Master DataTables Series: 1.2 Naming & Report Settings

by Jody Barney - Application Developer

Welcome to the multi-part video series that will teach you how to implement DataTables in your Claris FileMaker Pro solutions effectively. Whether you prefer reading, watching videos, or trying out demo files, we’ve got you covered. If you’re new to this series, we recommend starting from the introduction to get the most out of your learning experience. You can access the complete series here: Master DataTables with Claris FileMaker Pro.

In the previous post, we delved into the heart of the training series by providing an in-depth overview of the DataTables Builder, and we also showcased our first demo file.

In this post, we’ll explore Naming your Build & Report Settings and actions you can take with each build you create.  We will also discuss the concept of your own DataTables Build library. 

What is a “Build”?

A build can be defined as the visual output of a set of data, in HTML table format. There is no limit to the amount of “builds” you can create. Each build represents a record in the DataTables Builder. I will often refer to a build as a report, they are the same thing. A build can be identical to another record or it can be completely different, that decision is up to you. What is important is yo you understand how to create, identify, modify and interact with each build.

This lesson explores the importance of naming and organizing your builds and report settings within the DataTables Builder. Having a well-structured library helps you easily identify and manage your reports, making the development process more efficient. Let’s dive in and discover how to make the most of this feature.

Understanding the Report Settings

The report settings in the DataTables Builder utilizes a card window that appears for every report you create. It offers an overview of the report, allows you to change settings, and provides options for future actions. As we continue to add more reports to the library, properly naming and categorizing them becomes essential for easy reference and management.

Creating a New Report

The video demonstrates how to create a new report from scratch . By clicking the plus icon, a new card window opens, enabling us to enter essential details about the report we’re about to build. The report name and display name can be the same or differentiated to help you identify and organize similar reports with ease.

Categorizing Reports with Database/Project Reference

The database or project reference field is designed to assist developers in categorizing reports. If you’re creating multiple reports for different clients or contexts, this field helps you keep them organized. By choosing a specific context, such as a table name, you can easily recognize the data source for the report.

Leveraging the Lock Button

The lock button in the report settings allows you to secure your report from unintended changes. By locking a report, you prevent yourself or others from accidentally altering the settings. This feature is particularly helpful when you want to preserve a report’s design and structure.

Actions for Reports

Within the report settings, you have several actions available for each report. You can add a new template record to create a fresh report, duplicate a report to keep the design but modify the data or columns, or duplicate code only to update the report with changes in the data source or column structure. These actions enable you to build a comprehensive library of reports tailored to your specific needs.

Library of Builds

You’ve learned how to name, categorize, and organize your reports effectively within the DataTables Builder. By creating a well-structured library, you can easily manage and access your reports for future use and reference.  Trust me on this one, keeping your builds organized will help you in the long run.  Not only will you be able to locate a specific report, you can re-purpose code, update existing builds with new features and share your builds with other developers and systems with ease.

Get the latest demo file by submitting the form below. 

What’s next?

In the next post, we will delve into adding data to your reports, the first step to bringing your DataTables creations to life.

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