There will be occasions when you want to include manager details in your Chris21 reports. For instance, you might be reviewing your organisation structure. You could run a report over the Relationships (REL) file but that can be a bit cumbersome. Let’s say you wanted to look at the reporting relationships in your department. The easiest way would be to run a report showing each employee along with their manager number and name.
That sounds simply enough yet users sometimes have difficulty with this because it’s not really obvious how you would achieve it. After all, there is no manager number that you can see anywhere in Chris21. Well the good news is that there is, you just have to know where to look. The problem is that it’s not that easy to find, especially if you are new to Chris21.
You won’t find the Manager Number on any forms in Chris21, so you can’t select it and add it to your report. But it is available as a hidden field. There are a number of hidden fields in Chris21 and they aren’t displayed anywhere on any forms. Fortunately, even though they don’t appear on a form they can still be displayed in your reports.
How do you find and add a hidden field to your Chris21 reports?
When creating a report in the Report Designer you can find a hidden field using the Field Chooser. The Field Chooser is the window you open when you want to add fields to your report. It displays a form as you would see it in Chris21. You then select the fields you want from the form:
This screen shot shows the Details (DET) form in Chris21. As you can see, there is no Manager Number that you can select. However, if you look at the tabs at the bottom of the form there is one called All Fields circled in red. When you click on this tab you will see a list of all the fields that are associated with the Details form:
Notice the field circled in red called DET MANAGER. When you double click this field it will be added to your report. When the report is published the manager number will be displayed. If you choose Translation from the Field Properties you will see the manager surname and initials in your report output. For more help with Field Properties, see my blog Need Help With Your Chris21 Reports – Try This.
This will work with any report that has the employee number (DET NUMBER) as the parent key. For example, Positions (POS), Salary (SMN), etc. But bear in mind that the concept of hidden fields is not restricted to the manager number. There are many hidden fields within Chris21 and they can all be identified by looking at the All Fields tab on the Field Chooser.
Keep this tip in mind if you are asked to produce a report that includes the manager’s number, or any other hidden field in Chris21. Now it won’t seem so daunting!