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Thread: *Newbie*-- Form vs Report for Invoice

  1. #1
    Member
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    Jim Connell
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    Default *Newbie*-- Form vs Report for Invoice

    Forgive me if this is too basic -- feel free to point me at the Wiki or elsewhere...

    I'm trying to create a simple invoicing application, with the caveat that it needs to replicate an existing DOS Paradox application with many manual steps. If I can get something reasonably close and usable, I'll buy a developer license and start trying to seriously use and learn Alpha. I'm an experienced old-time programmer but never learned DB programming.

    The question today is: what roles should Forms and Reports have? My invoice report is (or will be) pretty complicated, with a bunch of detail sections and several (optional) pages with different formats. However, I'd like the data entry form to look like the printed invoice, which raises the question of whether I then need to duplicate the report layout in the form, and if so, why not just use the form as the report? It's clear to me so far that it's impossible to enter/edit fields on a report. But what about doing fancy layout/formatting on a form? Are there ways to control the printing of a form beyond its screen appearance?

    Feel free to tell me I'm nuts. I'm just trying to avoid heading down a long and probably frustrating dead end.

    Thanks,

    -jimc

  2. #2
    "Certified" Alphaholic Stan Mathews's Avatar
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    Stan Mathews
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    Default Re: *Newbie*-- Form vs Report for Invoice

    The general advice is that forms are for viewing and reports are for printing.

    Forms don''t have "detail sections" insofar as I am aware. You can create grouping levels on reports, not forms.

    with a bunch of detail sections
    A report only supports one detail section. Not sure what the need for multiple sections would be.

    After designing your form you can create a blank report and import the form layout, then tweak as necessary.
    There can be only one.

  3. #3
    Member
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    Jim Connell
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    Default Re: *Newbie*-- Form vs Report for Invoice

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Mathews View Post
    After designing your form you can create a blank report and import the form layout, then tweak as necessary.
    Your comments are very helpful. That in particular points me in the right direction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Mathews View Post
    A report only supports one detail section. Not sure what the need for multiple sections would be.
    This is one of the places where I'm worried that I am going to get myself in trouble. I sell computers and service. My invoices have an optional section for the parts that make up a computer system, indented and subtotaled, and additional lines for non-system things and labor, not indented. The class and sequence of items is determined by a code number; numbers higher than 60 are non-system things that go in the second part. It gets worse: the line items on the invoice can come from a parts detail table or be lines entered directly on the invoice form (some things like cables aren't inventoried in the parts file) and stored in a line-item detail table. I can simplify this somewhat to adapt to Alpha's abilities, but the basic concepts are what I am using to test Alpha's suitability for the kind of (fussy) work that I do.

    Again I'm just looking for a quick answer, not for somebody to do my work for me. "You're nuts -- you can't do that" will do, or a sentence or two pointing me in the right direction would be very helpful.

    Thanks again.

    -jimc

  4. #4
    Volunteer Moderator
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    Alan Buchholz
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    Default Re: *Newbie*-- Form vs Report for Invoice

    Subreports allow you to show multiple one to many relationships in a single report.
    Al Buchholz
    Bookwood Systems, LTD
    Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

    Occam's Razor - KISS
    Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
    Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
    When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.

  5. #5
    "Certified" Alphaholic Ray in Capetown's Avatar
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    Default Re: *Newbie*-- Form vs Report for Invoice

    Jim
    Sub-totals
    Sub reports
    your own imagination as to how to use them
    see here http://wiki.alphasoftware.com/Sub-Re...ight=subreport

  6. #6
    Member
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    Jim Connell
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    Default Re: *Newbie*-- Form vs Report for Invoice

    Thanks all... I am making progress!

    I've got enough to keep me busy for awhile...

    -jimc

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