Report Manager


The Report Manager is a utility intended for for you to be able to design your own report pages. It seems that everyone has their own idea of what ought to be presented on paper and how, so this utility lets you dictate what is on reports and what these look like.

When you or your sales staff quotes a building, they use the Reporter application. What gets reported and what it looks like is controlled with this utility. Normally you don't see this utility; it is only used to get you set up and running. After you get your reporting to look like what you need, you can forget that it's there.

So... what is a report, anyway?

A report is simply information about the building the system created. If you like you can use the reports to act as purchase orders, as feeds to a POS system to help account for inventory, etc.

There are various formats for reports. What you use depends on what you need:

All of these reports are produced when you calculate a price and go into the report manager. What you do with them is up to you; e.g. the output path of the CSV reports might be directed somewhere on your network where they are to be picked up by another application (inventory control, perhaps.)

Note that the default reporting is held in the REPORTS.INI file, although in keeping with the underlying philosophy, you can save your settings to a report package and this can be used as needed. The idea is that there may be cases where you do one thing for some situations and something else in others.

The first tab of the Report Manager controls basic parameters. Note the highlighted report name in the lower left list ("Materials Summary.BRF")



The second tab of the report manager controls what is reported, in this case the Materials Summary.BRF report. The underlying idea is that you have a number of data fields you can report. The dual list areas allow you to pick which fields you need to report and in what order.

Why this amount of control? Some of the reports will be used for analysis; others will be used to generate purchase orders, and so on. It may be necessary on some reports to see (e.g.) a price ea. and the extended price (in other words, if you have 9 of something that is $1, the price ea is $1 and the Ext Price is $9.) Oftentimes the SORT KEY is used to dictate the type of report.

The HTML specific area is merely a way to allow you to dress things up a bit for readability depending on the intended distribution. If the HTML reports are going to be read on screen, a font size of 3 may be acceptable, whereas you may need a size of 4 with pages intended to be printed.

Why we use HTML rather than print reports directly is simply because we don't know ahead of time what you need. We're not clairvoyant. So what we do is provide the best compromise; it's easy for you to print an HTML file directly from your web browser of choice. Some of you prefer online work and paperless offices. Others are unhappy without dead trees.



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