Sometimes an information request begins with the QUIKREP user and in other instances the request originates with a third party. In either case the first step prior to initiating a QUIKREP session should be documentation of the specifications in English. The results of this process may be reviewed with the third party to resolve any misunderstandings and even if no third party is involved, the documentation helps to organize one's thoughts before embarking on the interactive process of QUIKREP.
In our example report we would like to produce a list of type "P" customer orders requested before March 1, 2009 and that must be fulfilled before March 15, 2009.
The record selection for the report should be written out in long hand for an overview of the logic. In this case we want to select type "P" orders with a Requested Date after March 1, 2009 and a Fulfillment Date before March 15, 2009. We would express this in formal logic as follows:
Order Type = "P" AND Requested Date > "March 1, 2009" AND Fulfillment Date < "March 15, 2009"
Almost all requests begin with a list. The data attributes desired to be listed should be recorded left to right in the order that they would appear on the page. Our example is a list of customer orders:
Customer ID, Customer Name, Order No, Order Type, Requested Date, Fulfillment Date, Order Value
Most lists are required to be sorted. The data attributes on which the report is to be sorted should be listed top to bottom in the order of the sort with indication of ascending or descending. In this example our sort list is:
Customer Name - A (Ascending order)
Requested Date - A
Order Value - A
If pages are to be broken or sub-totals are to be taken when the value of a data attribute changes then it must be identified as a "Break ON" and they must be listed in order (usually a sub-set of the sort order) with an indication of the type (page, sub-total and type of subtotal (count, total)). In our example we will specify Break ON's as follows:
Customer ID - Page
Customer ID - sub total on Order Value
The title of the report should be recorded along with other requirements of the header (date, page number). The header would be specified as follows:
Title: "Customer Imminent Orders"
Page No (left)
The documentation effort in our example only amounts to a few lines but in addition to the benefits cited above it can also be valuable as a checklist in the QUIKREP interactive process and serve as reference for similar future requests.
Another productive technique is the use of select lists in the development process. A select list is a file of "selected" ID records for a given file. The select list may be generated then stored for future use. It may be invoked as part of the selection for any QUIKREP request. By invoking a select list, not only will the processing time required to generate the report be significantly reduced but the results will contain familiar records that will facilitate condition testing. The rapid response in generating results will encourage experimentation which will in turn help to take greater advantage of the QUIKREP facility.