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Creating a Report
There are two ways to create a report. You can create reports manually or you can use one of ReportPro's powerful Report Wizards. Using the Report Wizards is the simplest and quickest way to great looking reports, and Report Wizards are covered later in this guide. This chapter explains how to create a report manually since it provides a good way to learn ReportPro.
There are two basic steps you must perform to create a report:
|•||First you must define a data source. This process tells ReportPro where to get the information that will be included on the report. It also allows ReportPro to retrieve information about the data that is available from the data source. This information is used by our Field Wizard and to perform validation as you create the report.|
|•||The second step is to place report objects in the bands of the work window. Report objects are what actually generate the printed output.|
Of course, this is a very simplistic view of how to create a report. In practice you will want to specify filters, sort orders, and customize the report objects perhaps to show only a subset of the data presented in a useful sequence. For more complex reports you'll likely specify selections or complex relations between tables in your data source.
You create a report by choosing File, New from ReportPro's main menu. Another menu will appear that allows you to select the type of report you wish to create or which Report Wizard you wish to use. The first three menu options represent the basic types of reports supported by ReportPro.
The Standard report is the most common and covers reports that are not columnar in nature and do not generate a Cross-Tab output. Though this may sound complicated it really isn't. If you are creating a listing, or form based report, you are creating a Standard report.
Label reports are columnar in nature. Mailing address labels are a good example of this type of report. You can also use Label reports to create a listing style report that has multiple columns.
Cross-Tab reports are those that perform a summary operation on a database and report the result set in a grid type fashion.
It is important to note that you can easily change between two different types of reports if you choose to do so later. Your selection at this point is only required to allow ReportPro to prompt you for enough information to initialize an empty report template.