Batch Printing Reports Using Report Groups (Tutorial)

Batch Printing Reports Using Report Groups (Tutorial)

This article applies to Microvellum software builds 15.6.2201 and greater and provides typical steps for configuring and using the Report Groups to batch print selected reports. 

See  Batch Printing Reports Using Report Groups (Overview)  in the Microvellum Help Center for an article giving a summary of the Report Groups tool.

See  Batch Printing Reports Using Report Groups (Reference)  in the Microvellum Help Center for a reference article explaining details of the Report Groups tool, as well as the options of the groups and individual reports in the group.

In this tutorial, you will set up one group as a  costing group  that includes the following.

  • MV Cost Report
  • MV Labor Report
  • MV Quote Report

You will then create a group of reports that access the  un-optimized manufacturing group  containing work order data that includes the following.

  • Edgeband Report
  • Hardware Report
  • Master Cut Report
  • Product Detail Report
  • Subassembly List Report
  • Subassembly Parts Report

You will set up a third  optimized nesting group  that contains reports accessing nesting data that includes the following.

  • Nesting Optimization Report
  • Nesting Optimization Summary Report

These groups have been chosen for this tutorial because they contain different reports, different output types, different processing procedures, different batch evaluation times, different destinations, and different custom group names. These combinations of various properties demonstrate the capabilities of the Report Groups.

After the report groups have been configured, you will create a work order and manually print the reports for the  Manufacturing Group . The report files for the  Costing Group  are automatically created during the creation of this work order. Finally, you will process the work order, resulting in the automatic creation of the PDF files for the  Nesting Group .

Setting Up and Adding Reports to a Costing Group

  1. Click Toolbox Setup (Setup) > Design Reports > Setup Report Groups.

  2. Fig. 1 - Steps to Configure a Report Group


  3. Click the Add button in the upper left corner of the Setup Report Groups interface.
  4. Enter a name for the group such as “Costing Report Group.”
  5. Set the report  group-level  properties.
    1. Group Option = “Print reports after a Work Order is created.”
    2. Output Location = (click the Set button) navigate to the location to save the rendered report files that will be created.

      In this case, I selected a folder at “E:\Temp_E\Misc_E\ReportGroups\Costing\Groups.”

      The rendered reports will be created at this location only unless you enter a report level Destination, in which case the rendered reports will exist in both locations.

    3. Check the box for “Create Subdirectory for Output Location from Name Modifiers.” This option creates a folder with a name taken from the Name Modifiers section when the rendered reports are created. If you don’t check that box, the files are created as individual files in the folder you specify. Be careful when checking this box as it is possible to exceed the length limit of the specified path or file name, or both. The fully qualified file name must be less than 260 characters, and the directory name must be less than 248 characters.
    4. Click the Add Name Modifiers button to specify the name of the reports in that group and the name of the folder that is created when the rendered report files are created.
      1. If the work order name variable is not already contained in the report naming string, position the cursor where you want to insert the name in the resulting string. Click “%WORK_ORDER_NAME%” from the list on the left, and then click the Add Variable button to add it to the custom naming string box in the middle of the interface.
      2. Click OK to establish the naming string as the source of the folder name and the name appended to the default report name to identify the rendered report.

      3. Fig. 2 – Report Name and Folder Name Variable String

  6. Add individual reports to the report group. In this first report group of this tutorial, add the reports MVCost Report, MVLabor Report, and MV Quote Report. If your library configuration does not include these reports, they may be downloaded from the Help Center report archive and imported into your configuration.
    1. Click the Add Report button and select the first report from the list of reports. Click OK.
      1. Set the  report-level  properties for this report.
        1. Set the report level Output Type property to PDF. Leave the report level Destination property blank, so the group level destination is used. Leave the Processing Station blank as well since this report does not depend on a particular station, or even on any processed data.
        2. The report property values you set are automatically saved by the program, but click the Apply Changes button (large green checkmark) to ensure that the program saves the changes to the report properties.
        3. Click the Remove Report from Group button (large red X) to delete that individual report from the selected group.

        4. Fig. 3 – Set Report Level Properties for the Reports in the Costing Group

    2. Click the Add Report button and select the second report from the list of reports. Click OK.
      1. Set the  report-level  properties for this report to match those of the MV Cost Report.
    3. Click the Add Report button and select the third report from the list of reports. Click OK.
      1. Set the  report-level  properties for this report to match those of the MV Cost Report.
  7. Leave the Setup Report Groups interface open for the next steps.  

Setting Up and Adding Reports to an Un-Optimized Manufacturing Group

  1. With the Setup Report Groups open, create a new report group by clicking the Add button in the upper left corner of the Setup Report Groups interface.
  2. Name the new report group “Manufacturing Group.”
  3. Set the report  group-level  properties.
    1. Group Option = “Print reports manually.”
    2. Output Location = leave it in the default state displaying “Not Set” as the value.
    3. Do not check the box for “Create Subdirectory for Output Location from Name Modifiers" but accept the default name modifier.
  4. Add individual reports to the report group. In this second report group of this tutorial, add the reports Edgeband Report, Hardware Report, Master Cut Report, Product Detail Report, Subassembly List Report, Subassembly Parts Report.
    1. Click the Add Report button and select the first report from the list of reports. Click OK.
      1. Set the  report-level  properties for this report.
        1. Set the report level Output Type property to Send to Printer. Leave the report level Destination property blank, so the report file is located only in the group level destination. Leave the Processing Station blank as well since this report does not depend on a particular processing station, or even on any processed data.
    2. Repeat these steps to add the remaining reports.
      1. Use the search box in the Select Item report list to quickly find the intended report. Enter the string containing the name of the intended report. The search string should not contain any spaces and progressively refines the search results as you add characters to the search string.
    3. Set the properties for the remaining reports in the group to be identical to the first one.

    4. Fig. 4 – Set Report Level Properties for the Reports in the Manufacturing Group

  5. Since we set up this report group to Print Reports Manually, and the output type as Send to Printer, the program does not create files for the reports in this group. Instead, you must open a work order and print them manually, as explained at the conclusion of this article.

Setting Up and Adding Reports to an Optimized Nesting Group

  1. With the Setup Report Groups open, create a new report group by clicking the Add button in the upper left corner of the Setup Report Groups interface.
  2. Name the new report group “Nesting Group.”
  3. Set the report  group-level  properties.
    1. Group Option = “Print reports after processing a WO batch.”
    2. Output Location = (click the Set button) navigate to the location to save the rendered report files that will be created. In this case, I selected a folder at “E:\Temp_E\Misc_E\Report Groups\Nesting\Groups.” The rendered reports will be created at this location unless you enter a report level Destination, in which case that location overwrites this location.
    3. Do not check the box for “Create Subdirectory for Output Location from Name Modifiers.” This option creates separate files in the folder selected in the Output Location box.
    4. Click the Add Name Modifiers button to specify the name of the folder that is created when the rendered report files are created.
      1. If the work order name variable is not already contained in the report naming string, position the cursor where you want to insert the name in the resulting string. Click “%WORK_ORDER_NAME%” from the list on the left, and then click the Add Variable button to add it to the custom naming string box in the middle of the interface.
      2. Then add two hyphens.
      3. If the work order batch name is not already contained in the report naming string, click “%WORK_ORDER_BATCH_NAME%” from the list on the left, and then click the Add Variable button to add it to the custom naming string box in the middle of the interface.
      4. Click OK to establish the naming string as the source of the folder name and the name appended to the default report name to identify the rendered report.

      5. Fig. 5 – Report Name and Folder Name Variable String

  4. Add individual reports to the report group. In this first report group of this tutorial, add the reports Nesting Optimization Report, and Nesting Optimization Summary Report.
    1. Click the Add Report button and select the first report from the list of reports. Click OK.
      1. Set the  report-level  properties for this report.
        1. Set the report level Output Type property to PDF.
        2. Enter a path in the Destination box. In this case, I selected a folder at “E:\Temp_E\Misc_E\Report Groups\Nesting\Reports.” The rendered reports will be created at both this location and the group level Output Location.
        3. Enter the Processing Station that you intend to trigger the creation of the reports in this group. It should be a processing station that produces data consumed by the reports in the group. In this example, the two reports depend on data populated to the table OptimizationResults. This table is populated when processing with a nesting type station. Thus, we configure this report file to be created when a work order has been processed using that station.

        4. Fig. 6 – Set Report Level Properties for the Reports in the Nesting Group

  5. The reports will be automatically created at the location set in the group Output Location and Destination report properties when the nest has finished processing.

Rendering the Reports and Creating the Files from the Groups

Now that the report groups have been configured, the first question most people ask is, where are my reports and files? The answer to that question depends on the properties you set for the groups and individual reports during the configuration process. For example, in this tutorial, we created three groups, each with different properties.

  1. You created one group named  Manufacturing Group  with the properties necessary to print the reports manually. To print those reports, create a work order, and from within the Processing Center, click: General > Reports > Report Groups > (select a group) > (click OK). The reports in this group will be printed on the default system printer.
  2. You also created a group named  Costing Group  with the properties necessary to produce the report files automatically during the creation of the work order. You set up the  group   properties  to create the files at the path “E:\Temp_E\Misc_E\Reports Groups\Costing\Groups,” within a subdirectory with the work order name. Navigate to the folder at that location to view your PDF files.

  3. Additionally, because the report group is created when the work order is created, you may also view your files located at the following generic path:

    <path to configuration folder>\ Work Orders\ <work order> \Report Groups\ <report group>
  4. The program creates the report files for the  Nesting Group  when you create and then process the work order. This results in the automatic creation of the PDF files for that group in both the group Output Location and the report Destination location.

  5. Additionally, because the report group is created when the work order batch is processed, you may also view your files located at the following generic path:

    <path to configuration folder> \Work Orders\ <work order> \ <batch> \Report Groups\ <report group>

Use the basic procedures from this tutorial to explore the range of opportunities made possible with this tool. 


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