Answer: ExpressMaintenance and other products developed by Express Technology include the very powerful Report Builder. The report builder is a third party component that we compile directly into the ExpressMaintenance. It provides a very flexible query / reporting tool that allows you full access to your data with virtually unlimited presentation capabilities.
Report Builder is very easy to use. However, using any report designer does take some time and practice to become efficient. Three additional help tools are available to enhance your use and understanding of the report builder. These include help files on the report builder and SQL as well as a tutorial on the Report Builder.
Report Builder Help System & Manual
The Report Builder help file is automatically included in the ExpressMaintenance application help. Check the chapter titled “Report Builder”. The help file is also available as an Adobe pdf file.
Complete Learning Report Builder Tutorial
Learning Report Builder is a complete learning system designed to teach end users how to build a range of reports. This system includes a 125-page PDF file, a stand-alone application complete with database, and help file. The PDF file is comprised of a series of tutorials that step end users through the process of building reports as simple as a table listing and as complex as crosstabs. The tutorials introduce conceptual aspects of report building along the way. The application is used in conjunction with the tutorials so the learning experience is interactive. Users print out the PDF file, run the application, and learn Report Builder. The help file is accessible from the application, so all three tools work together to provide a seamless learning environment.
Learning Report Builder installs into C:\ProgramFiles\LearnReportBuilder. When the system has successfully installed, a complete set of instructions appears in the form of a ‘ReadMe’ doc, so the end user knows what to do next.
Advanced Calculations (RAP)
Report Builder includes the powerful RAP feature that provides users with the ability to perform advanced calculations within a report. Report Application Pascal, or RAP, allows developers and end users to code calculations and complex event handlers at run-time. For details on RAP including how to turn the feature on / off, see the RAP Tech Bulletin – Click Here. Note, you must be running version 126.96.36.199 or later to have implement this feature.
SQL Help & Concepts
t is important to understand that the report designer is simply a graphical interface for building SQL queries. Therefore, a better understanding of SQL and the Select statement will provide an enhanced understanding of how to query the data for reporting purposes.
Because Express Technology software is based on the Microsoft SQL Server database engine, other reporting tools can be used as well. Included are such items as Microsoft Access and Crystal Reports.