Create a Report from MYSQL

Hello all.

I have a test MYSQL server that I use Node Red to Format CSVs I generate from my programs before it uploads to the database.

I'm interested in a method of generating PDF Reports partially based on this data.

Before I was using Word Mail Merge from A CSV node Red would make during the upload.

Now I've got a nearly finished Report in Microsoft Access that prompts for which batch you want a report on, then it generates a report for you.

Before i commit to doing all of my reports on the data in Access, I was looking for a solution from Node Red to automate the generation of the reports from Node Red

I.e., after it has uploaded all the data it runs some Exec or maybe a VBA palette to have Access create the reports, which get saved into a certain folder.

Once Node Red Receives all the files, it sends an alert that the task is done.

If this isn't possible in MS Access, are there any other programs for building Reports from a Database that would be better for automation with Node Red?

Also the reports need to be able to format for labels. Often times I'm generating 60 per page labels with data from the database.

Ideally I want the final reports to be PDFs, but if we can automate it, I'm a little more flexible.

If you search the flows site there are several nodes - eg node-red-contrib-pdfmake (node) - Node-RED that can help you generate pdf directly. I personally haven't used them but sarching this forum you can find several other discussions.

I have had to make a report from mysql database and have been successfully doing so after many interactions with this Forum , if you provide basic data, i can try to modify my flow to suit your need , unfortunately i cannot share my entire flow, but can try to make a simple flow and share, will take some time. I am definitely not fluent in this, but have managed to adapt the samples given by the pdfmake node and interacting with forum.

if you can paste the output of your mysql query, it will help me construct a simple flow for pdf.

Hmm, I'd forgotten about pdfmaker - just looking at their website, I find their examples use a config-driven approach remarkably similar to uibuilder's config-driven, low-code approach. So I think I need to recreate some of their examples.

It should, I believe, be possible to create web pages dynamically from uibuilder in the same way as pdfmaker. :slight_smile:

And indeed I was correct! Not quite a complete copy yet of the tables example from the pdfmaker site but close enough to show off the possibilities. I'll finish it off when I can and submit to the Flows site.

But if you'd care to try it, this might be a useful alternative to pdfmaker since most OS's these days will let you print to PDF.

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Here showing in dark mode but you can force to light or simply change the dark/light setting on your browser. The example even includes both a safe HTML filter AND the ability to output content as Markdown not just HTML - both thanks to built-in support for 2 optional external libraries (dompurify and markdown-it).


I may have to switch over to this method. Which helps, since I won't have to rely on Access to make the Forms. Though I suppose there will be more coding to make accurate PDFs in the long run.

Thanks for the idea.

That is a rabbit hole you might want to try and avoid if you can. What does "accurate" mean in this context? Also, PDF's have a major accessibility issue, at work for example, we are introducing a policy to move away from PDF's for this very reason. Whereas a well-formatted HTML document has excellent accessibility. And HMTL is open rather than the semi-closed nature of Adobe PDF. All sorts of good reasons to use HTML over PDF. The big draw of PDF used to be "accuracy" of reproduction on paper - but that is another thing we are trying to get away from since paper isn't only expensive both to produce as prints but also to store and is far from green having a massive environmental cost.

I meant I'm not familiar with the PDF Maker on Node-Red, but I'm assuming there will need to be a lot of coding involved to make my PDFs accurate.

The reason I was going for PDFs is because I do need them to be printed.

For full context, I'm creating Fixture Labels and DMX Paperwork for Entertainment Lighting.

Usually what happens is we rent Lighting Fixtures from a Rental shop. They need an Address and other mode settings applied to work accurately in our design. My Database system gathers the data from the design software, then formats sticker labels that we print, and label to the lighting fixtures. This way when we are troubleshooting the fixtures, they have a label with the settings they need to work properly.

The other reports printed are different methods of viewing the data, either by Channel or by DMX Address, By Position etc. All these reports do need to be printed at least once so there is paperwork on the show site to refer to when there are questions about the settings.

Switching to something like PDF make, I'm concerned how tricky it will be to create a format that works with the physical sticker labels I need to print on.

I was actually hoping someone had a method of automating tasks in Access instead, since my Access Reports that are formatted with the Database directly already has forms that I'm pretty happy with.

OK, I can see that.

Right, getting label formats right is always tricky as I know from past experiences both professionally and personally.

The good news is that I don't think doing it in HTML is likely to be much more difficult than in PDF. The bad news is it won't be any easier either probably. Though done once it is done forever so there is that.

There are some simple examples on the web though, like this one: Label Print (

If you can come up with something close to the right format, I'd likely be happy to provide some help in making it into a uibuilder low-code example. I think it would doubtless help others in the future.

As for Access, I've done plenty of that over the decades though nothing in that last few years I'm afraid. External automation of Access is certainly possible. Unfortunately, it is only really possible from something that can handle .NET which means getting dirty with PowerShell in terms of scripting languages. Node-RED can drive a PowerShell script via its exec node but you would still need to do the PowerShell side. I'm afraid I've never externally managed Access other than via a full Visual Basic interface (and that was so long ago now, I barely remember what I did though I occasionally wonder whether Barclay's Credit are still using it :grin:). Oh, and in case people start pointing out all of the node.js modules that talk to Access DB's - please note that you CAN certainly interact with the data. But that isn't what you need of course, you need to drive the forms and printing interfaces.

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