4.1. Hacks 2839
As comprehensive as a database can bewith programmatic functionality, sophisticated queries, and other bells and whistlesyou still need to be able to communicate facts about the data it contains. This is where forms and reports come into play. A decent database front end is critical for interaction between the database and us mere mortals. Access, of course, shines in this area.
The report designer in Access is a feature-rich development platform. It includes formatting tools, grouping and sorting options, a palette full of controls, and the ability to hook into events and muster up some coolness with VBA. Forms also have events, formatting options, and properties galore. Putting them all to use is beyond the scope of a single chapter. So instead, this chapter highlights some exciting ways to work with forms and reports.
You've already seen how to use forms to display database records. How about using a form to play a slideshow or movies? "Create a Slideshow in Access" [Hack #33] and "Play Videos in Access Forms" [Hack #34] show you how.
First impressions are usually the best. Make sure your reports are eye-poppers. A number of hacks in this chapter explain how to provide sophisticated grouping and formatting in reports. "Provide a Direct Link to a Report" [Hack #31] shows how a busy user can click a shortcut to print a report without fussing around with the database. "View Reports Embedded in Forms" [Hack #35] explains how to incorporate reports into forms.