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Learn More About Interactive Reports

One of the features available to Series25 customers at no additional cost is the 25Live Interactive Report Designer, which allows you to create fully interactive reports based on virtually any of the fields stored in the Series25 database with features such as drill-down and drill-to, as well as web controls for filtering, sorting, and navigation. These custom reports or invoices can be fully integrated into 25Live using standard system functionality then exported in a number of formats for distribution to both internal and external clients. In addition, any of the system’s numerous standard reports can also be used as a template or starting point in the 25Live Interactive Report Designer to create customized versions with added logos, changed report elements, and added custom attributes.

Prerequisites You Need Before Adding a Custom Attribute to a Custom Report

  • Credentials and access to an installation of the JReport Designer application
    • If you want to follow along with the example used in this topic, you also need access to the ConfirmDetailPerEvent.cls report file in your default database in JReport Designer
  • Knowledge of WebServices and the ability to create a WebServices query
  • Information about the custom attribute(s) you want to add to your report

How to Add a Custom Attribute to Your Interactive Report

1. Load the Report

For our example, we will be adding custom attributes to a standard Detailed Confirmation Report.

Event report example
Image: Example of the standard Detailed Confirmation Report.

  • From the Open Catalog File dialog, navigate to your Report Designer installation directory
  • Find the 25LIVE\Reports folder that has been installed as part of the local reporting directory structure
  • Select the 25LIVE_WS.cat file located in this directory
    • For example: C:\JReport\Designer\25LIVE\Reports
  • From the Report Designer menu, select File > Open
  • A list of available report (.cls) files are presented in the Open Report dialog. Select ConfirmDetailPerEvent.cls from the list of reports if you are following along with our example.

2. Check the Queries Used In the Report

Find the Resource View section in the Report Designer application.

The Resource View section is on the lower-left by default.
Image: The Resource View section is on the lower-left by default.

In the example report, you can see that two queries are being used:

  • Q_Report_Run: The outer container that passes 25Live data into your report 
  • Q_Confirm_Detail: Used as the inner container that displays the passed data 

Example of the data container link. Example of the data container link.
Images: Example of the data container link.

These queries are linked by a formula that tells the internal container how to pull the data it needs.

3. Test Your Query for Existing Custom Attributes

Right-click the query for editing.
Image: Right-click the query for editing.

When modifying a custom report rather than a standard report, you can check the internal query to see if it contains any custom attributes by right-clicking the Q_Confirm_Detail query to edit it.

Browsing the catalog can also open the editing display.
Image: Browsing the catalog can also open the editing display.

You may also open the catalog to browse of extended events and edit them from there.

4. Check if Attributes Are Used and Supported

Example of Query Editor display.
Image: Example of Query Editor display.

If you see no custom attributes in the Query Editor display, you can consult the Series25 WebServices API documentation to see if attributes are supported for the query you are editing.

Attributes are supported by events.xml if the scope is extended.
Image: Attributes are supported by events.xml if the scope is extended.

For our example, we are checking the events.xml call to see that attributes can be used. Attributes are supported by events.xml if the scope is extended.

5. Construct a Test WebServices Call

Best practice before adding a custom attribute to a report query is to check that the attribute exists and can be called via the Series25 WebServices API. For example, for events, use the events.xml documentation to create a test XML file, as shown in our example.

Example WebServices XML call to test for custom attribute(s).
Image: Example WebServices XML call to test for custom attribute(s).

If your test is successful, you can continue editing the query.

6. Add Attribute(s) To the Query

The Add Table button is in the Query Editor toolbar.
Image: The Add Table button is in the Query Editor toolbar.

In the Query Editor, click on the Add Table button, and select custom_attribute from the Tables list.

List of tables.
Image: The list of available tables includes custom_attributes.

Use the Done button to save your addition.

7. Create a Join


GIF: Drag the primary key event node to the foreign key custom_attribute node to create a join.

The added custom_attribute table will now show in the Query Editor, but it has no connections to it. In order to join the table to the primary node, click and drag from the event table to the custom_attribute table. 

Tip: You Can Rearrange Items For Easier Viewing

If you're having trouble seeing the individual tables in the Query Editor view, you can use can drag items to rearrange them.

By default, the application will create the relationship as an inner join, but you will almost always want to change the relationship to an outer join to ensure all objects print in the report. In our example, any event that doesn't have a custom attribute would not print in the report if the relationship is not fixed.

The two options required to change a table join to an outer left type.
Image: The two options required to change a table join to an outer left type.

To change the type of table join, double-click the Join button (with a gray letter J on it) on the arrow linking two tables together. This will open the Join Options dialog. To change to an outer join, check the box next to Outer Join and ensure that Left is selected.

8. Select Data Fields


Image: Check the boxes to include data fields from the table.

To include data fields from the table, check the boxes next to each that you want visible on the report. The last is an empty element that does not need to be checked.

9. Ensure Attributes Are Passed In the Formula

Custom attributes were added to the query in previous steps, so attributes now need to be included in the formula for the report as well.

Open the Link Data Container dialogue by clicking on Properties.
Image: Open the Link Data Container dialogue by clicking on Properties.

  • Open the Link Data Container dialogue by clicking on Properties in the left-click menu
    • For our example Detailed Event Confirmation report, the F_URL_EVENTEXT_CONFDET value is being used in Q_REPORT_RUN
  • Find the F_URL_EVENTEXT_CONFDET value in the Resource View and right-click to Edit Formula
  • In the Formula Editor, a few data elements will already be included, such as in our example:
    • The base URL
    • A call to events.xml with a specific value
    • Extended scope data values
    • The session ID
  • Add "+attributes"  to the line of extended scope values
  • Save the formula


Image: Add "+attributes" to the line of extended scope values.

10. Add to the Report

Determine where you want your attribute and insert a panel to create room for the additional data. Then, insert a banded object, so the data has a container.

The added panel and banded object
Image: The added panel and banded object may be too large when added, but it can be adjusted later.

Tip: Styling Your Report

It's alright if the new panel and object are too large when added. You will be able to hide fields and resize. Also, options will be available later to bold values and modify colors to make the report more attractive and draw viewers' eyes to certain areas.

You can add fields to the banded object by dragging and dropping.
Image: You can add fields to the banded object by dragging and dropping.

Drag and drop the fields you’d like to see into your report into the banded object.

11. Group and Move the Data

Open the Banded Wizard to group data.
Image: Open the Banded Wizard to group data.

In order to make sure event data prints once per event (and not for every occurrence), the data must be grouped. Right-click on the banded object to open the Banded Wizard dialogue, then group by attribute name (attribute_name). Click the Finish button to save the grouping.

If the data is in the details panel, it will print once per object, so it should be moved to the header panel in order to print only once.

Tip: Hiding Unused Custom Attributes

Right-click unused attributes to hide them.
Image: Right-click unused attributes to hide them.

If there is a lot of white space in the report created by the unused fields in the banded object, you can right-click to hide them, and you may want to adjust the panel to hide more white space as well.

How to Hide Other Attributes

You may wish to hide some custom attributes that appear in another place on the report via a different data point. For example, if there is already a requirement asking about alcohol in the report, you might want to hide the other custom attributes related to alcohol.

Placing the attribute in the report
Image: Placing the attribute in the report can make the ID visible.

  • Find the Attribute ID: Add the fields temporarily to the report and note the ID of the attribute you wish to show
    • Note: Attribute names can change so using the ID is more reliable.

Use the button in the Suppress field to create a formula.
Image: Use the button in the Suppress field to create a formula.

  • Create a Formula to Suppress: Find the Suppress field in the Properties panel
    • Tip: It's best to try to create a naming convention, such as
      • F = Formula
      • B = Boolean
      • CustAttr1 = Looking at custom attributes with an ID value of 1

Example of formula logic to hide attributes.
Image: Example of formula logic to hide attributes.

  • Add Logic to Formula: Add a line in the formula to return a false value if the ID is anything other than the value you want to show, which is 1 in our example

11. Save the Report

After making any additional style changes, choose File > Save As from the File menu, choose a name, and save the report.

12. Publish the Report to CollegeNET Servers

The File menu of the Designer app has publishing options.
Image: The File menu of the Designer app has publishing options.

Using the Designer application, choose File > Publish and Download > Publish to Server > Publish Report to Server...

  • In the Connect to JReport Server dialogue, enter the following server information:
    • Host: reports.collegenet.com
    • Port: 443
    • Servlet Path:  /jrserver  (be sure to include the leading slash)
    • Check the SSL box.
    • Check the Remember connection information box.
  • Then, use the credentials provided by your Series25 Account Manager for the User Name and Password fields. If you don't have your credentials, you can contact your Account Manager at series25implementation@collegenet.com.
  • Click the Connect button to continue.

In the next Select Folder dialogue, be sure to only select the report you've customized and your catalog file when selecting the folder for your instance name (test vs. production).

Finally, click the OK button on the next screen (you don't need to choose any style or geographic information options).

13. Define the Report for Use in the 25Live Administration Utility

You must now make your new customized report with custom attributes available in 25Live.

Defining a report in the 25Live Administration Utility.
Image: Defining a report in the 25Live Administration Utility.

  • Log in to the 25Live Administration Utility with your administrative credentials
  • Go to the Reports tab's Manage Reports section to Add a new report
  • Complete the fields for a new report
    • Be sure the value in the Filename field matches exactly what you published in the Designer application, and be sure the filename ends with .cls (the file extension)
    • Choose Interactive Reports for the Report Engine field
    • Finish by choosing desired Report Parameters and adjusting any security settings then saving
  • Use the Add Report button to save your settings

Your new, customized report will now appear with other 25Live reports.

If You Need Additional Help

First, contact your institution's 25Live Administrator if you have issues with accessing JReport or other resources needed to complete adding custom attributes to reports.

For further help, you may also contact Series25 Support.



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