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This tutorial describes, how you can create your first report using TisGraph within a few minutes.  More extensive descriptions of the various program features can be found in the subsequent chapters of this manual.

Creating a new Report

If you start on an empty database, for creating a report you first have to create a category.

  1. For doing so, choose File --> New Category

    If you get an error message like the following ones, either on loading the application, or when performing one of the steps described here, please ask your administrator.  A typical reason for such an error message is that the user group your user is assigned to does not yet have the necessary priviliges for performing the desired action.  The administrator might change your user group, or give your user group more privileges.

  2. The dialog for creating a new category opens.  Choose a name for the category, and one of the security contexts offered in the dropdown (those must have been defined by the administrator before).  Once you are finished, click on "Create Category".

  3. The new category will be displayed in the document tree.  Open the context menu using a right mouse click on that category.  Choose "New Document" for creating your new report.

  4. The following dialog opens:
    • The yellow background of the field "Name" tells you that this is a must field, where you have to enter something
    • Optionally, you can add tags to your report.  Note that they have to be added in the tag tree before (the tag tree offers a document tree that is grouped by tags).
    • The document language will especially be used for formatting things like timestamps.
    • The purpose of defining a time zone in TisGraph generally is the correct interpretation of timestamps delivered by data sources. The time zone you define here acts as a default value for tasks like creating a constraint.  Of course, you can always override that default value.
    • The first component of data delivered by TisGraph data sources can be interpreted as numeric value, or as encoded timestamp.  Usually, the latter case is needed.  Initially creating a time range generally has the purpose of automatically using that time range as range displayed by the time axis of a graph (e.g. 1st January 2014 to 1st January 2015 for showing data for the year 2014).  Of course, both time ranges and value ranges can be created, changed and deleted afterwards as needed.

  5. The report has now been created.  An overview over the structure of the user interface can be found here.


Creating a Graph

Before you create your first graph, some words about the concept of pages and layers provided by TisGraph.  Each TisGraph document can contain any number of pages and layers.  Each page can consist of any number of these layers.  For example, a typical TisGraph document might be built up as follows:

  • Pages Page01, Page02, ..., Page08
  • One Background layer, which for all pages acts as first layer (i.e. all other layers paint on top of it)
  • Layers Layer01, Layer02, ..., Layer08.  Page X contains Layer X as second layer.

By using such a setup, general layout elements like a logo, a caption, or a rectangle separating content from each other need to be added just once to the background layer, whereas the page-specific content (e.g. a graph showing some data) is added to Layer X on Page X.

A newly created document by default contains one page, a background layer, and a foreground layer for that page.  For creating a graph, switching to that layer is advisable:


Lets create a graph now.  This can be done in the following steps:

  1. Activate the Create Tool for time dependent graphs in the toolbar at the right.

    By the way, the tool below starts the creation of a parametric graph.  Time dependent and parametric graphs are from an application point of view actually quite similar — they only differ by some default values; for both the same dialog is used.

  2. Define the upper left corner of the graph by a left mouse click on the drawing area.  Release the mouse button, and move the mouse to the position where the lower right corner of the graph should be positioned.  Click again the left mouse button.

  3. After that second click, the Create Tool will automatically switch to the definition of the legend position.  Click where you want to position the legend.  If no legend is desired, you can click anywhere in the graph, the legend can be switched off afterwards.

  4. After positioning the legend, the Create Dialog for the graph opens.  The settings are distributed to four different tabs.  The red marker for the tab "Datasets" indicates that there is some problem which prevents you from immediately committing the dialog.  Usually, such a red marker indicates empty must fields, or fields with invalid content (e.g. input "123f" in a field expecting a decimal number as input).

    (please note, that in the as of 22nd September 2014 released versions, this red marker is missing.  This will be fixed in the next version we release).

  5. Most of the various settings in the dialog are already filled with senseful default values:
    • The coordinates on the drawing area defined by your mouse clicks have already filled into the corresponding fields.  Like for all such input fields in TisGraph, millimeters (with respect to a printed copy of the report — generated via PDF) are used.
    • In tab "Legend", a header can be defined, or alternatively, the legend can be hidden completely
    • In tab "Captions", optionally caption texts at all sides of the graph can be defined
    • In tab "Axes", the properties of the abscissa, and of any number of ordinates can be entered.  The configuration of an axis looks as follows:
    • As we just create a time dependent graph (the setting can be found on tab "Datasets" which will be described below), the default configuration of the abscissa as time axis, and of the (only) ordinate as value axis is senseful.  The two terms again refer to the question, wether values provided by the data source in the respective column (e.g. the first one for the abscissa) should be interpreted as encoded timestamps, or as a numeric values.  
    • Binding the abscissa to the "Date Range of Interest" means, that the abscissa will always follow the time range defined there, i.e. if you change the time range, the axis and the graph will change accordingly.  No further change to the graph configuration is needed in that case.
    • In contrast, value range "Autoscale" means that the value range being displayed in the graph wil automatically adapt to the set of values provided by the data source.
    • Additionally, here one can optionally configure the text properties of the axis captions, the frequency of axis ticks, and the existence and properties of the grid lines.  The settings under "Show" at the right define, at which side of the graph, the axis should be painted.

  6. Up to here, we could leave all settings unchanged.  Now, however, we have to configure some settings concerning the datasets to be displayed.  Generally (at least for time dependent graphs), each dataset corresponds to a curve displayed in the graph.  In particular, several DataSets can exist in a graph.  In this tutorial, we stay with one:

    In detail, we have to define the data source, the caption, and the stroke style which is used for painting the curve in the graph.  For defining the data source, please click on the "..." button in the upper right corner of the dialog.  The following window opens.  In this example, we choose a time series from a Wiski Tree:

    We choose the mean daily temperature of some measure point.  Back in the main dialog, now the drop down for the data set caption presents some suggestions:

    We choose the third option, and additionally define a stroke style for the dataset:

    If none of the already existing stroke styles fits your taste, you can add a new one directly in the dropdown by clicking the "+" button at the bottom.  Leaving the dialog is not necessary for doing so.

  7. After we have chosen a stroke style, the "Create and Close" button in the bottom left corner of the dialog activates, and we can finally create the graph.

    Now there is just one problem: The graph shows no data.  A message in the status line informs you about that:

  8. In this case, the problem is that the data source does not contain any up-to-date data of 2014.  This can be fixed by adapting the time range of interest (the closed lock keeps the length of the time range constant while moving one of its ends):

  9. For 2011, the data source provides data, i.e. now you actually see data in the graph (in particular, the status line at the bottom again reports about that).  As you can see, the autoscale setting of the ordinate makes the data fit exactly between minimum and maximum of the axis.

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