Author Topic: Undocumented web template features  (Read 687 times)

Oliver F.

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Undocumented web template features
« on: December 16, 2008, 03:30:51 am »
While trying to elaborate how to write corporate web templates I stumbled across some undocumented features of the HTML reporting.
In fact the whole web templating mechanism is mostly undocumented, as I found out.

First thing to note: There is no way to copy an existing corporate web style template to a new one. If you create something new from scratch, it creates the EA default template.
So I did what smart guys would do: Export reference data => import reference data. Failure: Simply overrides the existing one.
Again smart guys procedure: Go to the XML file and look what is inside.
Result: <Column name="TRX" value="xxx"/> Voila, here is the name, change it and it will work -> Went through, checked.

Now what is the remaining of the XML file good for ?

Code: [Select]
<Column name="Description" value="HTMLSTYLE"/>
                  <Column name="NumericWeight" value="1.000000"/>
                  <Column name="TRX" value="xxx"/>
                  <Column name="TRX_ID" value="9"/>
                  <Column name="Style" value="2"/>

The most interesting part is hidden behind the "Style" ásection. If you change the value to something, it will use a totally different style and structure. Changing it to a different value and importing it, then generating a report with that style will lead to tons of messages about unmatched field values- propably because some fields used in the template have no expression in EA today.
But the whole layout looks much different.

So two conclusions:
  • The web template handling is not satisfying as it is not well documented and not manageable (see deriving of templates above)
  • There seem to be more features and styles available which are simply not visible to the user and I suspect more. It also leads to the conclusion that a compelte rearrangement of the layout is currently not possible without changing that style attribute- EA seems to expect a certain layout with frames and tables- which seems to be hardcoded.

I'd like to see Sparx comment on that. It would be worth improving this area as I believe it is one of the few (and I mean few) disappointing areas of EA. More documentation here would make it more comfortable.

Just a few cts of mine.

Oliver
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 03:57:28 am by ofels »