Review and Rejoin the Project from Part I
In the present case specifically, and in a
large percentage of report drafting efforts in general, we wish to organize
data for presentation by a particular group or groups. The present reporting
objective, as we defined in Part I, is to present summary information about the
cumulative orders placed by customers. In our example report, as an illustration,
we wish to group transactions primarily by customer, based upon the draft we
completed in our early business requirements gathering stage (and depicted,
again, in Illustration 1).
Illustration 1: Draft of the Proposed Customer Orders Report
As you recall, we created the rough
initial draft based upon our understanding of the business requirement. We might
then have presented the draft, listening closely to the feedback of the report's
intended audience, to confirm our understanding of the need. After making a
few adjustments, in our example, to the draft, we produced the rough design
shown in Illustration 1 above. The initial draft includes grouping by
customer, then by order dates of the customer, which is the focus of this
section of our current lesson.
As we will see, we can create both single
and multiple group levels within an MS Access report. Groups drive many other
facets of report layout and behavior, as we will also see, including subtotals,
grand totals, percentages of totals, summary calculations, sorting
considerations, and other attributes of the report in which they are created.
The order of the steps we undertake here can mean efficient report design and
creation - or a tedious, time consuming process that is fraught with reversals
and rework. As in many other areas of report creation, thinking ahead
usually pays large dividends.
Let's return to the report at the state in which we left it
in the first half of the lesson. We have done the majority of the preparation
for populating our report with the data that has been requested by our
information consumers. Having accomplished the preliminary layout for our
report, we will begin, in Part II of this tutorial, to bring in and
arrange the data for presentation.
Open MS Access once again, and return to the Database window.
The steps for entering MS Access, as well as for navigating
to the Database window, are outlined in Part I. Once at the Database
window, our view should resemble that depicted in Illustration 2.
Illustration 2: Typical Database Window
under Objects in the Database
window appears, similar to that shown in Illustration 3.
Illustration 3: Typical Reports Window
Select the Customer
Orders Report that we created in Part I of this lesson, highlighting it.
Click the Design
button in the toolbar, as shown in Illustration 4.
Illustration 4: Select
the Report and Click Design View
The new report appears in Design View, with little in
place except the designated Page Header, Detail, and Page
Footer sections, as partially shown in Illustration 5.
Illustration 5: The
Blank Report, Design View
accomplished the preliminary creation, and basic layout, for our report, we
will now "pre-set" sorting and grouping for our report, and create
the sections thereof as part of the process.