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Getting to Know AutoTag: The Select Variable

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Posted on 07/13/2016

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Editor’s note: We’re reviving a once-popular column on getting to know AutoTag better, where we introduce you to cool features you may have overlooked. Today kicks it off with a two parter on the Select Variable.

Did you know you can use the Select Variable to tailor a report to show just the output you want?

When creating a template that connects to large amounts of data, it can be helpful to set up the template so that end users can choose variables when running the report in order to display only the information they need.

One way to do this is with the Select Variable feature in AutoTag.

When would I use the Select Variable?

Select Variable Sample Template Invoice

Generate a single invoice with the use of the Select Variable feature.

This feature is most often used in situations where an end user needs to produce a dynamic report by entering data values (dates, account numbers, etc.).

For example, you can use a single report template to generate  different documents:

  • Several different reports based on the country of origin
  • All invoices for a single month
  • An index of employees with a last name starting with a particular letter

The major benefit of using a select variable is that the variable is validated at runtime. So there is no way a user can put in an invalid Order ID because everything gets checked against the data source before the report is generated.

NOTE: You also can use the select variable to trigger conditional statements that import sub-templates, attached documents and parts of a template you want to show or hide.

How do I use the Select Variable?

By using the Filter pane of your Select Statement Wizard (usually SQL or XML wizards) and previously defined variables, AutoTag can prompt you to enter a value to limit what data is returned when you output.

For details on how to use this feature, along with a walk-through example using a Windward sample template, please head on over to our wiki article The Select Variable.

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Author: Ryan Fligg

Ryan, Windward's Sales Engineer, has been with Windward since 2006 in many roles as a sales engineer, IT specialist and account executive. Ryan's background fuels his desire to guide Windward's product development. He now works on the future vision of Windward offerings through creating the product roadmap, responding to customer requests, and communicating what Windward is doing and where it’s headed.

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