Reports go hand-in-hand with graphics in conveying your findings to others. Chapter 18 describes how to create graphics using IDEA. This chapter discusses the report part of the equation.
IDEA makes it possible to output reports in two different forms: PDF and Microsoft Word (the Word output is actually in Rich Text Format, RTF, so any application that can read RTF can use this output). Each output format has advantages and disadvantages. For example, using PDF files makes it easy for everyone to view the report. However, letting others make changes to the report can be difficult unless you want to buy everyone a full copy of Adobe Acrobat.
The examples in this chapter show how to create output directly from a database. Of course, you may want to create customized output, which means writing code to output the custom material. Chapter 16 shows how to create such an application using Word. The following sections show how to create general report output using IDEA.
Defining a Report
Before you can output a report, you need to create one. This is one part of the report creation process that you must perform manually—there isn't any way to code reports. The following steps show you how to create the report used for the examples in this chapter. The same procedure works for any report you want to create.
1. Open the Sample-Customers database by double-clicking its entry in the File Explorer. You see the Sample-Customers database opened in IDEA.
2. Select ...