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Objects and Reportcontainer in Designer
Programming Introduction > Other Important Concepts > Objects and Reportcontainer in Designer

Some objects in the Designer only serve for graphical design (e.g. Line, Rectangle, Ellipse). However, most of the other objects interact with the provided data. Specific data types are available for that or there are conversion functions which allow converting contents for use in the corresponding object. The following paragraphs give an overview of the most frequently used objects, their corresponding data types and Designer functions for converting contents. The hints for the single objects are also valid in the same or similar way for (Picture, Barcode, etc.) columns in table elements.


A text objects consists of multiple paragraphs. Each of these paragraphs does have specific content. This can be either a variable or a formula which combines multiple data contents. To display single variables, usually no special conversion is required. If multiple variables of a different type (see also Variables, Fields and Datatypes) are to be combined within a formula, the single parts have to be converted to the same data types (e.g. string). An example for the combination of numbers and strings would be:

"Total: "+Str$(Sum(Article.Price),0,2)

The following table lists some of the conversion functions, which are frequently needed in this context.

From/To Date Number Picture Barcode Text
Date - DateToJulian - - Date$
Number JulianToDate - - Barcode(Str$) FStr$
Picture - - - - Drawing$
Barcode - Val(Barcode$) - - Barcode$
Text Date Val Drawing Barcode -


The content of a picture object is set via the property window. The property Data Source offers three values File Name, Formula and Variable:



The content of a barcode object is set in a dialog. This dialog offers the three options Text, Formula and Variable for the data source:


Formatted Text (RTF)

The content of a RTF-Text object is set in a dialog. This dialog offers the options (Free Text) or a selection of possible passed RTF variables (see below) under Source:



The content of an HTML object is set in a dialog. This dialog offers the three options File, URL and Formula as a data source:


Report Container

You use the "Report Container" object to add a table. As the name says, a report container can hold several objects. Tables, charts, crosstabs and Gantt charts can be added in any order, even as sub-elements of tables. This lets you define sub-reports with almost any relationships between tables. In addition to a report container there can be any number of other report containers and in addition also separate charts, cross tables or Gantt charts.

To make the report container available, a data provider (see section "Data Provider") has to be used as data source. Generally it is also possible to perform the complete printing on your own by using the low-level API functions of the LlCore object, however this is not the recommended practice since many features (Designer preview, Drilldown, report container, …) would have to be specially supported. If in doubt, it makes more sense to write your own data provider with the interface IDataProvider.

All provided list samples for the .NET Framework make use of the report container and therefore provide demonstration material for the different operation purposes. A detailed description for using this element can be found in the Designer Manual under section "Inserting Report Container”.