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need to create a quick and dirty report application

Posted on 2002-04-16
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Last Modified: 2010-05-02
I have a database with some customer information in it.  It contains the interest rate on their mortgage, how much they owe in principle, what their monthly payment is, etc., etc.

I want to create a quick and dirty VB application-- or maybe I don't need VB-- that only serves one purpose (for now anyway):

I want to generate a "newsletter" for my current and potential clients.  Let's call it "Rate Watch" or something.

Except this newsletter is going to catch their eye, because it is going to have a title like "The Ward Family Rate Watch".

I also want there to be a dynamically generated chart or graph of some sort, USA Today style, that applies to each respective reader's mortgage.

My first instinct is to do a simple mail merge with MS Word and MS Access.  However, although the other people that will be using it will definitely have Word on their computer, they won't all have Access.

(But VB6 can read Access data tables without the user of the .exe having Access, right?)

I have Crystal Reports, though I don't think it is necessary for what I am doing.  (Besides, I don't know how to use it for crap.)

I have MS Office professional and Visual Studio 6.0, but only know VB, nothing else.

I kind of need suggestions on how to tackle this, since I always seem to do it in a long, drawn-out manner.

It's probably far simpler than I think.
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Question by:mcgeorge40
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Expert Comment

by:darthg8r
ID: 6946913
It is correct that you don't need Access for VB to read Access db's.  You will need to include the ODBC drivers with you package though, depending on the driver version and the OS it is to run on.  The simplest way to do it would definately be with Word and mail merge.  But not having Word would definately cause a problem.  I think the best way to do handle this and still make it usable to everyone is just a simple VB/Access app using the MS chart control.  If you need help with the chart control, www.planet-source-code.com has some excellent examples.

R.
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eScapePro earned 400 total points
ID: 6947131
I'd definitely go for Visual Basic 6.0, Data Environment and the VB 6.0 Reports. you can ship MDAC with the VB6.0 Setup Wiazard or you can build your own "install shield" more professional one with Inno Setup 2.0 (Freeware). Your users won't need Access on each machine, or at all if you build a Compact/Repair function into your app. Use OLE DB over ODBC for speed and ease of setup. You can ship an INI file or a UDL with your package.

The VB6.0 Report Tool is very good, in my humble opinion and very flexible as it responds to code, tits (that is to say) you can move labels around like a form etc

David
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Author Comment

by:mcgeorge40
ID: 6956443
I think if someone proposes an answer, nobody else can leave a comment.  I think.  Not sure.

Going to reject this answer for now, only because I am hoping to get lots of diff opinions on this.
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Author Comment

by:mcgeorge40
ID: 7322937
i was hoping to get a some more opinions...  but thanks so much!
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