Work with nested sections

Sections in ReportBro provide the ability to iterate a list of data with more layout options than a table. To get familiar with sections we recommend to read our tutorial for printing data with sections before heading towards the more sophisticated nested sections.

Nested sections allow to iterate lists of data within other lists, hence supporting the creation of data groups. Note that this feature is only available in the PLUS version.

In this tutorial you will learn to:
Create a nested parameter list
Apply nested sections to the layout template

1 Create a nested parameter list

Sections require a parameter of type list as a data source. Nested sections require nested list parameters, i.e. a parameter of type List itself contains a list as a parameter.

Let's take the example of a sports league. The league consists of multiple teams and each team consists of various players. Each team has a name. Every player is known by name and shirt number and also has a picture. We want to print all teams with their players.

Let's create the parameter list teams. We specify the fields of the team with the following parameters:
- team_name (text)
- players (list)

As you can see the parameter players in the team list is itself a list. Let us now create the parameters of the player list:
- name (text)
- number (number)
- picture (image)

Finally, we add corresponding test data for the parameter lists which is used to preview the report.

2 Apply nested sections to the layout template

The list parameter teams can now be set as data source for the (outer) section. This allows us to access its parameters. The teams section will therefor iterate over all available teams.

Within the teams section's content band, we create another section called players and apply the list parameter players as its data source. This section will subsequently iterate over all available players within the respective team.

We continue with the layout design by adding the player data to the inner player section content. We use a frame to set a background for the data rows but a frame isn't mandatory.

Print it like a Bro

Let's have a look at the result. Looks like the season can be opened.

Following this guide ReportBro puts as many section contents onto one page as possible. If you'd like to print one team per page have a look at the basic section tutorial which explains how to print one data set per page.

Bro tips

Make as many nests as you like! There are no limits to creating nested parameter lists and there are no limits to nested sections.
Using labels for your sections helps keep them organized and clear in the Designer menu panel.
Always name parameters distinctly (e.g. don't use name for both teams and players lists). Within a section, ReportBro iterates through the names of the list parameters and would take the first matching parameter, which may not be the one you intended.
Take care of the images you include with the test data. They are saved in the report template and could significantly increase its size.

Try it yourself: Download the report of this tutorial
Read here how to import the report into ReportBro Designer.

By the way, ReportBro is also available for everyone as open-source on github (see Download page). Star us on github if you like what you see!