The Table Component
The Tablecomponent can be created by dragging it from the Report Design Palette, or by simply dragging a Data Source from the Key Browser to a page in your report. A new Table with no bound Data Key is fairly simple looking, but hides a wealth of functionality. When you create a table, by default, you will see a basic table like the image below on the report page. It says "Object Details" because it has not yet been set up to use a Data Source.
Once you have your dataset, you're probably thinking about how to display that data in a report. To best understand how to use a table to showcase your data in a report, you need to have a basic understanding of how the report table works.
To best understand how to use a table, you'll want to have some familiarity with the Reporting Basics we cover in the Report Design introduction. Also, Selection and Superselection are particularly important when dealing with Tables. - remove this sentence / add links
Anatomy of a Table
It's important to understand that a table has multiple sections, each with its own properties. By default, a Table consists of three sections:
- Table Body - Parent section of a table is (actual / entire Table)
- Table Rows - Containers for the Text Shapes. There are three types of table rows: Header, Details, and Summary. More information on these row types can be found on the Table Rows page.
- Text Shapes / Cells - Similar to the standalone Text Shape component, these are embedded directly into the rows on the table. In Reporting, Text Shapes are commonly referred to as cells.
Text Shapes or Cells
If you look in the Project Browser tree, you'll notice a node called a 'Text Shape.' In Reporting, the Text Shape is often called a 'cell.' For the sake of clarity, we will refer to them as 'cells.'
Each section (i.e., Table, Rows, and Text Shapes), when selected, has its own unique properties (shown below), along with some common basic properties that appear in the Properties tab of the Property Inspector. Refer to the Table page in the Appendix for a complete list of all Table properties.
Column Count vs Column Count
When modifying properties on a section of the Table, always pay attention to which section you selected. Some property names on one section may look similar to properties on a different section. For example, Table Rows have a Column Count property that adds a new column to the row, but the Table Body section also has a Column Count property that will cause the same table to spill out horizontally on the same page causing some of the data to be rendered on an unprintable area of the report!
When you first drag a table into the Design panel of your report, the Configure Table tab will appear in the Property Inspector. You will see that it has a default Data Key of "Objects", which matches the Details row in the table. The first step when configuring your table is to drag your Datasource from the Key Browser to the Data Key field in the Configure Table tab. Changing the Data Key will also change the label on the Details row making it easier to determine what you are looking at when editing multiple tables or Groupings. Depending on how you want to present your data, you may also want to add Header and Summary Rows.
Once you add a Data Key to your table, you can start designing. There are many tools built into the Table interface that you can use to help you layout and organize the data in your table. Now all you need to do is decide how you want to organize and display your data in your report.
If you have a lot of tabular data, you probably want to use a Standard row. You might start by simply dragging your Data Keys from the Key Browser to columns in your Details row. Then, you might give each Header column a label. If you have a bunch of numbers you want to 'total,' you can create a Summary row using the 'total' built-in key. Lastly, you might want to make some cosmetic changes to the font size, font color, changing the Header row from structured to unstructured so you can add an image, chart, and much more. The design possibilities are endless!
The following example shows the basic anatomy of a table with data populated in the Header, Details, and Summary rows. Once your finished designing your report, go to the Preview panel and check your results. You can continue to go navigate between the Design and the Preview panel making changes until you get your report just right!
Sorting orders your data by a key or list of keys. There are three types of Sorting in Tables.
- Default - data is sorted based on the order in which it is retrieved.
- Basic - takes a list of keys and sorts by the first one. If the sort results in a tie, the tie will be resolved by the next key in the list, and so on.
- TopN - uses a single key path, with a Count value that allows a limit to the number of rows that are processed.
Basic and TopN sorts can be configured for either ascending ( ) or descending ( ) sorts. They can also utilize aggregate (calculation) keys.
The TopN option Include Otherswill include all values outside of the specified Count range by compressing them into a single row.
Filtering gives the option of processing data based on an expression. The Filtering property can be found in the Property Inspector under the Properties tab.
If the expression resolves false, the row will be skipped. Note: you do not need @ symbols to reference keys.
Other Table Components
There are a few other tables in the Report Module, and they all behave a little differently than the report table.
- Simple Table - a basic table that has a set number of rows and columns that you can put static or dynamic values. You cannot use keys from a dataset in this table.
- Labels - primarily used for printing sticker labels for inventory tracking or other systems. These reports are usually sent to a printer.
- CrossTab - a table used for displaying data with two groupings (i.e., machine_name and downtime_entry) to correlate data. This table will stretch both its height and width to accommodate the underlying dataset.