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Why are there 3 different ways to create a Report?

You can create and print "Quick Reports" on the fly while working with data in a Sesame application (The Quick Report Spec is found in the Spec Window, or lower left-hand corner of the screen, in Sesame Runtime). They are limited to simple columnar Reports but have the ability to sort, break on values, & do summary calculations. They can be temporary, or, because Quick Reports are a type of spec, they can be saved, modified, and reused. Quick Reports do not have separate attached sort or retrieve specs as they use the current result set in the current sort order. You cannot build a hierarchical report/subreport with Quick Reports, though they can be created and saved for both main and subforms. Quick Reports use default fonts, headers and footers which are automatically selected by Sesame based on the columns appearing in the Report.

The "Report Wizard" allows you to design permanent Reports in Sesame Designer. The Wizard will walk you through the steps and create your Report design. Once complete, you can use any of the existing design features to modify and enhance your Report.

Finally, you can create a Report from scratch with Sesame Designer; manually designing and controlling the design through all phases. These are referred to as Full Feature Reports. Sesame has four basic types or reports: Columnar, Freeform, Freeform/Columnar, and Keyword Reports. For more information on these various types of reports, see the "Full-Feature Reports" section in the Sesame User Guide. The process of designing a report encompasses the following:

  1. Opening the relevant application in Sesame Designer
  2. Selecting the database the report will encompass
  3. Defining the type of report you want
  4. Specifying the elements to include in the report
  5. Attaching retrieve and sort criteria to the report
  6. Reconciling the new report design to your application
Once saved and reconciled, Reports designed using the Report Wizard, or created manually become a permanent part of your application and can be run whenever you are using your database. Reports designed in Sesame Designer will appear on the menu tree, while saved Quick Reports will appear in the Spec Manager list of saved specs. All Sesame Reports can be either Print Only, or HTML Reports.

Whether you want to create a quick Report to summarize data on the fly, or display a more detailed grouping of data and relationships, these three methods allow every user to create a Report that fits their unique requirements. Any Report is based on, and generated from, data retrieved from a database prior to running the Report (the "result set") or from data retrieved by the Report itself due to an attached retrieve specification.

For more details on the types of reports, see this article.