Design tips for reports and scorecards

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1. Overview

A collection of design tips and brief how-tos for designing reports and scorecards in Dundas BI.

2. Auto create

You can quickly create a report for a whole table by dragging the table onto the repeater drop area. For example, drag the [HumanResources].[Department] table from the Adventure Works database to the repeater area of a new scorecard.

Drag a table to the repeater area
Drag a table to the repeater area

Dundas BI automatically populates the repeater and creates header and body labels for the columns in the table. If the table has primary keys defined, than those are used to populate the repeater, otherwise the first hierarchy is used. 

3. Include metadata

Reports come pre-populated with placeholder labels for the page number and the number of pages. You can add other metadata labels via the Labels panel.

Add metadata labels via the Labels panel in a report
Add metadata labels via the Labels panel in a report

The Labels panel comes with the following built-in placeholder labels:

Label NamePlaceholderDisplayed Text
Page Number [PageNumber] The number of the current page. 
Total Pages [TotalPages] The total number of pages in the report. 
Page N of M Page [PageNumber] of [TotalPages] The number of the current page out of the total number of pages in the report. 
Current Date [CurrentDate] The date when the report was generated. 
Current Time [CurrentTime] The time when the report was generated. 
Current Date and Time [CurrentDate][CurrentTime] The date and time when the report was generated. 
Report Name [ReportName] The name of the report. 
Revision Number [RevisionNumber] The revision number of the report. This number will be change every time the report is checked in, and will be set to -1 while the report is checked out.
Report Path [ReportPath] The full path of the report, including the project, folders, and name of the report.
Creator [Creator] The name of the user who created the report.
Creation Date [CreationDate] The date the report was created. 

Drag a placeholder label from the Labels panel to the canvas to create a label component with the appropriate placeholder. You can format the resulting component and the placeholder via the Properties panel. See the article on Formatting text for additional formatting options.

3.1. View parameter labels

Any view parameters on the report will be listed in the Labels panel.

Drag a view parameter label from the Labels panel to the canvas to create a label component that will show the token caption or the value used.

4. Align controls

As you drag or resize a control in a report or scorecard cell, contextual guidelines (dotted lines) appear to help you align the control with other controls. When your control snaps into alignment with another control, the line turns red and the boundaries of the relevant control appear. 

Contextual guidelines for snapping to other controls
Contextual guidelines for snapping to other controls

If you want to temporarily disable snapping to other controls, press and hold down the ALT key while dragging or resizing your control.

If snap-to-grid is enabled, your control will also be snapped to the grid while dragging or resizing. To turn snap-to-grid off, go to the status bar and click Disable snap grid.

4.1. Arrange multiple controls

When multiple controls are selected, you can adjust their alignment using the Arrange option on the toolbar.

Arrange options for multiple controls
Arrange options for multiple controls

You can use these options to quickly Distribute, Align, and Size multiple controls.

Note
The options Match Width and Match Height will match the last-selected control, which will be indicated by bold borders.

5. Appearance properties for cells

Report and scorecard cells have a few properties related to appearance and sizing.

Click within a body cell for example and it will be highlighted with a dashed, red border. Then go to Properties to set any of the following:

  • Background - The background brush for the cell.
  • Background Palette - Backgrounds to apply in sequence to the repeating rows. See Display alternating row colors in a scorecard for an example. Applies to scorecard/report body cells only.
  • Separator Lines - Display a separator line between each row or every Nth row. For scorecard/report body cells only.
  • Height - Set the height of the cell.

Properties for a scorecard body
Properties for a scorecard body

6. Display separator lines

You can display a separator line between the repeating rows of a report or scorecard without having to add a line component.

For example, to display a separator between every 3 rows of a scorecard, first click within the body cell. It will be highlighted with a dashed, red border. Then go to Properties and click Look.

Click the Separator Lines plus sign and select the 1px Black item.

Add a separator line
Add a separator line

Set the Interval to 3, change the Color, and set the Width to 2px (thickness).

Configure appearance of separator lines
Configure appearance of separator lines

Switch to View mode to see the separator lines.

Separator lines between every 3 rows
Separator lines between every 3 rows

7. Display on a new page

For report header and footer cells (RH, RF, H, and F) you have the option of displaying the content on a new page, or displaying the content that comes after on a new page (similar to a page break). This applies only when exporting to PDF.

Select the report cell (e.g. report header) and go to its Layout Properties to set the Display On New Page and Display Following Content On New Page options.

Display report title on a new page
Display report title on a new page

For report body cells, use the Repeat On Separate Pages option to force each repeating row to appear on a separate page (e.g., one page for each product). This also applies to PDF export only.

Place each repetition on its own page
Place each repetition on its own page

8. Show headers on new pages

In large reports, the content of a group may span more than a single page. You have the option of repeating the group headers on every page. This applies only when exporting to PDF.

Select any cell in the group.

From the toolbar, click Configure Group and select Show Headers On New Pages.

Show headers on new pages
Show headers on new pages

For a report or scorecard, click Data Visualization in the toolbar to see the RECOMMENDED data visualizations you can add. These represent typical choices for a scorecard or report, and they have been configured with appropriate default properties/settings. For example, add a Sparkline, Data Bar, or Bullet Graph. The Axis option lets you display an axis for charts separately in a header or footer.

Typical usage is to add a recommended data visualization first, and then add data (measures, hierarchies) to the control.

Add a recommended data visualization to a scorecard
Add a recommended data visualization to a scorecard

10. Resize control within a cell

Double-click the resize handle of a control within a scorecard or report cell to expand/contract the corresponding side (or corner) of the control to the cell edge (or corner).

Double-click a resize handle to expand that side to the cell edge
Double-click a resize handle to expand that side to the cell edge

Control is resized to the cell edge
Control is resized to the cell edge

11. Resize cell to fit contents

Double-click the bottom resize handle of a scorecard or report cell to resize the cell to fit its contents.

Double-click a cell resize handle to fit contents of cell
Double-click a cell resize handle to fit contents of cell

Body cell is resized to fit its contents from bottom up
Body cell is resized to fit its contents from bottom up

12. See also

Dundas Data Visualization, Inc.
500-250 Ferrand Drive
Toronto, ON, Canada
M3C 3G8

North America: 1.800.463.1492
International: 1.416.467.5100

Dundas Support Hours: 7am-6pm, ET, Mon-Fri