Custom Report Logic - "on date"

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mrtaz-p40
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Custom Report Logic - "on date"

Postby mrtaz-p40 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:49 pm

I am attempting to create a custom report to list all boys who will be 11 on a future date, say Jun 15, 2009. (Proactive stake primary president trying to get a feel for 11 yr old boys for next years day camp). I have created a report using the "on date" field as follows:

Age is 11
on date 15 June 2009
Sex is male

What I get is a list of all the boys who are currently 11. I know this is not working as my son turns 12 in May of next year, yet he still shows on the list. Does this not work as I am expecting it to?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:15 pm

mrtaz wrote:I am attempting to create a custom report to list all boys who will be 11 on a future date, say Jun 15, 2009. (Proactive stake primary president trying to get a feel for 11 yr old boys for next years day camp). I have created a report using the "on date" field as follows:

Age is 11
on date 15 June 2009
Sex is male

What I get is a list of all the boys who are currently 11. I know this is not working as my son turns 12 in May of next year, yet he still shows on the list. Does this not work as I am expecting it to?


In my testing, it works precisely as I expect. Your description of the criteria seems correct, but I still have to ask: Does your Custom Report screen look exactly like this?

CustomReport.jpg
CustomReport.jpg (20.23 KiB) Viewed 532 times


One final question, just to make sure: is your son's birthday correct? I know it's a long shot, but I can't imagine what else could cause the problem, if your criteria are set up correctly.

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Postby lajackson » Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:44 pm

One of the fun things about custom reports in MLS is that they do not always work, even when they are set up correctly. One of the things I try to do when I am getting an erroneous report is to change the order of the criteria. This sometimes solves the problem.

It seems that in MLS sometimes criteria are ignored, or only work in a certain order. I do not know about this particular case, but I have seen it many times in other cases.

Custom reports have been a challenge, but we are usually able to get them to work.

mrtaz-p40
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Postby mrtaz-p40 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:39 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:In my testing, it works precisely as I expect. Your description of the criteria seems correct, but I still have to ask: Does your Custom Report screen look exactly like this?



One final question, just to make sure: is your son's birthday correct? I know it's a long shot, but I can't imagine what else could cause the problem, if your criteria are set up correctly.

There must be gremlins in the system. I have not been at the stake center since last Tuesday, so fired up the computer and logged into MLS. Went ahead and ran this report again and it worked as designed. Maybe my PC was just tired and needed a rest.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:10 pm

lajackson wrote:One of the fun things about custom reports in MLS is that they do not always work, even when they are set up correctly. One of the things I try to do when I am getting an erroneous report is to change the order of the criteria. This sometimes solves the problem.

It seems that in MLS sometimes criteria are ignored, or only work in a certain order. I do not know about this particular case, but I have seen it many times in other cases.

Custom reports have been a challenge, but we are usually able to get them to work.


Custom reports can be challenging, but I have not seen a case in recent versions of MLS where they don't work when they are set up correctly. It would be helpful if you could provide specific examples of this. Then we can determine if there is a bug that needs to be fixed, or if we need to suggest improvements in the documentation or interface.

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Postby lajackson » Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:42 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:I have not seen a case in recent versions of MLS where they don't work when they are set up correctly.


I agree. I have not found a problem in version 2.8 and should have made my comment more clear.

At the stake in version 2.7 we needed a list of 11-year-old boys. If the custom report was set up as

Age is 11
Sex is male

the report returned zero names. If the custom report was set up as

Sex is male
Age is 11

the report completed correctly.

There were other examples like that in 2.6 and 2.7 but version 2.8 has handled things properly so far and we have not had to switch the order of the criteria to get any of our custom reports to run.

You are right that they can be challenging. If no names showed up on a report and we felt the criteria were correct, we just switched them around in earlier versions and it usually solved the problem. We never did figure out why.

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Postby mrtaz-p40 » Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:55 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:Custom reports can be challenging, but I have not seen a case in recent versions of MLS where they don't work when they are set up correctly. It would be helpful if you could provide specific examples of this. Then we can determine if there is a bug that needs to be fixed, or if we need to suggest improvements in the documentation or interface.

I did some more research on this and this is what I came up with. I wasn't completely clear in my first post, so let me detail what I did.

I deleted the report and recreated it, same problem. But here is exactly what I did. I created the report criteria then added the formatting to pick up the fields I wanted. Then I selected "Set Column Widths". The report was not correct. I then saved the report, closed out of the report screen and went back to the custom reports screen. From here I selected the saved report, and it worked as designed with the information I would have expected.

In order to further test, I again deleted and recreated the report. This time before selecting the "Set Column Widths", I saved the report. No good, the report data was not valid. Again I closed, and ran the report from the custom report screen and all worked well.

Bottom line, it looks as though there might be a bug where you have to exit out before the report is accurate. Now if MLS was sold by Microsoft they would charge extra for this feature, but I don't think that is how is should work.

Thanks for your assistance and feedback,

james

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:04 pm

mrtaz wrote:I created the report criteria then added the formatting to pick up the fields I wanted. Then I selected "Set Column Widths". The report was not correct.



Thank you for taking the time to give the details. What I did not understand at first is that the incorrect data only shows up:
  • in the preview of the data that is presented when you choose "Set Column Widths"
  • when the report is first created
  • when the report involves "on date" or "before date" or "after date" criteria
It appears to me that the on/before/after date criterion is ignored in the Set Column Widths preview when the report is first created. I guess I've never used that combination. Rarely do I do anything with the Set Column Widths preview, although it is certainly reasonable to do so -- in fact, it has buttons like Print and Save to File that would only make sense if the data is trustworthy.

So indeed, you found a bug, and I'm sure you won't be charged extra for it ;).

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Postby mkmurray » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:03 pm

mrtaz wrote:Now if MLS was sold by Microsoft they would charge extra for this feature, but I don't think that is how is should work.

That's a silly thing to say when companies like Red Hat make you pay to get critical updates to their software. At least Microsoft gives you the needed updates free when you buy their software.

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Postby lajackson » Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:49 am

mkmurray wrote:That's a silly thing to say ...


Yes, it was quite silly. I thought it was a joke, too. [grin]


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