Priority Dashboard Reports


Any Priority report can be displayed on the Internet or in Priority Dashboards, provided that it is run from within an HTML procedure.

Nonetheless, a few forms in the Report Generator enhance its capabilities in two main directions:

  • You can specially design the HTML report, so that it has the “look” of a form.
  • You can define input columns and links in the report.

The basic idea of specially designed reports is to be able to place the fields that appear in the report wherever you want on the HTML page. That is, you select and place the report fields on the output page (hereafter “form”). To place the fields in the form, you logically divide the form into table cells, and then place each report field in its respective cell. For a detailed explanation, see Displaying HTML Text in Reports .

There are several types of input for a report:

  • strings, including hidden character input fields (for password input)
  • integers
  • real numbers
  • Choose lists, including radio buttons, check boxes, Multiple Choose lists and Multiple Check boxes.

Three types of links can also be defined:

  • to a URL (web link)
  • internal link back to the current procedure (the procedure will continue to run from the step where it left off)
  • internal link to another procedure (which will be activated by the link).

Input columns and links are defined in the Link/Input tab of the Report Columns–HTML Design form. Any report column can be made into an input or link column. To choose the type of input or link, use the Link/Input Type column.

The number of characters that can be recorded in a given input column is determined either by the width of the report column or by the value of the MAXHTMLWIDTH system constant, whichever is greater. For example, if the width of the report column is defined as 32 and the value of the MAXHTMLWIDTH constant is 20, users will only be able to see 20 characters at a time, but will be able to record up to 32 characters in the column in question. Users can view any data that exceeds 20 characters by scrolling within the input column.

Defining Choose Lists

When an input column is a Choose list, you have to define the query for retrieving the values that will appear in that list. You can do so in one of two ways:

  • Via a target form: In the Report Columns–HTML Design form, define a target form in the Target Form (Choose) column.
  • Via a query: Create a trigger and record an SQL query for the list in the Field Triggers form, another sub-level of the Report Columns form.

The Choose query is very similar to a CHOOSE-FIELD form trigger. You retrieve two or three values, where the first retrieved value is displayed in the Choose list, while the second is returned to the :HTMLFIELD variable in the procedure. The third value (optional) is used solely for sorting purposes. (Of course, you can also sort by each of the other two fields.)

Tip: To make the retrieval conditional upon the values of other fields in the same report, use a variable beginning with # followed by the column number (e.g., :#75 for column 75).

Any HTML page that the user accesses can include a number of reports. Each of these reports may have a number of input columns and links. When the user clicks on one of the links, the procedure runs anew (assuming, of course, that the link entails a return to the procedure). When this happens, the procedure needs to know which link the user has activated and what values he or she specified in the input columns.

In most cases, the report has the format of a table (columns and rows). In order to identify a given field, the system needs to know which column and which row are involved, as well as the value of that field. For this purpose, three variables have been specially created:

  • :HTMLACTION – to identify the column (a fixed string)
  • :HTMLVALUE – to identify the row (a value returned by one of the report fields other than the current field)
  • :HTMLFIELD – to return the value of the current field (relevant for input columns, but not for links).

Note: Of course, for a report that displays only one record, it is sufficient to identify the column (:HTMLACTION).

Example: In the list of parts appearing in the Storefront, each part has at least two links:
(1) a link from the part description (or its picture), which opens a screen displaying more detailed information about the part;
(2) a link which adds the item to the shopping cart.

The procedure needs to receive the correct value for the :HTMLACTION variable in order to know which action to take (e.g., “DETAILS” to display part information or “SHOPPINGCART” to add the item to the cart). In both cases, the value of :HTMLVALUE will be the same (the desired part, i.e., PART.PART).

To identify the table column:

  • Specify the string which identifies the table column in the Return Value Name (:HTMLACTION) column of the Report Columns–HTML Design form. This becomes the :HTMLACTION variable in the procedure (see more below).

To identify the table row:

  • Specify the number of the column identifying the table row in the Return Value Column# (:HTMLVALUE) column. This becomes the :HTMLVALUE variable in the procedure.
    Important! This report column must be either a displayed column or a sort column.

As explained above, a link in a report can be to a URL or to a procedure (the current one or a new one). To create a web link (URL):

  1. Select W or w in the Link/Input Type column.
  2. Indicate the number of the column in which the URL is stored in the Return Value Column# (:HTMLVALUE) column.

To link back to the same procedure:

  1. Select P, p, b, H or N in the Link/Input Type column (depending on the type of window you want to generate).
  2. Indicate the columns that determine the return values (HTMLVALUE and HTMLACTION).

To create a link to a new procedure:

  1. Select P, p, b, H or N in the Link/Input Type column.
  2. Indicate the columns that determine the return values (HTMLVALUE and HTMLACTION).
  3. Record the column that defines the procedure in the Internal Link Column # column. Ensure that the value in this column is the name (ENAME) of the procedure.
    Important! This must be a sort column in the report.
  4. Return to the Report Columns form and move to the column specified in the preceding step.
  5. Enter the Report Column Extension sub-level form and, in the Expression/Condition column, record the name of the procedure you want to activate.

To link to multiple procedures:

  • Ensure that the column defining the procedure includes the name of the procedure that needs to be activated for each of the report records (similar to the same process in a form).

Example:In order to display the financial document by its reference number in the journal entry, you need to activate one procedure in the case of an invoice, another procedure in the case of a customer receipt and a third procedure in the case of payment to a vendor.

Handling Input From Report Columns in the Procedure

Three variables help to determine input from report columns:

  • :HTMLACTION – a fixed string identifying the column
  • :HTMLVALUE – a value returned by a report field (other than the current one) that identifies the row
  • :HTMLFIELD – returns the value of the current report field.

When the procedure is run anew (by the Internet user), the :HTMLACTION and :HTMLVALUE variables contain the values from the field that the user clicked to activate the link.

To access the values input by the user:

  • Create a cursor-like mechanism that passes through all the report’s input columns, using the DISPLAY command within SQL code. Each time the command is activated, the values of a different input column are filled in from the report with the three variables.


  • If several reports are displayed by the INPUT step, the values of input columns will be returned for all the reports.
  • If you include a Multiple Choose list or Multiple Check box field in the report, each of the user's selections is stored in a different :HTMLFIELD variable, but only one :HTMLACTION variable is defined (since all values were selected in a single column).




Further Reading