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A Conceptual Overview of Target Reports

The magic of fast and painless reporting is achieved through separation of data access, report definition and visual representation.

Main Features

  • Auto-formatting

  • Multiple data sources per report document

  • Cross-database (cross-drivers) data relations

  • Linking (sharing) of Resource Objects

  • Output formats: HTML, RTF, PDF, XML/XSL

  • Table export: CSV, XLS, MDB, DBF, RDBMS

  • Advanced grouping scales

  • Arbitrary grouping customization

  • SQL and VB Script calculations

  • Recursive Calculated Fields

  • Convertible presentation forms

  • Programming automation



When we created TARGET Reports, our objective was to create an  application that delivers comprehensive reports solutions in a fraction of the time required by other reporting systems.  You do not need any programming or design skills to produce professional well-formatted reports in TARGET Reports.  If you have database and/or VB Script skills (at any level) you will find powerful capabilities in TARGET Reports that are not available anywhere else.

Enhanced Productivity now and in the future

The magic of fast and painless reporting is achieved through separation of data access, report definition and visual representation.  Many existing report writers mix all three aspects of the report creation procedure together making modifications to report's definition or visual appearance extremely cumbersome after the initial setup.

TARGET Reports provides the ability to create complex, professional reports in a few steps all of which are accomplished with simple user interface techniques like drag and drop, visual connectivity, and the editing of properties.

Most reporting tasks are based on data aggregation so the process of configuring a report can be divided into the three major steps:

1.  Data Source Access - Indicate where to get the data that will be used to generate the report(s) (database tables, views, stored procedures, etc.)

2.  Report Data Setup Indicate which fields will be used for grouping and reporting, and what records will be taken from the data source (scope definition).  Then, specify the report type (summary, detailed)

3.  Visual Appearance - Decide on the type of visual representation to be used for displaying the information (Plain table, Hierarchical table, Cross-Tab table, Charts.)

TARGET Reports offers a different reporting paradigm than wizard-based report writers. Wizard-based report writers (most competing products) do allow simple initial report setup, but they do not provide easy means for modifying any of the three reporting aspects after the report is designed.  In contrast to these tools,  TARGET Reports allows simple manipulation of all properties during the full lifecycle of your reporting project.

The primary object  for setting up a TARGET report is a report page element (or Report  Setup). A report page element can be connected to virtually any kind of data source. One of the distinguishing TARGET Reports features is the ability to fetch data from heterogeneous data sources. For example, you can have one SQL Server table linked to a table from ORACLE or a flat DBase file. The power and flexibility of TARGET Reports allows you to change the input data source at any time and the report setup will automatically adapt to the change.

After an input data connection is established, you can define other reporting properties: custom  terms, scope, reporting fields, report type and layout. Any of these properties can be easily modified allowing iterative development of your report with instant feedback.As a result, complex, professional reports can be created in minutes, not hours or days.

Another unique TARGET Reports' feature is variable connectivity. This provides an ability to link multiple variables of the same type to each other, ensuring that their values will always be the same.

Various output formats provide an ability to observe the final reports in viewers most suitable for your needs: MS Word, HTML browsers or PDF viewers. The reporting results can also be saved to a database table for further analysis, exported to a file or returned as a stream, which can be incorporated into your own visualization tool.

The TARGET Reports user interface has four main parts:

1.  The working area displays a collection of pages contained in the document.  Each page contains page elements (report elements, texts, images, etc.).

2.  The Property editor pane displays property editors for the currently selected page element.  Each page element type has its own assortment of properties.  Each property is edited with a dedicated property editor.

3.  The Document tree displays the hierarchical structure of the final document.  It allows document structure modification and page navigation.

4.  The Resources pane contains various resources for report creation (document resources, page resource, resources for report elements, etc.).

The TARGET Reports Developer Edition supports programming automation and can be used from any development environment.

Related Sections

TARGET Reports vs. Crystal Reports

Getting Started

User Interface

Setting Up a Report: Step by Step

Samples and Walkthroughs

Programmer's Reference