Planning Your Report Parameters
As with any flexfield, planning how your flexfield pop-up window should look and behave is the most important step. For Standard Request Submission reports, however, this planning is even more important because the arrangement of your parameters in the pop-up window affects the way parameter values or arguments are passed to your report. You should keep this arrangement in mind as you write your report program.
Simplify Passing Argument Values to Your Reports
Using descriptive flexfield segments as report parameters allows you to provide a very user-friendly report submission window while still passing specific values to your reports. You can use report parameters to "translate" from end user-oriented values such as an application name (for example, Oracle Order Entry) to an "ID" value (such as 12345). You can then write your report to use the ID value directly, rather than having to write extra program code to parse the end user terms yourself and translate them to your ID values. You can get most of this information from the Oracle Application Object Library tables, but that involves additional queries and trips to the database tables. You can also avoid the opposite effect using report parameters, that is, you need not force your end users to provide the ID values themselves just to make your program simpler.
Use Hidden Parameters to Simplify End User Report Submission
You can simplify users' report submission by defining hidden parameters and defaulting values users would otherwise need to enter. For example, some reports might use the current date as a parameter. You can set up a hidden report parameter that defaults to the current date, and your users need not enter the date themselves or even see that parameter. Similarly, you could set up a hidden parameter that defaults to the value of a profile option such as the user's set of books or organization ID number. You set up default values and hidden parameters when you define your concurrent program and report parameters using the Concurrent Program windows.
See: Concurrent Programs
Limit Value Choices Based on Prior Segments
Another way you can simplify users' report submission is by making your parameter values depend on the values of previous parameters. You use the special bind variable $FLEX$ in a value set WHERE clause to make a report parameter depend on a prior report parameter. By carefully planning and defining your value sets, you can make your reports easier to use by presenting only a limited number of appropriate values from which your user can choose. See: Value Set Windows.
Overview of Flexfields and Standard Request Submission
Using Flexfield Information in Your Report Parameters
Report Parameter Window Planning Diagrams