Senin, 15 Agustus 2011

Microsoft Access Database: 5 Ways to Utilise Microsoft Access Reports

If I had to pick out one type of Microsoft Access object that is often overlooked or given the least time when building your Access database; Access reports would be that choice.

Why is this so? The quick answer I'm afraid is down to how Microsoft Access training courses are normally delivered where reports are normally the last part to your database development process and do not get the full attention they really deserve.

Ironically, Access reports is where you should start during the designing and planning process of your Microsoft Access database but it is the last step when building such objects.

Therefore, let's re-address this now and give Access reports our full attention and let me show you 5 ways you can use Microsoft Access reports.

Simple tabular lists - The most common form of a Microsoft Access report where there is the simple wizard tool and various templates to pick and choose. This is used for your straight forward type of list and most users typically end up here only. The later versions (2007 & 2010) have richer and better formatted templates to work with and all will need some manual tweaking via the design view mode.

Grouping lists - Similar to the simple tabular list report but with the added component of categorising into one or more groups (or sections). This is normally used for queries or related tables where longer lists are easier to understand when broken into natural sections. There is the wizard tool to get you started but at the end of the day, you'll be editing your document in the design view mode.

Columnar document - This type of Access report is more for the single record per page layout which would serve users as examples of an order document, delivery note or an invoice and once again the wizard tool and the set templates will get you started in a few seconds.

Charting - Way back before Pivot Tables & Pivot Charts, this object was used to embed a basic Microsoft Graph object linked to your summary data (via an Access query). Some extra effort via the design mode is essential to really get that rich look and feel for a chart.

Nested report shell - Not many users may be aware of this but you can have a shell (unbound) report to act as the container for your multiple nested reports bound together. For example, a sub-report could be a matrix table, another a small list and a third could be a summary list and do not have to be related in the same report.

In all cases, some extra effort is required to understand the Microsoft Access report canvas area and their controls to have a good grasp of this often overlooked and under used object.

Another Tip for you! Access VBA code can be added to any Microsoft Access report and is typically attached to one of the pre-defined Events which includes load, print and close of a report. There is even an event that will respond when there is no data found and your VBA code will display a message instead of showing an empty report.

I invite you to keep up to date with my articles and eBooks ( How to Build Access Database Reports ) which covers a lot of details and can be found at

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