One of the functions of a database is to produce reports. Accurate and
timely reports enable management to make informed decisions.
Reports are one of the ways that data can be presented to people who
may, or may not, be part of your organisation. It is important that they
look right and professional. They can convey a message about your
organisation, in the same way that your dress does about you.
Very often the data is there, but it's not in an easily accessible
format. A good report doesn't look like a computer printout of raw data.
It should be clearly presented with appropriate summaries. The key points
of the report should be easily accessible by the reader.
Reports created for browsers are accessible throughout an organisation
on an intranet and from anywhere in the world if on the internet.
As well as reports, spreadsheets can be a powerful way of analysing
data. Spreadsheets, containing the relevant data, can be produced at the
click of a button, either using a workbook template for a pre-defined layout, or
simply as a plain spreadsheet.
Reports can be created and designed with
various software packages. VB and Delphi contain their own reporting
Crystal Reports is a dedicated reporting software package that can
be used on its own, or with other programming packages.
Intranet/internet reports can created using Interdev and ASP.
its own reports that can only be created within Access. However, snapshots
of data can be saved, e-mailed and read by anyone having the Access
Snapshot Reader installed, which is freely available from Microsoft.