In the previous two chapters, you learned how calculations can make your databases work harder for you. But the functions you’ve learned so far can’t make your databases work much smarter. For example, what if you want to add a five-percent delinquency charge to invoices over a month old? You could create a special “past due balance” field on a special layout that you use only when you’ve searched for late invoices, but that’s just extra complexity to create and maintain, if the late fee rules change. On the other hand, if you create a calculation that makes a decision based on current data, you can let the database itself can figure out when to apply late fees, and it works for every invoice, not just the late ones. This chapter shows you how to give your calculations that brainpower by using logical functions and other advanced techniques.
Download a copy of this chapter’s sample file at http://missingmanuals.com/cds/.
A database’s whole purpose is to let you more easily find and use information. Using conditional formatting, you can make important data more visible on your layouts, so you can more easily see what you need to know with a quick glance. For example, when your collections department has to call your client’s accounting department, they can more easily find information they need if you make the Due Date and Total Due fields turn bold and bright red if the invoice hasn’t been paid.
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