Did you ever get usable reply to your question? In the absence of a usable report writer, you'd think the Excel export mechanism wouldn't be so haphazard ...
Jason Herrington wrote:
The best fix I found was to make a local variable list of record and then set the order of the columns by the order of items in the list of record. Then the name you put for each item in the list shows up as the excel column name. Yes, you would think someone would make a much more controllable Excel export function especially for making excel exports specific to the needs/desires of the end user requesting the report but I haven't seen it yet.
I would be curious how you would such a feature to actually *work* and be *usable* to a developer at the same time, given the manner in which Actions are called. Would you pass in a record list of column names in the order they should appear in, for example? How would this function as a "drop this into your logic" level?
It's a lot of work for what is essentially a simple and, to my mind, obvious requirement.
The way it would work is, the list offered to the developer isn't just a checkbox saying "export this one", but a drag-and-drop selection mechanism that says, "export these ones, in this order". Creating an Excel structure that reflect the correct export order and then laboriously transferring the contents of one record list (column by column, row by row) into another is hardly in the spirit of Rapid Application Development .. :-)
Leo - I agree. Actually taking it one step further would be the developer supplies the list (either from an aggregate or a custom record list) to a standard table widget (with the option on the developer side to say if a certain field is viewable or not in the list) and then when the viewer sees the table they automatically have pagination, excel export etc without us having to put all that extra code in each time we drop a table. Then for the excel export have a button for "export as is" or a "customize my download". If the end viewer hits the customize my download they are presented with a popup with all the fields and can select which fields they want to download and click and drag to change the order of the fields. Heck, throw in the ability to make their own calculated fields as well for fun. :)
Dream on, big man. :-)