1. Why do VOID questions, which are only used to display text and do not record any data from respondents, create columns in the MySQL database with fields that are always set to "void?"
2. Is it possible to create on-line reports that any one can see?

1. Why do VOID questions, which are only used to display text and do not record any data from respondents, create columns in the MySQL database with fields that are always set to "void?"

Yes this is odd but needed to make the JavaScript on the client work. In QPL, VOID questions are just questions that don't have data.

The fixed-format export file and on-line tabulation report do not include void questions but the askSam and tab-delimited files do include them.

In some cases you can just put your comments as part of a question that does collect data and avoid the overhead of an extra database column. But sometimes, there isn't an alternative to using the void question.

If you were working with the MySQL file for your analysis, you could dump the data table to another location and then write an ALTER TABLE statement to drop the VOID columns.

2. Is it possible to create on-line reports that any one can see?

Yes. We often create public reports for internal QPL projects. Typically, we will create a report.htm page that is linked from the main project page, index.htm. On this page we create a form that lets the user pick the report and any report options. We will use JavaScript behind the scenes to build an SQL SELECT query, and then pass the query to a (currently undocumented) program that is already installed in your project web site location called qpl_custom_report_form_public.php, which will automatically run your query and display the results in a table.

To use the qpl_custom_report_form_public.php program, create a form and POST the hidden fields listed below.

Example

We built a QPL application for our Human Capitol (Personnel) Office that lets them track special pay offers. The reporting page added to the site lets anyone in this office view summaries of the requests and dispositions of these pay offers. (This example does not actually display reports, but is presented here as an example of what you might include on such a page and how to use JavaScript to build SQL queries.) Click on the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to display the SQL query that will be generated from the various form selections. You may also download the report.htm and supporting report_var_list.js JavaScript file as a zip file to examine the source code more closely.

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