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PTReportGen Frequently Asked Questions


PPT Report FAQDownload the PDF document of PTReportGen FAQ. (174KB)

About PTReportGen

What is PTReportGen?
What can I do with it?
What is the system requirement?
Do I need to install Microsoft Office?
What are the differences between the different versions of PTReportGen?
Where can I find PTReportGen 4?
What are the differences between the editions of PTReportGen?
Do I need 32-bit PTReportGen or 64-bit PTReportGen?
Can I make the complex report using PTReportGen?
Do you have any server version which I can use on the server to generate the reports?
When I run pptreport.exe from the command line, I receive a ¡°¡¯pptreport¡¯ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.¡± error message.

Reporting with PTReportGen

How does it work?
Where can I find some samples?
What need I do to use samples?
How can I use these samples?
When I use samples, I receive a "Selected Collating Sequence Not Supported" error message.
What is a report file?
What is a report template file?
What is a PTR file?
What is a function?
How can I connect a data source using a connection string?
Instead of SELECT statements can I use Stored Procedures?
When I execute a SQL statement, I receive an "ODBC driver does not support the requested properties." error message.
When I execute a SQL statement, I receive an " Too few parameters. Expected 1." error message.
How can I test a SQL statement?
How can I sort data?
How can I have total?
How can I group data?
How can I make sub reports within the main report?
How can I have sub-totals for each group?
How can I create charts?
How to use parameters?
I need to change paths for both exported report and template location. Is there any way?
Can I place the data into columns rather than rows?
How to create Microsoft PowerPoint reports with pictures?
I want to use FROM report. How can I know the name of a shape or text box?
How do I load a PowerPoint add-in?
I tried to load an add-in but I do not see it listed in my Add-Ins dialog box. Why?
I can not save the change to the name of object. What is wrong?
Do I need to execute more than 1 SQL statement in one report processing?
How many SQL statements can I execute in one report processing?
I want to programmatically change some of the functions in the ptr file. How?

Support

How much will I pay for the technical support? Is it free?
I have more questions - who should I write to?


What is PTReportGen?

PTReportGen is a report generator for Microsoft PowerPoint that uses Microsoft PowerPoint as reporting tool and outputs reports in Microsoft PowerPoint format.

What can I do with it?

If you know how to use Microsoft PowerPoint and write SQL statements, you can use PTReportGen to create all kinds of reports as you need. The report generated by PTReportGen is a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation.

What is the system requirement?

PTReportGen 5.1:

  • Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 or later.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.
  • Open XML SDK 2.5 for Microsoft Office.

PTReportGen 4.0:

  • Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 or later.
  • Microsoft Office 2003, Office 2007, Office 2010 or later.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1.

PTReportGen 2.9:

  • Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista or later.
  • Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP, Office 2003 or later.
  • Visual Basic 6.0 run-time environment

Do I need to install Microsoft Office?

PTReportGen 5 was developed using OpenXML SDK. You do not need to install Microsoft Office for PTReportGen 5. However, PTReportGen 4 / PTReportGen 2 were developed using Microsoft Excel Visual Basic. You need to install Microsoft Office for PTReportGen 4 / PTReportGen 2.

What are the differences between the different versions of PTReportGen?

PTReportGen 5 PTReportGen 4 PTReportGen 2 / PTReportCom 1
Office API OpenXML SDK Microsoft Office Interop Microsoft Excel Visual Basic
Programming Language Visual Basic .Net Visual Basic .Net Visual Basic 6.0
Supported Operating System Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 or later. Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 or later. Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003 or later.
Need Office No Yes Yes
Supported Office - Microsoft Office 2003 or later Microsoft Office 2000 or later
Other Software Required Microsoft .Net Framework 4 and Open XML SDK 2.5 Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5 Visual Basic 6.0 run-time files
Supported Presentation File Format OpenXML Presentation PowerPoint 97-2003 Presentation, OpenXML Presentation PowerPoint 97-2003 Presentation, OpenXML Presentation
File Convertor No Yes Yes
CopyRange in table report function Yes No No
Supported Charts Office 2007 chart Office 2007 chart, Excel chart OLE object, Graph chart OLE object Excel chart OLE object, Graph chart OLE object
Performance Fast Slow Slow
32-bit or 64-bit 32-bit and 64-bit 32-bit and 64-bit 32-bit

Where can I find PTReportGen 4?

After you have installed PTReportGen 5, you can find "PTReportGen4" directory under the PTReportGen directory. The directory contains the files of PTReportGen 4.

What are the differences between the editions of PTReportGen?

There are 2 types of editions issued for PTReportGen.

  • PTReportGen Standard Edition

  • User can execute no more than 50 SQL statements in one report processing.

  • PTReportGen Professional Edition

  • User can execute SQL statements unlimitedly in one report processing.

Do I need 32-bit PTReportGen or 64-bit PTReportGen?

PTReportGen 2 is 32-bit software. PTReportGen 4 and PTReportGen 5 include 32-bit and 64-bit software.

32-bit PTReportGen can run on 32-bit or 64-bit windows. But it must run with 32-bit data provider (such as ODBC driver, OLEDB driver) and 32-bit Microsoft Office (PTReportGen 5 does not need Microsoft Office).

64-bit PTReportGen must run on 64-bit windows. And it must run with 64-bit data provider (such as ODBC driver, OLEDB driver) and 64-bit Microsoft Office (PTReportGen 5 does not need Microsoft Office).

Can I make the complex report using PTReportGen?

Yes. This is a main feature of PTReportGen. The complexity might come from reports formatting as well as reports content.

  • The complex report formatting

You design reports like layouts, styles, formats directly using Microsoft PowerPoint. You can take full advantage of Microsoft PowerPoint including characters formatting, paragraphs formatting, bulleted and numbered lists, borders, shading, headers and footers, automatic formatting, style, graphics, diagrams, and more.

  • The complex report content

In one report, you can execute more than one SQL statement, and get data using different queries. Further more, you can create a temporary table, prepare data using many SQL statements including INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE/INSERT SELECT, and then make a report.

Do you have any server version which I can use on the server to generate the reports?

No. But PTReportGen can be run on your desktop or server. So you can use PTReportGen on the server to generate the reports. If you want to run it in the background on the server, you need to run it in command line mode.

When I run pptreport.exe from the command line, I receive a ¡°¡¯pptreport¡¯ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.¡± error message.

Your windows can not find the ¡°pptreport.exe¡±.

1. You can refer to pptreport.exe as the full path.

For PTReportGen 32-bit,

"C:\Program Files (x86)\LJZsoft\pptreport.exe" c:\myreport.ptr ¨Cc

For PTReportGen 64-bit,

"C:\Program Files\LJZsoft\pptreport.exe" c:\myreport.ptr ¨Cc

2. You also can add the path of pptreport.exe to System PATH variable.

  1. Choose Start -> Settings -> Control Panel.
  2. Double-click System.
  3. Select the Advanced tab and then Environment Variables.
  4. In System Variables, look for PATH. Select PATH, and click SET button.
  5. Add the path of pptreport.exe and click OK button.
    ;C:\Program Files\LJZsoft
  6. Click OK button.

How does it work?

To create a report with PTReportGen, you should do as follows:

1. Create a report template file using Microsoft PowerPoint, define the layouts, styles, formats of reports.

2. Create a PTR file with a .ptr extension using PTReportGen. The PTR file tell PTReportGen how to extract data from database, and where and how to put data.

3. Run the PTR file to generate a report in Microsoft PowerPoint presentation format.

Where can I find some samples?

After PTReportGen is installed, some sample reports are installed too. The sample reports include a sample database, some report template files (.pptx) and PTR files (.ptr). They are located in the pptreport directory under \Samples.

What need I do to use samples?

To use these samples, you must add a data source named "Report Sample", and specify the database "Sample.mdb". If you have not installed MS access ODBC driver, please install it first.

Creating a System DSN for a Microsoft Access Database

  1. Click the Windows Start button, choose Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Data Sources (ODBC). The ODBC Data Source Administrator dialog box appears.
  3. Select the System DSN tab, and then click Add button.
  4. Choose Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb), then click Finish button.
  5. In the ODBC Microsoft Access Setup dialog box, type Report Sample in the Data Source Name box.
  6. Click the Select button, and browse to select Sample.mdb.
  7. Click OK button to close the ODBC Microsoft Access Setup dialog box.
  8. Click OK button to close the ODBC Data Source Administrator dialog box.

How can I use these samples?

  1. Run PTReportGen.
  2. Open a PTR file. Click Open on the File menu.
  3. Run the PTR file to generate a report. Click Run on the Report menu.
  4. Open, view and check the report. Click Open Report File on the File menu.
  5. Open, check the log file. Click Open Log File on the File menu.

The sample reports can be changed to adapt to your own needs.

When I use samples, I receive a "Selected Collating Sequence Not Supported" error message.

This is a problem of multilanguage. You are trying to open a database or an object in a database that was created in another language edition of Microsoft Access. You can try as follow:

  1. Open the database "sample.mdb" using Microsoft Access.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the General tab.
  3. Make sure that the New Database Sort Order is set to General and then click OK.

If you do not resolve the problem, please install or enable multilanguage support for your operating system. For more information, please refer to
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;q202150
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=184988

You can create a new database on your computer, export data from "sample.mdb", and import into your database.

What is a report file?

The report file is a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation generated by PTReportGen.

What is a report template file?

To make a report using PTReportGen, you should create a report template file first. This report template is a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation that defines the layouts, formats and styles of the report. In the report template, you can input static content such as titles, descriptions, comments, a cover, a company logo, and set the format for the static content and data got from data sources.

What is a PTR file?

To generate a report with PTReportGen, you must create a PTR file with a .ptr extension. The PTR file contains information such as the name of the report template file, the name of the report file, log file name, data sources, parameters and functions. The PTR file tells PTReportGen how to get data from data sources and how to put data into a report.

What is a function?

A function includes a SQL statement and some arguments. A function can be used to execute a SQL statement, and tell PTReportGen whether or how to add data into a report.

How can I connect a data source using a connection string?

To write a connection string, please refer to
http://www.connectionstrings.com

Instead of SELECT statements can I use Stored Procedures?

Yes, you can use Stored Procedures.

When I execute a SQL statement, I receive an "ODBC driver does not support the requested properties." error message.

It probably is a wrong SQL statement. Such as a missing column, or syntax error.

When I execute a SQL statement, I receive an " Too few parameters. Expected 1." error message.

It is a wrong SQL.

How can I test a SQL statement?

You can test SQL statements using Microsoft Query that is a component of Microsoft Office. You can find it under the installation directory of Microsoft Office. For example,

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\MSQRY32.EXE"

How can I sort data?

Use SQL to sort your data. In a SELECT statement, you can use the ORDER BY clause to have your results displayed in a sorted order.

How can I have total?

To add totals, you can use the aggregate functions in SQL statement, such as COUNT, SUM, AVG, MAX, and MIN.

(1) In the fixed table report, you can add total directly using a separate SQL.
(2) In the variable table report, you must add the total first using a fixed table report function before you use the variable table report function. Because the cell address of the total field will change after you use the variable table report function.

How can I group data?

To group data in a report, you should use GROUP argument in the REPORT function. For more detail information, refer to PTReportGen Help and the samples customer_profile.ptr, product_catalog.ptr and sales_detail.ptr within PTReportGen.

How can I make sub reports within the main report?

A subreport is a report within a report. A subreport would typically be used to perform one-to-many lookups such as Customer / Order / OrderDetails.

To make sub reports within the main report,

1. Write a JOIN SQL statement to get data from two or more tables. For example, you can join Customers, Orders and OrderDetails tables.

2. Use GROUP argument in the REPORT function.

For more detail information, refer to the samples product_catalog.ptr and sales_detail.ptr within PTReportGen.

How can I have sub-totals for each group?

You can add sub-totals using the aggregate function in SQL statement.

1. Use aggregate function and GROUP BY clause, get summary data for each group, and insert results into a temporary table.

2. If you have the different kinds of summaries, repeat the step 1, and insert results into another temporary table.

3. Use the variable table report function, and join the detail data and the summary data using JOIN. The summary fields must be included in the group list.

4. Except for sub-totals, you can add total too using aggregate function in SQL statement. You must add total first using a fixed table report function before you use the variable table report function. Because the cell address of the total field will change after you use variable table report function.

For more detail information, please refer to the samples sales_detail.ptr within PTReportGen.

How can I create charts?

To create a chart in a report, you should create the chart in the template file. You can create a chart using Microsoft Excel.

1. Open the report template file using Microsoft PowerPoint.

2. Place the insertion point where you want to create the chart. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Chart.

3. In the Insert Chart dialog box, click a chart, and then click OK button. Microsoft Excel will open and display sample data on a worksheet.

4. Enter the sample data into the worksheet of the chart.

5. Customize your chart, and choose the chart type and the various chart options.

6. Delete the sample data.

  • If the report type is fix, you should define the blank ranges according to number of records.
  • If the report type is var, you should define one or two blank ranges.

7. When you've finished, click the Microsoft Office Button in Excel, and then click Close.

8. Write functions in a PTR file to input the data.

For more detail information, please refer to the sample monthly_sales.ptr within PTReportGen.

How to use parameters?

In SQL statements, you can use parameters.

  1. To use a parameter, you must declare it first. A parameter has a name, a title and a default value. To define a parameter, click Configuration on the Report menu, and click the Parameter tab
  2. In SQL statements, use the parameter name.

PTReportGen will replace the parameter name with the actual value before it submits the SQL statements to data sources.

Example

Define a parameter as follows:

Name: $CustomerName Title: Customer Name

You can use the parameter name "$CustomerName" in SQL statements. The parameter name in SQL statements should be delimited by quotation mark. For example:

SELECT CompanyName ,CityName ,CountryName ,ContactName FROM Customers, Cities, Countries WHERE Customers.CityCode = Cities.CityCode AND Customers.CountryCode = Cities.CountryCode AND Customers.CountryCode = Countries.CountryCode AND CompanyName LIKE '$CustomerName%' ;

I need to change paths for both exported report and template location. Is there any way?

You can use parameters in the path and name of the report file, template file and log file. For example, you define a parameter $CustomerID, you can name the report file as follows:

report\report_$CustomerID.pptx
report\$CustomerID\report.pptx

Can I place the data into columns rather than rows?

Of course, just write FILLORDER=col in REPORT function. For example, there are 1 field and 10 records, you can show them as 1 row and 10 columns on report.

How to create Microsoft PowerPoint reports with pictures?

You can insert pictures into your report from using many popular graphics files PTReportGen.

  1. Store the path and name of the graphics files in the database.
  2. Identify the image fields in the report function.
  3. To specify the size, you can write a formatting expression into the cell or shape in the report template file.

PTReportGen will read the graphics files, insert them into the report, and set the inserted way, text wrapping style and size of the pictures.

I want to use FROM report. How can I know the name of a shape or text box?

To use a form report, you can reference a shape or text box by its name. We developed a PowerPoint add-in "name.ppa" that can display the name of an object and rename the object in a slide. You can find the add-in under the PTReportGen's working directory.

How do I load a PowerPoint add-in?

To load an add-in:

1. Launch Microsoft PowerPoint.

2. Click Add-Ins under Tools menu. The Add-Ins dialog box appears.

3. Press Add New button, and browse to the add-in file, and Press OK button.

4. If prompted to enable macros, press Enable Macros button. The add-in will be listed in the Add-Ins dialog box. Press Close button to close the dialog box.

I tried to load an add-in but I do not see it listed in my Add-Ins dialog box. Why?

Check the macro settings. If this is not set to at least Medium, the add-in won't load. To resolve this:

1. Click Macros under Tools menu, and click Security. The Security dialog box appears.

2. Click the Security Level tab, and click Medium.

3. Press OK button.

4. Now load the add-in.

5. Once the add-in has been loaded you can set the security level back to High.

I can not save the change to the name of object. What is wrong?

I have renamed the object in a slide using the add-in "name.ppa", and saved the PowerPoint file. But I find I do not save the change when I reopen the PowerPoint file. It may be a problem of Allow fast saves option. You should save a complete file.

1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Save tab.

2. Clear the Allow fast saves check box when you finish working on the file, and then save it one last time. A full save occurs when this check box is clear.

Do I need to execute more than 1 SQL statement in one report processing?

In most of reports, you just need to execute one SQL statement. But sometimes, you want to execute more than one SQL statement in one report processing.

  • The data are located in different tables or databases, and you get data using different queries.
  • There are many reports in one report file.
  • You want to create a temporary table, prepare data using many SQL statements including INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE/INSERT SELECT, and then make a report.

How many SQL statements can I execute in one report processing?

It is dependent on the license of PTReportGen you have purchased. For detailed information, see Licenses.

I want to programmatically change some of the functions in the ptr file. How?

The PTR file is a text file. You can write a program to make a PTR file using C, perl or DOS shell, and then run PTReportGen to generate report. These steps can be written into a batch file.

How much will I pay for the technical support? Is it free?

Yes, it's completely free for all.

I have more questions - who should I write to?
Please send your additional questions to
support@ljzsoft.com.

 


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