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Thread: Reporting Feedback session in IRC - Wed 28th

  1. #1
    dmoran Guest

    Exclamation Reporting Feedback session in IRC - Wed 28th

    With the rewrite of the Pentaho Report Designer there have been a number of questions on how to do stuff. During some of the discussions in the IRC - ( ##pentaho) we thought it would be a good idea to get some feedback on the 3.5 PRD and answer some questions. Thomas (Reporting Architect) and Kurtis (Product Manager) will be available on Wednesday Oct 28th on the IRC at 14:00 GMT.

    This is not a training session, it is for people who have been using the new 3.5 Report Designer to talk about what needs to be made easier or where confusions exist and to help drive the direction of the next release as far as usability is concerned.

    Please document your issue in the forums prior to the discussion in order to save typing and so we can track that issue after the meeting.

    Be aware of timezone changes - not the same for all countries

    The chat will start Wednesday, October 28th 14:00:00 GMT

    San Francisco (USA) . 7:00 AM UTC-7 PDT
    Orlando (USA). . . . 10:00 AM UTC-4 EDT
    London (England). . . 2:00 PM UTC+0 GMT
    Lisbon (Portugal) . . 2:00 PM UTC+0 WET
    Berlin (Germany). . . 3:00 PM UTC+1 CET
    Jakarta (Indonesia) . 9:00 PM UTC+7 WIB
    Sydney (Australia). . 1:00 AM Thursday UTC+11 EDT

    To convert time for other timezones, Click Here


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default My feedback

    Over the last day's i have noted the problems i have encountered. Most of them are related to the lack of documentation/ease of use. If the program would be easy to use, you would not need any documentation.
    1) Ease of use:
    a)OpenFormula Editor : Context specific help would be really appreciated.
    example :
    =DOCUMENTMETADATA(",1/";"title") -->How should one know that these parameters will return the title from the document properties? If you just would add 1 detailed usage example , it would help a lot.

    b)JDBCDatasource Editor : Right click in Query window should give you the possibility to insert a variable, from the known variable list.

    c).... more examples to give.
    2) Better integration :
    a) The types of parameters should be uniform & compatible over all types of datasources
    Ex. Date type input to kettle requires javascript
    Ex. String List prd input type cannot be used to make selection in Kettle SQL query.
    3) Small problems but work around is time consuming or impossible
    a)Control place of input parameters on form
    b)Conditionally hide parameters.
    c)Function to convert a multivalue list to visual representation (string), so you can show the selected values on the report. Seems to exist in the latest build, but the easy of use was not sufficient to let me find it. It was probably me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    1) In general things take longer - lots more clicking about
    2) constraints relating to what you can and can't do are not obvious why - e.g. some things can be pasted into some sections but not others.
    3) inline/banded reports, this is confusing, and there is no clear indication of which type a report is.
    4) The list of properties can no longer be sorted A-Z, and is very hard to navigate.
    5) Managing groups is hard, you can't insert a new group at the top level and push all the others down (actually this isnt new, dont think you could do that before)
    6) Passing parameters between subreports - now defined in the subreport - not clear. Perhaps a warning/error should be raised if a subreport uses a query which uses a parameter not imported by that subreport.
    7) you still have to define prompts if you use xactions; Duplication of code.
    8) Errors in parameter prompting - well there arnt any. So if your data types dont match etc, it gets very unhappy, and makes no attempt to help you.
    9) affore mentioned issues with the format of defaults for date types.
    10) binary format is a step back when you use version control. perhaps better exposure of optional exploded format.

    I'm not sure if I can make the IRC, i'll try and lurk around though!

  4. #4
    dmoran Guest

    Default Summary

    We had a good 2 hour session today - lots of great feedback! I have unwound the IRC log and attempted to create conversation threads.

    FYI - reporting_wizard is Thomas AKA Taqua

    I'm sure I missed some stuff - keep adding to the list.
    Last edited by dmoran; 10-28-2009 at 04:31 PM.

  5. #5
    dmoran Guest

    Default Crosstab support

    jvdongen Seems like crosstabs & real colums (esp. hiding/showing) are the two major issues

    reporting_wizard crosstabs are still on the roadmap for Sugar. They are too big to chew them up for the Lemonade release

    begunrom crosstab subreport will these also be supported in Sugar?

    dmoran OK - Jos - since cross-tabs are still being fully implemented - maybe a quick forum post on how you would like to see the UI work-

    jvdongen jvdongen: dmoran: Curtis already described it; if that wizard like feature is in I'll be very happy!

    begunrom reporting-wizard: in the current implementation it works in a main report and not in an subreport.

    reporting_wizard crosstabs in general are scheduled for Sugar. I make no distinction between crosstabs in the master or in a subreport. That would be extra work

    dmoran (That's wizard speak for they will both be supported the same way)

    icedstitch i found that crosstabs in 3.5 worked well for single rows But if multiple rows, it had problems going to the second column if there was no data to show in the first column.

    reporting_wizard hehe, yes, I have to write something for that. Explaining it will fill a wiki-page

    icedstitch for a particular row. It just displayed data as best as it could on down the first column instead of going to the 2nd column

    reporting_wizard @icedstitch: Sounds as if you were not using crosstabs at all. For crosstabs, you have to use a denormalized datasource and configure a crosstab-group with as many row- and column-groups as you need

    icedstitch reporting_wizard: sounds like you're saying there needs to be a value for every row/column spot inorder to work correctly.

    reporting_wizard no, not at all. The engine will properly fill missing cells with null-values. But your query must return a denormalized view over your data. If you use Banded-MDX or so, you wont get sensible results

    icedstitch oh. yea i was using primarily a direct query, instead of mdx

    icedstitch i'll check out what you're saying and work from there

  6. #6
    dmoran Guest

    Default Setting properties on multiple elements

    Kaapa I can start. prd 3.0 had a nice behavior. when u have 2 different elements with different properties, in the gui we saw the property of the first selected. if we wanted to apply that to every other element, all we needed was to press enter

    Kaapa in citrus, if properties are different the gui shows blank

    Kaapa which is correct... but the incorrectg behavior was very handy

    reporting_wizard @Kappa: This is still there. Select multiple elements and the list filters down to the styles and attributes shared by all elements. Defining an style or attribute then sets it to all the elements that are selected

    Kaapa reporting_wizard: yes, but the field is empty. if it is a formula u need to copy paste before you select multiple

    reporting_wizard @kaapa: hmm, you get black entries if the values are different, as we cannot show multiple values. We can change that behaviour to "use whatever value the first selected element has". Make a JIRA case for it

  7. #7
    dmoran Guest

    Default Caching query data

    jvdongen Are there any plans to add a cached datasource to enable in report filtering/sorting without re-running the query?

    Kaapa reporting_wizard: me wants mondrian cache with simple-jndi

    reporting_wizard jvdongen, no, not at all. Caching resultset metadata yes, but not caching of the complete data. That would be the the domain of the data-preprocessing stage, and would cross the border to make reporting a second kettle

    reporting_wizard @kaapa: Yes, we need to patch Simple-JNDI to make that work. Right now the stupid beast creates new objects all the time

    reporting_wizard making simple-jndi work right will be part of lemonade

    pentaho_mcasters reporting_wizard: Jos has a point though, for heavy queries it's pointless to go back to the database just to sort on a column. Feel free to use Kettle in the back to do the heavy lifting if you like.

    reporting_wizard given the fact that this kind of work is rather big and then probably wants to be part of the data-access stuff anyway, I leave it to the data-access people to serve me

    dmoran kcruzada: we should add that caching to the backlog for discussion at least

    jvdongen re local cache: any mechanism would do, but Matt is right: round trip to db for sorting is not a good solution. Same for local filtering: this would enable end users to to some more ad-hoc stuff with PRD, and would also improve bursting capabilities

  8. #8
    dmoran Guest

    Default pre/post processing

    dankins i was using the new post-processing formula w/ CSVARRAY() (in sugar) to utilize pentaho roles in my query, and it worked for the main query but i couldn't use that parameter to limit the results of another parameter (drop down), should this possible or am i doing something wrong?

    kcruzada dankins: that should be possible.

    reporting_wizard post processing formulas should work exactly as all other parameters. But as this is work in progress, just be patient and your report will begin to work better in a few iterations

    dankins reporting_wizard: fair enough thanks

    begunrom some more information on pre/post processors is needed. I do not knwo where to use them for.

    dankins begunrom: same with display value formulas, i am a bit unclear how/when to use it

    reporting_wizard for parameter formulas: Work in progress, and that stuff will change a bit over the next week

    reporting_wizard for report-pre-processors: file me a bug requesting more documentation

    reporting_wizard also: In lemonade-prd there is at least an example report now that contains a pre-processor sample

    begunrom Yes, i found it, but i do not know where to start.

  9. #9
    dmoran Guest

    Default Excel issues

    filc I found that the output to Excel for some reports in PRD3.5 was not as expected.

    reporting_wizard @filc: File bug reports for that, especially if it worked in older versions

  10. #10
    dmoran Guest

    Default changing multiple attributes

    filc I'd like to able to highlight multiple attributes, e.g. border bottom-size, border-top-size in the style editor and change them all at once to a new value

    reporting_wizard for better border editing: Why not use the Format->Size & Border ... menu instead?

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