A reporting application is a self-contained program with an interface that helps the user accomplish reporting tasks. It typically consists of one or more Master Files, procedures, and HTML files. The Master Files interpret the data sources that are accessed, while procedures define how that data is retrieved and displayed. HTML forms enable a user to interact with the application and manage the display of data in a browser.
For example, to run a self-service reporting application, a user opens a launch page in a browser and enters the values for the desired output through controls such as drop-down lists or radio buttons. For instance, the user may request a sales report for the Northeast region rather than the Southeast region. When the report runs, Developer Studio passes the user-supplied values to the WebFOCUS Reporting Server (using the web server), where the procedure is processed.
The procedure requests data from the data source, using the Master File to understand how the data is organized. The Reporting Server compiles the answer set from the data source and returns the output to an HTML page that is displayed in the browser.