Reporting - Vertical Bands (v18.2)

Reporting Team Blog
18 October 2018

For v18.2, we are setting out to solve a long-standing customer requirement: arranging data records horizontally in report output.

We have had numerous requests for such a feature over the years and we’ve gone through several stages in our quest for the best solution. For instance, we researched the option of adapting a vertical grid component for the purpose, similar to the way the Pivot Grid embeds in a report. But we realized that a component-based approach would cause trouble here and that more flexibility was required.

This is how the idea of Vertical Bands was born. Just like for horizontal bands, you can choose and place report controls as required, without the limitations associated with a component-based solution. The result is the greatest possible freedom for your report layout!

Vertical Bands

We’ve added three new types of report bands to our BI Reporting platform: Vertical Detail, Vertical Header and Vertical Total. Using these bands, record fields are arranged vertically and records rendered horizontally, from left to right. It’s like a traditional banded report rotated 90 degrees, so rows become columns and columns become rows.

Vertical Bands in the Designer

Vertical bands enable a new kind of tabular report, as required by typical Profit and Loss Statements or Summary of Sales reports where data rows need to be arranged horizontally.

Here is the report from the image above in the print preview:

Vertical Bands in Print Preview

Vertical Report Design Specifics

To create a vertical report, begin by clicking the context menu item Insert Vertical Band. Note that if your report has a Detail Band with report controls, you’ll be warned that this band and all its child controls will be lost in the conversion (the same warning shows when you change from vertical to horizontal layout):

Conversion Warning Message

In case the designer doesn’t have space on screen to show the vertical bands side by side, a scrollbar is displayed for the region:

Vertical Bands Scrollbar

Right-to-left layout is also supported. If you activate Right to Left in the property grid, the total and header bands switch positions and records are rendered accordingly.

Right-to-left Support

The VerticalDetailBand class also provides the property BandLayout which defines how overflow records are handled. When this property is set to AcrossOnly, records will be arranged strictly horizontally. The AcrossThenDown setting starts a new row when there’s not enough space horizontally to render another record. Here’s an example of the AcrossThenDown setting where data ends up arranged in columns with the total summary displayed after all the records.

AcrossThenDown Rendering

Finally, you can set the property VerticalHeaderBand.RepeatEveryPage to show the vertical header band on each page.

Report Designer Surface Redesigned

With the introduction of vertical bands, we redesigned the report surface since these bands don’t begin and end at the outer document edges. Starting from v18.2, document areas that don’t contain controls have a white background, and band captions are displayed between the document margins only.

Redesigned Report Designer Surface

Report Wizard Support

We have added a new Vertical Report type to the Report Wizard, available on all platforms except the Web (Vertical Bands work great on the Web, only the wizard doesn’t have this item!). The user can choose this type, select the direction for data records to be rendered, and define groups and summaries like for a regular table report.

Vertical Report in the Wizard

The future of Vertical Bands

At this time, our implementation of Vertical Bands is simple and there are a few limitations. For example, vertical group bands are not supported, and the Vertical Total band doesn’t support a property similar to GroupFooterBand.PrintAtBottom. We are interested in your thoughts. Please feel free to leave comments below or open a ticket in Support Center for detailed discussions.

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