Feature: Open reports directly from your apps

Reports can now be opened directly from an app, instead of having them emailed. Use the new feature on its own, or use it as a preview feature your users can use to check reports before sending them.

A year ago, we announced that we had added the ability to email reports from apps. Using that feature, you can add a button to your app that sends a report to an email address you specify. You can also use a formula to determine the recipients, meaning that reports can be sent to an email address specified by a user of your app.

Sometimes you don’t want the hassle of entering your email address in an app and checking your inbox just to get access to a report. To that end, you can now add buttons to your apps that open reports directly.

We think that a good many apps will replace their buttons that email reports with buttons that open reports directly. However, we also think that a number of apps will keep their original email buttons and add new buttons that open reports directly. In this context, an “open report” button can serve as a preview mechanism for checking reports before sending them back to the office.

Adding a button

Add button that opens a report directly by pressing Add button in Calcapp Creator:

The new Add Button link

Buttons by default reset fields to their initial values. Change the action by selecting Action: Open report from the drop-down menu in the left-hand inspector.

When you email reports, you can send them as text, comma-separated values (CSV) or as PDF files. When you enable reports to be opened directly, you can select between the same formats, with one difference. Instead of allowing you to simply send reports as “text,” you now have to specify whether the report should be sent as plain text or as a web page (HTML):

The available formats for reports that are opened directly

When you send a text report through email, both a plain text version and an HTML version are sent. Your email app automatically selects the most appropriate version to display. (For a modern email app, that is typically the HTML version, which contains neatly formatted tables.) When a report is opened directly, you need to decide upfront whether a plain text version should be sent or a web page.

Technically, this feature works by contacting the Calcapp server and asking it to create a report, which your device then downloads. As a result, this feature does not work when your users are offline. (All features other than emailing and opening reports work offline.)

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