Reports: Ad-hoc database queries

Maintained by Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Tim Hunt, at the OU (Perry building) Mahmoud Kassaei
This report plugin allows Administrators to set up arbitrary database queries to act as ad-hoc reports. Reports can be of two types, either run on demand, or scheduled to run automatically. Other users with the right capability can go in and see a list of queries that they have access to. Results can be viewed on-screen or downloaded as CSV.
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This report, created by The Open University, lets Administrators set up arbitrary SQL select queries that anyone with the appropriate permissions can then run. Reports can be set to be runnable on-demand, or automatically run weekly or monthly.

The results are displayed as a fairly plain HTML table, and can also be downloaded as CSV.

The idea is that this lets you quicly set up ad-hoc reports, without having to create a whole new admin report plugin.


Screenshot #0


Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Tim Hunt (Lead maintainer)
at the OU (Perry building)
Mahmoud Kassaei: Developer
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  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Thu, 22 Jun 2017, 12:23 AM
    Expand all would be a JavaScript change. Probably not too hard to do.

    Since all the data behind Moodle is in a database, it is quite easy to change things if you can acess the database directly. It is also possible to screw up the data directly, if you make a mistake. So, be careful.
  • Picture of Chris Khoo
    Sat, 1 Jul 2017, 8:16 PM
    I am using Moodle 3.3 (Build: 20170515).

    I am getting this error. Is it because my Moodle version is not supported?

    Validating report_customsql ... Error
    [Error] Write access check [/opt/bitnami/apps/moodle/htdocs/report]
    Installation aborted due to validation failure
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Mon, 3 Jul 2017, 5:32 PM
    Read the error message: "Write access check [/opt/bitnami/apps/moodle/htdocs/report]"

    It looks like the file permissions are not right on your server.
  • Picture of Chris Khoo
    Mon, 3 Jul 2017, 6:50 PM
    Validating report_customsql ... Error
    [Error] Write access check [/opt/bitnami/apps/moodle/htdocs/report]
    Installation aborted due to validation failure

    For the error above, if you execute the commands below, the installation will go through.
    I wondering why need to run the command below though.

    sudo chown -R bitnami:daemon /opt/bitnami/apps/moodle/htdocs/report
    sudo chmod -R g+w /opt/bitnami/apps/moodle/htdocs/report
  • Picture of Leon Vincent
    Tue, 25 Jul 2017, 3:36 AM
    Guys, would appreciate some help on this... whilst trying to install...

    Plugin "report_customsql" is installed in incorrect location "$CFG->dirroot/blocks/customsql", expected location is "$CFG->dirroot/report/customsql"

    More information about this error

    ×Debug info:
    Error code: detectedmisplacedplugin
    ×Stack trace:
    line 835 of /lib/upgradelib.php: plugin_misplaced_exception thrown
    line 446 of /lib/upgradelib.php: call to upgrade_plugins_blocks()
    line 1754 of /lib/upgradelib.php: call to upgrade_plugins()
    line 699 of /admin/index.php: call to upgrade_noncore()
  • Picture of Jon Bolton
    Tue, 25 Jul 2017, 1:02 PM
    So the clue is in the message... you've installed the plugin in the blocks folder but it should be in the reports folder smile
  • Picture of Leon Vincent
    Thu, 27 Jul 2017, 2:41 AM
    @Jon Bolton - thanks, exactly correct. Appreciate the help.
  • Picture of Nicola Fern
    Tue, 12 Sep 2017, 10:03 PM
    Hi smile are there any plans to certify this for use with moodle 3.2/3.3? I have a managed site and the provider won't install any plugins that aren't listed as supported. Many thanks.
  • Picture of tim st.clair
    Tue, 10 Oct 2017, 12:28 PM
    I can't get scheduled reports to email at all.

    Email from my server works. I've set up two users: 1 a site admin, and 1 with `report/customsql:view`, and set these usernames as the recipients of a weekly report. I can see that the report is running: It tells me the latest time it ran and shows me the previous outputs that it generated, yet I get no emails. In the standard log for the report_customsql component there are entries for viewed and edited but none for notification.

    How do I test that a scheduled weekly or monthly report runs? - I'd like a "run now" sort of option so I don't have to wait a week to find out that my query was actually buggy.

    What is the first day of the week? Is that a Sunday or a Monday? The accepted answer is different depending on where you live. Here people respond "Monday".

    I'm confused by the `%%STARTTIME%%` and `%%ENDTIME%%` settings. There's no explanation of how this relates to the date it runs in the interface and even the code seems a little confusing to me. Is the start time the beginning of the *previous* week and the end the end of the day before the report runs again? That's what I expect, so I could report on things that happened in the last week up until right now. I can't test these in a normal on-demand report since they don't get replaced.

    Minor niggle: If I set up a report as "on demand" then run it, then change its type to "daily", I see "this report was run on (date)" in the text next to it. If I then open the report, the screen then says "This query has not yet been run.".

  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Tue, 10 Oct 2017, 6:32 PM
    To answer most of those questions with full certainty, I would have to check what the code is doing. And, I know that you are very capable of understanding the code yourself, so would you be able to start trying that? Most of the back-end stuff is in locallib.php, and the method names are quite clear. Of course, if there is anything you can't work out yourself, please ask again. Thanks.
  • Picture of Andreas Obst
    Thu, 4 Jan 2018, 11:09 PM
    Dear all,

    thanks for this very useful plugin, we use it to communicate weekly reports of participants on security trainings in our plants.
    As I can see, the plugin creates automatically an archive of the queries. My question: Is there a chance to delete the archived Versions without deleting the whole query?
    Or is the archive a result of the SQL query?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    CR Andreas
  • Picture of Luis De Sousa
    Sat, 6 Jan 2018, 11:40 PM
    Hi. Thanks for this plugin, it is very useful. One question: Can I create my reports with paging and sorting? Thanks in advance
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Mon, 8 Jan 2018, 8:37 PM
    Paging and sorting are not currently an option. All the data is shown on one page. This is simple and seems to work.

    For sorting (or any other more complex processing) any report can be downloaded as CSV, and then manipulated in a spreadsheet program like Excel or Libre Office.
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Mon, 8 Jan 2018, 9:14 PM
    @Andreas, there is no automatic way to delete the archive.

    You can do this manually if you have access to the server. The archived reports are stored in [moodledata]/admin_report_customsql, in folders named for the report id (which you can get from the URL) and the filename clearly includes the date and the time. You can just delete those files from the server.

    Of course, it might be nice for someone to code a new feature for this report to automatically delete old reports after a certain amount of time.
  • Picture of Andreas Obst
    Wed, 10 Jan 2018, 3:42 PM
    @Tim: Thanks for the explanation, very helpful, problem solved ...
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