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Report Builder Summer'10 preview feedback/questions

With the Summer'10 release, the Report Builder also is able to edit Summary Reports. During June, we added Boolean filtering and conditional highlighting. As of June 28th, this excludes Matrix reports, and the ability to edit charts. Both of these should be added before September 2010.

I'm particularly interested in:

1) browser compatibility (for instance, we have found and corrected a set of look and feel bugs for IE6)

2) load time and feedback (where we have spent a lot of time optimizing for load-time performance, but still have some work to do on the treeview load time)

3) How you feel about interacting with the builder?


We are really shooting for feature parity with the wizard (i.e.. the Builder create or edit everything the builder can) over the next 2 months and for GA  (in Winter'11), but also we want to know requested changes - here, or on IdeaExchange.


Tom Tobin


Hi there,


Great functionality - well done! Here's some quick feedback on some features we think would be beneficial to the tool:



Edit Custom Filters functionality

  • Predictive text capability for selecting the Field would be a great time saver
  • There is no Lookup for Picklist Values (as you’d normally use in the Select Criteria step)


Other functionality

  • Cannot see the other Salesforce tabs when in Report Builder




We know we need a finder in the field choice.


Do you think we need a calendar to appear when you are filtering on a date? as well as the lookup feature?



When designing the report builder, we looked at the real estate that the standard header and footer took, and how they affected scrolling. One problem is that the page can be as wide as the tab set, and may people have many tabs and we didn't want two horizontal scrollbars.

The other problem was that the standard header + tabs + footer take 33% of the vertical screen space on a 1024x768 screen, and that wasn't acceptable, with the need for the results, the filter pane, and some header.

We also thought that users who were building a report weren't likely to suddenly switch to looking for a contact or account without saving or running the report.

Do you think that's reasonable?


If you are using the Report Builder, please give us some direct feedback and fill in this survey:



As someone who has never really used the reporting feature before, I think the new Report Builder makes the prospect a lot more inviting. The ability to preview any changes made to a report dynamically is a great bonus, especially when using summary fields or trying to identify fields that are largely redundant in the report. Good Work Salesforce!!!


The only thing that I don't really understand how to do is order a report by multiple fields, for example how to sort a user report by Profile, and then again by Last Name, am I missing something obvious?




see The Christopher Alun Lewis Blog for Salesforce news, comment and development tips and tricks


I noticed that when adding a custom formula that resulted in a URL, in the report builder it shows up with the following text:



rather than showing the actual link as it does when you actually run the report.


I am using Firefox 3.6.8


I also tried running the same report in IE 8 and it worked fine until I tried to edit it using the report builder. When I clicked on the button to Customize using the report builder, it goes to a blank page and gives the following error:


Webpage error details

User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/4.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; Media Center PC 6.0; MS-RTC LM 8; InfoPath.3)
Timestamp: Wed, 28 Jul 2010 17:16:31 UTC

Message: 'Sfdc.reportbuilder.ReportMetadataWrapper' is null or not an object
Line: 117
Char: 9
Code: 0


When trying to edit an opportunity report I get the following script error:


A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, or you can continue to see if the script will complete.



I push continue and it seems to work ok from there.


I am using Firefox 3.6.8

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100722 Firefox/3.6.8 ( .NET CLR 3.5.30729)


When building an opportunity report, I added the Opportunity Record Type field to the report by dragging it from the left column of fields to the preview area. When the field is displayed in the preview area it shows the ID of the record type rather than the record type name. When I run the report, the field displays correctly.


I am running Firefox 3.6.8

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100722 Firefox/3.6.8 ( .NET CLR 3.5.30729)



Ok, we've reproduced the Record ID problem.

The timeouts we've seen, but only on Mac Firefox before, and we can't repro them. It doesn't seem to fit with the watchdog timer built into Firefox, which is supposed to only show this box after 10 seconds.


Here are my initial comments on the Report Builder:


1. When switching between chart types while working within one report, it would be nice if it remembers my formatting
selections on each chart type so that if I switch back to a chart type, it
reinstates the formatting I chose for that chart type.

2. The hover feature on the chart should only display on the tip of the pointer while the pointer is on
the chart.  Currently, I can drag the pointer around the screen and the hover text shows up on the tip of the pointer
everywhere on the screen, not just when I'm in the chart.  I noticed this happening when the chart is Above Report.  I'm using Firefox version 3.6 Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.9.2) Gecko/20100115 Firefox/3.6 (.NET CLR 3.5.30729).

3. Report Type - "Custom Object With Custom Object" should show the object names, not "Custom Object".

4. Sorting (ascending and descending) on report columns doesn't seem to work in the Preview pane.

5. When I click "Edit Custom Filters" or "Report Properties" buttons, it would be nice
to be able to grab these screens and move them around rather than have them pop up and
block visibility in the Preview pane.

6. It would be nice to be able to see the chart in the Printable View.


Tom - In reply to your question about showing the tabs while in the Report Builder, I found it frustrating that I had to get out of the report builder to be able see the Salesforce tabs, and I hadn't seen the user's (Murray) comment yet.  As an alternative to showing the tabs if real estate is an issue, you could have a control similar to your Search control that has a dropdown list of objects and a text field to enter an Account or Contact name.






Ok, we've reproduced the HYPERLINK function in the function giving the HL_ENCODED output.

This will work correctly in Matrix reports when we release that on the 4th, but won't work in Tabular and summary until later.


You still can't filter by more than 1 field - so you can't do Last Name and then sort by title (for instnace).

This is already an Idea on IdeaExfchange, and something we plan to do as soon as we can get all users off the wizard and onto the builder, so we don't have to manage these features in two places.


Thanks for the reply tt.


Can you provide a link to the idea so that I (and hopefully others) can vote on it?


see The Christopher Alun Lewis Blog for Salesforce news, comment and development tips and tricks


So far I find the new Report Builder to be more intuitive and easier to use. Feedback around the office has been very positive. Only one mention of performance, but whether it's related to the size of the resulting data set, number of fields, object type, etc. they couldn't say.


Overall an excellent addition.


From today, the report builder can now edit and create Matrix reports - the Matrix report format is the 3rd drop-down in the format menu. You will also see the "customize" button on the result page of matrix reports.

The last part is control over Display Currencies which will be released with the Winter'11 release, during September/October.


We are also trying to put in some other small changes in a patch on the 9th of September - this will, for instance, allow numbers to be dropped anywhere in the matrix to make them aggregates, rather than just in the column with the names of aggregates.


I've run into a couple of JavaScript errors. One is on Ubuntu using FireFox 3.0.13 - the error when I choose a custom object is :


Warning: Unresponsive script

A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. etc.




I also see a similar error on the same object in FireFox 3.6.8 on Windows XP, although the breakpoint is apparently different :





Steve N FloridaSteve N Florida

Load and screen refresh are way too slow.  I know how to build reports, I need to get in, get it done and move on.  It is painful to work with the new process, and does not offset the value and benefits of it.  Great concept, I love how easy it is to use and find the reports.  It is a vast improvement, much more innovative than I imagined it would be.


Very well done!


As another user stated, because of the refresh time, you might want to consider having a checkbox that allows the user to delay refresh until they drag and drop everything they think they need. That way, it wouldn't refresh after the addition of every field unless the user wanted it to.


Another suggestion is to have a button (or drop-down) that allows the user to collapse/expand all Field groups.


Again - well done!

Tomasz OczapowskiTomasz Oczapowski

Feature request:

In the Filter Page when using Advanced Filter Logic it will be nice the number was removed after the condition is deleted (using "Remove link).  See image attached. item (2) should be removed and (3) changed to (2)



When selecting fields for Custom Filters:


- The order of the fields is not logical - even within Opportunity Customer Fields, there are not alphabetical.

    See example here:


- You cannot type the first letters of the field name to jump to the feld.


Speed seems to be better!


As some people stated, there should be an option to disable auto refresh. Force auto-refresh ruins this.


The interface is kinda cool.  I like being able to see the data so I know if I selected the wrong but similar field.  Pretty slick!


Although the flaw with SalesForce reports was never the interface.  It's the lack of functionality.  Here's my experience with the new report builder so far in just a few weeks...


I had a report change request that essentially required more than 5 formulas in an existing salesforce report, but report builder shows "formula limit reached" so I had to redevelop the report from scratch outside of salesforce.


I needed to show the percent difference between two fields.  But formulas only work for if you are grouping not the detail line so I had to create a bunch of custom formula fields on the account object just for this report.  What a waste that Salesforce servers must calculate this every time the account is updated instead of just when the report is run.


I could not sort by one field and then another field within the first.


And that doesn't even get into the fact that I can't have a formula field on a report in sql terms be the calculated sum of a join of a few objects grouped by a certain field (or fields).  In salesforce terms, I think you may describe this as a roll up field unique to a report that rolls up over a series of joins of non-child objects.  E.g. I might want  Invoice Line Totals where the Invoice Headers are not voided for the current year thrown based on Invoice Header date as a field to show how big of a customer they are on an account/opportunity report .  And of course Invoice can't be child to Account because Accounts can be deleted but Invoices can not as they must add up to match the general ledger.  I'm looking into Analytical Snapshots, but I imagine that'd be complicated as a custom Report Type.  Basically, Salesforce Reporting "isn't there yet" it seems in this aspect as I could do all this in 30 seconds in other environments without having to "fight the interface".


Is Advanced Filters broken?  I can't seem to add an OR condition. I get an error telling me some fields can't be used. It doesn't seem to object when I let it use the AND on the same fields.


That's not something new to the builder.

The chances are either some of the fields are special, or you are reporting on a Custom Report Type with outer joins, and so you can't OR across those things.


 It only happened when using the Lead History Report.  Maybe I was tring to use both History records and Lead.  Theat coudl explain it...


I tried Spring '11 Preview today and got disappointed because I found there is still no ability to stop auto-refresh.

I can't come up with any ideas why SFDC thinks auto-refresh is necessary in spite of a lot of negative opinion.



You seem to have posted blank comment above and it might have been an answer to my comment. If you meant you used kind of special ink or HTML tags or something, like which fools can't read, could you please post it again in normal way?