In this chapter, we wanted to focus on some practical tips and hints to help report authors get some new ideas for their report requirement solutions that simplify the presentation of the reports.
In class, we cover most of the commonly used IBM Cognos Report Studio object properties; however, it takes some time and report-building experience to find out what the rest of the properties are useful for.
The first example builds on the exceptional highlighting techniques we cover in the IBM Cognos Report Studio Fundamentals and Advanced classes. For example, the classes teach the students how to highlight values in individual cells or the whole rows of data based on some kind of static or user-defined thresholds. Our example takes exceptional highlighting to the next level by combining the highlighting techniques with some complex report expression building to achieve the desired results.
The second example allows users to change the filter expression and avoid complex macro expressions that are not really expected from the majority of business report authors.
The third example showcases some of the less-used IBM Cognos Report Studio object properties and provides alternative approaches to solving the same report requirements.
Some techniques that you may want to integrate into other reports include these:
- Various string manipulation functions
- Unlocking of the list container cells to condense reports
- Multiple prompt pages to guide the user to narrow down the focus of the report
- Conditional blocks in the prompt pages and in the report pages
- Reuse of report parameters and conditional variables in different areas of the report
- Solve Order property adjustment for crosstab reports to resolve aggregation issues