Hyperlinks and nesting

Axisbase allows objects in lists and windows to hyperlink to other building blocks - which means the object text is shown with an underline, and the user can click on it to go somewhere. It also supports some building blocks nested (embedded) within other ones. The two features work in similar ways. Hold onto your hats though - the features give you a lot of flexibility and this can be a source of confusion.

Uses of hyperlinks

Hyperlinks are useful:

  • on windows, to allow the user to navigate to other building blocks

  • within lists, to "drill down" to other lists and reports to show more detailed data

Uses of nesting

Nesting is useful:

  • to embed a detail list within a master list, when you have a master/detail data set (such as sales and line items)

  • to embed a graph in a list

  • to include a list in a report (otherwise a report would be useless!)

  • to show any building block within a window

Creating a nested or hyperlinked building block

To create a cell containing a nested building block, select an empty cell in the band editor, then choose Nested Building Block on the Insert context menu.

To convert an existing cell to a hyperlink cell, select the cell in the band editor, then choose Nest/Link Properties from the context menu.

Then you will see a popup window allowing you to select the building block, the data source override, and additional hyperlink properties.

  • Building block: The building block is the one that is nested or is the target of the hyperlink. You can create it here or select an existing one.

  • Data source override: If you are hyperlinking to a building block that has a data source (a list or graph), and it was designed using one data source, but you want to re-purpose it with another data source, you can specify the override here.

  • Hyperlink Properties: This area of the popup is only available for hyperlinks. The option "Open new window when link clicked" only affects lists; if it is checked, a new window will open; otherwise the list window will divide and show the target list as well as the original list. The "Arguments" section of the popup is used to specify the value of parameters to send to the target building block. The value is an expression.

Drill down example

Suppose you have a list of customers, and a list of sales for one customer, and you want to hyperlink them together, with the functionality that the user can click on the customer name in the customer list and view a list of sales for that customer.

To do this, the sales list must be based on a data subset that has a parameter. Call the parameter "customer". First develop the sales list so that if you open it, it first asks for a customer, then shows the sales for that customer. Get this working first before attempting the hyperlink.

Now, in the customer list, Layout tab, select the customer name cell and choose Nest/Link Properties. Choose the sales list as the target building block. There is no need to override the data source in this example.

For the Arguments section of the popup, add a new row with the Name "customer" (this must match the parameter name in the target building block). The Value should be the column in the customer data table that identifies the customer, which is the key column. Use expression syntax, not just the column name. For example: "#PLUTO.customer.key".

Navigating among related building blocks

Building blocks can be stored in the database directly, in which case they have a name and are visible in the Building Blocks window. Or they can be stored within other building blocks.

From the band editor, you can choose the command Open Nest/link Item to open a building block referenced by a cell.

(c) 2014-2015 Divergent Labs, Inc.