10. Using Report-Writer
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Using Report-Writer
What Is Report-Writer?
Report-Writer provides a high-level report language that allows you to quickly create sophisticated reports without having to write an application program. With Report-Writer, you can create regular production reports, as well as special reports for your application, when needed.
Report-Writer contains features and capabilities to create reports that meet your own special needs. Some broad categories of features include:
Powerful tools to help you extract the data you want to print
For a simple report, you can easily specify which table to access and how to sort the information. For a complex report, you can use a database query to retrieve selected rows of data to be used in the report.
Support for nulls
Your Report-Writer specifications can include use of logical operators, null variables, dynamic definition of null strings, and complex null expressions for specifying how null data is to be reported.
Complete control over the appearance of the report
You have complete control over the appearance of titles, headings, and placement of the data on the page. A powerful set of formatting commands allows you to specify exactly how you want the numbers and text information to print. Text formatting features include many features similar to word‑processing capabilities, such as centering, justification, and automatic pagination.
Powerful arithmetic capabilities
There are many functions to help you compute totals and averages over ranges of data in your report; many arithmetic functions make almost any kind of computation possible.
Expressions and variables for report flexibility
You can customize reports using expressions and variables as arguments to Report-Writer statements. Users can assign values to variables interactively by responding to a prompt that you specify.
Direct running of reports
You can use the report command with appropriate flags to run reports from a report specification that you saved to a text file or to the database. Running a report directly from a text file is more efficient for interactive testing.
Parameters to dynamically change the report each time it is printed
You can specify ranges of data, table names to operate on, or any other information at the time the report is run. This allows you to use the same report formatting commands for many different reports.