[ic] Donation: report-table UserTag

Christopher Wenham cwenham at synesmedia.com
Sun Nov 16 14:04:42 EST 2003

On Sunday 16 November 2003 12:46, Grant wrote:
> That sounds like it could be useful for formatting a printable invoice or
> receipt to go to the customer.  Have you used it for that?

 It could be used for that, in fact I am using it to create a printable 
inventory. I've been thinking about expanding its capabilities so it could 
replace the code that generates the shopping basket report, too. I'd have to 
make it use $Items as the data source before that could be done, though. 
Anyway, it's too easy to get carried away with a hammer; not everything is a 

 The main application I developed it for is a property management system (for 
managing buildings, apartments, and the tenants who rent them). There's a lot 
of data to be viewed, and these kind of applications live and die by the 
reports they can generate. 

 Pre-defined reports are easy enough to do with a [query] tag, but it gets a 
lot harder if you want to implement a way for the user to configure the 
report herself, even just to toggle columns on and off, or re-arrange their 
order. So the tag only displays the columns you pass to it, and in the order 
you pass them. 
 It would be very easy to write a form with a multi-select box, and use the 
selections from that widget to define the columns used in the report. It'd 
also be easy to let the user chose which columns are used for headers.

 The reason why I added support for widgets was so I could do a "who paid the 
rent" screen. The report lists all the due rents, and each row has widgets 
for entering the amount paid, the check #, and the date. The nice thing is 
that columns in the report don't have to correspond to columns in the query 
results. You can create a virtual column just by adding its name to the list.

 BTW: I made a few dumb typos in the documentation that might make some things 
a bit confusing. Sorry about that. I'm going to post an updated version to my 
web site later.

Chris Wenham - Synesmedia, Inc.
516-620-4110 / 1-888-255-7573
Fax: 516-908-7824

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