TIP #35 | Using Queries in Pages & Reports
This post is an extention of the post I did yesterday about Queries and performance.
As I said Queries deserve more attention. Unfortunately this is another post about what Queries cannot be used for, but with a workaround.
Whenever you want to make a report or page (or form in the old days) show data from two or more tables in one view you run into a challenge. Even though reports allow complex datasets they are easier to design if your dataset is single layer.
Technically it has always been possible to link a table object in NAV to a SQL Server view allowing you to join tables on SQL Server and have a single view in NAV. I never bloged about this cause I’m not a huge fan of this but more information can be found here on MSDN.
The first question that I can remember being in a session at MDCC about queries few years ago after the applause was: “Can we use this as a source for a page or a report?”. The answer was, “That would be great but is not within the scope of the current project”. And today after the release (soon) of R2 this is still the case, it is out of scope and my guess is it will be for a while.
The single and most important reason queries are here is to avoid the loopy-loopy code patterns.
But what if we want to use the query as a source for pages or reports. Well, that solution was presented during that same session at MDCC within minutes: “Then you use the integer table”.
And yes, that would be the solution. Or at least one solution, there is a second more elegant solution.
Let’s discuss the integer solution first.
An example of using the integer table for reporting has always been report 111 Customer – Top 10 List. This report allows you to show the top X customers by sales in your system. X defines the number of loops over the integer table.
As you might (or should) know the integer table is a system table (2000000026) that has been there forever allowing you to build repeat code Patterns. A similar table is the Date table (2000000007).
Writing this I realise that these system tables deserve their own blog article too.
So let’s start with a cool query that we will use in our page.
The query combines sales information from the Value entries per customer. Now how do we show this in a page.
First step is to create a new listpage with the wizard based on the Integer table like this:
When we are in the page designer the next step is to add the query as a global variable and add a counter variable. Then we add all the query fields to the page and write some code as displayed
You can immediately see that this is not a real nice solution cause we loop at least twice trough the query. This is to get the number of rows to filter on the integer table.
When we run this page on Cronus we see this result:
And yes, we are happy and dancing.
Try page up and down a little now..
Now you might have a solution but I could not find one. And there are more issues with this way of showing a query in a page, we cannot filter, we cannot sort.
So what is the solution?
Quite a few years ago I have blogged about this property. And the power still counts.
But Mark, are you saying we should create a table now? Yes you should. But, that is an extra object! I know but it is free. Tables that are only used temporary do not need to be in a customers license.
So let’s continue.
First we create the table, with Entry No. as primairy key
Remember this table is free of charge, no license required. We only use it as buffer.
Step 2 is to create a new page on this table and toggle SourceTableTemporary to Yes.
And we add a very small amount of code
And this code we run from the OnOpenPage trigger and voila: this is the result:
All the gizmo’s work like filtering and the new interactive sort on all columns that is introduced in NAV 2013 R2
Hope this post was not to long.
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