Nine to Five Reports and Rev

Alan Gayne alanira9 at
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
> moment:
>   What do folks need to print?
>   What challenges are they currently facing implementing that?
Hi Richard

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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