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Get Started With Summary Reports

Introduction

A summary report is a method of reducing a complete, often large, set of raw data into smaller views that help yield useful information. Usually, a summary report condenses many data records into several categories and displays one or more summary values for each of these categories. A summary report can also group, sort, and filter the data based on pre-defined conditions or user input. In ActiveReportsJS you can build such a report using Tablix and/or Chart data regions. Tablix is a combination of words Table and Matrix. You can think of it as an advanced Pivot Table, similar to Excel one.

In this tutorial, we build a Tablix-based Sales Report from the ground up, providing experience with the typical report designing process. By the end, you will be able to do the following:

  • Create a new report
  • Bind the report to the OData API with multiple endpoints
  • Create the report parameter for interaction with a report reader
  • Use the Galley mode of the report viewer
  • Use the OData $select and $filter query options to reduce the volume of retrieved data
  • Create data set calculated fields
  • Create a tablix data region
  • Configure the tablix using the Tablix Wizard
  • Format rows and columns of the tablix data region
  • Use the Lookup function to display the data from multiple data sets
  • Sort tablix columns

Upon completion of all tutorial steps, the final report will look like this: live demo.

Prerequisites

The following content assumes that you have the Standalone Report Designer running. Visit the tutorial for detailed information. A stable internet connection is also required to access the Demo Data Hub.

Creating a New Report

In the standalone report designer, click the File menu and select the Continuous Page Layout template for a newly created report. Click anywhere on the gray area around the report layout to load the report properties in the Properties panel. In the Margins section, set the Style property to Narrow to change the report page margins size.

Expand to watch creating a new report in action

Creating a new report

Data Binding

Data binding establishes a connection between the report and the data it displays. In this tutorial, we use the GrapeCity Demo OData API that contains the sales data for a fictitious company called Contoso that is a manufacturing, sales, and support organization with more than 100,000 products.

Adding Data Source

You can think of the Contoso OData API as the "database" that you can connect to using its root URL https://demodata.grapecity.com/contoso/odata/v1, and that has multiple "tables" which presented with endpoints such as /DimCustomers, /DimStores, and /DimProducts. You can create a Report DataSource that establishes the connection to such a "database" using the following steps.

  • Open the Data panel of the property inspector and click the Add button.
  • In the Data Source editor dialog, type Contoso in the NAME field and https://demodata.grapecity.com/contoso/odata/v1 in the ENDPOINT field.
  • Click the Save Changes button

Expand to watch adding the data source in action

Adding data source

Adding Supplemental Data Sets

Data Sets represent one or more endpoints of the Data Source. For the Sales Report, we need to have access to the data from the /DimStores, /DimChannels and /FactSales endpoints of the Contoso Data Source that we added in the previous section. The first two data sets are supplemental. We will use them to list the available values for a report parameter and display store names and sales channel names. We will use the FactSales data set to build the summary data.

Use the following steps to add the Stores data set:

  • Click the + icon near Contoso in the Data panel.
  • In the Data Set Editor dialog, type Stores in the NAME field, /DimStores in the Uri/Path field, and $.value.* in the Json Path field.
  • By default, each Store record includes 23 fields, but we don't need them all. Therefore we limit the retrieved fields by employing the OData $select query option via a query parameter
    • Click the + icon on the right side of the Parameters section.
    • Type $select in the Parameter field of the newly added Parameter item.
    • Type StoreKey, StoreName in the Value field of the same Parameter item.
  • Click the Validate button.
  • Ensure that the DataBase Fields section displays [2 items] text.
  • Click the Save Changes button.

Expand to watch adding the Stores data set in action

Adding data source

Next, add the Channels data set with the same approach:

  • Click the + icon near Contoso in the Data panel.
  • In the Data Set Editor dialog, type Channels in the NAME field, /DimChannels in the Uri/Path field, and $.value.* in the Json Path field.
  • By default, each Channel record includes seven fields, but we don't need them all. Therefore we limit the retrieved fields by applying the OData $select query option via a query parameter.
    • Click the + icon on the right side of the Parameters section.
    • Type $select in the Parameter field of the newly added Parameter item.
    • Type ChannelKey, ChannelName in the Value field of the same Parameter item.
  • Click the Validate button.
  • Ensure that the DataBase Fields section displays [2 items] text.
  • Click the Save Changes button.

Adding Report Parameter

The Sales Report that we are building should ask a reader for the Sales Channel to display the summary data for. Using report parameters is the primary method for such an user input. Follow the next steps to create the SalesChannel report parameter.

  • In the Data panel click the + Add button in the Parameters Section.
  • Type SalesChannel in the Name field and Select the Sales Channel in the Prompt field.
  • Select Integer in the Data Type drop-down.
  • In the Available Values section select Channels for the Data Set Name, ChannelKey for the Value Field, and ChannelName for the Label Field.

Expand to watch adding the report parameter in action

Adding report parameter

Using the Galley Mode for Preview

You can preview the report output and notice that the Parameters panel appears and asks to select the sales channel from the list of pre-determined values. These values come from the Channels data set at preview time. Therefore, if a new sales channel appears in the data, the report parameter selection will update the available values list. Select any value and click the Preview button. The report displays the blank page because we haven't added any report items yet. Click the rightmost button, called Galley Mode, on the report viewer toolbar. This button switches the viewer mode to display the unpaginated output that is suitable for reading summary reports. Thus, the blank page disappears, but that is perfectly fine. The report output will appear later.

Expand to watch switching to Galley Mode in action

Using Galley Mode

Adding Sales Data Set

Next, we will add the Sales data set containing the actual data that the report will visualize.

  • Go back to the report design and exit the Parameter Editor by clicking the Left Arrow icon near the EDIT PARAMETER header.
  • Click the + icon near Contoso in the Data panel.
  • In the Data Set Editor dialog, type Sales in the NAME field, /FactSales in the Uri/Path field, and $.value.* in the Json Path field.
  • By default, each FactSales record includes 19 fields, but we don't need them all. Therefore we limit the retrieved fields by applying the OData $select query option via the query parameter.
    • Click the + icon on the right side of the Parameters section.
    • Type $select in the Parameter field of the newly added Parameter item.
    • Type DateKey,StoreKey,SalesAmount in the Value field of the same Parameter item.
  • By default, the FactSales data set includes data for all the sales channels, but the report should only display the selected sales channel's data. Therefore we filter the retrieved data by using the OData $filter query option via the query parameter. The filter value is bound to the report parameter that we added in the previous step.
    • Click the + icon on the right side of the Parameters section.
    • Type $filter in the Parameter field of the newly added Parameter item.
    • Type ChannelKey+eq+{@SalesChannel} in the Value field of the same Parameter item.
  • Click the Validate button.
  • In the Parameter Prompt that appears, type 1 in the @SalesChannel field and click the Save & Run button.
  • Ensure that the DataBase Fields section displays [3 items] text.

Adding Calculated Field

The Sales data set includes the DateKey field that is the sale date in YYYY-MM-DD format. To simplify report development, we now add the calculated field that will contain the year of the sale date. We assume that you keep the Sales data set editor open.

  • Click the + icon on the right side of the Calculated Fields section.
  • Type SaleYear in the Field Name field of the newly added item.
  • Type {Year(DateKey)} in the Value field of the same item.
  • Click the Save Changes button in the Sales data set editor dialog.

Adding Tablix Data Region

To display the summary data from the Sales data set we will use the Tablix data region:

  • Expand the toolbox using the Hamburger menu located on the left side of the toolbar.
  • Drag and drop the Tablix item from the toolbox to the top-left corner of the report page area. The Tablix Wizard will appear.
  • In the tablix wizard drag and drop expand the Sales node in the Data Sets list.
  • Drag and drop the StoreKey field to the Row Groups area.
  • Drag and drop the SaleYear field to the Column Groups area.
  • Click the sort icon on the right side of the SalesYear and select Ascending in the drop down menu.
  • Drag and drop the SalesAmount field to the Values area.
  • Click the Σ icon on the right side of the Count(SalesAmount) item and select Sum in the drop down menu.
  • Click the gear icon that resides next to Σ and select Currency in the drop down menu.
  • Click the Totals for Row Groups and Totals for Column Groups checkboxes in the Totals tab of the Layout Options area.
  • Click the OK button.

With this configuration, the tablix will generate rows for each unique Store Key, columns for each Sale Year, and display the sum of SalesAmount in their intersection. Additional rows and columns will show the grand totals for each store and each year.

Expand to watch how to set up the Values and Totals in action

Adding tablix

You can preview the report output, try to choose different sales channels in the parameter panel, and notice that the report displays the summary data for the selected channel only. The tablix needs to be well-formatted, though.

Formatting Tablix Rows

Follow the next steps to format tablix rows.

  • Go back to the report design and click anywhere inside the tablix to display the columns and rows handlers of the tablix designer.
  • Press the Ctrl button on Windows or Cmd on Mac OS and click each row handler of the tablix to select all the rows.
  • Set the Height property of the selected rows to 0.3in in the property inspector
  • Switch to the TEXTBOX tab in the Property inspector. You can now modify the properties of all the tablix cells of selected rows.
  • Set the Border Width property to 0.25pt
  • Set the Border Style property to Solid
  • Set the Border Color property to Gainsboro
  • Set the Vertical Align property to Middle

Expand to watch formatting tablix row in action

Formatting Rows

  • In the same manner, select the first and the third tablix rows by clicking the corresponding row handlers.
  • Switch to the TEXTBOX tab in the Property inspector.
  • Set the FontWeight property to Bold.
  • Select the first tablix row.
  • Switch to the TEXTBOX tab in the Property inspector.
  • Set the BackgroundColor property to #f7f7f7.

Formatting Tablix Columns

Follow the next steps to format tablix columns.

  • Click the first column handler and set its Width to 2in in the Property inspector.
  • Switch to the TEXTBOX tab in the Property inspector.
  • Expand the Padding editor using the icon on its right side and set the Left Padding property to 6pt
  • Click the last column handler. The TEXTBOX tab in the Property inspector is still active.
  • Set the FontWeight property to Bold.
  • Set the TextAlign property to Right.

Expand to watch formatting the first column in action

Formatting Columns

You can preview the report output, select any sales channel, and notice that it is now a bit more accurate.

Displaying fields from multiple data sets

Displaying the StoreKey in the first column of the tablix rows is not very informative, so let's display the Store Name instead. The Sales data set does not contain the StoreName field, but the Stores data set does. We will use the Lookup function to resolve the Store Name by its Key.

  • Go back to the report design.
  • Double click the tablix cell on the first column of the second row. It displays the {StoreKey} text.
  • Replace this text with {Lookup(StoreKey, StoreKey, StoreName, "Stores")}. This function takes the value of the first argument in the current scope - the StoreKey of the current tablix row - finds the row with the same StoreKey value in the Stores data set and returns the corresponding StoreName value.

In the same manner, we can display the name of the selected Sales Channel in the tablix corner

  • Double click the tablix cell on the first column of the first row. It displays the Store Key text.
  • Replace this text with Annual {Lookup(@SalesChannel, ChannelKey, ChannelName, "Channels")} Sales. The Lookup function takes the value of the first argument that is the current SalesChannel parameter value, finds the row with the same ChannelKey value in the Channels data set and returns the corresponding ChannelName value. At the preview time, this expression will display values like Annual Online Sales

Expand to watch adding Store Name and Channel Name Lookup Resolution in action

Adding Lookup

You can preview the report output, select any sales channel, preview the output, and notice that it now displays both Sales Channel Name and Store Names.

The final version of report is available at the demo web-site.