Using InetSoft's Report Layout Designer

The report engine uses two report layout models, namely the Flow Layout and Tabular Layout models. This affects the manner in which report elements, placed in the report template, appear when the report is run. In a Flow Layout, the elements are laid out sequentially from top left to bottom right. With Tabular Reports, the report page is divided into grid cells, each cell containing a sequential flow of elements.

Creating a Blank Report Template

To create a blank report template with one of these report layouts, click on the ‘New’ button and select the appropriate layout model.

Tabular Layout

The tabular layout model is ideal for reports where contents are partitioned into rectangular regions on the output. Instead of a single document flow, a report is separated into multiple grid cell regions. Each cell in the grid contains a separate flow. Examples of tabular reports are a stock performance report or an order form with distinct regions for customer details and order items.

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The Tabular Layout Model

A report consists of a sequence of report elements. The report elements are printed one by one in a flow. Elements in a tabular region are laid out inside the region, one by one. If the elements take up more space than the space allocated for the grid cell, the cell is extended vertically. This in turn extends other cells on the same row in the grid. Elements in a tabular cell never overflow into other cells, so cells may span multiple pages.

The tabular layout grid can be visually constructed in the Designer. New rows and columns can be inserted or deleted. Cells can be resized to change the overall layout. The Report Designer does not need to be concerned with contents in one area overflowing the designated area. The report layout is dynamically calculated to fit all cell contents.

The main difference between tabular and flow layout is the manner in which report layout is managed. Instead of adding report elements to one main flow, a tabular report developer adds elements to individual grid cells. Therefore, the layout grid must be set up (described below) before adding any elements to the report.