This article will demonstrate how to import a Dataset produced from XML in Lasernet, generate it as Word output, and outline the processes which will assist this. The article will then cover how to filter, sort, and group data, and produce charts from it. This task will require initially setting up the Lasernet interface so it appears as follows:
To import the Dataset, see the related article How do I create a Dataset in Lasernet?, and then with the Dataset export file drag it into the left window or use the Form > Select Grab File(s) option.
It will then be important to establish the types of data being handled in the Dataset XML and what kind of information it contains. The following image illustrates the columns and tables that should appear:
The values ID, Name, OrderNumber, Quantity, and Value are columns.
SaleOrder, Detail, and Items are tables. Each table has corresponding columns associated to it. In this case, Name, OrderNumber, Quantity, and Value are columns that belong to the table Items. Likewise, ID is a column that belongs to the table Detail.
Items and Detail are nested tables under the table SaleOrder.
ID, Name, and OrderNumber are columns of type String, Quantity of type Number, and Value of type Decimal.
To create a Form, click Add Form and then select XLSX as the Output Format.
Displaying Tables and Columns
Data from the Dataset XML input can be displayed on the Word output by dragging the name of the table (eg. Items, Detail) to the output panel, as demonstrated under Step 1 in the image below. Double-clicking the table Items will also display the content of the table. Similarly to tables, columns can also be displayed in the output by clicking, holding, and then dragging them to the output panel as shown in Step 2 in the image below. Tables and columns can also be deleted by highlighting the desired region and pressing the backspace or delete button. This is detailed in the image below:
Filtering, Sorting, and Grouping
The incoming data from the Dataset XML, in this case, the columns from tables, can be filtered and sorted to display data in a systematic and organized fashion. This can be done by applying the Filter tool, which can be found in the Tools menu on the bottom-left of the user interface. Remember that it will only appear as yellow if a highlighted region has been selected on the output, otherwise, the tool will be inaccessible.
To demonstrate this process, we will use the Items table to filter the Name column. The steps taken are as follows:
1. Select and highlight the Name column in the Items table on the output panel or highlight the entire table, then click the Filter tool. A filter window will be displayed, appearing as below:
2. Point the cursor to the option "And". A plus sign will now appear to the right of the text. Click this symbol and a filter menu will appear.
3. Click Add Condition and the filter conditions will then be displayed as below:
Now, three new components will appear as part of the condition. "Name" will appear as the column name in the yellow box, "Begins with" will act as the operator of the condition, and "Enter a value" will be the value set for the operator to perform on the column.
The first two components have drop-down menus where different column names and operators can be selected for filtering and sorting.
4. This demonstration will use the Items table as an example. Select Name for the column name and Ends with for the operator. Enter the letter “t” under Enter a value and the table should be updated. Before this process is applied, the table will appear as follows:
After the process is applied, this is how the table should appear:
Chart and Graphs
Data from the Dataset XML can also be transformed into charts and graphs to illustrate the data in a more informative way that is easier for readers to comprehend. These are produced using the Chart tool in the Tools section.
1. Select the Chart icon, which appears as follows:
Once this has been selected, the following temporary chart should appear on the output panel:
The two drag-and-drop circles within the text “Drop values here” and “Drop arguments here” are where data will be dragged from the input Dataset XML to populate the chart with data. It is important to note the following differences:
“Drop values here”: This is where numeric, quantified data (columns of type Decimal, Number, etc.) will be dropped.
“Drop arguments here”: This is where non-numeric data will be dropped. This can vary from data types like String, Boolean, and other non-numeric data.
2. Click and drag the column Name to “Drop arguments here”. Notice how the chart will temporarily change and will look like the one below:
The drag-and-drop inputs will have temporarily disappeared, but by dragging another item to the chart, they should reappear. For this example, we will use the column Quantity.
3. Click and drag the column Quantity to the chart below, and release once the “Drop values here” has popped up after hovering the mouse over the chart.
Having completed Step 3, the chart produced should now look similar to the one below:
To properly view the chart without the grey labeled region, click the Preview button next to Save.
The chart should now display the data properly. Charts can further be modified by right-clicking the graph and selecting Run Designer...
This will take you to an interface where you can freely modify your chart.
Clicking on the icon pointed by the arrow will allow you to change your chart type to different types of charts.
You can also choose different types of graphs and click OK to save changes.
By default, tables appear with grey shading for column name background and white text along with the default font and font size, as shown in the image below. All of these properties can however be changed with slight modifications.
To change the Header properties of a column, highlight the column, right-click, and select Table Properties.
This will take you to a menu where you can change the properties, as seen below.
Click on Borders and Shading and a new menu will appear where you can modify the border and shading of the column.
Select the Shading tab where you can select a color from a drop-down interface by clicking Fill, and then clicking OK once a satisfactory color has been chosen.