B4J: Printing/Reporting with upcoming ABMaterial 3.75

A sneak peek on a new feature of ABMaterial for B4J I’m working on: Printing/Reporting.

This is an example of a report in ABMaterial. You build it right into your other pages and just by setting a couple of parameters, you control what will be shown on screen and what will be printed.

The block your see above ‘INVOICE’ will not be printed, just my setting lbl.IsPrintable = false.  What is shown on screen you control by using the normal ABM.VISIBLE_ constants. For example there are some additional notes with a chart that you can’t see here on screen, but will be printed.

You can use almost every ABM component in your report. Good examples are the ABMChart, the ABMChronologyList or even like in this example you can let your client sign the document using an ABMSignaturePad and print it right out.

The ABM components avoid being split over two pages (e.g. an image will be printed on the next page if it does not fit). Browsers let you control very little on how things are printed, but I’ve added some things like ReportFooter.row(3).PrintPageBreak = ABM.PRINT_PAGEBREAK_BEFORE_ALWAYS to give you some control.

Note that the navigation bar is not printed either. All of this is taken care for you automatically by ABMaterial!

Some example pdf prints from the demo app (without making any modification to the source code!). Try printing the same pages with ABMaterial 3.50 or before and you’ll see the difference.


Making the above ‘invoice report’ is really simple and in the spirit of ABMaterial. I’ve created a new component ABMReport (and ABMReportBlock) which you can use just like you would make an ABMCustomComponent.

Relevant source code snippet of the above report (the Build event is where the magic happens, the rest are more helper methods):

Sub Class_Globals
   Dim ABM As ABMaterial
   Dim Report As ABMReport

   ' some CSS to format the 'body' of the report
   Dim ReportCSS As String = $"
   .repheader, .repfooter, .repheaderright, .repfooterright {
     background-color: lightgray;
     font-size: 1.8rem;
   .repheaderright, .repbodyright, .repfooterright {
     text-align: right;
   .repbody, .repbodyright {
     font-size: 1.5rem;

   @media only print {
     html { font-size: 60%}

   Dim mSQL As SQL 'ignore
   Dim mInvoiceID As Int 'ignore
End Sub

Public Sub Initialize(InternalPage As ABMPage, ID As String)
   Report.Initialize("Report", Me, InternalPage, ID, ReportCSS, "")
End Sub

Sub Report_Build(InternalPage As ABMPage, internalID As String)
   ' the report header
   Dim ReportHeader As ABMContainer = Report.Header.InitializeAsContainer(InternalPage, "reportheader", "", ABM.PRINT_PAGEBREAK_INSIDE_AVOID)
   ReportHeader.AddRows(1,False, "border").AddCells12(1,"")
   ReportHeader.AddRows(1,False, "").AddCellsOS(1,0,0,0,9,9,9,"").AddCellsOSMP(1,0,0,0,3,3,3,20,0,0,0,"right")
   ReportHeader.AddRows(1,False, "").AddCellsOS(1,0,0,0,7,7,7,"").AddCellsOS(1,0,0,0,5,5,5,"")

   ReportHeader.CellR(0,1).AddComponent(BuildLabel(InternalPage, "repTitle", "{B}I N V O I C E{/B}", ABM.SIZE_H4, "center", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL))
   ReportHeader.CellR(1,1).AddComponent(BuildLabel(InternalPage, "repAddress", "Jonathan Neal{BR}{BR}101 E. Chapman Ave{BR}Orange, CA 92866{BR}{BR}(800) 555-1234",ABM.SIZE_H5, "", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL))
   ReportHeader.CellR(0,2).AddComponent(BuildImage(InternalPage, "repImg", "../images/logo2.png", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL))
   ReportHeader.CellR(1,1).AddComponent(BuildLabel(InternalPage, "repCompany", "{B}Some Company{/B}{BR}{B}c/o Some Guy{/B}", ABM.SIZE_H4, "", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL))
   ReportHeader.CellR(0,2).AddComponent(Build3Block(InternalPage, "repInvoiceData", "{B}Invoice #{/B}", "101138", "{B}Date{/B}", "Januari 1, 2017","{B}Amount Due{/B}","$ 600.00", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL)   )

   ' the report body
   Dim Body As ABMReport
   Body.Initialize("Body", Me, InternalPage, internalID & "body", "", ABM.PRINT_PAGEBREAK_INSIDE_AVOID)
   ' header of the body
   Body.Header.InitializeAsTexts(Array As String("Year(s) Overview", "Q1", "Q2", "Q3", "Q4"), Array As Int(40,15,15,15,15), Array As String("repheader","repheaderright","repheaderright","repheaderright","repheaderright"), "")

   ' detail lines: here you can e.g. run queries but for demo purposes let's do everything manual
   Dim sums(5) As Int
   For i = 1 To 9
     ' change the class of the last column on the second row
     Dim ColorClass As String = "repbodyright"
     If i = 2 Then
       ColorClass = "repbodyright red-text"
     End If

     ' create a text block
     Dim block As ABMReportBlock
     block.InitializeAsTexts(Array As String("Year 200" & i, 200*i, 300*i, 400*i, 500*i), Array As Int(40,15,15,15,15), Array As String("repbody","repbodyright",ColorClass, "repbodyright","repbodyright"), "")

     ' dirty way to make the sums
     For k = 1 To 4
       sums(k) = sums(k) + (20 + (k-1)*100) * i

   ' footer of the body
   Body.Footer.InitializeAsTexts(Array As String("{NBSP}", sums(1) , sums(2), "{B}" & sums(3) & "{/B}", sums(4)), Array As Int(40,15,15,15, 15), Array As String("repfooter", "repfooterright","repfooterright","repfooterright","repfooterright"), "")
   ' add the subreport 'body' to the body of the main report

   ' the report footer
   Dim ReportFooter As ABMContainer = Report.Footer.InitializeAsContainer(InternalPage, "reportfooter", "", "")

   ReportFooter.AddRows(1,False, "").AddCells12(1,"")
   ReportFooter.AddRows(1,False, "").AddCellsOS(1,0,0,0,2,2,2,"").AddCellsOSMP(1,0,0,0,5,5,5,0,0,10,40,"").AddCellsOS(1,0,0,0,5,5,5,"")
   ReportFooter.AddRows(1,False, "").AddCells12(1,"")
   ReportFooter.AddRows(1,False, "").AddCells12(1,"")
   ReportFooter.AddRows(1,False, "").AddCellsOSMP(1,4,4,4,4,4,4,0,0,0,0,"")
   ReportFooter.AddRows(2,False, "").AddCells12(1,"")

   ReportFooter.CellR(1,1).AddComponent(BuildLabel(InternalPage, "RepSignatureLbl", "Please sign this document", ABM.SIZE_H5, "", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL))
   ReportFooter.CellR(0,2).AddComponent(BuildSignature(InternalPage, "repSignature", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL))
   ReportFooter.CellR(0,3).AddComponent(Build3Block(InternalPage, "repTotalData", "{B}Total{/B}","$ 600.00","{B}Amount Paid{/B}","$ 0.00","{B}Balance Due{/B}","$ 600.00", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL))

   ' avoid row 2 to be broken (can give weird results, depends on browser support!)
   ReportFooter.row(2).PrintPageBreak = ABM.PRINT_PAGEBREAK_INSIDE_AVOID

   ' alaways break before printing row 3
   ReportFooter.row(3).PrintPageBreak = ABM.PRINT_PAGEBREAK_BEFORE_ALWAYS

   ' all the rest is only visible on the print, not on the screen
   ReportFooter.CellR(1,1).AddComponent(BuildLabel(InternalPage, "AdditionalNotes", "{B}A D D I T I O N A L {NBSP}  N O T E S{/B}", ABM.SIZE_H4, "center", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_HIDE_ALL))
   ReportFooter.CellR(0,1).AddComponent(BuildDivider(InternalPage, "divider", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_HIDE_ALL))
   ReportFooter.CellR(0,1).AddComponent(BuildLabel(InternalPage, "note1", "Note 1: A finance charge of 1.5% will be made on unpaid balances after 30 days.", ABM.SIZE_H6, "", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_HIDE_ALL))
   ReportFooter.CellR(1,1).AddComponent(BuildLabel(InternalPage, "note2", "Note 2: Your current purchase chart.", ABM.SIZE_H6, "", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_HIDE_ALL))

   ' create a pie chart
   Dim chart5 As ABMChart
   chart5.Initialize(InternalPage, "chart5", ABM.CHART_TYPEPIE, ABM.CHART_RATIO_SQUARE, "chart5theme")
   chart5.Visibility = ABM.VISIBILITY_HIDE_ALL
   ' Something special, Label interpolation.  the value will transformed into a percentage format (This is Javascript!)
   Dim SumValues As Int = 30+50+70+80+100+140+170
   chart5.OptionsPie.LabelInterpolation = "Math.round(value / " & SumValues  & " * 100) + '%'"
   ' add ONE serie
   Dim Serie5A As ABMChartSerie
   Serie5A.SetValues(Array As Int(30,50,70,80,100,140,170))
   ' add the chart to the cell
End Sub

' Helper Methods
Sub BuildLabel(internalPage As ABMPage, ID As String, Text As String, Size As String, theme As String, isPrintable As Boolean, Visibility As String) As ABMLabel
   Dim tmpLbl As ABMLabel
   tmpLbl.Initialize(internalPage, ID, Text, Size, False, theme)
   tmpLbl.IsPrintable = isPrintable
   tmpLbl.Visibility = Visibility
   Return tmpLbl
End Sub

It will never be able to print everything of course (e.g. scrolling components), but I’m pretty happy with the things it will be able to do.  Browser support for report printing is still in its infancy I’m afraid and it will take some time before all browsers are lined up supporting all HTML printing features.

But, together with the new ABMreport component, you will already be able to create reports with very little effort using ABMaterial and B4J!

ABMaterial 3.75 will be available for donators in a couple of weeks.


Click here to Donation and support ABMaterial

Or make a donation with Bitcoins:

BTC: 13x7b12GonCj6iphnjLuonrwURK2jCgMdE

This is my bitcoin address as a QR code. It is possible to send bitcoins to me from mobile wallets by scanning this code.



About Alwaysbusy

My name is Alain Bailleul and I'm the Senior Software Architect/Engineer at One-Two. I like to experiment with new technologies, Computer Vision and A.I. My projects are programmed in B4X , Xojo, C#, java, HTML, CSS and JavaScript. View all posts by Alwaysbusy

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