News combit Dev Blog

Virtual Formula Variables for Drag & Drop

Posted: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 | 3 comment(s)
In LL21, we improved the Drag & Drop behavior thoroughly. However there was one thing still missing. When dropping e.g. a date field, at times you don't need the actual date in the report but rather e.g. the year. The same for numerical values – do you want decimals? If yes, how many? Do you require a local formatting? Or a currency symbol? While you can easily achieve any of these formattings using simple formulas or the "Format" property, you have to do just that. So drag and drop is not the no-brainer it is supposed to be in a perfect world. In LL23, the world will actually become a little more perfect.

The tree view in the Variables/Fields tool window and the formula assistant in LL23 feature new virtual formula variables that offer an enhanced drag & drop experience. If you expand a date value, you're offered a whole lot of different options now:

The same for numerical, string and boolean fields:

Of course, the tree still supports multiselection, so selecting these fields

and dropping them on the workspace results in this table:

Note the year column – a single click on the field reveals it's true value, which is now a combination of a formula and the dropped field:

Besides making things faster even if you know what you're doing, this will also help your less tech-savy end users to cope with the Designer more easily.

We're eager to know what formattings and formulas you'd find useful. Did we make the right choices? Any more ideas? Feel free to drop them into the comments below.

Author: Jochen Bartlau
Head of Development List & Label

Jochen Bartlau leads the development at combit as Managing Director. He's a Microsoft .NET enthusiast driving innovation & agile project management. The mobile devices geek who used to be a physicist in his first life loves to spend his spare time with his family.


+1 800 256 3608 (toll-free North America only)