Interactive Report Template

Interactive Reports are applications that can be easily worked with by end-users to create dynamic displays of data. These applications offer features like a collapsible record selection screen, automated drill downs, and flexible graphing. In addition, since the an Interactive Report works over live data, there is no need to create additional levels of data-warehousing, drastically reducing development time.

Runtime Walkthrough

Features that Apply to All m-Power Templates

Features that Apply to the Report Template

All Templates Features

Query Database Table:
m-Power templates allow you to retrieve rows of data from one or more database tables or database views. Utilizing SQL statements, m-Power connects to your database and allows you to access the data via a web application.
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Ad Hoc Template Specific:
m-Power templates allow the end user to sort the data fetched from the database. Ascending or descending order can be controlled from the table heading by clicking the up or down arrows. To turn this feature on or off, access the application properties and select Yes or No for the advancedSort property.
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Format Numeric Data:
m-Power templates allow developers to easily modify the numeric format of fields to better suit your needs, directly from the interface. An example of this can be the use of a comma at the thousand decimal point: (2,000) or the inclusion of decimal digits: (2,000.00) From the application menu, click Field Settings. For numeric fields you will see a Numeric Field Format column, use the drop down to select the numeric format you need.
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Filter Via Record Selections:
Create hard-coded or user interactive filters based on specific criteria from your data. This feature allows users to filter the data to display only those records that match the selection criteria. Several options are available to create the relationship of the search, including “equal to, not equal to, is in the list, is in the range” and many more. Learn more.
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Add Multi-Tenant Security:
m-Power applications can be secured to allow different users to access the same application, but see different results, based on the user login credentials. One example of this can be a report that contains records of customers for all the States in the USA, but the user will only work with the customers in his/her home State, via row level security m-Power can filter and display only the customers that the user is allowed to see. This technique allows you to fully implement scalable security solutions. Learn more.
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Override/Customizable Error Messages:
All m-Power templates allow you to modify the default error messages. Most error messages are generic in describing the issue, maybe you need your users to see a more personalized or informative error message. From the application properties developers can change the error message without having to open the code source of the application. Learn more.
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Add Drop-Down List or Lookup List to Text Input Fields:
Add a drop down list or lookup window to your application using m-Painter. These features will allow users to input data by selecting it from a list or lookup windows. This enhances the user experience, simplifies their tasks, and allow for less errors on data input. Learn more about Lookup Windows. Learn more about Dropdowns.
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Add Calendar Widget to Date Inputs:
Using m-Painter developers can add a calendar picker next to a date input field. The date format in the calendar picker can be modified to match the format in the database. This feature will save users time and it will ensure that the date format entered is consistent with the database. Adding a calendar picker will make your application look and feel more professional. Learn more.
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Call External Object Programs:
m-Power can handle your back-end business code too! The use of External Objects allows m-Power to tie into your custom coding easily, whether it is Java, SQL, or RPG. Learn more.
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Saved Searches:
For end users running applications, there is a feature that allows them to save the search and come back to it later, saving them time and making it more efficient by saving multiple searches and switching between them with just a click. These searches can be found on the right upper corner of the running application by clicking Options then Saved Searches. Learn more.
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Customize HTML with m-Painter:
m-Power ships with its own HTML editor. This tool, called m-Painter, allows you to modify the HTML code in a very easy way by using a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, where all the graphical modifications are instantly visible. For the advance developers, there is a text editor mode too. You can access the HTML editor by clicking Presentation on the Application Menu. Learn more.
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Control DB Join Type:
When joining tables you can set the join type of the application to be Left Outer Join or Inner Join. An inner join specifies that only records in the primary table with matching records in the secondary table will be displayed.
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Add Row-Level Logical Fields:
m-Power allows you to create a logical field at the database level that is available to all applications. The options are Substring, Concatenation, or UDF (User Defined Function). By creating these files at the dictionary level, they are reusable across the entire dictionary, saving the developer time! Learn more.
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Tablet & Mobile Output:
m-Power allows developers to create applications specifically for PC browser, Tablet, and Smartphone devices. For the user, this means that they can access the same report on their PC, tablet, and smartphone and see a completely different output on each that has been tailor-made for their device. For the developer, it means that they can create and maintain one single application that will create the proper output formats automatically. Learn more.
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SmartLinks allow developers to easily link one application (Inquiry, Report, or Maintenance) to any other application, passing key data automatically. An example of this can be an Inquiry or a Report that links to a maintainer to update only an specific record and then redirect back to the list of records. By smartlinking applications m-Power makes it easy to link applications together to create smooth navigation between web applications. Learn more.
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Interactive Report Features

AJAX-Executed Form Submit
The Interactive Report uses AJAX form submission to refresh data on the page. This populates data without refreshing the page, making the application run seamlessly when drilling down or making runtime selections..
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Ad Hoc Column Sorting:
By clicking the up or down arrows next to the column name, Interactive Reports allow end users to sort data in ascending or descending order at runtime. However, special rules to sorting apply in Interactive Reports.
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Runtime Value Prompt Record Selections:
Instead of only supporting hard coding a value within a record selection, reports also support runtime value prompts. Runtime value prompts allow users to input a value at runtime, creating a dynamic data selection. Interactive Reports support both the use of check boxes and radio buttons in conjunction with record selections.
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Advanced Runtime Selections:
In an Interactive Report, record selections and report data are always displayed on a single page. In addition, these reports allow end-users to collapse both the entire selections bar, as well as individual record selections.
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Drill Down Capabilities:
This template can be used to create drill down levels of data. This enables end-users to collapse and expand data as they see fit. Unlike other m-Power reports, the interactive report displays lower levels of data below higher levels of data, showing subtotal and grand-total levels before detail records.
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Export Displayed Data to Excel:
At runtime, users can choose to export the data displayed on the screen to Excel format. This allows directly creating Excel files in the format the end-user desires, rather than the format chosen by the developer.
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Group By Optimization:
When run in detail mode, subtotal and grand total level values are calculated locally. When the report is run in summary mode (changed via application settings), the subtotal and grand total level values are calculated on the database. This improves performance and allows data to load more quickly to the screen.
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Template Notes

Application Settings

Description: Allow developers to give their application a description.


Program Name: This will be the application’s number. By default m-Power uses the letter R (Report) followed by a five digits number. This number is automatically incremented by 10, but can be manually changed.
Note: The number must be unique in the Data Dictionary.

Select Only Matching Records: When joining to other tables, you have the option to create a Left Outer Join or and Inner Join. Selecting Yes (inner join) will include only matching records from the joined table. A simple example of this could be a Sales History table that links to a Product Master table. Now imagine some products have been discontinued and subsequently removed from the Product Master table. With an outer join, the discontinued products will still be reported. However, with an inner join, records without matching records in the product master will be omitted from the result set.

Summary or Detail Report: This setting can be ignored for Interactive Reports.

Template: You can select a template by scrolling through the available templates. The templates define the general layout and functionality of the resulting application. This section will list all the available report templates; you will see a small screenshot of what that template looks like at runtime. Learn more about templates.

Data Selection

Here you will see/modify the primary table you have selected for your application. Here you can create or modify joins to other tables as well.


Here you can select the field that your application will sequence by; you can have multiple sequence fields. You can re-order the sequences to fit your application’s needs. Note: In interactive reports, the “Subtotal” and “New Page” options are ignored.

Important Notes on Sequencing Interactive Reports:
Within an Interactive Report application, sequence key selection is critical, as it determines the basis of the report. Sequence fields should be selected in order, from highest level down to lower detail levels. However, users can modify this at run-time. If you wish to have dimensions available by default, be sure to set “Sub-Total” to Yes. If you would like the ability for the user to select this, without it being the default, be sure to select “Sub-Total” to No. There are a few additional things to keep in mind when selecting sequence fields for an Interactive Report.

  • Drilling Down: Only sequenced fields offer the drill down functionality.
  • Sorting: In an interactive report, you can only sort by the first sequence field and non-sequence field.
  • Runtime Display: Fields are added to the output of an interactive report in the order they are listed in Field Settings. If you return to an application and add an additional sequence key, that field will not be moved to the leftmost side of the screen. Therefore, after making any sequencing changes, it is suggested that you check if the fields are listed in the correct order in Field Settings.

Learn more about general sequencing.

Field Settings

Here you will find the settings for all the fields in the application. The options are:

Delete: You can delete fields by clicking the checkbox and clicking Accept. If a field has a red circle with a cross line, that means that the field is being used somewhere else in the application (sequence, calculation, etc.), and, due to this dependency, is not available for deletion.
Note: Deleting a field will remove the field from the application only, the table will be unchanged.


Field Name: This is the same name the field has in the table.

Table: The name of the table where that field exists.

Field Description: This is the text that will appear in the column header for that field, you can modify this field to suit your needs. This field will populate with the field description from the table by default, but it can be customized at the application level.

Display: A radio button allows developers to display or hide the field from the output page. There may be situations where a field is needed for calculation purposes, but the field does not need to be displayed at runtime.

Length: Here you can modify the length of the field. m-Power will only allow developers to shorten the length of the field, shortening a fields length will truncate its data. For example, if a field is 10 alpha and it is changed to 5 alpha, now only the first 5 characters will be displayed. The same principle applies to a numeric field, if a numeric field is 8 digits long; changing it to 4 digits long will only display the first 4 digits, and leave out the rest of digits.

Decimals: For numeric fields, you can modify the amount of decimal digits. A numeric field will have the option of changing its decimal length, alpha fields does not have a decimal option, developers can use this as an indicator to check if a field is a numeric or character type.

Numeric Format Code: For numeric fields, you can modify the way the numbers will display, this includes displaying decimals or not, how to display negative numbers, etc. Multiple formats are built in for developers to use, shall you need a different format code, m-Power allows developers to create their own User Defined Format codes; these codes will add logic for common types of fields such as: Currency, Time, or Dates. Accessing the User Defined Format Codes from the Admin section will also allow developers to modify current codes. Learn more.
Note: Do not confuse the User Defined Format Code with the User Defined Functions (UDF). The latter is a feature that allows developers to create or incorporate programing functions into m-Power. Learn more about UDFs.

User def: This feature has being deprecated

Record Selections

Record Selections can be created over fields from both primary as well as secondary tables. These are the options:

Field: A drop down allows you to select the field you want to filter on.


Relation: A drop down allows you to select a relationship for the filter.

Value: This is the value to compare against. The options are:

Constant Value: A constant value allows you to hard-code any given value into a selection. This value cannot be modified by the end-user at run–time.

Application Field Value: Developers have the option of comparing a value from one field to a value from another field within the same record.

Runtime Value Prompt: This option will create an input within the HTML that will allow users to input a value for the record selection at runtime. Runtime value prompts allow users select data specific to their individual needs.

And/Or: When creating multiple record selections, you have the option to set them as “and” or “or” Example: selection A “and” selection B will display only records that match both selections. Selection A “or” selection B will display records that match one or both selections. Learn more.


Calculations are a very powerful feature of m-Power; with calculations, developers can create logical fields that will apply to the current application only. This can be used to include SQL code in a field, such as cast a numeric field as character, create date conversions, inserting the current date and time, and much more. Learn more.

External Objects

This feature allows developers to connect m-Power application with their current business logic, or to extend m-Power capabilities by allowing developers to write their own Java, RPG, or SQL programs, and integrating these programs into the applications. m-Power utilizes “locations” to connect the external objects, these locations vary depending on what the external object does and when it should be executed. The following locations are supported in this template: Learn more

*JCALCOBJ This location is used when parameter calculations are present in the application. The external object is called after each row is processed.
*JREADRECRD This location will call the external object after each record is processed.
*ADVRECSEC This location has been deprecated. Learn more about Row Level security.
*STRSEARCH This location has been deprecated.
*STRUPBDFT This location has been deprecated.
*SELECT This location has been deprecated. Learn more about creating dropdown lists using m-Painter.
*RUNVALID This location is used to validate prompt inputs.

SmartLinks are not supported in Interactive Reports.

Note: After performing any changes in the above sections, the application must be recompiled for the changes to load. If the changes are to be displayed at runtime, then the Presentation Layer code (HTML) must be overwritten when recompiling the application.

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Extra Guidelines for the Interactive Report Template

  • The sequencing options of “New Page” are ignored in the Interactive Report Template.
  • The sequencing options of “Sub-Total” controls whether your row dimension is active by default (Sub-Total Yes) vs. available, but not active (Sub-Total No).
  • Unlike other templates, in an Interactive Report, changing sequencing fields does not immediately change the order of fields within the application. This must be done within Field Settings
  • The Interactive Report graph will become activated to become a drill-down image only when the first sequence key is also a record selection. This is also a requirement of the tooltip logic.
  • Secondary graphs may be added to the application. The graph can only exist on the default, subtotal level one and grand total, levels. It the Image Data Collection icon is placed on any other levels, the graph will not display.
  • Only the first six subtotal levels in an Interactive Report will have default formatting. If your application has more than six drill-down levels, you will want to edit the styles pertaining to these levels. You can do so by editing the style sheet located in Admin>Edit Data Dictionary Files>Style Sheet.

  • When utilizing runtime value prompt record selections in an Interactive Report, it is suggested that you use dropdown lists to populate these prompts, rather than text inputs. However, should you choose to use text inputs, it is recommended that you do so in conjunction with the ‘Run Report’ button.
  • Additional variables can be added to drill-down links. To do so, open m-Painter and search for the text “extraParms”. Place the additional parameters with the quotation “extraParms: ‘ ‘. For instance, if you want to always pass R001=ABC, the extraParms line would read: “extraParms: ‘&R001=ABC'”.
  • Developers can embed drill-down links where necessary. To add record selections to drill-down links, add class=”link_with_parms” to the drill-down’s anchor tag.

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Template In-Action

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Application Properties

When accessing the Application Properties, a window will slide open with several tabs; let’s go through each of the tabs:

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Web Parameters

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Updated on September 29, 2021

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