Chapter 4Report Layout and Formatting

In this chapter, you learn about the essential building blocks for all reports, along with the design patterns for the most common report types. I'll start by explaining the fundamental components of standard reports, followed by three exercises to step you through the process to create them. You learn to do the following:

  • Create an embedded data source
  • Define a dataset query
  • Design a simple table report
  • Add a detail group and multi-level row groups
  • Design a simple matrix report with a column group
  • Design a report with a list data region

Report design is both a science and an art. It is a science because there are definitely standard and repeatable methods for designing common report types. Like other forms of science, report design can be a methodical and sometimes tedious process of repeating the same steps and tasks with a very predictable outcome in each report you create. Comparatively, report design is also an art because good reports have elements of composition and style. Experienced report designers learn to use color, font and styling choices, graphic elements, as well as shading and white space to create balance and attractive presentations. The trick is finding the right balance between the methodical science ...

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