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HOWTO: Create And Use Database Views

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Purpose:


Reports may be extracted from OpenEMR's database with a few different methods. Some require software developer expertise; others, in development as I write this (http://sourceforge.net/p/openemr/discussion/202504/thread/50c46053/?limit=25#f5aa), will be extremely useful for the person with skills in other areas besides computer science. The method described here using database views is a compromise: if somebody with coding skills provides the database query, most any person can set up a reusable database 'view' which will then generate a custom report on demand.


Documented using:

OpenEMR 4.2.0 (1)
phpMyAdmin 4.2.5
Linux Mint 17 / Mate

- HTuck - MI-Squared


Procedure:


Contents

Obtain SQL Code

  • SQL (spoken as "sequel" or spelled out "S Q L") code, or a SQL query, is the computer language which extracts data from a database. Unless you know that you can create good SQL queries, it would be best to obtain them from a professional: a miswritten query can irretrievably destroy the database. However, a properly written query is completely safe and very useful.

Therefore, of course the preliminary step to this tutorial is:
0. Backup your database

  • The specific variant of the SQL language that queries must be written in for the OpenEMR database is called, “mySQL”.
  • Database manipulation such as running queries and views is performed in the database administration tool, 'phpMyAdmin', included in OpenEMR.
  • OpenEMR Administrator access privileges should be required to create and run a database view.


Create The Database View

Open the database on left nav menu:


1. 'Administration
2. Other - Database '
(ovals)
3. Click on the database name
(rectangle)

(yours may well be different)


01-open dB.png


If the view has already been created and you're just running it, jump to step 11 (in section 3), 'Run Database View'




02-openSQL.png
4. Click the SQL tab (blue oval)












03-go.png


5. Copy and paste the SQL query into the text area (blue rectangle)









6. Click 'Go' button lower right (oval)





If the query is well formed, success is indicated by the message in the green area (green oval )


04-success.png



05-createView.png

7.Click 'Create View' link (green oval) at bottom of report results








A panel containing the view's SQL code (see below) will permit adding more parameters to the view.



06-viewSpecs.png







8. For now just fill in a descriptive 'View name', then







9. Click 'Go' (blue ovals)




The view has been saved; you will see where it's stored in the next section.


10. Exit phpMyAdmin: click on any left nav menu item.



Run Database View

11. Start here if you have already created the view.


07-shrinkTables.png


12. Open the database, per steps 1, 2 and 3 above.


The left margin of phpMyAdmin will appear as in the picture:

13. Click the '-' (minus) icon (blue oval) in front of 'Tables to shrink the table listing and see your 'Views'







09-runView.png

14. Click the '+' (plus) button to expand the list (arrow)


15. Click the view name to run the view (oval)
the report appears in bottom of right panel (blue rectangle)




Export Report

At bottom of report display, select the desired form for the report's output.


10-exportReport.png
10-printview.png









  • the two 'Print View's offer quick and easy printouts





11-chart.png



  • 'Display Chart' - limited options but pretty cool









12-exptOptions.png


  • the 'Export' option creates reports in many formats including spreadsheet- compatible formats (rectangle)


Exporting most of the many formats available in the dropdown is straightforward; if you know how to use those formats you will probably be aware of their parameters.




  • 'custom' radio button (oval) allows several options such as including/ excluding column names.





I will briefly describe here how to export as a .csv file the report from your database view for use in an open source spreadsheet such as LibreOffice. Instructions for importing .csv files into MS Office are available on the Internet.


16. Below the report display in 'Query Results Operations' select the 'Export' option


12-exportReport.png











In the "Exporting rows..." display :


13-ClickCustomRadBtn.png



17. Click the 'Custom' radio button for the export method








14-clickcsv.png




18. Select “CSV” from 'Format' dropdown list
(notice option for “CSV for MS Excel”; handy if you're using that platform)










15-colsInFrstRow.png



19. Scroll to bottom and select “Put column names in the first row”
(rectangle at right)




20. Click the 'Go' button (oval)



If in MS Windows decline the offer to open with MS Excel -
the spreadsheet will not display properly


21. Select 'Save File' and 'OK' in the resulting dialog




16-csvInDloads.png
22. The .csv file will be saved into your Downloads directory.




23. Click on the .csv file




17-importcsv.png




24. Click 'OK' in text import dialog to agree to the delimiters







'









25. View the Spreadsheet.
18-SeeSshheet.png