You can use a procedure to generate a document. This kind of procedure collects data from several reports and displays it using an Internet browser. Each report creates a file, and the last step of the procedure combines all these files into one displayed file. The final document can be activated from a form via Actions (retrieving input from the record it was activated from), or it can be run from a menu, in which case the user chooses the relevant records during parameter input. The reports in such a procedure must handle one record from the base table at a time, identified by the autounique key.

Example: In the WWWSHOWORDER procedure, each report handles one record from the ORDERS table at a time. Each report receives an ORD parameter, which contains the value of the autounique key of the relevant order.

Creating the Input for the Document

The INPUT parameter of the linked file for the procedure’s main table must be named PAR. If the procedure is to be activated from the menu, you must define this parameter as input (specify I in the Input column) and specify the Column Name and Table Name of the table column that will be linked. If the procedure is to be activated only from a form, it is not necessary to specify the PAR parameter as input, but you do have to indicate column and table name.


In this version, the linked file parameter can also be of type NFILE. This can prevent performance issues, if the main table is one with a very large amount of records.

Declaring the Cursor

The HTMLCURSOR command is used to create the cursor that goes over the records stored in the linked table. The only thing you should write in this step is the cursor query. The first column in the query should be the autounique key of the table. You can retrieve more columns in the cursor for sort purposes. The link to the table occurs in the background of the HTMLCURSOR step.

Example: In the WWWSHOWORDER procedure, the ORDERS table is linked to the PAR parameter. The first column in the query is the ORD column.

In a non-English system: If the document is in English (i.e., it is assigned the value E in the HTML Document column of the Procedure Generator), you will not be able to pass any procedure parameters from a previous step to a step that comes after the HTMLCURSOR step, as the latter are run in a separate process. You can work around this by writing the parameter values into a temporary table before the HTMLCURSOR step, and then reading these values from the table in a later step.

Going Over the Records

The next step in the procedure is an SQLI step in which you retrieve the records from the cursor. The system automatically opens the cursor that was declared in the HTMLCURSOR step, runs the LOOP and closes the cursor.

The value of the first parameter in the cursor is saved in a variable called :HTMLVALUE. This is a system variable of CHAR type, and it must be converted to an integer using the ATOI function. Using :HTMLVALUE you can retrieve the relevant record (the one being printed) from the main table of the document in question.

Example:In the WWWSHOWORDER procedure,

AND ORD <> 0;

The :$.ORD variable will be passed to the reports.

Executing Reports that will Create the Document

All reports that are part of the document should receive at least two parameters. The first is the value of the autounique key of the record currently being worked on (e.g., the sales order in question). The second parameter should be of ASCII type, and must contain "OUTPUT" in the Value column. This parameter will appear again in the final INPUT step of the procedure, in which all the text files created by the reports are combined into one document.

Displaying the Document

The last step in the document procedure should be the INPUT command. In the Procedure Parameters sub-level form,you must list all the text file parameters that were sent to the reports in the procedure. The INPUT step combines all these files into a single HTML file.

To understand how the text files are positioned on the page, the HTML page can be viewed as a matrix. Each text file is placed in that matrix in the order you specify in the Proc. Parameter-HTML Design form, a sub-level of Procedure Parameters.

Thus, for each parameter, specify its location in terms of row and column. All the reports defined in row 1 will appear at the top of every new page of the document. For example, you would probably like the company logo to appear at the top of every page. You can also specify the percentage of the width that each report will occupy (in the Width %column).

Once you finish designing the report in this step, run the Create HTML Page for Step action to generate the HTML framework that will be used by the document. Rerun this action whenever you adjust the document's design.

Defining Print Options

You can offer the user a number of print formats to choose from, based on selected reports included in the procedure. First, name the print format in the sub-level form, Print Formats; then, specify which reports will be displayed in this format using the Reports Included in Print Format form. You can also offer the user the option of printing attachments together with the main document. To do so, include the HTMLEXTFILES command towards the beginning of the procedure, recording a step query for it. This command has no parameters.

Example: See the various print formats defined for the WWWSHOWORDER procedure. See also the HTMLEXTFILES command in this procedure.

Setting a Number of Copies to Print

You also might want to create a program that generates multiple copies of a document by default, so that users need not update the number of copies each time the document is printed. The number of copies to be printed can be maintained in a custom form column.

For instance, say you want to create a procedure that prints multiple copies of a designated warehouse task, in which the number of copies is defined per warehouse. In order to achieve this, you can add a custom column to the WAREHOUSES form in which to define the desired number of copies. This value can then be retrieved when executing the document, in the HTMLCURSOR step of the procedure:

  1. Add a custom column to the WAREHOUSES form (column name = PRIV_NUMCOPIES; column type = INT) that can receive any number between 1 and 7.
  2. In the HTMLCURSOR step of the custom procedure, use the DAYS table to define a loop that generates the designated number of copies when executing the document:
ORDER BY 3, 2;


  • If you wish to allow for a number of copies that is greater than 7, you can use a custom table rather than the DAYS table. However, any table you use must contain a fixed number of records, like the DAYS table.
  • If the user also specifies a number of copies when sending the document to the printer (e.g., 2), the total number of copies printed will be a product of both numbers (e.g., if PRIV_NUMCOPIES = 3, a total of 6 copies will be printed).
  • If this mechanism is used to generate multiple copies of a document in which only one original can be printed (such as an invoice or receipt), this mechanism does not override that restriction. In other words, additional copies that are generated in this fashion are still marked as copies.

Further Reading