Template reports allow you
the greatest flexibility in creating reports in MERLIN.net. This Template Tutorial
will assist you in developing your own customized reports based on options you
select from a series of screens.
When you access the Predefined
reports in MERLIN.net, you are prompted with choices for certain parameters
or filters (e.g. Accounting month) which specify what slice of the data is to
be selected. This assists in restricting the size of the returned report.
In Template reports, you
have the ability to create a brand new analysis from scratch. This is sometimes
referred to as ad hoc reporting. The most important aspect of creating a template
report is establishing filters to set the bounds for the returned data. Because
your reports are retrieved from a massive database containing millions of records,
it is important that you carefully plan and narrow the focus of your question
as much as possible. Due to limitations of the Internet, 1000 rows of data is
the most you will be able to retrieve in MERLIN.net, so you must outline your
Creating a template report
only requires you to navigate through four or five screens and will give you
the capability to:
- Select a template
- Select the columns to
use for the query
- Group or sort records
- Choose a report or chart
- Filter the data
- Create a report title
- Choose the columns to
show in the report
- Add subtotals and totals
- Format the font style
- Save a report
The Tutorial has been divided
into four lessons, and each lesson should take no more than 20 minutes of your
time. They are categorized by the focus of each lesson so if you need to refresh
your memory at a later time, it is easy to pick out the appropriate lesson.
When using this Tutorial
you will be asked to go through each screen to define parameters for a representative
report. At the top of each screen you will see informational material and
numbered steps you will follow. Although you are not connecting "live" to the data warehouse while using
the tutorial, each screen is an exact replica of the screens you will encounter.
Because the data is not "live," the report results will return a static data
set that is applicable for the parameters you choose.
Screen sizes vary depending
upon the type of monitor you are using. You may have to scroll to see all of
the options and choices available to you on a screen. Two types of choices will
be presented to you on the screens. When you can select multiple items they
are preceded by a check box. When you must make a choice between items, they
are preceded by a circle (radio button).
You must follow the Tutorial
directions exactly. If you choose options other than what the instructions specify,
a pop-up error message will appear and you will not be allowed to move to the
next screen. For example, if the instructions specify to filter to Agency Number
130, you must enter 130 for the agency filter. When you move to the next screen, you
will be unable to go back a screen unless instructed.
Printing the directions would be helpful to review prior
screens and/or to assist in entering the given data for each prompt. Press here to take you to the screen for printing the Tutorial Text.
Lessons are designed to
take only 10-20 minutes to complete. Let's begin by creating an expenditure
report for one fund within one agency for the 1999 Budget Year.
Click Lesson 1 to
begin the Tutorial.
| ||Lesson 1|
Creating a Basic Report: Sorting, Grouping, and Modifying.
| ||Lesson 2|
Using Various Comparison Operators: Between and In This List.
| ||Lesson 3|
Creating Subtotals, Printing, and Saving Reports.
| ||Lesson 4|
Using the "Starts With" Operator.
| ||Lesson 5|
The CHALLENGE Lesson.
| ||Lesson 6|
| ||Tutorial Text|
Complete Text for all Lessons.