Design tips for reports and scorecards
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 grouping drop area. For example, drag the [Sales].[CreditCard] table from the Adventure Works database to the grouping area of a new scorecard.
Dundas BI automatically populates the grouping, and creates header and data label pairs for the columns in the table.
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.
The Labels panel comes with the following built-in placeholder labels:
|Label Name||Placeholder||Displayed 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.
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.
When a control in the body region snaps into alignment with a control in the header region, the contextual guidelines will include magnet icons and the two controls become bound to one another. After binding two controls in this way, moving the control in the header region will also move the control in the body region. Moving the control in the body region will break the bond.
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.
You can use these options to quickly Distribute, Align, and Size multiple controls.
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.
To display a separator between, for example, every 3 rows of a scorecard, first select 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.
Set the Interval to 3, change the Color, and set the Width to 2px (thickness).
Switch to View mode to see the separator lines.
For report cells, 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 (for example, the group header) and go to its Layout Properties to set the Display On New Page and Display Following Content On New Page options.
7. 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.
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:
- Sparkline is a line chart with both horizontal and vertical axes hidden.
- Data Bar is a bar chart set to show horizontally, with both horizontal and vertical axes hidden.
- Bullet Graph is a linear gauge designed displayed against a bar with markers and ranges.
- Axis lets you display an axis for charts separately in a header or footer.
- Group Expander lets you collapse or expand the rows in the group.
Typical usage is to add a recommended data visualization first, and then add data (measures, hierarchies) to the control.
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 the bottom resize handle of a scorecard or report cell to resize the cell to fit its contents.