In this manuals preceding chapters, we introduced methods for defining RMSfiles and creating data entry forms. This chapter introduces the Report Generator, which organizes data from the data base and outputs it in a format designed by the user.
The Report Generator allows non-programmers to produce reports. Creating a report with the Report Generator is similar to what you do when designing a report on paper. After deciding on general report attributes, you lay out how you want blocks of text to be printed (e.g., page headings, sub-total descriptions, etc.). You also decide where (in terms of lines and columns) you want each field printed. You then need to mark a specific number of columns to indicate how much space is taken up by each individual field. This process is repeated for each field and block of text until you finish the design of your report.
Designing a report with the Report Generator is much the same, but it offers you more flexibility and power than designing a report on paper. This chapter demonstrates in detail how to use the C/Base Report Generator to create and modify reports. In doing so, we will recreate the reports from the Demonstration Subscription System. Readers familiar with creating C/Base forms with toolkit will no doubt notice many similarities in the manner in which reports are created. A number of features used in creating forms have also been implemented in the Report Generator, thus making it easy for an individual who is able to design forms using toolkit to become proficient at creating reports, and vice versa.