The topics in this section discuss basic concepts of layout objects; for more advanced concepts, see Section 2.4, "Layout Objects".
Frames surround other objects and protect them from being overwritten or pushed by other objects. For example, a frame might be used to surround all objects owned by a group, to surround column headings, or to surround summaries.
When you default the layout for a report, Oracle Reports Builder creates frames around report objects as needed; you can also create a frame manually in the Paper Layout view. See Section 1.6.3, "About the Paper Layout view".
Create frames when you want to:
group together objects to ensure they maintain their relative positions during printing.
delineate sections in your report.
Example: You want the top of each page to have a tabular format, but the bottom of each page to have a matrix format.
protect other objects from being overwritten.
Example: A summary is centered under two repeating frames. Defaulting rules state that the summary must remain at a fixed distance from only the first object that can overwrite it; therefore, the summary is in danger of being overwritten by the second repeating frame. Enclosing both repeating frames with a frame will force the summary to maintain a fixed distance from both of them, and it will not be overwritten.
prevent an object from printing until other objects finish printing.
Example: A summary is centered under two repeating frames. According to defaulting rules, the summary will print as soon as the first repeating frame finishes printing. Create a frame around the two repeating frames to ensure the summary prints after both repeating frames have finished printing.
When you default the layout for a report, Oracle Reports Builder generates one repeating frame for each group in the data model, and places one field inside it for each of the group's columns. Repeating frames can enclose any layout object, including other repeating frames. Nested repeating frames are typically used to produce master/detail and break reports. For each record of the outer repeating frame, Oracle Reports Builder will format all related records of the enclosed repeating frame.
You can also create a repeating frame manually in the Paper Layout view. See Section 1.6.3, "About the Paper Layout view".
For each object or record, a frame or repeating frame's size can be expandable, contractible, variable, or fixed (specified by the Horizontal Elasticity and Vertical Elasticity properties). For example, you can set the properties to specify that it should be fixed in size horizontally, but expand vertically if a record requires more space.
In the figure below, notice that there are four records for department 20, but only one record each for departments 10 and 30. The repeating frame has expanded vertically to accommodate department 20's additional records.
Frames or repeating frames that contract horizontally or vertically reduce in size when an object or record requires less space than the frame or repeating frame's initial size. A frame or repeating frame may also be variable in size: it expands or contracts based on the size of the value it displays. Also, if a frame or repeating frame is fixed in size and an object or record's data requires a larger field than it can contain, the remaining data will be pushed onto the following page(s) in the same x and y coordinates.
Fields are placeholders for parameters, columns, and such values as the page number, current date, and so on. If a parameter or column does not have an associated field, its values will not appear in the report output. A field is owned by the object surrounding it, which is the first enclosing object (either a frame or repeating frame).
When you default the layout for a report, Oracle Reports Builder generates one field for each column, and places each field inside of a repeating frame. You can also create a field manually in the Paper Design view, Paper Layout view or Paper Parameter Form view.
If you create a field object in a template, the field is renamed when the template is applied to a report. For example, if you create a field named
F_1, the field is renamed to
F_1_SEC2 when the template is applied to a report. Thus, if you reference
F_1 in boilerplate (
&F_1), these references will need to be updated.
Oracle Reports Builder creates one boilerplate object for each label selected in the Report Wizard (it is named
B_columnname). For example, if a column is named
ENAME, a boilerplate object containing
ENAME is generated for the column. For some report types, Oracle Reports Builder also generates lines under the labels.
You can also create a boilerplate objects manually in the Paper Design view, Paper Layout view, or Paper Parameter Form view using any of the following tools in the tool palette:
Rounded Rectangle tool
If you have text, graphics, or HTML in a file that you would like to display as boilerplate in your report, you can link to the file, as described in the following procedures:
Linking to a file means that the contents of the file are pulled into the boilerplate object each time the report is run. In this way, you can ensure that your output includes the most recent changes to the file.
You can also link a boilerplate image object to a URL where the image is located. See Section 220.127.116.11.3, "Linking an image object to a URL".
These procedures are for paper-based reports only. File Link objects are not implemented in JSP-based Web reports.