Creating Templates

$Id: 96670403b5fe7a8ef4e760c51a0e59d21910f7ed $

Table of Contents

28.1. Choosing Displayed Fields
28.2. Applying Filters

Once the folders are ready, you can create or clone a template. Templates allow you to run a report more than once, without building it anew every time by changing definitions (such as values for the filters) to suit current requirements. For example, a template counting patrons with a registration date within a time frame can be used to find out the number of patrons registered within the last month or the last ten days. Another example is a shared template that reports on circulation statistics at a given library. This can be used by other libraries by selecting their own library as the circulating library when they run the report.

Creating a template is complex. It requires some understanding of the Evergreen database and how Evergreen handles various records when performing tasks on the staff client. You may refer to the last section of this chapter for some background knowledge. Bear in mind, that a template includes a list of displayed fields, the information you will see in the result, and a list of filter fields which enables you to set up the conditions for your target records. Generally you do not record your conditions in the template. For example, in an overdue template, you do not record 2012-01-01 as the due date. Instead, you just make the Due Date field in the circulation record as a filter field. When setting up the report with this template, you will be given the chance to put in 2012-01-01 as the due date.

It can be useful to plan out your report on paper before getting started with the reporting tool. The first thing to decide is the source table. You can choose only one starting source table for each template. If you need information from other tables, follow the link in the source table to those tables. Grouping together related fields and identifying the key fields will help you select the correct source.

We will take a report on circulation statistics as an example to show you how to create the template. In circulation statistic reports, libraries usually want to know how many circulations were done within a selected time period. When an item is checked out on the staff client, a record is created in the circulation table. You want a count of the number of circulation records created within the time period. So, the Circulation table is likely the source with which you want to start.

You may wish to break down the number of circulations by items' shelving locations to see the circulations by different types of materials (or the patrons' profile groups). In this case, the count of circulation records and the shelving location (or patron profile) are the potential displayed fields. For the filter fields, you need to limit the circulations done within a time period, so checkout date should be a filter. You probably want to count the circulations done at your library only as you are part of a consortium, or for all the branches of your library system. (In such a case, you may want to see the checkout library in the result, too.) So, the circulating library will be another filter.

With the above analysis, we will build the template from scratch in the following section to demonstrate the procedure on the template creating screen.

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