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Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

  • 1.  Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 07-13-2020 18:48

    Hi Everyone,

    We get bids from vendor on projects (RFPs). For each project we end up having different information submitted. As a result we often end up with an embedded table on the project record where only 10/40 fields have any information

    Users are annoyed that they have to look at so many empty fields. Is there a way to display only the columns in a report if values are present?

    For example, if the project has no value for "Rent" in any of the projects related "Bid" records, don't show the "Rent" Field in the project's embedded report. 

    I realize that we could achieve this by having multiple reports, however, we've come to the conclusion this would require maintaining over 200 reports, so we're looking for another solution. 

    Thanks!



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    Jake R
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  • 2.  RE: Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 07-13-2020 19:01

    Well I have a suggestion and you will be have to be the judge of whether your users find you or this suggestion more annoying than the current report.

    I won't go into the exact formula now but there's an easy formula that would list each field vertically and only the fields which had data in them so for example you would have a column like this

    Job#: 1234
    Vendor Type: Premier
    Rent $1,500

    and if there were 37 other blank columns then that's all you would see. 

    Now I am only half joking to say that they will still dislike you but now they will dislike you for giving them a very vertical report instead of a very wide report.

    So maybe another suggestion to make use of more of the width of the report is to look at your 40 fields and maybe group them into about five or six different categories and then use my technique to make those vertical. That way the width will be used up and the data will be meaningful and the report won't get needlessly vertical or too wide. Goldilocks. 




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    Mark Shnier (YQC)
    Quick Base Solution Provider
    Your Quick Base Coach
    http://QuickBaseCoach.com
    mark.shnier@gmail.com
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  • 3.  RE: Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 07-13-2020 19:02
    But to answer your question directly no there's not a way to automatically suppress columns without data.

    ------------------------------
    Mark Shnier (YQC)
    Quick Base Solution Provider
    Your Quick Base Coach
    http://QuickBaseCoach.com
    mark.shnier@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 07-14-2020 12:21
    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the feedback!  While I don't think this method will work for my situation, its a pretty cool way to solve it.  I may be using this technique elsewhere.  Much appreciated.  

    Jake

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    Jake R
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  • 5.  RE: Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 07-14-2020 10:29
    How well-versed are you with API manipulation?  Have you done an Iframe Embed into a form before?

    I could see there being a way to create an Iframe embedded 'Api_Genresultstable' where the clist (column list) is dynamically generated via formula.    

    Here is the code I would start with in a Rich Text Formula Field in the Parent Record: 

    Customize and manipulate to your needs, of course.  Then create a Report Link field that matches this rich text field exactly to this rich text field:

    Lastly, add that field to your form and see if you like how it works.  


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    Brad Lemke
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  • 6.  RE: Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 07-14-2020 12:23
    Thanks Brad!  This is exactly what I'm looking for.  I'm not familiar with this technique, but I'll give it a go and let you know how it works out.

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    Jake R
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  • 7.  RE: Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 07-14-2020 15:38
    Hey Brad, 

    Thanks again for your help.  I've recreated the Rich text field you showed in your screenshot.  Now I'm going to create the Report Link.  I'm a little confused about this part.  I think I need to create another rich text field in my Parent table.  Do I copy paste the same code into that field as well?  If yes, how would I get around the errors (the fields references will not work on the parent record)

    Thanks,
    Jake

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    Jake R
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  • 8.  RE: Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 07-14-2020 16:09
    Both the rich text and the report link fields are parent-table only.  When setting up the report link field, you're not pointing it at any other table, you're not telling it to go from 'point-a' to 'point-b' like usual - you're telling it to go from 'point-a' to 'point-a', the same field in the same table.

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    Brad Lemke
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  • 9.  RE: Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 08-28-2020 11:09

    Sorry for the late reply. This worked remarkably well.  Thank you so much for all your help.  I've been able to get virtually all of the features I was looking for out of this technique.  

    One follow-up question, if you don't mind: When I use this approach I lose some of the controls available with your typical embedded reports such as the ability to great edit and the 'more' options including 'export as csv'.  

    Is there any way to bring these features into the iFrame?  I think a workaround for 'export as spreadsheet' could easily be a button that exports the report with an "=csv" argument attached, but I'm unsure of how I could replicate the ability to grid edit.  

    Thanks again for your help on this one!



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    Jake R
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  • 10.  RE: Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 08-28-2020 11:48
    Short answer: I have no idea how to do a dynamically generated grid-edit.  If that api call exists, I haven't found it yet. 

    For the grid-edit mode, do you need to hide all of the unused fields?  How do you feel about adding a link to your form that opens the full-grid in a popup?

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    Brad Lemke
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  • 11.  RE: Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 08-28-2020 13:33
    In the grid-edit I do still need to hide all those unused fields, but going into grid edit in a pop-up is totally fine.

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    Jake R
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  • 12.  RE: Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 08-28-2020 15:48
    Hah, turns out this is kinda darn cool:

    First, create a grid edit report in your child table (if it doesn't already have one).  Columns/filters don't really matter.  All you need is the report ID#.
    Second, Create a formula URL field in the parent table, set it to open in new window, and add this formula:
    • URLRoot () & "db/" & "child tableid" & "?a=q&qid=grideditreportID#" & ...
      • Add everything that is "query=the rest of the formula" from your IFrame formula.
     Try that out.

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    Brad Lemke
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  • 13.  RE: Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 08-28-2020 17:47
    These suggestions are awesome, though this one has stumped me.  This is how I interpreted your suggestion:
    URLRoot () & "db/" & "bqehmzv89" & "?a=q&qid=22" & "query=?a=API_GenResultsTable&query=" & "{150.EX." & [Record ID#] & "}AND({'139'.XEX.'1'}AND({'102'.EX.'1'}OR{'105'.EX.'1'}OR{'127'.EX.'1'}))" & //The 150 in the above line is the Child record's reference field ID to the Parent. Adjust as needed/ "^clist="&"71.63.38."&[CList for Custom Report]&".177.178" & "^options=nfg.so-AAA.gb-V.nos.qws.sortorder-d^slist=71" ​Something in there is clearly wrong, as I'm landing on the child table's list all report and the URL string has a qid of -1000175
    I'm curious if you're seeing something that's obviously wrong wit the syntax.  Thanks!

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    Jake R
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  • 14.  RE: Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 08-28-2020 18:15
    URLRoot () & "db/" & "bqehmzv89" & "?a=q&qid=22" & "query=?a=API_GenResultsTable&query=" & "{150.EX." & [Record ID#] & "}AND({'139'.XEX.'1'}AND({'102'.EX.'1'}OR{'105'.EX.'1'}OR{'127'.EX.'1'}))" & //The 150 in the above line is the Child record's reference field ID to the Parent. Adjust as needed/ "^clist="&"71.63.38."&[CList for Custom Report]&".177.178" & "^options=nfg.so-AAA.gb-V.nos.qws.sortorder-d^slist=71"​

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    Brad Lemke
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  • 15.  RE: Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 09-04-2020 12:45

    Once again, thank you, Brad.  This works great. A little embarrassing to have missed that obvious error, but really appreciate you pointing it out.  Once again I have a follow-up question.  

    Do you have any thoughts on how this could be turned into an embedded grid edit report? I realize I'm being a bit greedy, but these solutions keep generating further requests as the report becomes used more and more. 

    I've tried replacing the iFrame reference with the new Grid edit query, but its essentially an iFrame to the Grid Edit report with all the QB headers and what-not.  The larger issue is that once you save, the workflow breaks, and it's difficult to return to the original report. Using ifv= to remove headers has also been problematic.  I've not been able to get it to work, but if I did it would remove the save button, which is also a problem.

    I'm probably pushing my luck here, but you seem to have solutions to every problem.  Curious if you have any idea.



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    Jake R
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  • 16.  RE: Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 09-04-2020 15:36
    I can't say that I've ever actually tried to embed the variable grid-edit in a form.  I was fortunate in that my solution only required two variants of two grids, so creating the 4 reports and only displaying what was relevant via dynamic form rules wasn't exactly brutal to do.  

    Not gonna lie, this particular request appears possible, but with quite a bit of work that I'm not very familiar with.

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    Brad Lemke
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  • 17.  RE: Creating reports that show only the columns where values are present

    Posted 09-04-2020 15:56
    No worries.  You've already got me really far.  I'll keep trying and let you know if I come up with anything.  Thanks!

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    Jake R
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