The ‘Public Reports’ feature of Koha is under-documented and under-appreciated. To raise awareness of the feature, Calyx team members Chris Vella and Bob Birchall made a presentation to the Koha-oz User Group Meeting in Melbourne in August. You can access the slides from the presentation below, or in pdf form here.
In Koha, making a report ‘public’ allows it to be accessed through the JSON webservice interface. A report is made public simply by selecting that parameter when building the report in Koha’s Reports module.
A public report is accessible via a URL. Therefore, it can be accessed as a link from any web page. The output of the report will be in JSON syntax. Therefore it needs some manipulation to make it attractive and logical for the reader. That is achieved with HTML and JQuery.
Koha has hundreds of system preferences available to privileged users through its Administration module. Two of these, ‘opacMainUserBlock’ and ‘opacUserJS’ allow for the insertion of user generated HTML and JQuery to add information and functionality to the OPAC. The slides provide an example of the HTML and JQuery that can be used to attractively present the output of a public report.
Used in this way, a public report is an alternative to using a List. A public report has several advantages in this context:
- Supports large numbers of items (with a scrolling bar);
- Easier to maintain (changes to the catalogue are picked up automatically);
- Add or delete columns – just modify the report;
- Sort dynamically on any column;
- Automatically updated regularly.
Lists still have their place, but where there are a large number of items or the content is dynamic, a public report might serve you better.
If you experience issues with the embedded version bellow, download the pdf <a href=”https://calyx.net.au/media/documents/using_kohas_public_reports_feature.pdf”>here.
For more information, contact Calyx: firstname.lastname@example.org