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Software to create reports from a DB, something similar to MS Access.

Posted on 2015-02-12
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Last Modified: 2015-02-13
I'm in need to create some reports, I have been working with access but I have a lot of problems to fit the reports on a single page in access, it's a pain. Some good reporting software on the market? I can use ms access for the data base or mysql and then manipulate the output of the data in the reporting software.

Thanks
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Question by:GeorgeTowers
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by:Nick67
Nick67 earned 300 total points
ID: 40606251
Short of Crystal Reports -- which are a pain, compared to Access -- or SQL Server Reporting Services -- which I suspect that you don't have budget for, I don't have any recommendations.  All native database reporting tools organize vertically down the page. Most pain in Access reports comes when you either have an operational need, or a proclivity coming from other venues, to try to place data horizontally.  That just never works out well for anything but the simplest of cases.

You can kick out data to MS Word in the form of mail merges that can get things done, and you can kick out data to Excel and apply formatting there as well.  I can get Access reports to do some amazing things, but if you are trying to put relatively variable data side-by-side and you want to preserve spacing and look, you will be in pain.

But you'll be in pain with virtually any database reporting tool if you try to organize and format horizontally.
What pain are you suffering?
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by:Dale Fye
Dale Fye earned 300 total points
ID: 40606258
From my experience, Access is probably the easiest to use reporting tool on the market.

if you are having difficulty fitting your report on one page in Access, you can:
1.  Change from Portrait to Landscape
2.  Change font sizes
3.  If already in landscape, you can change from standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper to legal (8 1/2 x 14) or if your printer will support it (11x17)
4.  export your reports to Excel, which would provide you more formatting options (fit to page)
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LVL 29

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by:IrogSinta
IrogSinta earned 300 total points
ID: 40606321
I agree with the others here.  You can come up with most any design using Access reports.  Perhaps you can upload an image or sample db to show us what problems you're having and we can give you some pointers.

Ron
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LVL 74

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by:Jeffrey Coachman
Jeffrey Coachman earned 300 total points
ID: 40606647
I have a lot of problems to fit the reports on a single page in access, it's a pain.
Then you will have to provide a specific graphical example...
No matter what you do, 1000 records will not be very readable if forced to fit on a page...

Some things you can try:
In Access you can create "Columns" in your report, so if your report can only fit 50 records vertically, ...with columns you have the 50 records multiplied by as many columns and you can fit on the page Horizontally.

Or, ... do you mean you cant keep the "Groups" on the page?
Here Access has a "Keep Together", and a "Force new page" property to manage this.

So post a graphical example of what you have, ...then post a graphical example of what you need.
...Then I am sure any expert here can assist...

;-)

Jeff
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LVL 85

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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 300 total points
ID: 40607807
I'd suggest Crystal Reports as well, as Nick mentioned. It's widely used, and can connect to a very wide variety of data sources (more so that Access). There is a bit of a learning curve, but in many ways it's quite a bit like the Access report designer, with "sections", Report and Page Headers, etc. It's very powerful, and can do things Access cannot, and handles things like Charts and Graphs much better. I work with both quite a bit, and each their advantages and disadvantages.

At first I found Crystal to be difficult to understand and "get my head around". There are some definite quirks (like refreshing a datasource, which should NOT be as difficult as it is in Crystal) - but once I figured those things out, I'd probably be more inclined to create a single, one-off report in Crystal if the datasource is anything other than Access. If the data source is Access, then I'd be hard pressed to use anything other than the Access reporting engine.

I've used other reporting platforms, like the DevExpress Reporting, ActiveReports, Component1 Reports. Many of those are intended to be used in another environment (like Visual Studio), but most have their own stand-along design environments.

ComponetSource has a pretty good listing: http://www.componentsource.com/features/reporting/components/index.html
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