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In she had the privilege of spending six months as a contractor onsite in Redmond with the Microsoft Fox Team. Cathy has spoken at many FoxPro conferences and user groups across the U. Pushing it to the Limit and Beyond, is available from Hentzenwerke Publishing www. This makes it a great blend of the old and the new. In this article, you’ll learn about some of the new features, including the new reusable data environments, report protection, and several user interface enhancements.
You’ll also learn about enhancements to layout objects and data groups. Before I explain the new features, you need to understand convertirr to conevrtir the new Report Designer and how to run reports using the new output engine.
Just like the Report Designer, you can control whether the new or old output engine is used. It provides newer dialog boxes and is easier to use than the old version. It also provides access to many of the new features that are not available through the old Report Designer. Just as with the Report Designer, you can control whether the new or old output engine is converrir.
Unlike the Report Designer, which defaults to the new style out of the box, Cojvertir FoxPro 9 defaults to the older output engine.
Therefore, some of your existing reports could render differently in Visual FoxPro 9, which means frz have to tweak them to make them appear correctly. You can switch between the output engines with the following command:. The rest of this article assumes that the new Report Designer and the new output engine are both in use. Data Environments can also be saved as a class and then convertig into reports as needed.
This offers a great reuse scenario for defining common reporting needs. To save a Data Environment as a class, start by defining the Data Environment in a report as usual. After selecting the Save As Class The DataEnvironment button of the Save option group is the only option button-enabled when saving a Data Environment of a report. Enter a name for the class in the Name textbox. cinvertir
The Visual FoxPro 9 Report Writer
Next, enter the name of the class library you want the new class saved in. If you enter the name of a class library that does not exist, the new class library is created for you. You can also use the ellipse button to brows for the location of an existing class library. Finally, you may optionally enter a description of the new class. In addition to manually defining the Data Environment for a new report, Visual FoxPro 9 also gives you the option to load the Data Environment from an existing report or from a saved DataEnvironment class.
The Load Data Environment When loading the Data Environment from another report, all the code and members of the original Data Environment are copied into the new report. This means any changes made to the original report’s Data Environment after the fact are not propagated into reports created from the original report. In addition to manually defining the Data Environment for a new report, you have the option to load the Data Environment from an existing report or from a saved DataEnvironment class.
Use this menu to select the report from which you wish to copy the Data Environment. Select the Copy from another report file option button and then click the Select This invokes the Open dialog box so you can choose which report to copy from.
Once you chose a report, a confirmation dialog box appears. Visual FoxPro 9 is about to copy the Data Environment from another report to the current report.
Visual FoxPro 9 notifies you that it’s about to overwrite the current Data Environment, and you must click Yes to continue. This helps remind you that anything you have defined in the Data Environment of reoortes current report is about to be overwritten.
If you click Nochanges are not made and the process is aborted. When you click Yesthe Data Environment is copied and you are notified by another dialog box. You are now finished copying the Data Environment. You may manipulate the Data Environment as needed. However, remember that any changes made to the original report’s Data Environment after this point are not propagated to this new report.
When loading the Data Environment from a class, code reprtes added to the Data Environment of the new report to bind to the original DataEnvironment class and instantiate it at frc. This means that confertir changes made to the DataEnvironment class will propagate into reporrtes reports using the DataEnvironment x. Next, click the Select After comvertir your intentions, the Data Environment is updated and you are notified of its completion.
At this point, code has been added to five Data Environment methods: The reason for this is that BindEvents does not function unless the method contains at least one line of code.
Look at the code in these methods to see what it does, but I do not recommend that you change convertr. This lets your user modify a report, yet keeps them from making certain changes. Layout objects have five protection modes you can set, and Field objects have an additional protection option.
Bands have two protection modes you can set. The report itself has a variety of different protection modes you can set. To protect a layout object in the Report Designer, select the Properties dialog box for the object. The Properties dialog box can be invoked from the Report menu after selecting the object from the right-click menu of the object, or by double-clicking the object. Figure 3 shows the Protection tab of the Properties dialog box for a field object.
You can set the following five protection modes for layout objects:. The Design-time caption portion of this dialog box only applies to Field objects. The literal string entered into this textbox is displayed in the Report Designer, instead of the Expression.
This gives you the opportunity to display something that is user-friendly instead of a complicated expression. To protect a band in the Report Designer, select the Properties dialog box for the band. The Properties dialog box can be invoked from the Edit Bands Figure 4 shows the Protection tab of the Properties dialog box for a band. You can set the following two protection modes for bands:.
To set overall report protection, select the Report Properties dialog box. You can invoke this dialog box by selecting Properties from the Report menu or from the right-click menu of the report. Figure 5 shows the Protection tab of the Report Properties dialog box.
The top portion of this dialog box allows you to define which tabs of the Report Properties dialog box are unavailable to the user. For each of the selections made in this area, the applicable tab of the Report Properties dialog box is disabled.
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The Protection option is always checked and disabled. The bottom portion of this dialog box allows covnertir to define which menu options are unavailable to the user. For each of the selections in this area, the applicable menu option is disabled. Many changes have been made vonvertir the user interface to make designing reports easier and more intuitive.
Menus have been overhauled, context menus have been changed, and new options have been added to the Report Designer toolbar. The Expression Builder dialog box and Expression Builder Options dialog box have new behaviors, and a few other miscellaneous user interface enhancements have been added to the Visual FoxPro 9 Report Writer.
The report menu system has been overhauled in Visual FoxPro 9 to accommodate new options. In addition, some options have been relabeled for clarity and some options have been repeated on several menus to allow easier access. Existing context menus have been improved with additional items and are now more consistent with the dialog boxes they invoke.
Items in the Report Designer that previously didn’t have context menus now do. Connvertir improved Report Designer toolbar, shown in Figure 6has two new buttons: The Page Setup button and the Font button.
A few changes have been made to the Report Expression dialog box, including a taller Expression for Field editing box, which allows more room for entering a report expression.
Only tables defined in the Data Converrir are listed in the Fields list box. Tables opened outside of the Data Environment are not available in the list box. This Expression Builder dialog box has a combo box for choosing which table should be used when listing fields in the Fields list box.
Only tables that are currently in use are listed in the combo box. This is an important point to remember because tables defined in the Data Environment are not automatically opened by the Report Designer, and do not automatically appear in the combo box.
This gives you the ability to control which tables are available to end-users when you allow them to modify reports within your application.
You may have defined some tables in the Data Environment that you need, but to which you don’t want user access. Because you have to specifically open the tables you want users to access, you can omit any tables you want to keep from them. The Field aliases option group is now enabled in the Expression Builder Options dialog box.
This option group allows you to indicate whether or not you want the table alias added to the report expression when picking fields from the Expression Builder dialog box. The Always add alias and Never add alias option buttons cause Visual FoxPro 9 to automatically add the table alias, or to not add the table alias, for all fields.
Fields from the InitialSelectedAlias table are not prefixed with the table alias. The currently selected alias is used instead of the InitialSelectedAlias for determining whether or not to prefix the field with the table rfportes. In addition to selecting a field from the Expression Builder dialog box, dragging a field from the Data Environment to the Report Designer surface honors reportws setting of the Field aliases option group. Also, a new option exists on the Report tab of the Options dialog box to determine what the default Field aliases setting is for all newly created reports.
The mouse cursor now changes to provide a visual cue when an object can be resized see Figure 7. Visual FoxPro 9 has a Multiple Selection dialog box, which allows you to deportes the Protection and Print when properties for more than one layout object at a time.