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Detail reports
Solution No. 412

How to create a detail report


Method Report Designer allows you to create reports of varying complexity.  In previous sections of this documentation, you’ve learned how to create basic reports displaying certain information (for example, a contact list displaying your contacts divided up into city).  Detail reports are basically nested reports designed to allow you to expand and include additional details. Detail reports draw on additional tables associated with the Base Table you choose for your report in order to display related information.   For example: you can use a detail report to display all invoices associated with a customer within a customer list on a report.  Since this is a fairly comprehensive example, it’s the one we will use here to explain the steps to creating a detail report.  So let’s get started!

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How to create a detail report

  1. First, create a basic customer list report (to do so, follow the steps found in Creating a new report, but on step 3, when choosing a base table for your report, select Customers).
  2. Under Choose Additional Detail Tables, choose InvoiceCustomerRef, then click Create New Report

    TIP: It’s important to note that detail tables can only be selected if they are associated with the Base Table you chose at the top.  Contacts, for example, is a CRM table that is associated with activities, cases and opportunities, whereas Customers associates with QuickBooks transactions like invoices and estimates.  

    A detail table can only be connected to a Base Table when a dropd-down field joints it to the Base Table. Make sure you know which Base Table to choose to ensure you have the right options for the Detail Table(s).
  3. Build out your customer list in the same way you did in Creating a new report.

  4. Next, we’ll need to add a detail report band.  Right-click on the Detail band and select Insert Detail Report > Customer.  This will place a secondary band within the Detail section.  You might be tempted to choose Invoice instead of Customer, but that isn't going to provide you with the information you want.  For this example, we want the invoice details that are related to specific customers, so we need to choose the invoices listed in the Customer table.  Otherwise you'll end up reporting on free-floating invoices and not those that are details of each customer in the report!  
    TIP: When you’re working with multiple bands, it can be helpful to name those bands to avoid confusion later on.  In order to rename a band, click on the band and, in the Properties menu in the lower right-hand of the screen, use the Name field to rename the band.  
  5. In the Field List, select Customer > Invoice.Customer.  This is the field that links customers with invoices as mentioned in Step 4.  Choose the fields that make the most sense for your report and drag them into the Detail Report section.  For this example, using RefNumber and Amount make good sense.  If you take a look in the Preview section, you’ll see that each customer entry now has a list of invoice numbers and total amounts nested beneath it.  
  6. However, you may want to clean up your report by labeling the invoice number and amount columns to add context.  To do this, right click in the Detail Report band and select Insert Band > Group Header.  Then add your titles in the Group Header section using Labels as normal.  
  7. In order for the invoice amount to appear in the correct format, select the Amount field and click on the arrow button to bring up additional options.  Click the ellipses button [...] next to Format String, select Currency, and click OK.  This will set the currency to appear in the standard $0.00 format we’re used to.  
  8. You can style the specifics of this report to your taste (please see our section on Styling for more information about how to use styling tools).  When you’re satisfied with your report, check the Preview section to make sure it looks the way you want it to, and then save it.

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