Go to Home Page
Call 1-800-572-5517
  Go to Home Page  
  See all products
  See price schedules
  See manuals, tutorials, articles
  Download a free 30-day trial
  See user testimonials
  About Pacific Systems Group
  Welcome Rocket Software MXI Users - Learn about Spectrum SMF Writer for MXI
  Choose Spectrum Writer to add 4GL to your product
  Report Writer Speedup Tips Article

Spectrum Writer Overview of Features

Chapter 2. Report Writing Examples


Chapter Table of Contents

How to Produce a Report in 5 Minutes
How Spectrum Writer Works
Another Report Example
Using Multiple Input Files
A DB2 Example

To produce a new report without Spectrum Writer, a programmer has to write a new program. Even for a relatively simple report, the cycle of coding, testing and debugging can take days or even weeks. With Spectrum Writer, you no longer write detailed programming instructions to produce a new report. Just describe the desired report to Spectrum Writer with a few simple control statements (much like SQL lets you do with DB2 data.) Spectrum Writer quickly does all the hard work for you. (It handles the I/O routines, error exits, selection tests, detail line formatting, date routines, heading routines, totalling, statistics, sorts, control breaks, etc.) With Spectrum Writer your new report is ready right away.

How to Produce a Report in 5 Minutes

When you use Spectrum Writer to produce a report, you specify what you want, not how to produce it. That means you can produce new reports in just minutes, rather than days.

You will tell Spectrum Writer about the desired report with a few simple "control statements". Each statement tells Spectrum Writer about one aspect of the report that you want to produce. You can produce a complete report with only two statements: the INPUT statement and the COLUMNS statement.

The INPUT statement tells Spectrum Writer which of your company's files contains the data needed in your report. For example:


The above statement tells Spectrum Writer that you want to use a file named SALES-FILE as the input for your report.

After identifying the file to be used, the next step is to tell Spectrum Writer which fields from that file should appear in the report. Use the COLUMNS statement to do that. Each field named in this statement will appear as one column of data in the report. For example:


The COLUMNS statement above tells Spectrum Writer that we want columns in our report showing the employee name, employee number, the sales date, the customer's name, the sales region, the amount of the sale, and the tax amount.

With just these two statements, we have given Spectrum Writer everything it needs to produce a report. The report produced is shown in

How Spectrum Writer Works

Spectrum Writer runs as a batch job under MVS or VSE. To produce a report, just type your control statements into a dataset. Then submit a simple batch job for execution. Spectrum Writer reads the control statements describing your report. It also automatically reads the appropriate statements that define your input file. (This can be a COBOL or Assembler record layout, or Spectrum Writer's own file definition statements.) Spectrum Writer then quickly produces the desired report.

Another Report Example

In this example, we will add a few more control statements to illustrate additional Spectrum Writer features.

First, let's add a COMPUTE statement. COMPUTE statements let you compute your own new fields.


The above statement creates a new field named TOTAL-DUE. Its value is the sum of the AMOUNT and the TAX fields.

The COMPUTE statement is a very powerful feature of Spectrum Writer. Computed fields can be used in any way that other fields can be used: as data in the body of the report; in report titles; as sort fields; as control break fields; within conditional expressions; even as operands in other COMPUTE statements.

Let's also add a SORT statement to this example. The SORT statement tells Spectrum Writer what order your want the report lines to appear in.


The above statement specifies that the report should be sorted on the REGION field. You can also use the SORT statement to print subtotals in your report. For example:

The above statement sorts the report by region and prints subtotals whenever the value of the REGION field changes.

Figure 2

Using Multiple Input Files

So far our reports have used data from a single input file -- the one named in the INPUT statement. Now let's look at an example of using data from multiple files in a report. One of Spectrum Writer's most powerful features is its ability to easily read records from any number of additional files when producing a report.

Consider the first report example shown on page 9. That report uses only the SALES-FILE as input. It shows information about each sale made by an employee.

Now let's modify that report to also show each employee's department number and social security number. Our sample SALES-FILE does not contain that information. But our imaginary shop has another file the employee file -- which does contain such information about each employee. That file, named EMPL-FILE, is a keyed VSAM file containing one record for each employee. The key to that file is the employee number. Since our SALES-FILE also contains the employee number, we have a way to link these two files. To use data from the EMPL-FILE, then, we simply add a READ statement, like this:


The READ statement above tells Spectrum Writer to use the EMPL-NUM field from the records in the SALES-FILE as the key for reading records from the EMPL-FILE. Just by adding one READ statement we now have all of the fields from the EMPL-FILE available for use in our report. So, we can now add the DEPT-NUM and SOCIAL-SEC-NUM fields (from the EMPL-FILE) to the COLUMNS statement for our new report:

A DB2 Example

Spectrum Writer's DB2 Option lets you use DB2 data with Spectrum Writer exactly like you use other mainframe data. That means you can:
  • produce attractive custom reports from DB2 tables in just minutes.
  • turn DB2 data into PC files designed especially for PC spreadsheet, database and graphics programs.
  • turn DB2 data into any custom file format you need for use on minis, Unix machines, database servers, other mainframe applications, etc.
  • use DB2 data to create Web reports.
Spectrum Writer's DB2 Option has these features:
  • no data dictionary is required when using DB2 data. You just use the standard DB2 names for your DB2 tables, views, and columns. This means you can start using Spectrum Writer with all of your DB2 tables right away.
  • you can combine data from multiple DB2 tables to create your report or output file.
  • you can also mix DB2 data with data from non–DB2 files. For example, you might have a tape file as the primary input to a Spectrum Writer job. Using data from that file, you could read additional data from VSAM files and/or DB2 tables. Or, you could use a DB2 table as your primary input and use data from it to read from additional DB2 tables or VSAM files. The possibilities are endless.
It's easy to use DB2 data with Spectrum Writer. You use the same control statements that you already know.

Figure 4

  • Proceed to Chapter 3. Creating ASCII Files
  • Return to Booklet Table of Contents

  • Copyright 2024.
    Pacific Systems Group.
    All rights reserved.

    Spectrum Writer 4GL - the economical alternative to SAS, Easytrieve, DYL-280...

    Home | Products | Prices | Documentation | 30-Day Trials | Customer Reviews | Company
    Send Your Comments or Questions