Reports are useful both for informative and archival purposes. You can use the PDF Layout container to structure a group of views that you deem useful for dissemination to interested parties or simply to keep as a historical record.
The Page Decoration component is used to define headers and footers in a PDF layout if the intention is to convert the report to PDF format. If you use them to define a header and a footer for a report, both header and footer elements must be placed before the body pages. This design is required so that footers will appear in the case where the body component is a table whose rows may span several pages.
It is possible to arrange for different headers and footers after the first page, and in different sections of a large report. Simply add more Page Decoration components after body views whenever new ones are required. You can emit a page break both before and after any view, which gives added control over the layout, such as permitting you to start a new section on a fresh page.
See the Web Component Reference pages on PDF Layout and Page Decoration for detailed descriptions of these components, or refer to the Web Component Tutorial.
The PDF Layout component is designed to permit multi-page reports. It does this by checking if there is enough space for the next view, and if there is not, generating a new page. Reports also have special view types for headers and footers which are used to generate running headers and footers on the pages of the reports. A footer must be specified before the view on the first page it is to appear because it must be available when the page is generated in order to allocate the correct amount of space for it. Headers and footers can be changed later on in a report by re-specifying them among the body views of the report.
Once the report determines where on a page to place a view, that view is drawn in the report’s graphics, as opposed to the report generating a graphics for the view to use. This means that reports which are nested in a parent report can also span multiple pages, but it also means that the report is effectively transparent, and can not have a background or border. Nested reports can not specify headers or footers—only the top-level report is able to create them.
NOTE: Container views that use a Fixed layout print in the sizes that are strictly specified by those views and do not look substantially different than they do on the page. Most tables, either printed directly as a report or embedded in a report, are able to flow to more than one page. For this to work, the table can only be nested in some combination of reports and iterators. In all other cases (for instance, a table in a fixed or grid layout) the table has a maximum size of a single page, and will clip to that.
It is possible to set up a schedule in the Administration module under Dashboards in the navigation panel so that reports are generated automatically at regular intervals. See the Administration and Configuration Guide for details on setting up a schedule and associating a report generation task with it.