The Basics of Using InetSoft's Report Designer

The Report Designer was conceived as an easy-to-use visual tool for report creation, as opposed to directly using InetSoft’s API to generate a report, which requires the creation of Java programs.

A report can be created entirely within the Designer (including the association of data with report elements), using simple GUI operations.

The Report Designer offers a report developer the same functionality as the API, but makes most tasks, such as report layout, much simpler. It can also be used to attach scripts in order to embed business logic into the report. It is therefore highly recommended that developers use the Report Designer for report creation, and the API only if the Designer cannot provide certain aspects of the desired functionality.

In this chapter we cover the fundamental aspects of the Report Designer, and demonstrate how to create some simple tabular and flow reports.

The ‘Layout View’ is required when designing the grid for a tabular report, or drawing areas for a flow report. ‘Normal View’ allows report elements to be placed in a grid cell on a tabular report, or in an area of a flow report.

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The ‘Report Explorer’ allows each report element to be accessed from a tree menu on the right side of the Report Designer. To select an element, simply click it. New elements will be inserted where the triangular cursor is pointing. Each element has an associated property dialog box, where attributes for the element can be set.

Use of the Report Designer is illustrated below using a simple tabular report and a simple flow report application.

Starting the Report Designer

The Report Designer is started from the ‘Report Designer’ option on the Windows Start Menu (created during installation). The Report Designer is a Java application, so it can also be started using the Java command:

In Style Report Pro, start the Report Designer by running: java

In other editions of InetSoft Software, use: java

Report Designer Configuration

Basic properties of Report Designer can be specified in the ‘Designer Configuration’ dialog box. These properties include the locations where Report Designer looks for database and resource information, the appearance of the Report Designer interface, and Report Designer’s auto-save behavior.

Accessing Configuration Options

To open the ‘Designer Configuration’ dialog box, select ‘Configure’ from the ‘File’ menu.