Improve Import tag handling of bad/missing data
Currently, if the Import tag is passed bad data (e.g. an image file doesn't exist or is an unsupported format), the only apparent way to prevent the report from breaking altogether is to set a default image. But what if we don't want a default image and just want the tag to be ignored if it doesn't like the data? Or what if the default image to be shown is also data-dependent?
I suggest two improvements:
That instead of displaying a default image, the tag could optionally be ignored altogether. In many cases, it would be preferable to have no image at all rather than a default placeholder. Particularly if we are generating a report with numerous full-page images that all happen to have bad data (e.g., if the image directory changed and no one updated the relevant data), we don't want page after page of the same default image.
That the default image could be data-driven. Our current solution for displaying product images in a report takes the image names from a field in the product table and concatenates them with a base URL from another field in another table. The reason for this is that if the customer moves their images to a different server, directory or whatever, they can change the base URL in one place and not have to update hundreds/thousands of records for individual images were the full URL hard-coded in the product data. While a single default image is far better than a broken report, it requires (a) that the customer actually has and wants a default image and (b) that the template would have to be updated if the default image gets moved or changed (instead of just updating a data field or two outside of the template). Changing a data field value carries a lot less risk than modifying a template.
Thanks for considering the idea.