In the previous installment of this series, you learned how to build queries that provide up-to-date answers to frequent database requests. In this final installment, well look at how you can use Access reporting capabilities to build professional-looking dynamically populated reports that provide real-time data.
Building reports in Access is a fairly straightforward process. Lets walk through building the inventory report that Manufacturing requested in the Patricks Widgets scenario. First, open your copy of the Patricks Widgets database and select the Reports tab from the database menu. Then double-click on the Create report by using wizard entry. This will launch the report wizard.
The first screen youll see allows you to select the fields youd like to see on your report. Use the drop-down box to select the inventory query built during the previous lesson. Youll then see the two output fields from that query (Quantity and Description) in the Available Fields box. Click the >> button to move both of those fields to the Selected Fields box and click the Next button to continue.
The second wizard screen allows you to perform grouping operations, if desired. This functionality allows you to break out the results of complicated queries. In this example, we dont require any grouping, so simply click the Next button to continue.
The third screen allows you to specify how the report will sort the query output data. Wed like the Manufacturing department to see the most critical requests first, so select the Quantity field from the dropdown box. The button next to that box should already specify Ascending, so the report will be listed with the lowest inventory level first. Click the next button to continue.
The fourth screen allows you to specify the layout of the report. Click on each option to see a preview of how the data would be displayed. When youre done, select the Tabular layout and click the Next button to continue.
Youll then be presented with a series of style options. Once again, click through the options and select the one that you feel is the best look for your inventory report. When youre finished, click the Next button to continue.
The final wizard screen allows you to specify a report name and select whether youd like to preview the report or manually make edits to the report design. If youd like, feel free to experiment with the design options. When youre finished, specify that youd like to preview the report and click the Finish button to see the final product! You should see a report similar to the one shown at the top of this page.
Congratulations! Youve now come to the end of the Building an Access Database from the Ground Up tutorial series! If youd like, feel free to return to any previous section of the tutorial. Welcome to the wonderful world of databases!