Report Types

The AcuBench Report Composer can be used to create two basic types of reports: character and graphical.

A character report is a line sequential file with carriage return breaks at the end of each line, output to a standard print file. The print file can be stored on disk, viewed, or directed to a physical printer. Character reports include only text characters. They do not include graphical elements, such as bitmaps, grids, and tables. (They can, however, include simple lines, constructed from standard characters like hyphens, underscores, or asterisks.)

A graphical report is an HTML file, generated into the directory specified with the FILE_PREFIX configuration variable. The HTML file can be opened and viewed in a Web browser, or printed to a printer device directly from the COBOL program. Graphical reports can contain elements like bitmap and JPG files, as well as check boxes, radio buttons, grids, and tables.

In comparison with graphical reports, character reports:

Graphical reports, on the other hand:

If you are printing very large reports, like a warehouse inventory report or a bank transaction report, you might choose a character report format to reduce overhead. If you are printing a client invoice or requisition form, on the other hand, you might choose a graphical report in order to allow for more complex formatting and for graphical elements like logos or bar codes.