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Enabling reporting

Apps you build can generate reports containing the data they collect at the press of a button. Reports can be opened directly from an app or sent through e-mail. Use e-mailed reports to easily collect data from employees, partners or customers. Reports can be delivered as text documents, PDF documents or comma-separated values (CSV), which can be imported into spreadsheets and databases.

(What if you’d like buttons to add a row to a Google Sheets spreadsheet, send a message to a Slack channel or create a Salesforce lead instead? Integrating apps you build with third-party services is explored in this video tutorial.)

This is what a button that sends a report by e-mail looks like in Calcapp Creator and in the apps you build:

A send button in the app designer

Adding a reporting button

Users open or send reports by pressing a button in your app that you add 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 Open report or E-mail report from the drop-down menu in the inspector:

The inspector properties for e-mail reporting buttons

Click the button in Calcapp Creator and start typing to assign a custom label. We recommend adding buttons to a separate caption-less group to create space between the buttons and the fields.

Customizing the report

Use the inspector to customize various aspects of the generated reports. For e-mailed reports, you can customize where they are sent. Add all recipient addresses to the E-mail recipients box and set the e-mail address the reports appear to be sent from using the E-mail sender box. You can set the recipients and the sender using formulas by clicking the faint fx buttons next to them. If you have a field named EmailField, associating a formula with the Recipients property and making it read EmailField will send the reports to the e-mail address specified by your user in the app itself.

The subject line may also be set through a formula, meaning that you can include parts of the report in the subject line. Use this feature in conjunction with filters or rules in your e-mail client to automatically sort incoming reports. (Here’s information on how labels in Google’s Gmail and rules in Microsoft Outlook work.)

E-mailed reports are by default sent as text and reports opened directly from an app are PDF documents. Customize the format using the drop-down menu in the inspector.

A text report is great if you don’t need to process the data. This is what a text report might look like:

Unit conversion

Enter a length 52 cm
Result 20.47 in
Enter a volume 6.3 L
Result (2) 213.03 fl. oz.

Break-even analysis

Fixed cost $600,000
Cost per unit $125
Price per unit $265
How many? 4,286 units

°F to °C

Enter temperature 32 °C
Result 0 °F

°C to °F

Enter temperature 0 °C
Result 32 °F

Comma-separated values, on the other hand, are easy to import into various programs, such as databases or spreadsheets like Excel, Google Sheets, LibreOffice or Apple Numbers. This is what the data above looks like imported into Google Sheets:

Calcapp data imported into Google Sheets

Values in text reports and in attached PDF files are formatted according to the formatting rules you have set in the inspector, whereas values in CSV files are not, making them easy to work with. Dates in CSV files are sequential serial numbers.

Hidden fields are included in reports. You can use hidden fields to calculate values that should be included in reports but should not be visible to your users.

You can remove headings from reports or opt to include blank values (fields where no values have been entered) using the inspector. Ensure that all fields whose values have been sent are reset to their initial values by toggling the Reset fields afterwards property.

Sending data directly to a server

Apps you build can send data directly to a server for further processing. Most people use a service such as Zapier to help apps you build do things like add data to spreadsheet or database rows, send messages to Slack channels, create sales leads in Salesforce or post directly to Wordpress. This topic is explored in this video tutorial.

You can also write the server software yourself or hire someone to do this work, enabling your apps to integrate with any software you may run, including on-premises software. Going this route requires considerable technical expertise, though. Using a platform such as Zapier is the best choice for most users. Learn more about how to process the data here.

To send data to a server, add a button and select Send data to service from the drop-down menu in the left-hand inspector.

Finally, learn how to run your apps more effectively »