
can deactivate or change them, and Report Viewers cannot. To deactivate a filter or sort just
uncheck the activate box. You do not need to clear out the filters and sorts. The Filters tab
adds filters to the Report query, so all the conditions and filters in the DataBlock run, and
then your additional filters are applied.
Note: If you define a sort order by using the sort tab, you will override the sort order in
the DataBlock, so you essentially will be ordering the recordsets twice. The DataBlock will
sort based on whatever sort order it is using. When the report is created it will reorder
the recordsets based on the report sort order.
After choosing your sort options, click OK then execute the report to see the results of your
specified sort.
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Creating a Basic Banded Report
Example 1
Definition of Bands:
Introduction
Page Header Band
This example utilizes the Employees table within the sample database and will produce a
report (see figure below) of employees grouped by Department Name. The example
demonstrates the use of a Page Header Band, Group Header Band, Child Band, Detail Band,
Group Footer Band, and Summary Band.
Prints at the top of every page.
Page Footer Band
Prints at the bottom of every page.
Title Band
Prints on the first page immediately
below the page header band.
Summary Band
Always prints on the last page,
immediately before the Page Footer Band.
Column Header Band
Always prints at the top of the page after
the Title Band.
Detail Band
This is where the data from the Report
query is printed. The band will print
repeatedly for each record. It will keep
printing between the other bands until it
runs out of room, then a new page will
start.
Child Band
Linked to any other band and prints
immediately after it. The band that it is
linked to is called its parent band.
Group Bands(Group
Header/Footer)
Banded report using various Band Types
The figure above illustrates the band types that are used in this example as follows:
n The Page Header Band (Employee Roster) prints at the top of the page and contains
the date and page number of the report.
n The Detail Band contains the data obtained from the Report query.
n The Detail Band is surrounded by Group Header and Group Footer Bands.
Grouping is done by Department Name.
n The Group Header Band contains the name of the department.
Group Header and Group Footer bands
surround a detail band. Used to structure
data into groups, based on a data field or
expression.
Sub-Detail Band
This band displays one dataset while
being linked to another dataset (called
the Master). As each record is printed in
the Master dataset, Argos will loop
through the Sub Detail dataset.
n The Child Band always prints beneath the Group Header Band and contains
column titles
Sub-Detail Bands are not as efficient as
other methods and should be used only
when other methods cannot be used.
n The Group Footer Band shows the number of employees and sum of salaries for
that department.
Loop Band
n The Summary Band prints at the end of the report and contains the total number
of employees and salaries for the entire company.
Contents of a loop band will be printed
repeatedly. The user inputs the number of
times the band is repeated.
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Basic Banded Report
Before creating the complete report above, a simple banded report of the Employees table
(see figure below) will first be created to enable a new user to quickly become familiar with
the process of creating a basic banded report. This report will then be enhanced to create
the report shown above.
The DataBlock form used for this
example
One or more departments can be selected when
executing the report.
The DataBlock form is created by the DataBlock
Designer.
The simple Banded Report
Select the Report Type
Begin by creating a new report using the same method used for Dashboards and CSV reports, but this time select “Banded” and name it
“Example Banded Report”. Then, within the Edit Report dialog box, click the Design button to launch the Banded Report Wizard as shown
in the figure below.
Selecting the Banded Report Type
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Selecting fields to include within the report
Including the Database Fields in the Report
Move emp_id, last_name, first_name, hire_date, salary, dept_name, city, and region_name
to the area on the right by double-clicking each field name.
When moving fields, click city prior to region_name to order them in that fashion within
the report. After moving the fields to the area on the right you can rearrange the order of
fields by highlighting a field then click the up/down arrows to change the order that the
fields will appear in the report.
This moves the fields (and corresponding Column Headers) onto the report as shown on
the right of the Report Data Window. The Column Headers were generated by DataBlock
Designer; however you can change the Column Headers as shown later in this example. Scroll to the right to view the entire width of the report.
To move a field to the right or left, highlight the
field then click the appropriate blue arrow. Clicking the double blue arrows moves all fields
at once.
Specifying which fields will exist within the report
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Click Next to bring up the Report Options window shown below.
The Page Settings Tab provides options such as
paper size, margins, orientation
(portrait/landscape), etc.
Identifying which bands will be utilized
Adding Bands
Under the Band Selection tab shown above you can decide which bands to include in the
report. For the simple example the Page Header Band, Column Header Band, and Detail
Band will be utilized. Therefore place check marks into the corresponding boxes. You can also click the Page Settings tab which allows you to specify various page settings
as shown in the figure below.
Band Names
Note the names assigned by Argos (Pageheader,
Columnheader, and Detail) to the various bands.
Band names can be changed by right clicking
within the band, selecting Options, then
entering the new band name. Creating
meaningful band names is valuable when
creating bands that reference other bands.
Selecting Page Settings
Click Finish to launch the Band Report Editor where you can customize the look of the
report further.
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The Report Format showing Column Headings and Fields
The Band Report Editor shows the current appearance of the report and contains the
column headers positioned above the fields to be printed in the report. Note the existence
of the three bands (Page Header, Column Header, and Detail).
Editing the Report Design
There are a number of toolbar icons within the Editor that will be discussed further in the
next example, but for this report a title will be added to the Page Header band by clicking
the A icon (Text Field Object) on the toolbar then clicking anywhere within the Page Header
band. The Edit Text Field dialog box will appear in which you can create text for the band as well
as change the font size, color, etc. You can also change the background color of the band. Enter “Employee Roster” into the textbox as shown below. Click the font button to change
the font size to 18. Objects are added to various bands within the
report by clicking the object on the toolbar,
then clicking anywhere within the band where
you want the object to be placed. A
corresponding dialog box will appear in which
you specify the properties of the object. Adding objects to a Band
The In Product Help (F1 key) contains a
complete list and description of the available
objects.
The Add a Text Field icon within the
Band Report Editor toolbar
Properties of the Text Field
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Centering the text in the title band
To quickly center the text within the title bar
horizontally or vertically, click on the text, then
click the “Align the selected control to the
horizontal center of its parent” button, or click
“Align the selected control to the vertical center
of its parent” button.
The text field added to the Page Header Band
The title “Employee Roster” will now appear in the Page Header band. Note that the title is
not centered, so click within the “Employee Roster” box and drag the field to the desired
location. Alternatively you can highlight the field and click the “centering text” icons
shown at the right.
You can also right click on the field which brings up a list of properties for the field that
can be modified. You can change the background color of the band by positioning the cursor anywhere
within the band (but not on the field just created), right-click then select Edit. Click on the
“Color” button to select a background color for the band. For this example, dark grey is
selected. The report design now appears as follows:
Align to horizontal center of its parent
Align to vertical center of its paren
Preview the report
Background color of Page Header Band changed
Next the text for the labels in the Column Header will be changed. Right-click on each
label, select edit, then type in the new name for the label. In this example, the text for each
label will be capitalized.
Execute (or preview) the report and it will look like this (larger font for “Employee Roster”)
and all titles capitalized. You may need to reduce the font size of the Column Header fields
to 10 to make the report look more readable. Also make the font bold.
You can obtain a preview of the printed report
by clicking the preview icon on the Band Report
Editor toolbar.
Saving the report
To save the report, click the Save icon on the
Band Report Editor toolbar.
Closing the Band Report Editor
Click the icon on the Band Report Editor toolbar.
The report after adjusting the column headers
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As a reminder, you can further edit or sort the report by returning to the Argos navigation
pane, highlight the report, then click Edit Report. Click the Filters or Sort Tab to modify the
report. For example, to sort the report by Employee ID, enter the Employee ID as shown in
the figure below:
Sort options
After executing the report again you can see the report is now sorted by Employee ID.
The report after sorting by Employee ID
Your first simple Banded Report is now complete. The next step is to enhance the report to
obtain the final report format.
Resizing and Aligning Fields
As fields are added to the report, you may need to resize them to ensure that the contents
of the fields will fit into the space allocated by the editor. You will also want to align fields
to each other horizontally and vertically to produce an attractive appearance.
Resizing Objects
Selecting an object (left mouse click) displays the boundary of the object with resizing
handles. You can increase/decrease the size of the field by dragging the appropriate
handle. You can also click on the field and drag it to another location.
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Resizing Bands
Selected field
For additional resizing options, right-click on the field and select Edit. The Edit dialog box
will appear shown in the figure below. Checking the “Autosize width” and “Autostretch
height” check boxes will adjust the size of the field to fit the contents of the data, if
necessary.
Bands can be resized using the same methods as
resizing objects. Click anywhere within the band
(but not on a field) and the boundary of the
band will be shown with the sizing handles. The
handles can be used to adjust the height of the
band.
You can also right-click within the band, and
select Options. The following dialog box
appears where you can specify the band height
as well as other options.
Field Editing options
Aligning Fields
When repositioning a field by dragging it, Argos will display blue horizontal or vertical
alignment guidelines to assist you in aligning a field with other fields. In the figure below,
note the blue vertical alignment line (to the left of the “R” in REGION) that appears when
moving the REGION title to align it with the region_name field. Alignment guidelines
There are also alignment icons within the Band Report Editor Toolbar (shown below) that
can be used to align multiple fields to each other. The methods for selecting multiple
objects are described below.
Selecting and Aligning Multiple Fields
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Multiple fields can be selected by depressing the shift key and clicking on the desired field
(s). Each selected field will then be surrounded by a rectangle with small grey boxes on the
corners. These fields can be moved or aligned as a group. In the figure below, all fields are
surrounded by the small grey boxes, indicating that they are grouped together.
Icon
Usage
Align by left sides
Align by horizontal
centers
Align by horizontal center
of parent
Grouping fields together
Stretch to be same
horizontal size
Multiple fields can also be selected by depressing the Ctrl key and dragging the cursor to
create a rectangle around the fields that you want to include. All objects enclosed within
the box will be individually surrounded by the small grey boxes described above and can
be moved or aligned as a group. The rectangle shown in the figure below (created by
dragging the cursor) shows seven fields that have been selected and will be treated as a
group.
Align by right sides
Align by top sides
Align by vertical centers
Stretch to be same
vertical size
Selecting multiple objects
Align by bottom sides
When using the alignment tools, select one object, then select additional objects to be
aligned using either method described above. All objects will be aligned to the first object
selected.
Align by vertical center of
parent
Enhancing the Report
The report will now be enhanced to appear in its final form by:
n Sorting the employees by department name. n Adding page counts and dates to the report.
n Creating and highlighting groups.
n Summing employee count and salaries by department and by entire company.
Sort Employees by Department Name
Begin by selecting the existing report from the Argos Navigation pane, highlight the report
(Example Banded Report) then click Edit Report within the Detail Pane which brings up the
Edit Report dialog box.
Since employees are to be grouped by department, click the Sort tab and move
Departments.dept_name and Employees.emp_id into the right hand window. Argos will
now sort by department name, then by employee ID within each department. Remember
to check the “Override the main report query sort” check box, otherwise you will not be
able to move any fields.
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Sorting by Department Name then Employee ID
Click the Apply button, the General Tab, then the Design button. You will be brought back
to the Band Report Editor.
Add Date, Page Number, and Page Count
From within the Editor, click the “Add a System Data Field” icon on the toolbar, then click
anywhere within the Page Header band.
Add System Data Field Icon on Band
Report Editor Toolbar
Selecting the Date from the list of system data fields
There are a number of Date/Time selections, but select Date for this example. You need not
enter anything into the Text field for this example. You will then see the following:
The Date field added to the Page Header Band
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Note the addition of the date field in the Page Header band. Drag the field to the upper
right corner of the band.
Next the string ‘Page x of y’ will be created and placed underneath the date within the Page
Header band. Within the Band Report Editor, click the E=mc2 icon, then click anywhere
within the Page Header band. Click the ellipsis (…) button shown in the figure below.
Building the expression
Enter the first segment of the expression which consists of the string ‘Page No. ‘:
The + operator concatenates strings and
eliminates leading/trailing spaces.
The first segment of the text string
Click the ‘Function’ button to display the list of available functions.
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Select the PAGENUMBER function
Enter the remaining segment of the expression
Click the Function button again to display the list of functions again.
Select the PAGECOUNT function
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The completed expression
Select Autosize width to ensure the new field will fit
The new field is now positioned within the Page Header Band. If it is not positioned in the
desired location, drag the field until it is underneath the date.
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Creating the Group Bands
Next Group Header and Group Footer bands will be created which will surround the Detail
Band. Since the report is structured to print employees by department name with an
employee count and sum of salaries for each department, use of Groups is necessary.
Within the Band Report Editor, click the “Create a Band Group” icon, then click anywhere
within the image of the report. The following dialog box will appear:
Adding bands to the Report
Click on the desired band icon, then click
anywhere within the report image displayed
within the Editor. The band will then be added
to the report.
“Create a Band Group” icon within Band
Report Editor Toolbar
Band Groups are processed as follows:
Before printing the first record in the Detail band,
the Group Header is printed.
The first Detail record is printed.
The Group-by Field in the next Detail record is
examined:
-If the Group-by Field has the same value as the
previous detail record, the next Detail record is
printed.
-If the Group-by Field has a different value than
the previous record, the Group Footer is printed.
A new Group Header and the next Detail record
is printed.
The Group-by Field can be a simple Data Field
from the dataset, or can be a complex
Expression. If you wish to create a Band Group,
you should ensure that your data is sorted
(ORDER BY) on the Data Field(s) or Expressions(s)
you wish to use.
Adding the Group Header Band
Next, the item that the detail band will be grouped by needs to be entered, therefore click
the ellipsis (…) button to the right of “Group by field or expression”. After entering data
into several dialog boxes that will appear in succession, you will ultimately cause
Argosdata.dept_name to be placed into this field (since the grouping is to be done by
department name).
Selecting Department Name as the database field to group by
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Remember that when grouping by a particular
field (dept. name in this example), the data must
be sorted by the same field. Renaming Bands
Adding the database field to Group-by field listbox
Enter dept_name into the group-by field or expression textbox. A later example will
illustrate how to group by an expression as opposed to this example where grouping is
done by database field.
Argos generates names for each band. Note on
the figure to the left that “Pageheader” is the
label given to the Page Header Band and
“Columnheader” is the name given to the
Column Header Band.
Click the Create button at the upper right to create a corresponding Group Footer, then
click OK.
To change the name of the band, right click
anywhere within the band and click on
“Options”
The Banded Editor will now appear as follows:
The Banded Editor showing the Group Header/Footer Bands
Note the existence of the Group Header (Header 1) and Footer Bands (Footer 1)
surrounding the Detail Band.
Within the “Name” field enter the name of your
choice (spaces between words are not
permitted). The new name will replace the name
given by Argos. When many bands are created in a complex
report, creating meaningful names will be useful
when referencing bands.
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At this point the report will look like this:
The Report showing the grouping by Department Name
Note the grouping by Department Name as well as the existence of the date and page
count at the top right of the report.
The following will now be done:
n Move the department name into the Group Header Band
n Add background color to the Group Header Band
n Add a child band after the Group Header band which will contain column headers. The existing column header band will then be removed.
n Add employee count and sum of salaries for each department in the Group Footer
Band.
n Add a summary band containing a total employee count and sum of salaries.
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Moving Dept. Name to Group Header Band
You cannot drag a field from one band to another, so cut and paste the dept_name field from the Detail Band to the Group Header Band.
You will need to move the city and region fields to the left due to the removed dept_name. Also, drag the dept_name field that now
resides within the Group Header Band to the desired location.
Right-click the Group Header Band, and click Edit. Then choose a background color using the color button.
Adding a background color to the Group Header Band
Next, delete the department name column header. After some resizing and repositioning of fields, the report should look like this:
Highlighting the Group Header Band
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Add Child Band Following the Group Header Band
Rather than printing the column headings at the top of each page, it is desired to print
them immediately after the Group Header Band. Therefore a Child Band will be used to
accomplish this.
Within the Band Report Editor click the “Create a New Child Band” icon, then click anywhere
within the report image. The following dialog box will be displayed. You must enter the
Parent Band, therefore select “Header 1” (which is the name of the Group Header band) as
shown in the figure below.
Adding a Child Band beneath the Group Header Band
After clicking the OK button, a Child Band named Band2 now exists underneath the Group
Header Band. The column headers will now be copied from the Column Header Band into
the Child Band. After this is done, you may need to resize/reposition the fields within the
Child Band. You can delete the Column Header Band by right-clicking on it and selecting
delete.
Create a new child band using the icon
within the Band Report Editor toolbar
Finally, change the background color of the Child Band to blue.
The resulting report format within the Editor appears as follows:
The report format with the Child Band
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The report showing the Group and Child Bands
Note that the column headers are now printed under each Group Header Band.
Add Employee Count and Salary Sum
Next a count of employees and sum of salaries for each department will be placed within
the Group Footer Band and will print after the Detail Band for each department.
The employee count and salary sum will be done using the Expression Wizard.
Click on the “Add an Expression Field” icon on the Band Report Editor toolbar, then click
anywhere within the Group Footer Band. The following dialog box will appear. Click the
ellipsis button (…) to bring up the Expression Wizard.
Add an Expression Field icon within the
Band Report Editor toolbar
Since the count must be reset to zero for each band group, you need to check the “Reset
after print” box.
Resetting values of expression after printing
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Build the following within the Expression Wizard using the same procedure as described
above for the PAGENUMBER and PAGECOUNT fields. The COUNT function is found under
the Statistical category within the Wizard. You may need to extend the width of the field to
have it print correctly (or check the “Autosize width” box in the previous figure to allocate
sufficient room for the field.
Creating an expression for Employee Count
Create Sum of Salaries Expression
In a similar fashion use the Expression Wizard to create a sum of salaries. This is a bit more
involved than the COUNT function since the SUM function requires additional input. You
will need to select the DataBlock field ‘salary’ as the parameter to be used in the SUM
function, as summarized below (not all steps are shown since they are used in the
expressions illustrated earlier).
Enter the first segment of the expression
Click Function to continue.
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Selecting the parameter for SUM function
Click the ellipsis button.
Selecting the database field
Select “Database field” since the parameter for the SUM function is the employee salary and
comes from the DataBlock.
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The completed expression
As was done with the COUNT function, check the “Reset after print” box to reset the sum to
zero for each band.
Also, check “Autosize width” to guarantee that enough room will be set aside for the new
field to print.
This item will be placed under the employee count field, thus you may need to increase the
height of the band for the new field to fit. You may also select “Autostretch height” and the
height of the band will be increased for you.
Position the new fields just created by clicking each field then dragging it to the desired
location within the band.
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Adding the Summary Band
A Summary Band which will now be created will contain the employee count and sum of
salaries for all departments. Recall that the Summary Band always prints on the last page,
immediately before the Page Footer Band.
Click on the “Create a new band” icon on the Band Report Editor toolbar, then click
anywhere within the report image. The following dialog box shown in the figure below
will appear. For the Type, select “Summary”.
A frame will be placed around the band, thus check the Top, Bottom, Left, Right check
boxes as shown below, and set the line width to 2.
Create a new Summary Band using the
icon within the Band Report Editor
toolbar
Adding the Summary Band
The Report Format after adding the Summary Band
Notice the new Summary Band at the bottom of the report with the solid line surrounding
the band.
Now add the employee count and sum of salaries to the Summary Band by copying the
expressions from the Group Header Band and pasting them into the Summary Band.
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The final page of the report will now appear as follows:
Employee count and salary sum within Group & Summary Bands
Note the total employee count and sum of salaries as well as the frame around the
Summary Band. The final report now appears as shown below.
Additional Group Bands
This example utilizes a single Group Band to
group employees by department name. If
desired, additional Group Bands could be
created to group, for example, by Region. Thus,
nesting of Group Bands provides multi-levels of
grouping.
When creating an additional Group Band, if
Argos does not place the band in the desired
order, you can drag the band to the correct
location. Argos will always place the new group
band immediately in front of the detail band.
It is recommended that the outermost group be
created first, followed by inner groups. Using this
method generally does not require that group
bands be moved.
Not all bands are movable due to the nature of
the various band types. For example the
Summary Band always exists at the bottom of
the report and cannot be moved.
The completed report
The report above consists of only one page because in the parameter query for this
particular figure, only the HR and Product Development Departments were selected. There
are actually 7 departments within the sample database that could have been chosen for
this report.
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Formatting Numeric Output
Example 2
Introduction
The Banded Report in the previous example shows the sum of salaries without any
formatting, that is, without dollar signs or commas. Instead of printing “Total Sum of
Employee Salaries = 1923000 in the Summary Band, it is desired to print it as $1,923,000.
To format the output you need to edit the field within the Band Editor. Right-click the field
to be formatted which brings up the Edit Expression Field dialog box shown below.
Choosing the field to be formatted
Selecting/Creating the Format Mask
To format the field, click the ellipsis button to the right of “Format” which brings up the
“Edit Format Mask” dialog box (shown below) that provides options for formatting both
numeric and date fields. You can select one of the pre-existing formats or create your own mask. To select one of
the pre-existing formats, double-click the desired format shown within the lower window. The selected option will then appear in the box at the bottom of the window as shown
below. You can also create your own format by using the formatting characters described
at the top of the Edit Format Mask dialog box.
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Edit Format Mask
Choose one of the existing formats (doubleclick) or enter your desired mask in the text box
at the bottom of the Edit Format Mask dialog
box.
Selecting the formatting option
The field being edited will then be displayed using the format chosen.
However, the example above needs to be modified in order to use the formatting since the
field containing the sum also contains a leading string “Total Sum of Employee Salaries”. Argos cannot format the entire field since the expression also contains a string.
Therefore the leading string must be separated from the SUM, and only the SUM field
should be formatted.
The expression as one string
To accomplish this, edit the field above to remove the leading string. Then apply the
format to the SUM function. To replace the leading string you will need to add a new text
field and position it immediately to the left of the SUM function. The figure below shows that there are now two separate fields (the leading string and the
SUM field). The expression separated into 2 fields
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The new fields will print as shown below and contains the dollar sign and commas:
The formatted numeric output printed
The same procedure can be used to format the Sum of Employees’ Salaries within the
Group Footer Band.
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Group By Expression
Example 3
Introduction
The previous examples illustrated how to group employees by department, where the
database field dept_name was used as the field to group by. It is also possible to group
where an expression defines the grouping criteria. This will be demonstrated in this
example where the employee list will be grouped by the first letter of the employee last
name. An expression will be developed to be used as the criteria for grouping.
The desired output is shown in the figure below
Grouping by First Letter of Last Name
The steps to follow are:
n Sort by Employee Last Name.
n Create a Group Band and set its background color to light grey.
n Create an expression to obtain the first letter of the last name and place it within
the “Group-by-field or expression” box.
When grouping by a particular field (Employee
last name in this example), the data must be
sorted by the same field. n Place the expression into the Group Band Header to highlight the groupings (see
the bold letters in the above figure).
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Create the Basic Report
Begin by creating a report and within the “Edit Report” dialog box click the Sort Tab and
sort by Employee Last Name.
Within the Edit Report dialog box, click the Design button to bring up the Band Report
Editor and create a simple report as shown in the figure below:
The format of the report prior to creating groups
Create a Band Group
Create a band group by clicking the “Create a Band Group” icon on the Band Report Editor
toolbar. The Header dialog box will appear as shown below. Since grouping by the first
letter of the employee last name is to be done, you need to enter an appropriate
expression into the “Group-by-field or expression” box.
Creating the Group Header Band
Add a color to the band by clicking the “Color” button, then select light grey.
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Create the Expression
To create the expression, click the ellipsis button then select the COPY function via doubleclick.
Selecting the COPY function
The COPY function returns a substring, and for this example you need to choose the
Employee Last Name field from the database (using the same method as in previous
examples) and return the first character from the string by entering the following:
Obtaining the first letter of the last name
The expression to return the first letter of the last name has now been inserted into the
Group-by-field or expression box. The grouping is now handled by an expression, as
opposed to an earlier example where grouping was done by a database field name.
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The expression entered into the Group-by-field or expression box
Place Expression into Group Header Band
The final step is to place the same expression into the Group Header such that the first
letter of the last name is displayed within the Group Header. To accomplish this, click
E=mc2 on the toolbar, then click within the Group Header Band. Then enter the same
expression as before.
Adding the expression to print within the Group Header
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Drag the field containing the expression to the left edge, then set the font to 14 point bold.
The desired report will print as follows:
The final report grouped by first letter of employee last name
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Creating Mailing Labels
Example 4
Introduction
The Argos Band Editor can be used to generate labels for an extensive list of labels from
many different manufactures. You can also create your own custom label size as well.
Select the Mailing Labels Report Type
To use the Band Editor to generate labels, begin the report creation using procedures
outlined in previous examples. However, on the form where you select the Report type,
choose the ‘Mailing Labels’ option.
Selecting the Mailing Label Report Type
Click Finish to continue.
Select the Fields to Use
On the next form, select the fields that you would like to appear on the label.
This example will once again use the Employees table in the sample database.
Select last_name, first_name, city, Street_Line1, Street_Line2, Street_Line3, State, and Zip.
Click Next to continue.
The next form allows you to choose the Label Format. First select the Vendor, and then the
Format. For this example select the vendor Avery Standard, using the 2163 layout. Click
Finish to continue.
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Selecting the Mailing Label Type
Note: If the label you are using is not listed, select one that is similar, as you can change
the size and position of the individual labels later.
The figure above shows a sample layout. The Band Editor has already defined the margins
for the selected label, but you can change these if needed. Click Finish to continue.
Edit the Fields
The Band Report Editor is then displayed with the label existing within the Detail Band. You are now free to change the characteristics of the data (font size, font color, etc) within
the Band by right-clicking anywhere within the band.
You will need to rearrange the fields to appear as follows on the label:
first name last name
Street 1
Street 2
Street 3
City, State Zip
By selecting a field and clicking and dragging, the field can be moved. Using the alignment
tools, multiple fields can be selected and properly aligned.
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For example, to make sure the all the fields are aligned on the same left margin, select the
fields in question and press the Left Alignment icon.
Similarly, to make sure items are aligned across the bottom, use the Bottom Alignment tool.
Position the fields as follows:
To preview the layout, click on the Preview button. Make sure to run with a good sample to
ensure you test different possibilities. Any problems are quickly taken care of by using Rich
Text Fields in conjunction with the Expression Builder. Return to the Report Editor to first
take care of the formatting for all fields.
Next, select the existing fields, delete them and replace them with Expression Fields.
Expressions will be used to:
n Add fields that were removed
n Concatenate the first and last name
n Concatenate City, State, and Zip
Concatenating is done using the + sign. When joining fields with the plus sign, all leading
and trailing blanks will be removed. This means that you need to add a space between the
first and last name.
The new fields will be created using Rich Text Fields. Therefore click the “Add a Rich Text
Field” icon within the Band Report Editor Toolbar then click anywhere within the Detail
Band. The Rich Text Editor will be displayed as shown below:
Use the Rich Text Field icon within the
Band Report Editor toolbar
The Rich Text Field Editor
The RTF editor can be thought of a mini text editor and provides various text formatting
features.
To add database fields to the label, place the cursor in the appropriate location and click
the E=mc2 button. Then, select the desired field in the expression builder. In this way, add
each of the fields needed for the label.
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Expressions Added to the Report Format
You can now enhance the appearance of the label by changing the font, font size and font
characteristics (bold, italics, underline) by selecting the appropriate icon on the toolbar. Additional commonly used formatting features can be selected (left, center, right justify),
adding bullets, and setting background color.
For this example the street addresses will be bolded and italicized, and will be changed to
Times New Roman font.
Suppress Printing of Empty Lines
Fields Street_Line2 and Street_Line3 may not contain data; therefore if they are empty
these lines should not be printed. To accommodate this condition, click the red X icon
(Remove Line if Empty) on the upper right of the dialog box. This will cause empty lines to
not be printed. Highlight the 2 fields then click the red X on the toolbar (see figure in the
sidebar) which results in the following:
Remove Line if Empty icon within the
Rich Text Field Editor
Identifying lines not to print if empty
Street_Line2 and Street_Line3 now have DEL inserted, indicating that the line will be
removed if it is empty.
Note the use of quotes to create blank spaces between fields when necessary.
Click OK, then the fields will be added to the selected band.
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Drag the resulting field to the upper left of the Detail Band and resize it to accommodate
the fields. You may also need to resize the Detail Band.
The final output is shown below. Note that for each label, there are no blank spaces
between any of the lines.
Resizing fields
A field can be resized manually by selecting the
field, then dragging the handles of the box that
surrounds the field.
Or, you can avoid manual resizing by selecting
the “Autosize width” or “Autostretch height”
selections that appear on the “Edit” dialog for a
field.
The completed mailing label
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Printing Groups on a New Page and Resetting the Page Count
Example 5
Introduction
This example illustrates a situation where it is desired to print each group on a new page and to reset the page number to 1 for each
group. The COUNTER and RESETEXPR functions will be utilized to accomplish this.
Example 1 showed how to reset the SUM and COUNT functions after printing (by selecting the “Reset after print” check box). For this
example the PAGENUMBER function seemingly could be used to print the page number, however this function cannot be reset. Instead the
COUNTER function is used to count pages since this function can be reset using the RESETEXPR function when required.
The Employees, Orders, Order_Details, and Products tables within the sample database are used within this example. The report will list all
sales orders per employee as shown below:
The printed report
Note that the page numbers increment for each employee, but reset to 1 for the next employee.
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The following describes the format of the report.
n The Title Band contains the text string “Employee Sales”.
n The Column Header Band contains the Sale Date, Quantity, and Product Name Headers.
n The Group Header Band contains the employee last name and first name. It also contains the function RESETEXPR.
n The Detail Band contains the sale date, quantity, and product name.
n The Page Footer Band contains the COUNTER function which represents the page number.
The Report Design
Force Group Header on new page
To force the Group Header to print on a new page, check the option to “Force new page (before)”.
Forcing a New Page for the Group Header Band
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Reset the COUNTER expression
The name of the COUNTER expression must be obtained such that it can be reset within the RESETEXPR function. To obtain the name,
right-click on the [‘Page ‘ + COUNTER] expression then click “Options’ to obtain the Expression Name, which in this case is Expression1.
Obtaining the name of the expression
To force the page counter to reset for each group, the RESETEXPR function must contain the expression to reset (the COUNTER expression)
when this band (Group Header) is printed. Therefore ’Expression1’ is entered as the parameter as shown in the figure below. The
expression name must be enclosed within single quotes.
Entering the expression name into the RESETEXPR function
The report design is now complete.
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Conditional Printing
Example 6
Introduction
When an Argos DataBlock is initially designed, the developer creates a form that the Report
Viewer uses to filter or limit the data that will be displayed. There are times when it would
be useful to run the same report, but filter the data on information not available on the
form.
Consider the following report which lists vendors to which Purchase Orders have been
submitted:
Bands used in this report
This report contains a Title Band, Group Header
Band, Child Band, Detail Band, and Group Footer
Band.
Each record in the Detail Band contains an item
within a Purchase Order, but only the total of all
items is of interest. The item sum is placed within
the Group Footer Band and the Detail Band is
not printed. This is why conditional printing is
done for the Group Footer Band and not for the
Detail Band.
To prohibit printing of the Detail Band, the band
height is set to zero in the Options dialog box for
the Detail Band.
The report showing all Purchase Orders
For each PO listed, the field “invoice recd” indicates whether an invoice has been received
from the vendor, and the field “invoice paid” indicates whether the invoice has been paid. This example uses the Purchase_Orders, Purchase_Order_Items, and Vendors tables from
the sample database.
The report is to be modified to list only vendors for which invoices have been received, but
not yet paid. Since these fields do not exist within the input selection form, filtering must
be done using the “Only print if expression is true” selection within the dialog box that is
displayed when editing a band.
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Conditional printing is done by editing the band that the filtering is to be applied to and
entering the condition within the “Only print if expression is true” text box as shown below
(for this example filtering is done on the Group Footer Band).
Conditional Printing can be used for any band
type.
For Detail Bands, conditional printing is applied
to each record within the band, but for other
bands it applies to printing or not printing the
entire band.
Entering the criteria for conditional printing
For this band (PO_Footer) an expression was entered to limit the printed information. The
complete expression (shown in the following figure) satisfies the condition for printing as
described above.
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The complete expression used for conditional printing
After adding the expression, the report now appears in the figure below with Purchase
Orders only printed if invoice received = ‘y’ and invoice paid = ‘n’.
It is necessary to enclose each portion of the expression within parentheses.
The final report with conditional printing applied
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Starting with a Blank Report Type
Example 7
Introduction
Previous examples showed how to creare a banded report using the List and Mailing
Labels report types. The other report types available in the Banded Report Wizard include
List, Tabular, Form Style, and Mailing Labels. If none of these report types suits your needs,
you can create a custom report using the Blank report type.
Icons on Band Report Editor toolbar for
creating bands
Create a New Report
Select the Blank report type. The Band Report Editor appears as follows:
Create a new band
Create a new child band
Create a new sub detail band
Create a new band group
Band Report Editor with Blank Report Type selected
None of the bands or database fields are shown as is done with the other Report
Types. With the Blank Report Type you must create bands and band contents manually.
Adding Bands
Adding a database field
To add bands, click the appropriate band (see band icons within the sidebar) then click
anywhere within the Editor and the band will be created. Do this repeatedly for each band
that you need to create. Adding a text field
To add database fields or text fields (to be used as headers or titles) click the corresponding
icon (see sidebar) then click within the band that you wish the field to be inserted into. The
field will then be added to the selected band. Use the same process to add other field
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Using Sub-Detail Bands
Example 8
Introduction
Sub-detail bands increase the Band Editor’s functionality by allowing sub-reports that provide additional information for each record in
the detail band. A sub-detail band prints one dataset while being linked to another dataset (called the master). As each record prints in the
master dataset, Argos executes the dataset in the sub-detail band and prints the sub-detail band once for each row returned. Any number
of sub-detail bands can be created, and they all follow the detail band.
In most cases, the master dataset is the main report query (ArgosData). The dataset displayed in a sub-detail band is a different dataset; in
fact, it can be from a different database, as long as both datasets have a common field which can be used to link them.
Note: a sub-detail band always prints after the detail band and will loop through all records in its dataset before the master dataset
increments to the next record. For this reason, this technique is less efficient than other methods and should be used only when
required.
You should use sub-detail bands when:
n You need to loop through two or more datasets for each row in the detail band. Other methods only allow one dataset to be
associated with each detail band.
n You need to loop through one or more datasets for each row in the detail band, but the data comes from a different database.
The Report Contents
In this example, we use sub-detail bands to add additional information to an employee list. This information includes employee contact
information such as phone number, email address, contact information, and dependent information. Each type of contact appears in its
own sub-detail band such that four sub-detail bands will be associated with the Employee information that appears in the detail band.
This example uses the Employee, Employee_Phone, Employee_Email, Employee_Emerg_Contact, and Employee_Dependents tables within
the sample database.
Since four datasets are associated with and are printed immediately after the detail band, the use of sub-detail bands is required (other
methods only allow one dataset to be linked to a detail band).
The figure below shows the relationships of the tables within the sample database that are used in this example.
Tables to be used to create datasets for sub-detail bands
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Note that none of the tables are joined, since for this example these tables are considered separate datasets from the Main Report
DataBlock. This also simulates the situation where the datasets exist in an entirely different database from the database used by the
DataBlock.
A report is to be created such that for each employee within the Employees table, associated records within the other datasets will be
printed. The emp_id is used as the field to link the datasets together. Each dataset will exist within its own sub-detail band. The report will
appear as follows with each sub-detail band identified:
The Banded Report to be created
For each employee, the associated Telephone Number records, Email Address records, Emergency Contact records, and Dependent
Information records are printed. If a particular dataset is empty it will not print (Employee 683 has no email or dependent information).
Each employee record can have any number of telephone, email, emergency contact, and dependent records associated with it.
The process for creating the Banded Report shown above follows:
Create the Title and Detail Bands
First a List Report Type is chosen, with a Title Band and Detail Bands created. The Detail Band contains the Employee ID, and employee last
name/first name concatenated. Also the band has been given a purple background color.
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Create the datasets
Four datasets will be created and named empl_phone, empl_email, Emergency, and
Dependents.
To add a dataset, click the Show/hide the dataset icon on the Band Report Editor Toolbar. Show/Hide Dataset icon on Band Report
Editor Toolbar
Clicking the Green Plus Sign to add a dataset
Click the green plus sign on the right to bring up the following dialog box in which you
identify the properties of the dataset.
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Building the dataset using the query builder
Name the dataset empl_phone and set the Master Dataset to ArgosData(main). ArgosData
(main) is the dataset containing the Main Report query. Build Query icon
Click the “Build Query” icon (the hat with the hammer) to bring up the Build Query dialog
box. Click “Show Tables” then select the Employee_Phone table. Double-click on the
phone_type and phone_number fields which will place them into the tables at the bottom
of the window.
Selecting fields from the Employee_Phone table
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Next the WHERE clause is utilized to link the emp_id field in this table to the emp_id field
within the Employees table in the Main DataBlock.
Linking the Employees table to the Employee_Phone table
After creating the WHERE clause, the SQL for the empl_phone dataset appears as follows:
The query for the empl_phone dataset
Click OK. The Band Report Editor now shows the empl_phone dataset in the upper right
portion of the window.
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The empl_phone query shown in the Band Report Editor
Click the green plus sign to create the other three datasets (empl_email, Emergency, and
Dependents) using the Employee_Email, Employee_Emerg_Contact, and Employee_
Dependents tables using the same method that was used to create the empl_phone
dataset. When completed, the following datasets will then be displayed within the Band
Report Editor.
All datasets shown in the Band Report Editor
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Create the Four Sub-Detail Bands
Now that all datasets have been created, the corresponding Sub-Detail bands can be
created. To create the first band (which will contain the empl_phone dataset), click the
“Create a new subdetail band” icon on the toolbar. Then click anywhere within the Band
Report Editor. The following dialog box will be displayed:
Create a new Sub-Detail Band icon on
the toolbar
Properties of the first Sub-Detail Band
Select empl_phone from the dataset drop-down menu since this is the dataset applied to
this band. Also, uncheck the “Print header/footer even if dataset is empty” box. Unchecking the box will prevent the band from printing if there is no data within the
dataset. Click OK to continue.
Move fields into the Sub-Detail Bands
Before adding fields into the Band, if you desire to change the name of the band to
something more meaningful, right-click within the band then select “Options”. Enter the
desired name of the band.
Add a database field icon on the
toolbar
The next step is to add fields and appropriate titles to the band. For the first band (empl_
phone), click the “Add a database text field” icon from the toolbar then click anywhere
within the band. The dialog box below will appear.
Add a text field icon on the toolbar
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Adding database fields to the Sub-Detail Band
Select empl_phone as the dataset and the phone_number field then click OK. The phone_
number field will be added to the band. Repeat the procedure to add the phone_type to
the same band.
Repeat this procedure (adding fields) for each band. Add text fields to each band by
selecting the “Adding a text field”. After adding all fields and titles to each band, the report
format appears as follows:
The final report design with all four Sub_Detail bands
Note the four Sub-Detail bands beneath the detail band. Each Sub-Detail band contains
labels as well as fields from the empl_phone, empl_email, Emergency, and Dependents
datasets.
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Obtaining tables from an external database
In this example, datasets were created from tables existing within the same database. However, as mentioned earlier, tables from external
databases can be utilized to create datasets.
To access tables from an external database, after clicking the green plus sign to create a dataset, the following dialog box appears:
Dataset Properties – selecting another connection
Click “Connection :< default>” in the lower left of the dialog box to bring up the list of available connections created by your MAPS
Administrator.
Choosing another connection
After choosing the appropriate connection you can then select the appropriate tables from the external database, build the dataset query,
and add fields to Sub-Detail Bands using the same methods described in this example.
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Adding Parameter Input to the Report
Example 9
Banded Reports obtain query results from the DataBlock to report on the contents of a
database. Other information not contained within the Report Query can be obtained and
inserted into your report, including items such as:
n Information about the database connection such as DataSource name, Driver file
name and version, SQL format, etc.
Adding the selections made within the
DataBlock form to the report provides very
useful background information used to create
the report.
n DataBlock name and path
n Report name and pathdata
n Date and time the report was generated
n Username and user type
n The search parameters chosen from the DataBlock form.
The “Add an Expression Field” icon
within the Band Report Editor Toolbar
To obtain this information you need to add an expression field into the desired band
using methods you are now familiar with. This is done by clicking the “Add an expression
field” icon on the Band Report Editor Toolbar, then clicking within the band where you
want the field to be placed.
Adding an expression
The Expression dialog boxes above are displayed. From the Expression Wizard, click the
“Variable” button which displays the list of variables that can be inserted into the band.
Variables preceeded with a $ are system variables. Variables without the $ are items
selected from the DataBlock form used to create the report.
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The list of system variables
For this example, the DataBlock name as well as the departments selected within the
DataBlock form will be placed into Summary Band that was created in Example 1.
The DataBlock form for Example 1 consists of a list of department names which is
contained in the variable LISTBOX1.DEPT_NAME shown at the bottom of the list in the
above figure.
To add the selected department names into the Summary Band, click the LISTBOX1.DEPT_
NAME variable and it will be placed within the band. When adding the expression to the
band, select the “Autostretch height” box which will increase the height of the band, if
necessary, to accommodate the list of selections from the form.
To add the DataBlock name to the Summary Band, repeat the above process to add an
expression field and select the variable GETVARIABLE(‘$DATABLOCK.NAME’).
The Summary Band with the new fields
The DataBlock Name (User Guide) as well as the Departments selected within the DataBlock
form (Product Dev, HR, Sales) now appear within the Summary Band. Labels (“DataBlock
Name” and “Departments Selected”) were added separately to describe the newly added
information..
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Link with Band
Example 10
Lonely Group Header Band
Occasionally, depending on the number and size of bands in your report, you may get pages that have Group Header Bands at the end of
a page. Its corresponding Detail Bands are then printed on the following pages as illustrated in the figure below.
Lonely Group Header
Lonely Group Footer Band
In other cases, a page will have just enough room to print the last Detail Band. The Group Footer Band will be printed on the following
page by itself as seen in the figure below.
Lonely Group Footer
These situations are not desired and to overcome them, use the “Link with Band” feature.
This feature is available for all band types. Report Writers select which band to link the current band to so the above situations will not
occur.
The method to use for this option is to set the link inside the band that comes first. For example, to fix the lonely group header, you
would set the Link with band option in the Group Header Band since the Detail Band comes after the Group Header Band.
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In the case of the lonely group footer, you would set the Link with band option in the detail band since the Group Footer Band comes
after the Detail Band.
Group Header Linked to Detail Band
The data entered as shown in the figure above would produce the report in the figure below and corrects the lonely group header. In this
case, the Header 1 band is linked to the detail band “myDetailBand”. Notice how there is still room for more data on page 1, yet the second
group header is printed on the next page.
The Lonely Group Header corrected
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Detail Band Linked to Group Footer
The data entered in the figure above would produce the report in the figure below and corrects the lonely group footer. In this case, the
Detail Band was configured to link with the Footer 1 band. Notice how there is still room for more data on page 1, yet the last detail record
for group 1 is not printed until page 2 with its group footer.
The Lonely Group Footer corrected
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Creating a Chart
Example 11
This example will demonstrate how to add a simple chart to a Banded Report as shown in
the figure below.
Charting in Argos
The chart to be created in this example is very
simple and was included primarily to show how
to add a chart to a Banded Report. Chart icon on Band Report Editor
toolbar
Banded Report with a chart
The report contains a list of employees (ID and name) within a department and a chart
showing the salary of each employee.
The Employees Table within the sample database is the only table used in this example. A
DataBlock form was created in which the user enters the department name.
Centering the text in the title band
Four bands are utilized as follows:
n Title band containing the department name (grey background color).
n Column Header band containing the “ID” and “Name” titles.
n Detail band containing the list of employees.
To quickly center the text within the title bar
horizontally or vertically, click on the text, then
click the “Align the selected control to the
horizontal center of its parent” button, or click
“Align the selected control to the vertical center
of its parent” button.
n Summary band containing the chart.
The steps to create the report follow.
Align to horizontal center of its parent
Create the Title, Column Header, and Detail Bands
Create a new Banded Report, launch the Banded Report Wizard, then select a “Blank Report”
Type.
Align to vertical center of its parent
Populate the Title, Column Header, and Detail Bands with the appropriate fields using
methods described in previous examples. As a reminder, note that the Title Band contains
the value selected in the DataBlock form using the procedure described in a previous
example.
The remainder of this example is devoted to creating the chart that will be placed within
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the Summary Band.
Report Design with Title, Column Header, and Detail Bands
Add a Summary Band
A chart can be added to any type of band. For this example it is added to the Summary
Band. Add the band using methods you are now accustomed to. Add a Chart Object
Click on the Chart icon on the toolbar, then click anywhere within the Summary Band to
add the chart object. The following dialog box will appear:
The Chart Wizard
Follow the Chart Wizard
This dialog box is the Chart Wizard that will guide you through the process of creating a
chart. All possible options will not be explained in this example, but only the options that
apply to this example will be shown.
Click the Green Plus sign to add a series. Although more than one series of data can be
displayed on a chart, for this example only one series is required.
Select “ArgosData” within the Dataset field.
Select “salary” for the Value field.
Select “emp_id” for the Label field.
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Adding information into the Data Tab
Click the “Type” tab where you can select various types of charts (Bar, Pie, Line, etc.). This
example creates a bar chart which is the default selection, so no change is required.
Click on the “Labels” tab to display various label options. Uncheck the “Visible Label” box. The image on the right of the window will show the effect of checking/unchecking this
box.
Click the “Bar Option” tab and uncheck the “3D” and “Color Each” boxes. Again, the image
on the right of the window will show the effect of checking/unchecking these boxes. While on this tab, you can change the color of the bars by clicking the Color button.
Click Next to continue. The Chart Theme and Panel dialog box will appear. For this
example, default values will be used, therefore click Next to continue.
The Chart Legend and Titles dialog box will appear.
Note the various sub types available when
choosing a Bar Chart.
Highlight “Legend Style and Title”, then uncheck the “Legend Visible” check box since the
legend is not to be included.
Click “Main Title” then enter “Employee Salary” into the “Enter Title Here” box.
Click “Left Axis Title” then enter “Salary” for into the “Enter Title Here” box.
Click “Bottom Axis Title” then enter “Employee ID” into the “Enter Title Here” box.
Adding Legend and Titles information
Click Finish to continue.
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This completes the Wizard, and you will be brought back to the Band Report Editor.
Increase the height of the Summary Band to make room for the chart. Position the chart to
the desired location.
The completed report design
Run the report and select “Technical Support” for the Department Name. The parameter
entered is shown below.
The query parameter
The resulting Banded Report with included chart is shown below.
See the Argos DataBlock Designers Guide (or
Help) for a more complete description of
Charting within Argos.
The final report
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Creating an Extract Report
Example 12
Introduction
An Extract Report is designed to create output files that meet pre-defined specifications. This feature is especially useful for creating delimited output that is more complex than a
simple comma-separated file (CSV), for creating a fixed-width file in which each field is
precisely positioned on a given line, or for creating an XML file. This could include files
that you might upload to a government agency, clearinghouse, or service bureau.
Extract Reports are somewhat similar in design to a Banded Report. Similar to bands within
a Banded Report, an Extract Report has sections, each of which can include different data
fields. However, in an Extract Report you can loop through as many datasets as your report
requires, and you can precisely control the position of your data in the output file.
Unlike a Banded Report, there is no concept of a “page” in an Extract Report. Data is simply
streamed into an output file.
Report Formats
There are three report formats available:
Fixed - The width of each field is a user defined
fixed value.
Delimited - The width of each field is variable
with each field separated by a user defined
delimiter.
XML - Report output is in XML format.
Comparison of Extract and Banded Reports
Sections in the Extract Report
The output file from an Extract report is organized by sections. You can add as many
sections as you like to the Extract Report design. The definition of each type of section is as
follows:
Title - Always appears as the first section in the report. This section contains data obtained
only from the current record of each dataset referenced by the section. Looping through
the datasets to obtain data is not done for this section as only data from the current record
of each dataset is obtained.
Detail – Used to loop through an associated dataset. Within this section, Argos will create
one detail row for each record in the associated dataset. This is useful if you wish to create
a list of vendors, for example.
You can create multiple Detail sections in an output file. You might have one simply follow
another. For example, if you wanted a list of all regular checks, followed by a list of all
voided checks, you would simply add a pair of Detail sections. Each Detail section is
associated with its own dataset, and can be formatted however you require.
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Another option is to make a Detail section a “parent” of a subsequent Detail section
(referred to as the Sub-Detail section). For each record that is output in the parent Detail
section, the Sub-Detail section will be executed and added to the file as well. In the vendor
example from above, the vendor would be in the parent Detail section, with a list of
invoices in the Sub-Detail section. You can have multiple “levels” of Sub-Detail sections. Like a Banded Report, using Sub-Detail sections in an Extract Report can significantly
impact the amount of time needed to generate the report. Use this technique only if
Headers and Footers (below) do not meet your requirements.
Header – A Header section is associated with a Detail section, and is used to group the
Detail data by a selected field or expression. The Header section will print once anytime the
value of the group-by expression changes. For example, if your data is organized by year,
and you need a header row at the beginning of each year, you should add a Header
section, grouped by year. Make sure your dataset is sorted by the fields you wish to group
by. As an option, you can exclude the group-by field which will cause Argos to print a
single group Header (and Footer if it exists).
Child – These sections will print directly after their parent section. They are not associated
with a dataset, so any fields you add to a Child section will reflect whatever the current
value of that dataset is. For example, in the vendor example, if you wanted to output each
vendor, with the name on the first line, and the mailing address on the line just below, a
Child section could be used.
Footer – A Footer section is always associated with a Header section. Each Header prints
before a Detail section and its associated Footer will print just after the last record of the
Detail section.
Summary - Always appears as the last section in the report. This section contains data
obtained only from the current record of each dataset referenced by the section. Looping
through the datasets to obtain data is not done for this section as only data from the
current record of each dataset is obtained. A child section can be placed beneath a
Summary section if necessary.
The Report Specification
This example will create an Extract Report loosely based on the Internal Revenue Service Publication 1120, Specifications for Filing Forms
1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8935, and W-2G. The intent of the example is not to create a file adhering to the entire specification, but to
illustrate how the Extract Report could be used to create such a report. Therefore, not all aspects of the specification are included in this
example.
The following tables describe the required Record Types within the IRS specification that will be created in this example.
Record Type
Usage
T The first record in the file. Identifies the institution sending the file to the IRS. A Identifies the payer (the institution making payments to vendor). In this example, the payer is also the institution transmitting the file (same institution as in T record). B Identifies the payee (the vendor that received payments) and the payment amounts to each payee. One record for each payee. C Sum of B records (payment amounts) for the payees. F
End of Transmission records. Contains total number of payers and payees.
The tables below show the fields that are used in each of the Record Types. The position and number of fields does not match the 1099
specification exactly to keep the example concise.
Each record in the report must contain a Record Sequence Number, beginning with “1” for the first record, and incremented by one for
each record in the report.
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T Record
Field Name
Width
Record Type
Value
Fill character
Alignment
1
T
Payment Year
4
2009
Record Sequence Number
10
Obtained from DataBlock
zero
right
Transmitter TIN (taxpayer ID)
9
Obtained from DataBlock
Transmitter Name
20
Obtained from DataBlock
blanks
left
Number of Payees (B records)
10
Obtained from DataBlock
zero
right
A Record
Field Name
Width
Value
Fill character
Alignment
Record Type
1
A
Payment Year
4
2009
Record Sequence Number
10
Obtained from DataBlock
zero
right
Payers TIN
9
Obtained from DataBlock
Payers Name
20
Obtained from DataBlock
blank
left
Type of Return
1
A (represents 1099-MISC form)
B Record
Field Name
Width
Value
Fill Character
Alignment
Record Type 1 B Payment Year 4 2009 Record Sequence Number 10 Obtained from DataBlock zero right Payee TIN 9 Obtained from DataBlock Payee Name 20 Obtained from DataBlock blank left Total payments to payee 12 Obtained from DataBlock – 12 numeric characters. No decimal points, commas or dollar signs. Rightmost 2 characters for cents zero right C Record
Field Name
Width
Value
Fill character
Alignment
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F Record
Field Name
Width
Value
Fill character
Alignment
Record Type 1 F Payment Year 4 2009 Record Sequence Number
10
Obtained from DataBlock
zero
right
Number of A records
10
Obtained from DataBlock
zero
right
unused
21
blank
unused
19
blank
Number of B records
10
Obtained from DataBlock
zero
right
Again, the above is a small subset of the required fields, but demonstrates the types of fields, fill characters, and alignment required by the
IRS specification. The field positions may not match the IRS specification in order to keep the report width such that it is easily viewable. Report Creation Steps
The following steps are required to create the Extract Report for the above specifications and will be demonstrated in this example.
n Create the new report in the Argos Explorer and give it a name.
n Launch the Extract Report Editor, where the report design takes place.
n Configure the Report.
n Add datasets to be used in the report.
n Add the section and fields for the T Record Type (Title section).
n Add the section and fields for the A Record Type (Detail section).
n Add the section and fields for the B Record Type (Detail section).
n Add the section and fields for the C Record Type. This involves creating Header and Footer sections around the B Record Type
detail section.
n Add the section and fields for the F Record Type.
n Execute the report.
Create a New Report
As with other report types, go to the Argos Explorer, right-click on the DataBlock to be used
for this report, then select “New Report”. Give the report a Name and Description, click
“Extract text report”, then the “Create” button.
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The DataBlock used in this example
The Sample Database used for other examples in
this guide will also be used here and will create
1099 forms for vendors that supplied services to
the Company existing in the Sample Database. The Purchase_Orders, Vendors, and Purchase_
Order_Items tables contain the vendor
information. The “Company” table contains
information about the company submitting the
file to the IRS.
Create a new report dialog box
You can add additional Filters or Sort the data that comes from the Report Query by
clicking the Filters and Sort tabs shown in the figure below. Refer to the Filters and Sort section in this guide for an explanation of this feature is used when creating CSV reports. This feature is also available to Banded and Extract Reports.
A DataBlock was developed to sum the
Purchase Order records for each vendor that
received a 1099 form. Vendors with the
“reqd1099” field set to ‘Y’ will receive 1099s. This
will be one of the Datasets used in the Extract
Report. The Company table, which is not joined
with any other table, will be one of the other
Datasets used in the Extract Report.
Adding the Report Name and Description
Click the “Design” button to begin the creation of the report.
The Extract Report Editor will then be displayed which is used to design the report.
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The Extract Report Editor
The Extract Report Editor is used to design the Extract Report. There are three areas within the editor shown in the figure below.
n Report Structure, which defines the sections used in the report. It also specifies properties that apply to all sections and fields.
n Configure Report, where properties of individual sections and fields are specified. Fields are also added in this area.
n Datasets, where datasets used in the report are created and displayed.
Title Bar: The title bar of the editor contains the report name followed by the report type. In the figure below, the name of the fixedwidth report is “1099_Report”. The other report types are delimited and XML. The asterisk next to the report type indicates that changes
have been made but not yet saved.
This example explains the various toolbar icons and options in the Report Editor. To view the options available for an object, right-click
that object.
The Extract Report Editor
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Configure the Report
The first step is to configure the report be selecting options shown within the “Configure
Report” area. Click “Report Options” to display the options under the Settings tab.
The Report Formats
Although there are 3 different output report
formats, the report design process is virtually
identical for all report types.
Configure Report (Settings Tab)
The Report Format field allows you to select from Fixed Width, Delimited, and XML
formatted reports. For this example, the Fixed Width Report Format is being used.
Options under the Settings tab apply to all sections within the report, but can be
overridden when configuring individual sections. This will be illustrated later in this
example. For this example, numeric characters will be padded with zeroes, and the Default Field
Width is changed to 10. The extension can be left blank if you choose to use the default
provided by Argos.
Encoding
For the output file, if UTF-8 encoding is selected,
you have the option of including the Byte Order
Mark (Unicode character) at the start of the text
stream.
Default file extensions
.txt for fixed width reports
.txt for delimited reports
.xml for XML formatted reports
When saving a report after execution, Argos will
use the default extensions shown above. If the
default extension is entered here, when saving
the report only this extension will be shown in
the list of file types when saving the report.
Entering pad character for numeric fields and default field width
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Add Datasets
The next step is to add the datasets that will be used in the report. The datasets that were
created in the DataBlock’s Report Query are displayed as shown in the figure below. The
ArgosData dataset is the main dataset that obtains payments made to vendors. The
Counter dataset contains a count of the number of vendors that payments were made
to. This value is used in several record types in the report (T and C records), and keeping the
value as a variable allows you to place the variable into a number of sections. A right click anywhere within the
Datasets area displays menu items to
Add, Edit, or Delete datasets.
The datasets area with datasets in report query
The T and A records contain information about the company submitting the report to the
IRS. This information is contained in the “Company” table in the Sample Database, but this
table is not included in the Report Query. Therefore this table must be added as a Dataset.
To add a dataset, click the green plus sign.
Creating a dataset
Name the dataset “Company”, then click the hardhat/hammer icon to display the Build
Query dialog. Click the “Add Table” button, enter “Company” for the name of the table,
then click “OK”.
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Added datasets vs. datasets in Report
Query
Datasets added during creation of the Extract
Report are shown with a colored icon. Datasets
contained in the Report Query are not colored. Datasets created in the Extract Report are
editable, whereas datasets created in the Report
Query are not editable within the Extract Report
Editor.
Entering the table name
The “Company” table will be displayed. Double-click on Transmitter_TIN and Transmitter_
Name as they will be used in the T and A records. Click “OK” to continue.
Dataset Grouping
Click the Group Datasets option shown below
to choose if dataset groupings are to be
displayed. When Dataset grouping is selected, child
datasets are indented relative to its master
dataset. This is shown in the picture below.
Entering the dataset name
This Dataset is not a child of another Dataset; therefore leave the “Master Dataset” field as
(none). After clicking “OK”, you will be returned to the Main Interface with the newly added
Company Dataset shown.
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The datasets area showing all datasets
Note the field names under each Dataset. They will each be placed into various sections
within the Extract Report. Now that the required Datasets exist, the sections and fields can
be added to the report.
Add the section for the T Record Type (Title Section)
The first section in the report creates the T Record Type and reads the single record from
the Company Dataset. This Dataset contains general information about the company
submitting the 1099 file.
Add the section
To add the section, click the small down-arrow to the right of the green plus sign, then click
on “Add Title Section” as shown in the figure below.
A right-click anywhere within the Report
Structure area displays the following
menu items for adding, deleting, or
moving sections.
Adding a Title Section
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Enter a Name for the section and a Description, if desired. Since this section is to be
included in the report, do not uncheck the “Print this Section” box. The name entered is
displayed in the Report Structure area for the section as shown below.
Conditionally Print
If you choose to print the section, you can also
specify if the section is to be conditionally
printed based on the results of an expression. Click the ellipsis button to launch the Expression
Builder which is used to create an expression.
When Conditional Printing is selected for a
section, the printer icon shown below with the
blue question mark is displayed.
Entering Name and Description of Section
Add fields to the section
The next step is to add fields to this section. The fields to be added from the datasets are
Transmitter_TIN and Transmitter_Name (from the Company dataset), and the number of
payees (from the Counter dataset). Constant fields will be used for record type (T) and
payment year (2009). Finally, an expression field (COUNT) will be used to create the Record
Sequence Number.
Click on the Fields tab shown in the figure above to activate the area where fields are
displayed and configured.
Adding fields to the section
Fields will now be added in the following order: Record Type, Payment Year, Record
Sequence Number, Transmitter_TIN, _Transmitter_Name, number of payee records.
Record Type - Click the small down-arrow to the right of the green plus sign to display the
list of field types and select “Add Constant Field”. An area will be displayed beneath where
you configure the field. For this field, enter “T” as the value. Also enter “1” as the field
width. Change the name of the field from “Constant” to “T”.
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Adding Dataset fields
Dataset fields can be added 3 ways:
n By double-clicking on the field displayed in
the Datasets area.
n By dragging a field displayed in the Datasets
area onto the Configure Section area. Multiple fields can be selected via CTRLclick then dragged into the Configure
Section area
n By clicking the small down-arrow next to
the green plus sign in the Configure Section
area. This allows you to add all field types
and not only Dataset fields. This is shown in
the figure below.
Right-clicking anywhere in the Configure Section
area also displays these options.
Adding the Record Type and renaming the field
Payment Year – repeat the same procedure to add a constant field with a value of 2009
and width of 4.
Record Sequence Number – Add a COUNT expression as shown below which will
increment for each record. Dragging Dataset fields
If you drag a Dataset field from the Datasets area
to the Configure Section area, you will need to
click on the field after dragging for the
configurable properties to appear. This step is
not required when using the other methods for
adding fields to a section.
Adding the COUNT expression
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The COUNT field will then appear as shown in the figure below. Right align the field by
clicking the alignment icon. For the expression value, add “+1” after COUNT to start the
counter at 1.
The section with 3 fields added
Note in the figure above that 3 fields have been added along with width, field position,
and field type.
Transmitter_TIN and Transmitter_Name – add these dataset fields by double-clicking on
them within the Datasets area. Increase the width of the Transmitter_Name field to 20. Set
the width of Transmitter_TIN to 9.
Number of payees – add this dataset field by double-clicking on the B_Count field in the
Counter dataset. This field contains the number of payees (also the number of B records).
The added fields are shown as follows. Take note of the width, field position, and field type
fields to verify it they are correct.
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The section with all fields added
Icon
Save your work and test the report
You can save your work at any time by clicking the save icon at the top left of the Report
Editor. You can view the report by clicking the green circular icon containing an arrow. The
icon is shown in the sidebar to the right.
Description
Close the Editor.
Save your work.
A preview of the report at this stage appears as follows:
Undo the last
operation.
Record Type = T
Redo the last undone
operation. Click the
small arrow to view
undo history.
Year = 2009
Record Sequence Number = 1
Transmitter_TIN = 123456789
Test the report.
Transmitter_Name = ACompany,Inc.
Open In-Product Help.
Number of payees = 12
Extract Report Editor Icons
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Add the section for the A Record Type (Detail Section)
This section identifies the institution making payments to vendors. For this example, the
transmitter is the same institution as the institution making the payments. Therefore the
company name and TIN for this record contains the same values used in the T record. Add the section
Add a Detail Section beneath the T Record and name it “A Record”. Select “Company” as the
Associated Dataset and leave the Parent Detail Section as (none) as shown in the figure
below.
Renaming fields
There are 3 ways to rename a field:
n Click on the field then change the name in
the “Name” field at the bottom of the area. The figure below shows the Name field.
n Perform a slow double-click on the field. The field will then be surrounded by a box. You can then change any characters within
the box. The figure below shows the
selected field name surrounded by the box
after a slow double-clicks.
n Select the field then click the F2 key. The
field can then be edited.
Adding a Detail Section for the A Record Type
Add the fields
Since the first 5 fields are the same as used in the T Record, you can copy them from the T
Record and paste them into this section. To do this, click on the T Record (in the Report
Structure Area), click the Fields tab, highlight the first 5 fields using CTRL/click, then click the
copy icon. Then click the A Record (in the Report Structure Area), click the Fields tab, then
click the paste icon. All 5 fields will be pasted, with an integer number appended to the
Field Name as shown below. You can then rename the fields as desired. See the sidebar
which contains the various ways to rename fields.
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Copy/paste fields to this section
After the paste operation, change the field name from T to A, and change the value to A.
Then add the Return Type as a constant field, give it a value of A, and set the width to 1.
The fields within the A record should now appear as shown below:
The A Record with all fields added
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Add the section for the B Record Type (Detail Section)
This section contains the amount paid to each payee and loops through the Vendor table
in the ArgosData dataset to obtain the Payee TIN, Payee Name, and total payments to each
payee.
Add the section and fields
Add a Detail Section, name it “B Record” and select ArgosData as the Associated Dataset. Then add the Record Type = B, Payment Year, Record Sequence Number in the same fashion
that was done for the T and A records. Then add the Payee TIN, PayeeName, and TotalCost
fields from the ArgosData dataset. Right align the COUNT and TotalCost fields, and left
align the PayeeTIN and PayeeName fields.
The fields contained within the B Record should appear as follows:
Icons used to represent data types
Icon
Data type
string
float
integer
date
The B Record with all fields added
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Save your work and test the report
At this point the report will appear as follows:
Testing the report
Add the Sections for the C Record Type (Header and Footer Sections)
The C record type contains the number of payees (B records) as well as the sum of all
payments made by the payer. Therefore, Header and Footer sections will be created which
will count the number of B records and will sum the payment amounts in the B records. Note: although the B_Count variable also contains the number of B records and could be
used here, the value will be computed again to demonstrate how Header and Footer
Sections are used to count and sum data contained in details records.
Add a Header Section
Add a Header Section, name it “B Header”, set Detail Section to “B Record”, and uncheck the
“Print this section” box.
The printer with a red x indicates that
the section is not to be printed
Adding a Header Section
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No fields will be placed in the Header Section, which is why the section is not to be
printed. Note the image of a printer with the red x, which indicates that the section is not
to be printed. Header and Footer Sections are used to group information in the Detail
Section surrounded by the Header and Footer Sections in the same fashion as is used for
the Banded Report Header and Footer Bands. You can group the data in the Detail Section
by selecting one of the available functions that are displayed when clicking the ellipsis in
the “Group by” field. The Expression Builder will be launched where you can create the
expression used as the criteria for grouping.
This example does not require the B Records to be grouped since the order of data in this
case is immaterial.
Add a Footer Section
A Footer Section will be added to count the number of detail (B) records and to sum the
payment amounts in the B Records. COUNT and SUM expressions will be added to the
Footer. The footer section becomes the C Record Type and will be printed.
Add the Footer Section and select “Header” as the Header Section that this Footer is
associated with as shown in the figure below. Name the Section “C Record”.
Adding Expressions
Expressions can be added using the Add EZ
Expression Field option which allows you to
quickly add the most commonly used Argos
functions.
You can also add an expression by selecting
“Add Expression Field”, and the entire set of
Argos functions is available to you via the
Expression Builder shown below.
The Footer Section for the C Record Type
Add the fields to the C Record
Using methods shown above, add the Record Type, Payment Year, Record Sequence
Number fields by copying them from other sections and pasting them into the C Record.
When using this method to add an expression,
after clicking “Add Expression”, click the ellipsis
button at the right of the Expression field to
launch the Expression Builder
Add a COUNT expression, right align, and name it TotalBRecords. Select “B Record” for the
“Controlled by Detail Section” field since the COUNT expression must count the number of
records in the B (detail) section.
Add a SUM expression to sum the TotalCost fields in the B Records. Select “B Record” for the
“Controlled by Detail Section” field such that the SUM expression will sum only values from
the B section. The figure below shows the selections required when summing the
TotalCost field using “Add EZ Expression Field”.
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Adding the SUM function
The figure below shows all of the fields after being added to the C Record.
After all fields added to the C Record
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Add the Section for the F Record Type (Summary Section)
The F Record Type is the end-of-transmission record. We use a Summary section, which is
the last record in the report. Add the Summary Section and name it “F Record”. The record will be placed as the last
section. Since this record contains fields to be included in the report, keep the “Print this
section” box checked. At this point, all sections have been added and appear as shown at
right.
Add the fields
The first 3 fields in this Section (Record Type, Payment Year, and Record Sequence Number)
have already been added to prior sections and can be copied into this section. After
copying, change the value of the Record Type to “F”.
After the Record Sequence Number field, add a constant field containing the number of A
records, which is 1 for this example. The next field is 21 characters and is left blank.
Therefore add a constant field with blanks for the value. Following this field is a 19
character field to be left blank, therefore add the appropriate constant field. Finally, the
last field contains the number of B records, so move the B_Count field from the Datasets
area into the list of fields. When completed, the fields should appear as show below.
The entire report structure
Note: each field has been named to
provide meaning to that field.
Save your work and test the report
The report is now complete. Save your changes, then click “Test this Report” to preview the
report.
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Execute the Report
Extract Reports are executed in the same fashion as other report types. Select the report
from the Argos Explorer window, then click the Run Report button to execute the report.
The icons shown below are used to
represent the Report Type.
Executing the report
After execution of the report you have the option of saving the report to a file, emailing
the report, or have an application automatically launched to display the report. The
application launched depends on the file extension chosen when the report was created. For example, if you chose a file extension of .xls, then MS-Excel will be launched.
The Report in Delimited Report Format
Del represents Delimited report format
The above report in delimited format would appear as follows (using comma as the
delimiter).
Fix represents Fixed Width report format
xml represents XML report format
Report in delimited format
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The Report in XML Report Format
In XML format, the report appears as shown below if defaults were used for the following
fields:
n Write XML Declaration
n Root Element Name
n By default, the Root Element Name is “XML” as shown below
n Tag Indentation
n Compact tag notation
n XML Element Name for a section
n By default, the section name is used for the XML Element Name.
n XML Element Name for a field
n By default, the field name is used for the XML Element Name.
n Default field node placement (applies to each field)
The In-Product Help describes the location and use of these fields in detail.
Report in XML format using defaults
If you override the defaults, the appearance of the report will differ. For example, if “SubTag” is selected for “Default field node placement” for a given field, then the XML syntax
for the field is:
<Field Name>field value</Field Name>
In this example, if ”Sub-Tag” was selected within F Record for the B_Count field, the XML
created is shown below and differs from the figure above.
Additionally, if you enter values for XML Element Name for sections or fields, the defaults
mentioned above will be replaced by the values that you enter.
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The API Interface
Securing API enabled reports
This optional add-on feature allows institutions to call ARgos reports without having to
use the Argos Client, and to allow seamless integration of Argos iinto various portals, web
pages, and 3rd party applications.
Argos reports enabled via API can represent
security vulnerability if not configured properly. Evisions strongly recommends that the user
credentials used for API-enabled reports be
restricted to only those reports you wish to
deploy via API. All other reports should not be
accessible to the username you've selected.
Running a report via the API is accomplished in three steps. The first step is adding the
HTTP Referrer to MAPS. This allows the server to call an API enabled report. The next is
enabling the API for a specific report. Once API access is enabled for a given report, a Report
Unique Identifier is generated. The last step is using the Report Unique Identifier to execute
the report from the authorized server specified in MAPS via an HTML GET, POST Form,
Interactive Mode, or via a UNIX command line utility created by Evisions called MAPRAPI.
Each of these steps will be discussed in more detail in the following sections.
Evisions supports Secure HTTP using SSL 3.0 and
TLS 1.0. Previous versions of SSL are specifically
NOT supported due to security vulnerabilities. Users should be advised to disable SSL 2.0 in their
browser (SSL 2.0 is disabled by default in Internet
Explorer 7.0 and later). This can be done by
unchecking the SSL 2.0 box from Tools - Internet
Options - Advanced in Internet Explorer.
Introduction
Step 1: MAPS API HTTP Referrer
The ability to invoke a report via the API can be controlled by the MAPS configuration tool.
The “API HTTP REFERRER” selection is used to grant the ability to call reports via the API to
specific machines. This prevents arbitrary machines from executing reports, even if they
have the Report Unique Identifier.
HTTP Referrer with Interactive Mode
When the API is run in Interactive Mode, the
HTTP referrer would actually be the client PC. MAPS does not check the HTTP Referrers for
Interactive Mode API calls. This eliminates the
necessity for administrators to add all PCs that
will be using Interactive Mode to the list of
approved HTTP Referrers. However, IP
Restrictions are still checked for all API modes.
The API HTTP Referrer
To add a new approved HTTP Referrer, click on the green “Add Referrer” button at the top.
Name the server, then add any URLs or IP addresses that the server might be using by
clicking on the ADD URL button on the right hand side. On this form you may choose to
enter a default username and password for API reports run on the specified server.
Usernames and passwords that are passed in via GET, POST form, or MAPRAPI will override
the username and password entered here.
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To disable Referrer checking you will need to uncheck the Perform referrer checking box
shown in the figure above. When unchecked, no checking for any of the listed referrers will
be done.\
Step 2: Enabling API on a Report
Since the API can make the data available to a very wide audience via the web server, portal
or 3rd party application server, an Administrator account must enable any report that is to
be available via the API. To enable API access, any account with a user type of Administrator
(it does not have the Administrator account itself) edits the report and goes to the API tab.
This tab will not be visible to any non-administrator level users.
Administrator privilege is required to view the
API tab.
Enabling the API for a report
On the API tab, check the Make this report accessible to API box. Once the check box is
marked, MAPS will generate a Report Unique Identifier for the report. If the report or the
DataBlock are moved, it will retain its Report Unique Identifier. If the report or DataBlock is
copied, a new Report Unique Identifier will need to be created. A default username and/or password for this report can be defined here. If there is a
username and password that is passed in via the GET, POST form or the MAPRAPI
application, it will override the username and password entered here. If the default user is
an LDAP user, you must assign a password here or pass in the password via the API call. If
you choose to default any parameter values you may do so in the Variables section at the
bottom. Any parameter values passed in from the GET, POST, or MAPRAPI call will override
the default values entered here.
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Step 3: Execute the Report using the Report Unique Identifier
There are two ways to integrate an API enabled report with a portal or web page once you have
the Report Unique ID. One method is the API Automatic Mode, and the other is the API
Interactive Mode.
API Automatic Mode
When calling a report via Automatic mode, the report is generated without any user interaction. Required report parameters must be predefined or gathered by the calling application and
passed to the API.
Automatic reports use either an HTTP GET request, which is a standard URL, or a POST form in
which the calling webpage gathers needed parameters and passes them over when running the
report. Click on the sample buttons to copy the desired HTML to the clipboard. Use the
checkboxes to generate HTTP, HTTPS or both. You can modify the HTML as desired and place it
into your application.
Sample Get
Clicking Sample Get copies an example of the HTML GET code to the clipboard for pasting into a
webpage.
For more information on HTTP GET and
POST requests and the user interface
objects that you can create, you can refer
to an HTML reference or go to:
Obtaining sample HTML GET code
Sample POST
Clicking Sample POST generates an HTML POST Form in its simplest form. The POST form can be
expanded to have check boxes, list boxes, dropdowns, and other controls. For more details, you
may refer to the link at right from the World Wide Web Consortium.
http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/interact/forms.html
Obtaining sample HTML POST code
GET/POST Parameters
Parameters that may be used in the GET/POST requests are shown in the table below.
Parameter
Description
REPORT
This is the Report Unique Identifier
FILENAME
This is the filename for the report when it is returned.
PASSWORD
This is the password for the user in this request.
USERNAME
This is the Username to use to run this report
REPORTFORMAT
This can be any of the valid output types of Argos: CSV, PDF, RTF,
XLS, HTML, and TXT
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API Interactive Mode
Interactive mode allows you to call any Argos report or Dashboard from portals, web pages, and
3rd party applications. Interactive mode deploys (via ActiveX) and launches Argos in a restricted
mode to the client computer. The user must be able to install software on their computer to use
a report in Interactive mode. Variables defined on the API tab will be ignored when the report is called using Interactive
mode. The user can enter or change parameter values once the report is called
Clicking on the Sample INTERACTIVE will generate an example of the HTML needed in its
simplest form.
Sample Interactive
Clicking on the Sample Interactive button will generate an example of the HTML Interactive
code in its simplest form.
Obtaining sample HTML code for API Interactive Mode
Examples
The examples below call a banded report that retrieves faculty members based on department (within a university) chosen from a list box,
"DeptCode", in the DataBlock. Example 1: Creates a pdf of faculty members for the Math department.
Default value for parameter SELDEPT.DEPTCODE is set to 'MATH' in the report's API tab
<a href =”http://10.1.1.10:8080/mrr?report=WUH5C7TOR5MSZL6YSNYMC62WDVLCFOQXE6JD635WOKQILQ”>Math Faculty</a>
Example 2: Creates a pdf of faculty members for the Accounting department.
The value for SELDEPT.DEPTCODE (ACCT) overrides the default value set at the report level
<a
href=”http://10.1.1.10:8080/mrr?report=WUH5C7TOR5MSZL6YSNYMC62WDVLCFOQXE6JD635WOKQILQ&SELDEPT.DEPTCODE=ACCT”>Accounting Faculty</a>
Example 3: Creates an html page of faculty members for the Accounting department.
<a href=”http://10.1.1.10:8080/mrr?report=WUH5C7TOR5MSZL6YSNYMC62WDVLCFOQXE6JD635WOKQILQ&
SELDEPT.DEPTCODE=ACCT& REPORTFORMAT=HTML”>Accounting Faculty</a>
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Example 4: Using html forms and the POST method, gives the user a choice of 3 departments to retrieve a faculty listing for in xls
format.
<form method=post action=”http://10.1.1.10:8080/mrr”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”report” value=”WUH5C7TOR5MSZL6YSNYMC62WDVLCFOQXE6JD635WOKQILQ”> <select name=”SELDEPT.DEPTCODE”>
<option value=”ACCT”>Accounting</option>
<option value=”MATH”>Mathematics<option>
<option value=”NURS”>Nursing</option>
</select> <input type=”hidden” name=”REPORTFORMAT” value=”xls”>
<input type=”submit” value=”Get Faculty”>
</form>
Example 5: Overrides the default run-as user (which is currently “Argos1”) with what the user enters on the web page. A pdf report of
the Math faculty is returned.
Note: By removing Argos1 as the default username to use for this API call, the report will not run unless the user enters a valid Argos
username and password on the web page.
<form method=post action=”http://10.1.1.10:8080/mrr”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”report” value=”WUH5C7TOR5MSZL6YSNYMC62WDVLCFOQXE6JD635WOKQILQ”>
<input type=”text” name=”username”>Username
<input type=”password” name=”password” id=”password”>Password
<input type=”submit” name=”passwordbutton” value=”Enter username and password”>
</form>
MAPRAPI (MAP Report API)
Another method of accessing an API enabled report is by using an Evisions developed
executable called the MAPRAPI (MAP Report API). This program is distributed as source
code, and is to be compiled on a UNIX server. This program can be called by 3rd party
applications to execute an API enabled Argos report and save the results into a specified
location. This can be used in conjunction with shell scripts for maximum flexibility.
The Evisions HelpDesk
http://helpdesk.evisions.com
To obtain a copy, please open up a HelpDesk request and a copy of the most recent source
code will be sent to you. Once compiled, run the program with no parameters or switches
and the instructions will be displayed.
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Argos Resources
Support Site
The Evisions support site is located at http://www.evisions.com/Support/Overview.aspx.
The site requires a login to access. If you are a registered Argos user, you can create an
account for yourself by going to Help -> Support in Argos.
The first time you access the support site from Argos, you will be asked to log in or register
a new account. Subsequent visits will use your Argos credentials to log you in
automatically. The figure on the right shows the login screen that appears when accessing
the support site for the first time. Registering for a new account gives you a default set of permissions for the Evisions
website. You may need to contact your administrator if you require additional permissions,
such as HelpDesk access or the ability to upload items to the CO-OP Share.
After accessing the site, navigate around the site noting the available tools for Argos users.
The Argos support page contains links to many useful resources including:
n Release guides.
n Online and recorded training. Online live training is completely free and can be
repeated as needed.
n Documentation such as upgrade guides and technical white papers.
n Pre-built DataBlocks provided by Evisions.
n FAQs.
CO-OP User Community
The CO-OP user community is home to the Share and the product forums. The CO-OP Share
contains a large number of pre-built DataBlocks that you can download and use in Argos.
Evisions provides some of the DataBlocks; others have been uploaded to the Share by
clients like yourself. We encourage you to take advantage of this collaborative space, and
to upload any DataBlocks that you feel could benefit other Argos users.
You can access the CO-OP via the button on the Argos toolbar, or from the Support tab of
the Evisions website. Again, if you do not have an account, you can register through the
Argos software or your administrator can create an account for you. You may also need to
contact your administrator to have upload permissions for the CO-OP added to your
account.
Account registration screen
The CO-OP icon on the Argos toolbar
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Important Links
n Product Support
n Training - Free, live online training for all products.
n In-product Help - A complete description of all features in Argos. Also includes
training videos and Argos user guides.
n Knowledge Base - Answers to common questions or problems.
n HelpDesk - Technical support.
n CO-OP Share - Pre-built DataBlocks and data dictionaries from Evisions and other
clients.
n Forums - Collaborate with other Argos users, and receive information on product
updates.
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Getting Help
For information on using the software, please refer to the in-product Help, which contains detailed information on all aspects of the
product.
If you are having problems with the installation or configuration, you can search our knowledge base of common issues and their
resolutions at http://helpdesk.evisions.com. If you are unable to find the solution, submit a HelpDesk request with a detailed explanation
of the problem you are experiencing.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Evisions HelpDesk if any questions or problems arise. We are here to help you and want to ensure
your success.
If you find that areas of this documentation could benefit from additional detail or clarification, please let us know. We are constantly
trying to improve the installation process to make it as easy as possible.
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