Creating Report Templates

Reports created by Brian are designed to be viewed by a web browser. i.e. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari. To facilitate creating the reports, Brian stores "templates" for them. This way, rather than entering the specifications for a report everytime you want to generate the report, you simply enter the specs once into the template and then execute the template everytime you need the report.

Templates are stored on the database along with the discography data. To generate reports, once the templates are created, the user will select the templates to be used and press the Generate Reports button. The report(s) will be generated and placed in a folder of the user's designation.

Below is a display of the Reports window showing a collection of templates used to create the reports for the Frank Sinatra discography displayed at JazzDiscography.com. We will run through the creation of the session report template used to generate the Harry James section of the Frank Sinatra discography as displayed at Jazzdiscography.com. There are 9 different reports types and numerous options for each type. Only the options needed for this particular report will be discussed in the tutorial for the purpose just showing how it is done. The documentation should be consulted for all the finer aspects of creating report templates.

Generating reports with Brian

To start, press the New Template window. This will put the Reports window in edit mode for entering data. The first thing to do after this is use the Report Type popup to select the kind of report to be created as shown below.

Generating reports with Brian

Also notice that the date fields are pre-entered using January 1, 1900 for the Start Date and the current date (in this case September 26, 2009. Of course, you would change these to accommodate selection needed. In our case, we will enter February 3, 1939 as the start date and November 8, 1939 as the end date so that we only include those dates where Frank Sinatra recorded with the Harry Jame band.

The remainder of the tutorial is found on the following pages. Click on the links below to continue.

  • Filters — Setting the filters for selecting records in the database
  • Headings — Setting the fields used to create headers and other information related to the web page structure.
  • Options — Setting options for data displayed from the selected records.
  • Finishing — Finishing the data entry and running the report.