DONATION Memorized Reports feature

I’m seriously considering adding a Memorized Reports feature to DONATION, so that you can memorize either Custom Reports you have created (from the SQL Select window) or slightly modified built-in reports (e.g. saving any alternate Sort or Filter you have put on them). Here are the draft specifications I have written up for this idea:

  • Add a Memorize button to both the SQL Select window and the Report-viewing window.
  • In SQL Select, Memorize memorizes the title, style (Normal/Grid), orientation (Portrait/Landscape) and the SQL.
  • In the Report-viewing window, if the report came from a SQL Select, Memorize memorizes those same things plus the Sort and Filter. If it came from a built-in report, it memorizes the underlying report’s internal name (called the DataWindow), the Sort and Filter, and the underlying SQL for the DataWindow (which might have been edited using Save SQL and Load SQL). (However, check if it is composite report like Reports -> One Date Donation -> Summary, in that case can’t memorize it, no point, can’t sort or filter them! Actually, Sort and Filter should be disabled for such reports, they are useless.)
  • Save to a file in a Reports subdirectory under the program’s Data Directory, named something.rpt.
  • For saving, have a window with an input field for the report’s name (without “.rpt”) and a list box of existing memorized report names. If you click on a name in the list box, it puts it into the input field.
  • When saving from the Reports window, if it is displaying an existing memorized report, default to re-saving it with that memorized report’s existing name.
  • Add a “Memorized Report” menu option to the Reports menu, at the end under Custom Report. It brings up a list box of the existing memorized reports (without .rpt), you select one and click Run to run it, it immediately displays the report.
  • Max report name length 50 (excluding “.rpt”, which the user never sees unless they use Computer or My Computer to look in that directory). (Is 50 a good maximum?)
  • How to further edit an existing Memorized report that came from SQL Select? I guess have a checkbox on the Memorized Reports window for “Edit first in SQL Select window”, which would only be valid for ones saved from there (or saved from the Reports window if they came from there).
  • When saving a memorized report that you are editing in the SQL Select window, again default to re-saving it with its existing name.

Any thoughts, comments or suggestions? Please  post them as a Reply to this blog post.

12 thoughts on “DONATION Memorized Reports feature

  1. I have created the same Custom Reports many times, so this feature would certainly be helpful to me. The specs sound good (to the extent I’m able to understand them).

    • Lorne, just so you understand there is already a partial ability to save and replay Custom Reports you design. On the SQL Select window that you get to after designing the report, click Save SQL File and save it. Then when you want to run it again, use Database -> SQL Select instead of Reports -> Custom Report, and use the Load SQL File button to load the SQL for the report and run it. (This is actually covered in the last paragraph of the Help topic on Custom Reports.)

      What my specs add to this (for Custom Reports) is the ability to memorize the Title you specify for the report, the Report Style and Orientation, and optionally if you use them any Sort or Filter that you add after running the report.

  2. Sorry, I don’t know enough of the system to comment except that if this would help us, the ones with a fiscal year instead of a calendar year, it would be most welcome.

    • It actually might, Bennie, because you could use some of the techniques on the Support Forum to create fiscal-year reports, then memorize them so they are easier to re-use. (You can currently memorize the SQL for use in Database -> SQL Select, but the new way will be more all-inclusive.)

  3. I might be able to use this feature at year-end. I don’t issue too many reports during the year except the One Day Donation Summary reports which I use weekly and a Pledge report to see what totals have been given by each donor which I print out about 4 times per year. However, the pledge column does not have anything in it, as we do not use it.

  4. I like the idea. I do produce some custom reports several times a year (Lists of mebers, list of donors with numbers, etc) and although I can do it now, I believe that what you are suggesting would make it easier.

  5. I think you have the requirements covered. 50 character maximum for the file name is OK. I am not quite clear what you mean when you say you will save the filter. Does that mean that if I had filtered on a specific membernum all I would have to do is edit the SQL statement to specify a different membernum? It would certainly be very useful to be able to create my own custom reports.

    • What I’m saying is that if you have used the Filter button on a report, to restrict it in some way, when you memorize that report, the specific Filter expression is memorized with it. When you then replay that memorized report, the same Filter is automatically applied.

      For instance, say you want a report only for donations that are at least $1,000. You use perhaps Reports -> Donation -> All Donations -> Sort by Amount. Click Filter, and add the filter expression “amount >= 1000”, without the quotes. Click OK, and you will have it the way you want it.

      If you then memorize that report, and later replay it, it will again show only those whose amount is at least $1,000, because the memorized filter will be applied.

  6. Using your example and assuming I want to change the max amount to 2000 I would run the memorized report then have to filter that report with a filter “amount >= 2000”?

    • Sure. Which you could also do today, of course. The win with the memorized report is that it saved that filter, if it was something you wanted to do regularly. (There may be better examples, for instance reports of all donors with email addresses, or without email addresses.)

  7. Pingback: Drop Save/Load SQL from Reports Window? « Software4Nonprofits Blog

  8. Pingback: Memorized reports beta version ready « Software4Nonprofits Blog

Comments are closed.