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11 Reporting

 
 
 
 
The reporting capabilities have been improved in Recorder 6 in various ways:

 

Report Wizard

The Report Wizard in Recorder 2002 works on a single SQL statement; which makes it very inflexible.  The new report wizard uses multiple SQL statements making it more powerful.  It also means that users will no longer get out of memory errors when they attempt complex reports.  For example, reporting on observations in large accurately-drawn polygons, like vice counties, works in Recorder 6.

 

The dictionary changes mentioned above mean that reports for taxa are unlikely to leave out observations that should be included because of the dictionary list that was used to input them.  Also, reporting in taxonomic order works much better than it does in Recorder 2002 when observations have been input using multiple lists, provided the attribute ‘Recommended Taxon Sort Order’ is used, not ‘Taxon Sort Order’.

 

In Recorder 6, more attributes can be included in reports so they have been arranged in a hierarchy to make them easier to select, with Event, Observation, Sample, Survey and Taxon at the top level.  Also, the attributes and sort order are stored with report layouts and a layout (template) is selected earlier in the process.  This means that the attributes and sort order do not need to be specified if an existing layout is to be used for a report as these are ‘remembered’ from when the layout was designed.

 

When including measurement data from observations in Recorder 6, observations only appear in the filter result once, whereas in Recorder 2002 they appear once for each set of measurements on them.  In Recorder 6, users can select the attribute ‘Obs Abundances (LC)’ in the Observation group to have measurement data output as a comma separated string.  Alternatively, they can opt to have a separate column for each measurement qualifier by selecting the required qualifiers in the Measurement group within the Taxon group when selecting the attributes.  Unfortunately, this requires that users know what qualifiers have been used for the observations to be included in the report.  Similarly with other measurement data and species status.  Significant improvements for status reporting are planned for the next release.

 

When you reach the Filter Result the options available are accessed via the Report Output button, some of which were also available in Recorder 2002 albeit in a slightly different form.  These include options to:

 

  • Print the grid;
  • Copy the data to the Windows clipboard;
  • Send the data to the map to produce a distribution map;
  • Revalidate Items – new in version 6.13.2.176;
  • Export the data for importing into another copy of Recorder;
  • Export to Excel which replaces the Save as Excel button in Recorder 2002;
  • Export to Google Earth – new in version 6.13.2.176;
  • Export to ESRI Shape File – new in version 6.13.2.176;
  • Export the data to other formats;
  • Run Report Template (layout) produces a print preview using the layout selected in the Layout Selection window;
  • New Report Template (layout) opens the Report Designer;
  • Edit Report Template (layout) opens the layout selected in the Layout Selection window in the Report Designer for editing;
  • Run Snapshot runs a snapshot created previously;
  • New Snapshot opens the Snapshot Tool so that a new snapshot can be created;
  • Edit Snapshot opens an existing snapshot for editing.

 

Snapshot Tool

The Snapshot Wizard in Recorder 6 can be used to produce a simpler version of the database containing a subset of the observations.  This can be used for reporting by other packages, such as Microsoft Access, GIS software or Crystal Reports.  The Snapshot Wizard allows the user to output the data to a new table (or tables) in the existing database, to a different database or even to a different server.  The user can choose to have anything from 1 to 8 tables in the snapshot depending on how they want the data organised.  First, the Report Wizard is used to select the records that are to be included in the snapshot, then options on the Report Output button are used to create a new snapshot or edit or run an existing one.

 

For further information see the section headed ‘Creating a reporting Database’ in the Standalone Installation Guide.  Some other options are listed in a section of the same name in the Network Installation Guide.  For an example of using a snapshot with other software, see the article called ‘Using the Reporting Snapshot Tool to link Recorder 6 to MapInfo’ in the Recorder Wiki.  The links to follow are: Recorder 6 – Third-party Tools.

 

XML Reports

In Recorder 6, there is a new mechanism for creating reports which uses SQL statements within a standard XML structure.  This method allows users to create reports and share them with others.  It is similar to the SQL Reports add-in in Recorder 2002 but it is more powerful and the reports can be shared more easily.  The SQL Reports add-in isn’t available in Recorder 6 but its queries can be converted into XML reports.  A variation on XML reports called XML batch updates can be used to make changes to the database.

 

For a brief introduction to writing XML reports see Help – Tasks on the Contents tab – Reporting – XML reports.  There is, however, much more information on the Documentation Wiki, and Mike Weideli, another JNCC Recorder Approved Expert, has made more available via the link in his post on the forum on 6/07/08 – http://forums.nbn.org.uk/viewtopic.php?id=686#p3058.  When designing XML reports users can incorporate functions that format Recorder data in a more appropriate manner for reporting.  Selections of these are listed at the end of the Network Installation Guide and Mike’s documentation contains more.

 

XML reports can be run by selecting Reports – Run or Quick Report from the Main menu, then selecting the required report from the hierarchy that is displayed.  Depending on how they have been designed, some of them can be run by selecting an item in one of the main windows, e.g. a location in the location hierarchy, right clicking on it then selecting Quick Report and then the required report.  For more information see Help – Tasks on the Contents tab – Reporting – Running reports.

 

In Recorder 2002, the Location Report add-in placed a Report button at the bottom of the location hierarchy that could be used to produce a summary report for the selected location or a species list.  In Recorder 6 this has been replaced by the following XML reports:

 

  • Site Summary Report V06-12.xml;
  • Detailed species list V06-12.xml;
  • Quick species list (including subsites) V06-12.xml;
  • Quick species list V06-12.xml.

 

Although useful these suffer from some short comings compared with the Recorder 2002 equivalent.

 

 
 

 

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