Allow Non-Mandatory Report Parameters

Jason Kaczmarek shared this problem 3 weeks ago
Resolved

I would love to be able to chose whether or not a report parameter is mandatory. I have a workaround uses a calculated field that ignores the default parameter value. However, this is not an intuitive user experience as it shows a filter breadcrumb that is technically being ignored. (v7.4.6)

Jason

Comments (9)

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Hi Jason,

Thanks for reaching out. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "report parameter." Can you show me (via screenshot) where in the application this mandatory report parameter you're talking about is located? so I can see how it relates to showing as a filter breadcrumb that's being ignored.

Thanks,

Mike

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Mike,

I have a report that allows us to lookup cash receipt information. The quality of available search information varies, so the report is designed to take an input and search multiple fields for a match. In this case, I have seven numeric fields that should be searched. Instead of adding each field individually as a filter, I opted to add a Numeric Parameter on the View and then use that in the report. This setup allows the user to type in their search value into the parameter one time, but still search all seven fields. Below is how the filters are setup. Notice the green "Amount" item. That's the Numeric Parameter with a default value of 0.00.

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The thing is that users may not search by a numeric value. We also have a text search as well as some other specific filters. However, once you add the parameter to the report, it becomes mandatory. The default value of 0.00 will return many results, so I needed a workaround to prevent that from returning records. So I added NumParam1_Ref filter (above) and said it must not equal zero. This works; however, since the filter is mandatory, the breadcrumb never goes away. Below you can see it's showing a search value of 0.00; however, remember my workaround prevents that from actually returning results.

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I believe that there is an option to choose whether or not a report parameter is mandatory, when the report is based on a SQL procedure. I would love to see this option extended to all parameters.

Jason

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Hi Jason,


Thanks for detailing this. I definitely can understand now how this would be a useful enhancement. I've gone ahead and logged this in our system for consideration for future development.

Any potential updates regarding this will be posted here.

Regards,

Mike

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I've also asked for removing the mandated default for parameters but for different reasons. There's also a bug associated with parameters that came along with the newly mandated default requirement as of 7.3. For this example, I would urge you to opt for filter links instead. Just link the other filters to PreTaxTotal and allow omit for each. It's pretty straightforward and would accomplish the same thing. Also, it would be a bit easier to understand the logic. Lastly, if it's possible to change the report to a cross tab report you can simplify the filter. For example, unpivot your various totals so that you are left with two columns: TotalType and Amount:

Type		Amount
PreTaxTotal	100
RctTotal	200
CashTotal	300
ChkTotal	15
.... When you pivot the above table your report will look the same as before except now you can filter on one column instead of 8. As a bonus, the user can decide what type of total they want to filter on, pre-tax, cash, etc. I do something similar for aging buckets. The user can filter on amounts from all aging buckets and they can choose what aging bucket to view and filter. Same can apply here.

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Hi Larry,

Thanks for contributing! These are some good ideas.

Jason, please let me know how you're getting along with these recommendations.

These are especially helpful considering our update from the dev team: "The challenge I see here is that once you make the parameter not mandatory, but then you link it to a filter, you will effectively pass null in to those filters and they will fail to evaluate. ie. PretaxTotal Equals Null....so there is cascading effects. I'm thinking we are not going to go ahead and do this - and perhaps there are smart ways to solve through structuring the data a little differently in the DB."

Please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks,Mike

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Larry,

I can't thank you enough for posting these solutions! I had no idea what the Link to Filter feature did. That solution works great for me. That's exactly what I needed; much better user experience.

Jason

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Jason,

Happy to help! I truly enjoy searching this community to be of assistance when I can. I better get back to work now. Take care! :)

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Always much appreciated Larry!

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Hi Jason,

Excellent. Glad to hear it! I'll go ahead and close this case out then.

Larry, thanks again for your input!

Regards,

Mike