“On-Demand” Subreports that use saved data (no refresh needed)

Friday 27 March 2009 @ 11:47 am

I hate being wrong, but it isn’t as bad when I learn something new and useful.  One of my students wanted to use a row of small “on-demand” subreport buttons in one of their reports. The only problem was that the report had to be deployed in an environment that didn’t have access to the database.  That meant that relying on saved data with no refresh allowed.  Of course an on-demand subreport normally requires the ability to refresh.

But in his experimenting he did something that I was convinced would not work.  He simply took off the on-demand checkmark but left the subreport the same size.  The subreport then ran at the time of the main report.  But since he kept it the same size the subreport preview was only partly visible through the ‘keyhole’ on the main report.  The On-Demand caption went away so he added a text object to the top of the subreport so that it would appear through the keyhole.  Now in the main report preview it looks just like the original “On-Demand” subreport. And, best of all, if you double click on the keyhole, it opens up to show the full subreport on a new tab, just like the original “On-Demand” subreport.  But since the subreport data was all generated and saved there is no need to query the database.

What really surprised me is that the subreport could preview full width on drill-down, despite being a very narrow  object in the main report.  The design mode of the subreport was only as wide as the keyhole, leaving most of the subreport objects floating in empty space to the right.  I expected those objects to be invisible in the subreport’s drill-down. But, apparently preview is not affected once you drill down. I even went back and tested this in v8.5 and found the same behavior.

So, thanks to Craig Wright for teaching me a new trick.

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