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Chapter 17. Preparing Advanced Reports > In the Real World—The Art of Report De...

In the Real World—The Art of Report Design

Designing reports that deliver useful information in a graphically appealing format is a challenge. The challenge becomes acute when you’re faced with the prospect of designing a complex report, such as a physician’s patient history, that derives its information from multiple related tables. In the case of a patient history, some of the tables contain memo fields with large blocks of formatted text that describe diagnosis and treatment. Specialists often want reports that print from OLE Object fields or linked graphics files, embedded images generated from digital cameras, scanned photographs, or single-frame captures from a video camera. Most physicians also need billing reports that conform to state and federal government agency standards, as well as health insurers’ requirements.

Fortunately, Access 2003’s report engine and graphical Report Design mode can handle just about any report format imaginable. Report generation flexibility is one of the primary reasons that database developers haven’t abandoned Access for Visual Basic 6.0 or Visual Basic .NET, which offer a more traditional approach to programming structure and form design than Access. Many developers use Automation to generate custom Access reports from Jet and SQL Server databases managed by Visual Basic 6.0 and .NET programs.


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