The Report Section of a COBOL Data Division contains one or more Report Description entries (RD entries), each of which forms the complete description of a report.
The report named in the RD entry is not assigned directly to an output file. Instead, it is associated with a file-name in the File Section and that file-name is associated with a file when an OPEN statement specifying the file-name is executed. More than one report can be associated with the same file-name and the CODE clause is used to differentiate among the reports. For an external file connector referenced by a file-name, separately compiled programs can specify different reports for the same file-name. This file description entry must specify the name of a report description entry for each report associated with that file-name in this program.
The RD entry contains a set of clauses that names the report and supplies specific information about the format of the printed page and the organization of the subdivisions of the report. An identification code can be given in the RD entry so that each report can be identified separately in an intermediate output file.
Following each RD entry are one or more 01 level-number entries, each followed by a hierarchical structure similar to COBOL record descriptions. Each 01 level-number entry and its subordinate entries describes a report group. Each report group consists of one or more print lines that are regarded as a unit. A report group that is to be printed is printed entirely on one logical page; it is never split across pages.