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Microsoft Access 2010 : Building Reports Based on More Than One Table (part 1) - Build a One-to-Many Report by Using the Report Wizard

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1/23/2015 8:36:03 PM

The majority of reports you create will probably be based on data from more than one table. This is because a properly normalized database usually requires that you bring table data back together to give users valuable information. For example, a report that combines data from a Customers table, an Orders table, an Order Details table, and a Product table can supply the following information:

  • Customer information, such as company name and address

  • Order information, such as order date and shipping method

  • Order detail information, such as quantity ordered and price

  • A product table, including a product description

You can base a multitable report directly on the tables whose data it displays, or you can base it on a query that has already joined the tables, providing a flat table structure.

Creating One-to-Many Reports

You can create a one-to-many report by using the Report Wizard, or you can build a report from scratch. Different situations require different techniques, some of which are covered in the following sections.

Build a One-to-Many Report by Using the Report Wizard

Building a one-to-many report with the Report Wizard is quite easy. You just follow these steps:

1.
Select Report Wizard from the Reports group on the Create tab of the Ribbon.

2.
From the Tables/Queries drop-down list box, select the first table or query whose data will appear on the report.

3.
Select the fields you want to include from that table.

4.
Select each additional table or query you want to include on the report, selecting the fields you need from each (see Figure 1). Click Next.

Figure 1. The first step of the Report Wizard: selecting the fields you want on a report.


5.
The next step of the Report Wizard asks you how you want to view the data (see Figure 2). You can accept Access’s suggestion (by Customers), or you can choose from any of the available options (by Customers, by Orders, or by Shippers). Click Next.

Figure 2. The second step of the Report Wizard: designating how you want to view the data.


6.
The next step of the Report Wizard asks whether you want to add any grouping levels. You can use grouping levels to visually separate data and to provide subtotals. In the example in Figure 3, the report is grouped by Shippers Company. After you select grouping levels, click Next.

Figure 3. The third step of the Report Wizard: selecting groupings.


7.
The next step of the Report Wizard lets you select how you want the records in the report’s Detail section to be sorted (see Figure 4). This step of the wizard also allows you to specify any summary calculations you want to perform on the data (see Figure 5). Click the Summary Options button to specify the summary calculations. By clicking the Summary Options button, you can even opt to include the percentage of total calculations. Click OK when you have finished adding the summary options.

Figure 4. The fourth step of the Report Wizard: selecting a sort order.


Figure 5. Adding summary calculations.


8.
In the next step of the Report Wizard, you select the layout and orientation of the report. Layout options include Stepped, Blocked, Outline 1, Outline 2, Align Left 1, and Align Left 2. You can click the different option buttons to preview how each of the reports will look.

9.
In the next step of the Report Wizard, you select a title for the report. The title also becomes the name of the report. I like to select an appropriate name and change the title after the wizard is finished. The final step also allows you to determine whether you want to immediately preview the report or see the report’s design first. Click Finish when you are ready to complete the process.

The report created in this example is shown in Figure 6. Notice that the report is sorted and grouped by Shippers Company, OrderDate, and Customers Company. The report’s data is in order by OrderDate and Customers Company within a Shippers Company grouping.

Figure 6. A completed one-to-many report.

This method of creating a one-to-many report is by far the easiest. In fact, the “background join” technology that the wizards use when they allow you to pick fields from multiple tables—figuring out how to build the complex queries needed for the report or form—is one of the major benefits of Access as a database tool. It’s a huge timesaver and helps hide unnecessary complexity from you as you build a report. Although you should take advantage of this feature, it’s important that you know what’s happening under the covers. The following two sections give you this necessary knowledge.

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