I know, I know. I went on and on about how great grids were in August, but after a month’s reprieve, I simply must start up again! This time I want to pay tribute to the custom report ability, especially since we have gotten such great customer feedback. Using a combination of search criteria and grid technology, lots of users are creating custom reports single-handedly. Let’s take a look at an example!
We all know that grids can filter, but it is really more efficient to begin the filtering process on the search page. So, let’s start with a search for inventoried fixed assets that are part of the computer group that are still active. This is a pretty generic, but ever so important, list. Here is a snapshot of the search criteria.
Now, I have a list of only those fixed assets in that group that are active. As soon as the list is displayed, I go to the grid and start defining my report. I pick my fields by right-mouse clicking on any column heading. Then I group by vendor name, dragging that column up to the header. (And, here’s a tip: After grouping, I remove that column from the list because I don’t want to see it twice – once in the heading and once on the list. I like very clean reports.) This is really starting to look like a professional report, but I want the columns in a different order, so I move them around by dragging the column to its new location, like making the cost the last column.
All of this takes me about two minutes. Yeah, I know what you are saying: I am not a new user, so I did it pretty quickly. I can tell you, though, I feel confident that even someone new to grids could do this in just a few minutes. Here is a peek at my grid definition.
And, of course, I save this (using the Layouts menu) because I know I am going to want to run this report regularly. Now, I am ready to “make” my report. I select Make Report from the Reports task and voilà! I can print it or save it to my hard drive. Check out how lovely this is.
And, remember I could have selected ANY columns of data. This is really powerful stuff.
So, let’s take a quick review of my steps.
- Enter search criteria.
- Click Grid as soon as list loads.
- Select your columns.
- Group your data.
- Move columns around.
- Make report.
We are talking about six steps and just a few minutes of your time for a custom report, just for you. Amazing!