To design a template with FineReport Designer, you first need to understand the ideas of FineReport template creation and explore all features of FineReport with these ideas.
Report creation with FineReport is shown in the following figure:
1. Create a data connection: Before creating a template, you need to ensure that you know the database type, the database address, and the username and password for accessing the database. Then, create a new data connection in FineReport designer to establish a bridge between the database and the designer.
2. Create a template and dataset: After data connection, you need to add templates. Data connection is used for the whole project, but it cannot retrieve the data you need from the database. Therefore, you need to create a dataset in a template to retrieve the data you need.
3. Design a template: After data preparation, you need to design a template. Template design is the most important part of FineReport learning paths. We divide template design into four parts: report design, parameter design, chart design, and data entry design. These four parts are the major ways to use FineReport templates. Report design is for data display; parameter design is for dynamic data query; chart design is for data display with charts; data entry design is for data entry and writing into databases. You can determine which method to use based on the actual situation or combine multiple methods.
4. Template preview: After template design, save it to the project directory and preview the template effect on the web.
This article provides the learning paths of report design to help you better learn how to design a general report.
Learning Paths for Beginners
The first three chapters of the beginner's learning paths are the same as those of Path of Learning How to Make Reports. If you have completed Path of Learning How to Make Reports, you can skip this section.
Learn how to retrieve data from the database in FineReport.
Learn the basic types of datasets.
Introduction to Report Types
Learn the report modes provided by FineReport, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of different report types.
Introduction to Preview Mode
FineReport provides multiple preview modes. You can learn the advantages and disadvantages of different preview modes.
Learn the concept of cell expansion and how to create row-based reports and cross-tab reports.
Learn the concept of parent-child cell and how to create grouped reports and free-form reports.
Data Display Mode
Learn the settings and effects of three data display modes: list, grouping, and summary.
Data Display Format
Learn how to set the display format of data in a cell
Data Column Attributes
Learn how to set data column attributes when the content of the cell is a data column.
Master the method of setting up report pages.
Repeat and Freeze
Learn how to repeat or freeze the report header or the end row.
Paginate by Group
Learn how to set paginate before row and paginate after row.
Fixed Row-size Pagination
Learn fixed row-size pagination.
Learn the concept of sorting and simple sorting.
Learn the concept of condition attributes and how to use it to add a color to alternate rows and highlight fonts.
Advanced Learning Paths
Chapter 1 Advanced Design of Complex Reports
You can define multiple datasets in one report and retrieve the database tables you need. The retrieved database tables can come from different databases.
Split the data in the report into columns according to the required display needs.
Master-sub reports are divided into single table master-sub reports and embedded master-sub reports.
1. Generally, there are two or more datasets in a single-table master-sub report: the datasets of the master table and the datasets of the sub table. The master table is usually displayed in a free format. The sub-table is displayed in a list format, which is a one-to-many relationship. Multiple sub-reports can exist at the same time.
2. The characteristic of embedded master-sub reports is to embed independent report templates in cells, and the embedded template is called a sub-report. The overall report with the embedded sub-report is called the master report.
When there is a hierarchical relationship, you can present it in the form of a collapse or indented organizational tree.
Only display part of the data in the fields for front-end preview.
Display Data Without Pagination
Display all data on one page without pagination.
Chapter 2: Optimizing Visual Effects of Complex Reports
The templates are adaptive to the screen resolution for preview.
Designer Plugin Installation
You need to install plugins to achieve some special functions. You can download and use them in the designer.
Chapter 3: Linking Reports Through Hyperlink
You can use hyperlinks to open a webpage, drill down another report, send emails, download files, sort data, link with parameters, and so on.
Note: If you need to systematically learn the application of hyperlinks, see Learning Path of Hyperlink.
Marquee refers to the scrolling message texts or the table content. Marque can be widely applied, especially in dashboards and FVS.
Special Changes in Cells
Special changes in cells such as changing the color of rows or columns, changing the background of cells.
You may often need to refresh the report pages. For example, you need to refresh when the data are updated; data entry reports need to be refreshed after entry, and report blocks in dashboards need to be refreshed regularly.
Special Changes in the Report Toolbar
Set the report toolbar such as hiding, and centering.