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SAP- Lesson 1

Report Design Concepts

Basic report design

Before you do anything, you should outline the information you want the report to provide.
Deciding on the content of the report.
Developing a prototype on paper.
Reports are management tools. Their purpose is to help you quickly grasp the essential elements and relationships found in raw data, to help you make effective decisions. For a report to be effective, it has to present the correct data in a logical way.

To design a paper prototype
1. Get the same size paper you will be using for the finished report.
2. Position the title and other descriptive header information, using boxes or lines to represent report elements.
3. Position the footer information.
4. Review the page layout for balance.
5. Look at the information you intend to include in the body of the report:
  • Count the number of fields being used and estimate the appropriate spacing between fields.
  • Decide on a logical sequence for presenting the data in the body of the report.
  • Label the fields to indicate that sequence.
6. Use small boxes to indicate group values and totals.
7. Place random flags in the column where you want flags to appear.
8. Darken any elements you want highlighted to make them stand out from the rest of the prototype.

Manipulating the data

There are several ways to manipulate data when you design a report.

  • How? By customer? By date? By hierarchy? Or by other criteria? Crystal Reports provides several options for grouping data in a report.
  • Do you want the data sorted based on record or group values? Sort options.
  • Crystal Reports gives you the opportunity to base a report on all records in a given database, or on a limited set of records from the database. Selecting records.
  • Do you want to total, average, count, or determine the maximum or minimum value included in all the values in any column on the report? Summarize the data
  • You may want to call attention to some data by flagging it on the report.  Formatting the data with an asterisk or some other symbol, or you may want a word to appear as a flag. In any case, you should write out flagging instructions so they are handy.

Report creation options

Each time you create a new report, you have three options:
  •  Use a Report Creation Wizard.
  •  Use another report as a model.
  • Create a report from scratch.
To build a new report based on one that already exists, another report can be used as a model. You make a copy from this report then modify it; also Crystal Reports lets you format a report by applying a template.

Choosing data sources
The Data tab of the Database Expert shows a tree view of possible data sources you can select when creating a report.

The Create New Connection folder contains subfolders for many popular data sources. Among these, you'll find:
  • Access/Excel (DAO)
Database Files
  • ODBC (RDO)
  •  OLAP
  • OLE DB (ADO)

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Copyright x 2011. By Wael Medhat - All Rights Reserved