28.3 Running Reports

After a report has been selected from a C/Books menu, a parameter screen is displayed that asks some questions to determine what subset of the data should be printed and where the output of the report should be directed.

The parameter screen shown below is displayed when the report Purchase Orders by Vendor is selected from the Reports, Purchase Order menu.


Parameters are entered on to the parameter screen in the same way data is entered on a data entry form. The TAB key, RETURN key, and arrow keys are used to move the cursor between fields. If you change your mind about running the report, press the CANCEL button (keys <F1><x>). You will then be able to press the RETURN key to return to the current menu. When you are satified with what you have entered, press the STORE button <F5> to run the report.

As on the report parameter screen above, many of the report selection parameters are used to establish ranges; that is, they select data from some starting point to some ending point. Input to these types of parameter fields are always optional. If no values are entered, the system assumes the end of the range to be unbounded. This allows a wide variety of ranges to be specified using just two parameter fields.

For example, the Purchase Order Date fields select purchase orders on a range of dates: from the first purchase order on file to some date (leave the Starting Value field blank, input a valid date in the Ending Value field), or purchase orders dated between two dates (enter valid dates in both fields), or purchase orders dated on or after some date (enter a valid date in the Starting Value field, leave the Ending Value field blank). To select all purchase orders, leave both starting and ending values blank.

Most reports that have these types of range questions often ask several sets of range questions: range of vendors, range of purchase orders, range of purchase order dates, etc. Through the combination of questions, you can, for example, select all purchase orders dated on or after May 15th for the vendor "Heirloom Furniture" (vendor code h05400) as shown below.


Some input parameter fields (such as accounting year, accounting period, cutoff dates, etc.) are not part of a range of values. Input to these fields are almost always required.

The report parameter screens also display report output parameters; they tell the system if the report should be sent to the system printer and, if so, how many copies to print. Because these parameter fields contain initial values, you do not need to enter anything into these fields unless you want to change the initial values.

Once the parameters have been entered and the STORE button <F5> is pressed, the C/Base command grace starts producing the report. If the report is to be output to the system printer, the current menu is redisplayed immediately rather than waiting for the report to finish, and the processing of the report continues. This dual processing allows other work to be done while the report is being prepared. When the report is completed, the requested number of copies of the report are printed on the system printer.

Pressing the CANCEL button takes you to the Main menu.