Tutorial 202:

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Tutorial 202: Lesson 5

Build flexible reports

Lesson Materials
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Understanding what your data means

In FileMaker Tutorials 201: Create, you learned how sub-summary reports let you sort and aggregate data to help you understand the information you’re gathering. However, reports can do more than this! You can use them to compile and export data via scripts, and you can build reports with multiple sub-summary sections — called parts — to show users multiple tiers of summarized data.

In addition to report set-up, in this lesson you’ll practice new calculation functions, and learn about a special field option called global storage, or “global fields.” These are useful for storing information that isn’t specific to one record, such as search terms for a script.

This lesson incorporates calculations, scripting, reporting, and interface design in two examples of informative and user-friendly layouts.

Why is this important?

  • The cleaner you can make reports, the easier it will be for users to pick out important elements quickly.
  • Many reports require two levels of data — for example, you may wish to see sales grouped by month, and within each month by salesperson. With the multi-level sub-summary technique, you can respond quickly to more complex reporting requests.

Video 1

Finding and exporting data with a script

In the activity below, combine reporting and scripting skills to complete the bookkeeper’s report request, allowing her to compile and export the report from the sample app.

In this video, you will:

  • Add global fields: create a place for users to store their search requests (1:16)
  • Script a search: make it easy for users to find target records (3:04)
  • Export records: write a script to automate an export (7:10)
  • Use tooltips and placeholder text: add information to the screen without adding clutter (8:14)

 

Video 2

Creating multi-level sub-summary reports

Add more information to a bookkeeping report with sub-summaries for each month, then service name. Learn new functions, and refine the view to make it easily scannable.

In this video, you will:

  • Use date functions: create a calculation that shows the first of the month (3:24)
  • Add reporting groups: create sub-summary parts for month and service (5:03)
  • Add a sub-summary part: add a part to group by Service Name
  • Remove the Body: remove the report’s detail (7:14)

 

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