Nine to Five Reports and Rev
alanira9 at mac.com
Wed May 28 21:39:00 EDT 2003
On Wednesday, May 28, 2003, at 06:01 AM, Richard Gaskin wrote:
> To make sure we keep a useful focus, let's return to the basics for a
> What do folks need to print?
> What challenges are they currently facing implementing that?
After speaking extensively on the need for a (Nine to Five) Reports
workalike about a year ago, I've been staying in the background for a
while waiting to see what the new 2.0 report generator had to offer.
So, in answer to your question: what do I need to print? Well,
initially at least I need to do the same things I've been doing in
Hypercard for more than 10 years: I store a lot of information relating
to single business transaction (e.g. - an Insurance risk) on a single
card, or across a series of cards in different stacks which are related
by a field common to each stack which is indexed (fld "control number"
- I used Nine to Five Index for this). So for a single insurance risk
I might typically have single card in main stack (Underwriting) and
possibly multiple related transactions such as Endorsements and Claims
which are related to the unique Underwriting card by the indexed
"control number" field which they share in common.
So far, none of this presents much of a problem in RunRev. And
although I've had to "roll my own" index scheme and a lot of goodies
such as calendars and other specialized dialogs, RunRev's capabilities
which are far more extensive than Hypercard allow many more ways to
skin these cats.
With the stack setup described above I typically generate a great
variety of single page documents which relate to the data contained on
a single card. For example, from the Underwriting stack I will
initially generate a cover letter, a detailed quotation, a billing
sheet, pro-forma invoice and any number of documents related to the
data contained or concatenated from fields on a single card.
In Nine to Five Reports the fields on a report layout can get their
data from a single field, a "calculated" combination of any number of
fields or a global variable. It is the last of these that really gives
the Nine to Five Reports scheme its versatility since what goes into a
global is completely under script control and these can be populated
interactively by special handlers which may be called as each stage of
the printing progresses - i.e. beforeCard", "beforeHeader",
"afterheader" etc. It seems to me that any RunRev report scheme that
allows a report object to be populated by a global would allow, with a
bit of scripting, for the use of data stored in any valid RunRev
Of course, Nine to Five Reports also allowed typical "spreadsheet" type
reports, also under full script control. You would simply layout a
single "detail" section which would then be repeated for each card in
the selected set.
I'm sure there are a number of bells and whistles that might be added
to the wish list but I really think that this is the way that most
users of Hypercard/Nine to Five Reports made use of the product for
Nine to Five Reports ALSO provided a number of related very useful
utilities. Most notable of these (IMHO) were the Search and Sort
Engine and the Import and Export stacks which allowed you easily
transfer data from one stack to another by matching up the background
fields of a source stack to those a target stack with a simple drag and
drop interface. These have been an incredibly useful tools for MY
needs and although I haven't yet gotten around making my own yet, I
wouldn't be surprised if one or more of you guys already have this
stuff on the shelf. If so, please feel free to contact me as a really
hate reinventing the wheel (especially since "round" is such a good
solution). If it's easy to use and the price is reasonable I AM
willing to pay.
At this time I have just downloaded Runrev 2.0 - and perhap a lot of
this stuff IS in the report generator/manager contained therein, but I
can't find any documentation about the capabilities of this feature set
and a really detailed tutorial on its use would be greatly appreciated.
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