Data output with List & Label

The List & Label reporting tool can be used to edit data for various purposes and output them in an appealing format, e.g., for analyses or presentations. For this purpose, you design print templates with which data can be output on printers or in PDF files. You can design print templates for reports and forms as well as flexible data exports. The variety of functions provided by List & Label can be used for designing templates for data output and for visualizing data. For instance, you can provide data in charts for analysis and interpretation.

List & Label is a product of combit Software GmbH.

Designing print templates with List & Label

List & Label can be used to design print templates for various purposes. The individual print templates are called "Projects" in List & Label. In addition to the design functions, List & Label also offers numerous functions for editing data. For instance, complex analyses can be integrated into lists and defined with mathematical functions in the print template. Tables or charts can also be integrated. For an overview of all List & Label features, visit the combit website: .

List & Label offers the following project types: "Report", "Card File", and "Label". All of these project types are available for print templates of flexible data exports. The project types that are available for reports and forms are defined in the configuration tables of the individual report categories and form categories. If several project types are available, you select the desired project type when designing the print template in the List & Label Project Type window. If only one project type is available, the print template is automatically created with this project type.

You design print templates with the List & Label designer, which you can open from proALPHA. The data are compiled from the proALPHA database tables for each report category, form category or data export. The data basis that has been defined in proALPHA for the report category or form category is used for reports and forms.

To design report views and form templates, your system administrator can enter components that are often required and complete templates as project includes. The project includes are provided in the Designer. Project includes are entered and managed in system administration. In addition, List & Label offers various project includes.

List & Label Designer

Working area with a project (print template)

The print template can be edited in a layout preview (WYSIWYG editor).

Objects of the print template

The objects are the individual components of the print template. These may be objects in which data are output, e.g., individual fields, tables and report containers, or texts, images, and charts.

Properties

In the window, you can view and edit the properties of the currently selected object or project.

Variables/fields

You use variables and fields to define the data that are to be output in the print template (field selection). The following are available: the data from the data basis that has been defined in proALPHA for the report category or form category. The fields are listed under the descriptions of the tables in which they are saved in proALPHA. Data that are not assigned to any table in the data basis are provided as variables, or data that are provided across the data basis. These include, for example, universal data from proALPHA, e.g. data on your company such as addresses and house banks. Filter defined in the database are also managed as variables. The variables are listed in "proALPHA". Further variables and fields are provided by List & Label, e.g., for pagination and the definition of display and output conditions.

For technical reasons, List & Label cannot display any spaces and special characters in the descriptions of tables and fields. For this reason, percentage symbols, spaces, hyphens (minus signs) and other special characters are replaced with underscores in the list of fields and variables. For example, the field label "% Dis/SuTy Mat" from the data basis in List & Label is displayed as follows: "__Dis__SuTy_Mat".

Window for editing an object

In the window, you can edit the object selected in the object overview, e.g., you can insert fields into a report container.

Languages in the List & Label Designer

To support your foreign-language employees, the Designer can be displayed in various languages as usual for the GUI of proALPHA. When the Designer is opened, it is displayed in the GUI language in which you are logged in to proALPHA (user language). If required, you can switch to another language to design the print template ("Project" tab, "Language" button). The BM_LLDesignerLanguages application parameter defines whether the descriptions (labels) of the tables, variables and fields are displayed in the selected language.

For the Designer to be able to display the labels in this language, the following prerequisites must be met:

  • The labels must be available in the underlying database in the corresponding language. For this purpose, the Language Pack (translated interface) must be installed for this language. If the database has been adjusted according to your requirements or you use an own database, the translations must be manually entered into the database.

  • The labels must be unique for each language, that means a label can only occur once in the database for each structure level. For each structure level means:

    • A table cannot have the same label like another table.

    • Within a table, a field cannot have the same label like another field.

    • A variable cannot have the same label like another variable.

    • A filter or a variable used as a filer cannot have the same label like another filter/filter variable.

That means, two fields can have the same label as long as they belong to different tables within the structure, but they cannot if they belong to the same table.

You can edit and update the labels in the database of the corresponding report category/form category (Function | Translations menu item). In the Translations window, you can rename labels that are not unique and enter missing translations. To determine the labels that are not unique, you can filter in the overview of the labels by means of the Conflicts Only check box.

proALPHA variables

In the designer, the following data and settings are provided as proALPHA variables:

  • Data from proALPHA for universal use independently of the data basis

    This includes dates, times, user data, and data of your company such as addresses and house banks. These data are usually output in the header or footer of forms and reports.

  • Data that are not assigned to any table in the data basis but have been defined as individual variables

    These variables can also be defined as filter variables. Filter variables can be used to filter for data in reports or to define output conditions, for example. In general, fields for logical data (check boxes) or option groups are used as filter variables. For example, the Open/Archived/All option group can be used to define that only open records are to be output.

  • Datasets that have been defined as filters in the data basis

    These filters can be used to filter for data in reports, for example.

  • Settings for controlling the output

    These variables include:

    • Variable Object ID in Main Table to transmit the internal object ID of the document. In List & Label, the object ID can be used for generating a barcode.

    • Testprint variable to mark the output as a test print

    • Number of Forms variable to transfer the number of form sets to be output (Number of Forms field in the document's header)

    • Output Path variable to transfer the output path selected in the output options. These variables can be used to define whether objects are to be shown when PDF files are printed, for example.

    • Variables to specify the current print language (language key, language description and language code ISO 639-1)

    Explanations of variables can be found in the proALPHA Wiki in the topic "List & Label FAQ". The proALPHA Wiki is a feature of the proALPHA Customer Portal. Please contact the proALPHA Service for access to the proALPHA Customer Portal.

proALPHA functions

In List & Label, you can use formulas and expressions to link or change data. This allows you to integrate calculations and define display and output conditions, for example. For this purpose, numerous functions and operators that can be used in expressions are provided in the List & Label window for editing an object. Available functions include "Translate$" to mark texts translatable and "Cond" to define conditions.

In addition, functions are provided that have been tailored to proALPHA (Custom Functions). proALPHA functions are listed below the List & Label functions and sorted by category, e.g., pA Database). An example of such a function is paCurrentDate. This function allows you to insert the system date. The function is also relevant to automatic COLD archiving during the document output. During archiving, it might occur that the corresponding COLD job is not executed on the same day as the document output with a COLD request. The paCurrentDate function causes the date of COLD archiving to be output as the date of the COLD request.

When you click a function, a description of the function's purpose is shown.

Tip: You can also define output conditions for data without using functions. For this purpose, the "Condition" tab is available in the window for editing an object, in which you can directly enter a condition.

Licensing

List & Label is a product of combit Software GmbH. According to combit's license agreements, the following license regulations apply to the use of data fields in print templates:

  • Data fields of the proALPHA standard version can be used without restrictions with a general license for List & Label.

  • Data fields of company-specific modifications (X modifications) can be used if the consulting partner/system house owns a corresponding license. All companies of the proALPHA group own such a license.

  • Data fields from modifications made by your company (Y modifications) require additional licenses. The license model by combit stipulates one license per developer. Based on this license, an individual runtime key is created for List & Label. The runtime key needs to be defined in the start configuration of the client concerned using the ListLabelIndividualKey start parameter. Once the license information has been defined, the data fields can be used.

If licenses are missing, you will be informed by a system message when the List & Label designer is opened.

Further information about licensing List & Label can be obtained from your consultant or the proALPHA Wiki.

Help for List & Label

Support is provided in the manual of the List & Label Designer. You can open the manual from within the Designer by clicking the icon as usual in Windows.

The print version of the manual can be downloaded from the combit website: . There you can also find other useful information, like:

  • Videos about List & Label

    The videos can be found in the download section under "Product Videos".

  • List & Label Programmer's Manual

    The manual can be found in the download section under "Resources".

Tips and tricks as well as FAQ can be found in the proALPHA Wiki.

In order for you to be able to optimally use List & Label functions with proALPHA, we recommend that you attend the proALPHA seminars for List & Label.

Saving print templates

A print template for the corresponding report view, form template or export definition is saved in the database. The following files are created:

  • File with the print template (project file)

    Depending on the project type, the project file is created with a specific extension, e.g., ".lst" in case of a list.

  • File with printer settings

    Printer settings defined for the print template in the Designer are saved to a separate file with the corresponding extension, e.g., ".lsp" in case of a list.

  • Files for objects

    Objects used in the print template, like images, are "embedded" and are therefore independent of their original storage location in the print template. The print template can be effortlessly exported and imported into another proALPHA installation. The objects are stored with a reference to the print template in a separate repository. The repository can be accessed and managed by your system administrator (List & Label Objects window).

Print templates for reports

Designing print templates for reports

You design print templates as report views based on the data output with the corresponding report category. These data have been stored as the data basis in the configuration of the report category.

To design a print template, first create a report view with the "List & Label" builder type. Next, design the print template in the List & Label designer. To do so, open the List & Label designer in the report builder using the Designer menu item. The data from proALPHA compiled in the data basis are provided to List & Label.

Depending on the report category's configuration, you can adopt data from the report into the Designer in order to use them as preview data. This allows you to check the print template in a preview with actual data already when designing it. To do so, open the Designer using the Designer (Preview Data) menu item.

When you design the print template, you can define various output formats (output devices) in addition to content and layout. For instance, you can determine that a corresponding report can be output in a CSV file. You can select the output devices in the List & Label output settings when outputting a report. Explanations on output devices can be found in the manual for the List & Label Designer.

The completed print template is stored with the report view in proALPHA when the print template is saved and the List & Label designer is closed.

Texts which you have marked to be translated in the print template are stored with the report view in proALPHA. The texts can be translated manually or automatically.

Designing the print template with preview data

  1. Open the window of the report builder of the desired report category.

  2. Create a new report view. Select the builder type "List & Label".

  3. Select the Function | Designer (Preview Data) menu item.

    The options for selecting the preview data are opened. The options correspond to the report's print options.

  4. Define the selection criteria in the appropriate fields in order to filter the preview data.

  5. Click the Design button.

    • If several project types are available, the List & Label Project Type window is opened. Select the desired project type and confirm with OK.

    • If only one project type is available, the print template is automatically created with this project type.

  6. (Applies to the List & Label List project type only.)

    Depending on whether project templates have been defined for designing, the following are distinguished:

    • The options for selecting a project template are opened.

      Optional: Assign the desired project template with <Ctrl + A> and confirm with Yes.

      The List & Label designer is opened.

    • The List & Label designer is opened immediately.

  7. Design the print template according to your requirements. Follow the instructions of the project wizard.

    Support is provided in the documentation of the List & Label Designer.

    When designing the print template, you can check in a preview whether the design meets your requirements. For this purpose, you can view the print template in the layout preview.

  8. Save, and close the List & Label designer.

    The print template is defined with the report view in proALPHA.

Designing the print template without preview data

  1. Open the window of the report builder of the desired report category.

  2. Create a new report view. Select the builder type "List & Label".

  3. Select the Function | Designer menu item.

    • If several project types are available, the List & Label Project Type window is opened. Select the desired project type and confirm with OK.

    • If only one project type is available, the print template is automatically created with this project type.

  4. (Applies to the List & Label List project type only.)

    Depending on whether project templates have been defined for designing, the following are distinguished:

    • The options for selecting a project template are opened.

      Optional: Assign the desired project template with <Ctrl + A> and confirm with Yes.

      The List & Label designer is opened.

    • The List & Label designer is opened immediately.

  5. Design the print template according to your requirements. Follow the instructions of the project wizard.

    Support is provided in the documentation of the List & Label Designer.

  6. Save, and close the List & Label designer.

    The print template is defined with the report view in proALPHA.

Outputting reports

You output reports as usual for reports. Select the report view designed with List & Label as the view. Reports designed with List & Label can be output only by printers/printer drivers installed on Windows (Windows printers). Select the desired printer as the printer or the desired format for the output to a PDF file.

Output devices that have been directly defined to the print template in the designer can be selected during the output via the List & Label output settings. In order for these output settings to be displayed, select Printer Selection Dialog as printer in the proALPHA output options as well as the No Preview option.

Exception: If an output device is defined as preferred output device for the print template, the output is made directly via this output device without considering the output settings. Explanations on output devices can be found in the manual for the List & Label Designer.

Topic: Outputting reports

Print templates for forms

Designing print templates for forms

You design print templates as form templates based on the data output with the corresponding form category. These data have been stored as the data basis in the configuration of the form category.

To design a print template, first create a form template with the "List & Label" builder type. Next, design the print template in the List & Label designer. To do so, open the List & Label designer in the form builder using the Designer menu item. The data from proALPHA compiled in the data basis are provided to List & Label.

When you design the print template, you can define various output formats (output devices) in addition to content and layout. For instance, you can define that the corresponding form can be output in a PDF file. You can select the output devices in the List & Label output settings when outputting a report. Explanations on output devices can be found in the manual for the List & Label Designer.

Depending on the form category's configuration, you can adopt data from the current document into the Designer in order to use them as preview data. This allows you to check the print template in a preview with actual data already when designing it. To do so, open the Designer using the Designer (Preview Data) menu item.

The completed print template is stored with the form template in proALPHA when the print template is saved and the List & Label designer is closed.

Texts which you have marked to be translated in the print template are stored with the form template in proALPHA. The texts can be translated manually or automatically.

Designing the print template with preview data

  1. Open the window of the form builder of the desired form category.

  2. Create a new form template. Select the builder type "List & Label".

  3. Select the Function | Designer (Preview Data) menu item.

    The options for selecting the preview data are opened. The options correspond to the form's print options.

  4. Click the Design button.

    • If several project types are available, the List & Label Project Type window is opened. Select the desired project type and confirm with OK.

    • If only one project type is available, the print template is automatically created with this project type.

  5. (Applies to the List & Label List project type only.)

    Depending on whether project templates have been defined for designing, the following are distinguished:

    • The options for selecting a project template are opened.

      Optional: Assign the desired project template with <Ctrl + A> and confirm with Yes.

      The List & Label designer is opened.

    • The List & Label designer is opened immediately.

  6. Design the print template according to your requirements. Follow the instructions of the project wizard.

    Support is provided in the documentation of the List & Label Designer.

    When designing the print template, you can check in a preview whether the design meets your requirements. For this purpose, you can view the print template in the layout preview.

  7. Save, and close the List & Label designer.

    The print template is defined with the form template in proALPHA.

Designing the print template without preview data

  1. Open the window of the form builder of the desired form category.

  2. Create a new form template. Select the builder type "List & Label".

  3. Select the Function | Designer menu item.

    • If several project types are available, the List & Label Project Type window is opened. Select the desired project type and confirm with OK.

    • If only one project type is available, the print template is automatically created with this project type.

  4. (Applies to the List & Label List project type only.)

    Depending on whether project templates have been defined for designing, the following are distinguished:

    • The options for selecting a project template are opened.

      Optional: Assign the desired project template with <Ctrl + A> and confirm with Yes.

      The List & Label designer is opened.

    • The List & Label designer is opened immediately.

  5. Design the print template according to your requirements. Follow the instructions of the project wizard.

    Support is provided in the documentation of the List & Label Designer.

  6. Save, and close the List & Label designer.

    The print template is defined with the form template in proALPHA.

Outputting forms in print templates

You output forms as usual for forms. Forms designed with List & Label can be output only by printers/printer drivers installed on Windows (Windows printers).

The application parameter BJ_SetPrintedFlagOnLLPreview defines whether the print identifier is already set when the print preview is shown or whether it is only set after the actual output.

Output devices that have been directly defined to the print template in the designer can be selected during the output via the List & Label output settings. In order for these output settings to be displayed, select Printer Selection Dialog as printer in the proALPHA output options as well as the No Preview option.

Exception: If an output device is defined as preferred output device for the print template, the output is made directly via this output device without considering the output settings. Explanations on output devices can be found in the manual for the List & Label Designer.

Topic: Outputting forms

Note: Multi print of several forms with List & Label is possible only to a limited extent. Reason: It is not possible to combine multiple print jobs to one print job with List & Label. For multi print in PDF forms, this means that a separate PDF file is generated for each form; combining them to a single PDF file is not possible.

Designing flexible data exports with List & Label

Designing print templates for flexible data exports

To design a print template, first compile the desired data from the databases by defining a data export. Then design the print template for the desired output type. To do so, open the List & Label Designer from the window of the export definition. proALPHA transfers the compiled data to List & Label. This allows you to check the print template in a preview with data already when designing it.

When designing the print template, you define which data are displayed in which form. For instance, data can be displayed in tables or in charts, or images can be added. These design elements are called "Objects" in List & Label.

The completed print template is stored with the data export in proALPHA when the print template is saved and the List & Label designer is closed.

Only one print template can be designed for each data export. If several print templates are required for a data export, you can use the existing data export as a copy template to create more data exports. For these data exports, you design the desired print templates.

Designing the print template for a flexible data export

  1. Open the Export Definition window

  2. Find the desired export definition.

  3. Click the line of the export definition and the button.

  4. Click the button.

    The List & Label Project Type window is opened.

  5. Select the desired project type and confirm with OK.

    The List & Label designer is opened.

  6. Design the print template according to your requirements. Follow the instructions of the project wizard.

    Support is provided in the documentation of the List & Label Designer.

  7. Save, and close the List & Label designer.

    The print template is defined with the export definition in proALPHA.

Exporting data to print templates

To output the data of a data export in the print template, execute the data export as usual for flexible data exports. Select "List & Label" as the export format. Select the desired printer or "List & Label PDF Export".

Topic: Executing flexible data exports

Note: If the export structure of a data export has been changed, it might not be possible to export data to a List & Label print template. This is the case, for example, if the print template contains fields that are no longer contained in the export structure. You are informed in a system message about such variances of the export structure from the print template when you start the data export or when you open the designer. All variances are listed in the system message so that you can adjust or redesign the print template.

Translating texts from List & Label print templates

The procedure for translating texts from report views is described in the following. The explanations also apply to texts from form templates.

You insert texts as text objects in List & Label. To label data fields, you can use predefined texts (labels) for each report category. You use the labels to insert the data fields in the report view. The labels can be retained or changed. To translate labels and other consistent texts in the report view, use the "List & Label" function for the corresponding text object in Translate$. Explanations can be found in the documentation of List & Label.

The text of a text object is stored in the proALPHA database when the report view is saved. The text is adopted as the key of the record. The key links to the text object in List & Label. The text is also saved in the source language as the description of the record so that it can be translated into other languages. The texts of a report view from List & Label can be viewed and updated in the Translations window in proALPHA. The texts are displayed in an overview. The keys of the texts are displayed in the Text Key column.

Texts can be translated into application languages. You manually enter the translations in the Translations window.

The translation can also be automatically conducted for interface languages. The translation is conducted when the report view is saved in List & Label; it does not have to be started manually. The translation makes use of the respective term data of the proTERM Glossary. If a text has not been entered in a language, it is therefore not possible to translate it and the text will remain in the source language. The texts translations are saved with the report view in proALPHA.

You can manually enter missing translations in the Translations window. You can also change translations.

As an alternative, you can enter and update texts with the desired translations centrally in proTERM instead of entering and updating them for each report view in the Translations window. This is especially useful for texts that are used in multiple report views.

Further explanations can be found in the proALPHA Wiki. The proALPHA Wiki is a feature of the proALPHA Customer Portal. Please contact the proALPHA Service for access to the proALPHA Customer Portal.

If you use proTERM to manage your company-specific texts, please note that the proTERM glossary (table DUM_GlossaryLng) is a part of the proALPHA installation and will be overwritten with each update. As a result, the texts and translations you have entered in the glossary might be overwritten. We therefore recommend that you make a backup of your glossary before installing any updates.

Note:

  • Texts and their translations should be kept in proALPHA only. If a text is changed in List & Label, it does no longer match the key of the corresponding record in proALPHA. As a result, the link to the record is removed, and the record is deleted. The text and its translations are no longer available in this case. If the text object is changed, a new record is created for which you can enter the desired translations.

  • If you manually change a translation determined from the term data, the connection to the term data will be lost. This means that changes to the translations of the term data are not adopted into the report view.

To view the translations for a report view in List & Label, select the desired language with "Project | Language".

Translating texts from print templates

The procedure for translating texts from report views is described in the following. The explanations also apply to texts from form templates.

  1. Open the window of the report builder of the desired report category.

  2. Find the desired report view.

  3. Select the Function | Translations menu item.

    The Translations window is opened.

    The texts are displayed line by line.

  4. In the line of the desired text, double-click the field of the language into which you want to translate.

    The field is opened for editing.

  5. Enter the translation.

  6. Repeat steps 4 to 5 for all texts which you want to translate.

  7. Click the button.

    Alternatively: <Ctrl + S>

    The translations are saved with the report view.

Date formats and number formats in List & Label

When reports and forms are output, the date formats and number formats are determined for the output language (Language field in the output options). The IDs of the Windows locales (LCIDs) are used for this. A locale defines the formats that apply to a certain language in a certain country/state. The SB_LanguagesListLabelLCID application parameter defines the LCIDs for the various languages.

When forms are output in the document language, the LCID is determined for each language of the document and country (ISO alpha-2 code) of the document's address. The form is output in the document language if you select the value "Internal Default" in the Language field of the output options. proALPHA supports the LCIDs used by Windows, e.g. "5129" for the combination of the language "E" (English) and the country "NZ" (New Zealand). More combinations can be individually programmed for your company. Further information can be obtained from your consultant.

Note: The date formats and number formats defined in the master files of the countries are not respected for the output with List & Label.

Administration

Objects

Meaning

Report Categories configuration table

Forms configuration table

Company-specific configuration of the data output with List & Label

Topic: Configuring the data output with List & Label

Project includes

Company-specific project includes for use in print templates (projects)

Objects

Management of the objects that are used in projects and project includes

BJ_AlwaysWriteLayoutToDisk

Defines whether the print template is stored on the hard drive upon each output.

The default value is "no".

BJ_GeneratorTypes...

Form builder types for the design of form templates and report views

BJ_SetPrintedFlagOnLLPreview

Set print identifier for List & Label already during preview

BM_LLDebugXML

Debug mode for List & Label

The debug mode is useful, for example, to export data bases as XML files for the purpose of error analysis.

The default value is "no".

BM_LLDesignerLanguages

Languages in which proALPHA data are available in the List & Label Designer.

BM_LLNumberOfBankAccountsShown

The number of own house banks offered in the List & Label Designer.

ListLabelIndividualKey

Start configuration: Parameter Types | proALPHA Session

Individual runtime key for List & Label

You require individual runtime keys for your company's own developments.

Configuring the data output with List & Label

The data output with List & Label is configured in the configuration table of a report category or form category. The configuration tables are part of system configuration. The corresponding programs are therefore not documented in the help.

Steps required for the configuration are:

  • Defining the builder type for List & Label (Builder Types input field)

  • Defining the data basis for designing print templates

    For convenience purposes, data bases for various report categories and form categories have been predefined. The predefined data bases can be adjusted according to your requirements. You can also define further data bases.

    The functions for defining data bases are included in the proALPHA Data Provider service. The .NET Data Provider is the technical basis. The definition and use of data bases is at the sole responsibility of the user. Problems occurring in this context cannot be processed or solved by the support of proALPHA Business Solutions GmbH. We recommend that you attend the proALPHA training.

  • Optional: Defining project types (Project Types input field)

  • Optional: Enabling the function for displaying preview data (Preview Data check box)

    The function is available for all report categories and many form categories (e.g. forms for sales documents).

Note: Further information on the configuration of the data output with List & Label can be found in the proALPHA Wiki.