This topic describes how to provide data to report controls using the advanced Mail Merge binding method. This feature allows you to create templates in which data source values populate specific fields while other text remains constant.
You can use the mail merge feature for different purposes depending on the report's data binding mode.
This feature has the following advantages when a report uses expression bindings (the UserDesignerOptions.DataBindingMode is set to DataBindingMode.Expressions or DataBindingMode.ExpressionsAdvanced):
In the legacy binding mode (the UserDesignerOptions.DataBindingMode is set to DataBindingMode.Bindings), you can specify only one data field for a control's bindable properties. In this case, mail merge is one way to embed multiple data fields in a control's text along with static content.
Initially, you can apply mail merge to the XRControl.Text property only. Double-click the required control on the design surface to invoke the in-place editor. Insert data field names with square brackets to create embedded fields and use any prefixes or postfixes.
You can embed a parameter's value into a control's content using the [?ParameterName] syntax.
A database barrel icon is displayed above the control if embedded fields are valid in the current data context (specified by the XtraReportBase.DataSource and XtraReportBase.DataMember properties). The same icon appears if you bind the control to data using expression bindings or legacy data bindings.
For the XRRichText control, you can select any text part and adjust its color and font options using the formatting toolbar.
Embedded fields are replaced with values obtained from an assigned data source when previewing or exporting a report:
Consider the following specifics and limitations when using embedded fields:
The mail merge feature enables you to apply formats to embedded field values. Select a required data field and click the control's smart tag. Click the XRControl.TextFormatString property's ellipsis button, and in the invoked Format String Editor, choose a built-in format pattern.
This adds the selected format to the target data field by separating it from the field name with the ! symbol and applies this format to field values when previewing a document.
You can apply the mail merge feature to the Text of the following report controls inherited from the XRFieldEmbeddableControl class: