In a previous column, I showed why you may want to include the Select Variable in a template so that end users running reports can display only the information they need. Today’s column is a short overview of how to define a Select Variable to be used in such a template.
What Does “Define a Select Variable” Do?
When you define a Select Variable, you are creating a variable input parameter inside of AutoTag and building a drop-down box with a list of valid values or an input box. When users run the report, they will either choose one value from a drop-down list or enter a value in the input box.
How Does it Work?
Defining a Select Variable is a 4-step process that uses the Input Parameters tool:
Step One: Create a Variable. First you will need to create your variable in order to use it in the associated select in your template. This is done through AutoTag’s Input Parameters tool.
Step Two: Building validated list of values from data source (Optional). As a best practice, we recommend you ensure that the data users enter while running a report will not create an error. Do so by creating a list of values retrieved from your data source for the users to choose from while running your template. This can be a drop-down box, an input field or even a date picker for selecting a date from a calendar.
Step Three: Testing the created variable. The tool allows you test the setup against a real value to ensure that the process will work when you run your report.
Step Four: Running the template and using your variable. Finally, your last step is to confirm that the template is set up correctly by running the report and verifying that the Run A Report window prompts the end user for variable information, as in this example:
To get the full details on how to define a select variable, including walk-through screenshots, please see our wiki article Define A Select Variable.
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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