News combit Dev Blog

Support for Nested Tables

Posted: Wednesday, July 15, 2015 | 3 comment(s)
One of the few requests that kept coming in was "Can we have the detail data in a column of the master table". While there are a couple of workarounds in version 20 that do similar things, the actual request could not be fulfilled this way. Plus, the workarounds were not as discoverable as we would have loved them to be as they included negative indents for line definitions and educated guesses on the number of detail records that are likely to be printed.This is going to change in version 21 – List & Label is going to support a new field type "table" which enables you to nest tables.

So, instead of printing all products that belong to a certain Category underneath the category name, you can now have the Categories picture on the left hand side and all products for that category on the right hand side. A screenshot's worth a thousand words:

New feature nested tables


Inserting such a table is straight forward – you just add a new table column as usual and choose "Table" as column type:

New feature of report genrator version 21

The following dialogs are exactly the same as for a "normal" table – you choose the data source and fields to display. What you end up with is a new table column:

New feature of reporting tool

If you select the table, you can edit the table object's properties. A double click takes you to the usual table content dialog. The nested table is a first class citizen in the Designer. Resizing columns via Drag & Drop is fully supported, drag & drop of fields just works and even the context selection and editing of table cells works flawlessly.


New feature of List & Label

And it doesn't stop there – a table in a table cell can contain a sub table, i.e. underneath the single products you could include the order details for the product:


New feature of version 21

Which gives you the result:


New feature of version 21

Due to the complex nature of the feature, it can only be used in the new databinding mode we've introduced in LL20. Thus, usage is currently restricted to .NET applications that use databinding via a DataProvider.


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.


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