Design Ideas

  • Last update:  2023-07-17
  • Overview

    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.

     Learning Schedule

    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.




    Help Document


    Data Connection

    Learn how to retrieve data from the database in FineReport.

    Data Connection Overview



    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.

    Types of Template Design


    Introduction to Preview Mode

    FineReport provides multiple preview modes. You can learn the advantages and disadvantages of different preview modes.

    Types of Template Preview


    Cell Expansion

    Learn the concept of cell expansion and how to create row-based reports and cross-tab reports.

    Cell Expansion


    Parent-child Cell   

    Learn the concept of parent-child cell and how to create grouped reports and free-form reports. 

    Parent-child Cell Setting


    Data Display Mode

    Learn the settings and effects of three data display modes: list, grouping, and summary. 

    Data Display Setting


    Data Display Format

    Learn how to set the display format of data in a cell

    Data Format Setting


    Data Column Attributes

    Learn how to set data column attributes when the content of the cell is a data column.

    Data Column Attributes


    Page Settings

    Master the method of setting up report pages.

    Page Settings


    Repeat and Freeze

    Learn how to repeat or freeze the report header or the end row.

    Duplicate/Repeat   and Freeze


    Paginate by Group

    Learn how to set paginate before row and paginate after row.

    Paginate by Group


    Fixed Row-size Pagination

    Learn fixed row-size pagination.

    Show Fixed Number of Row Per Page



    Learn the concept of sorting and simple sorting.



    Condition Attributes

    Learn the concept of condition attributes and how to use it to add a color to alternate rows and highlight   fonts.

    Condition Attributes

    Advanced Learning Paths




    Help Document

    Chapter 1   Advanced Design of Complex Reports


    Multi-source Report

    You can define   multiple datasets in one report and retrieve the database tables you need. The retrieved database tables can come from different databases.

    Multi-source   Report Introduction


    Multi-column Report

    Split the data in the report into columns according to the required display needs.

    Column and Row Split and Column and Row Split


    Master-sub Report

    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.

    Master-sub   Report and

    Master-sub   Embedded Report



    Tree Report

    When there is a hierarchical relationship, you can present it in the form of a collapse or indented organizational tree.

    Tree Report Introduction  and Folding Tree


    Data Filter

    Only display part of the data in the fields for front-end preview.

    Dataset Filtering and Filtering


    Display Data Without Pagination

    Display all data on one page without pagination.

    Display Data Without Pagination

    Chapter 2:   Optimizing Visual Effects of Complex Reports


    Adaptive Attributes

    The templates are adaptive to the screen resolution for preview.

    Template   Adaptive Attributes


    Designer Plugin Installation

    You need to install plugins to achieve some special functions. You can download and use them in the designer.

    Designer Plugin Management

    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.

    Hyperlink is widely applied with multiple functions. JavaScript hyperlinks can even export reports in the format of EXCEL by coding. You can freely design JavaScript hyperlinks.


    Note: If you need to systematically learn the application of hyperlinks, see Learning Path of Hyperlink.

    Chapter 4:   Special Display Through JavaScript



    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.

    JS Cell Example


    Refresh Report Page Through JavaScript

    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.

    Summary of the Method to Refresh Report Page


    Special Changes in the Report Toolbar

    Set the report toolbar such as hiding, and centering.

    JS in Toolbar Application

    Attachment List

    Theme: Report Application
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