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Creating Report Definition Files

All reports created by ReportWriter are stored in a report definition file. The default is reports.rpt, and its location is defined with the RPTDAT environment variable.

An empty reports.rpt file is included with your distribution. You can create as many additional report definition files as you like. For example, you may want to create separate definition files to customized reports for specific customers. If you do not use the default report definition file, use the environment variable RPTRFIL to define the report definition file location.


The report definition file must be writable (that is, users must have “write” or “update” permission), even when users are only viewing reports.

ReportWriter searches for the report definition file as follows:

If the RPTRFIL environment variable is defined, the report definition filename is the value of RPTRFIL.

If RPTRFIL is not defined, ReportWriter attempts to open the file as RPTDAT:reports.rpt.

If ReportWriter can’t open RPTDAT:reports.rpt, it attempts to open reports.rpt in the current directory.

Creating and using a new report definition file

1.Create a new file with the Create Report Definition File utility. See “Creating a report definition file” for instructions.

2.Exit ReportWriter and set the environment variable RPTRFIL to the new file.

3.Restart ReportWriter. It is now using the new report definition file.

Moving report definition files

You can copy report defnition files to other systems. This enables you to do your development on one system and then move just your finished reports to other systems. To move your report definition files to another system, do one of the following:

Unload and reload the report definition file. First, unload the report definition with the Unload Report Definition utility (see “Unloading report definitions”). Then, use FTP to transfer the file in binary mode. Finally, use the Load Report Definition utility (see “Loading report definitions”) to reload the file.

Create a schema file, transfer it, and then reload it. First, use the Generate Report Schema utility (see “Generating a report schema”) to generate a Report Definition Language description of your reports. Then, copy the file to another system, and use the Load Report Schema utility (see “Loading a report schema”) to convert the contents of the Report Definition Language file to a new report definition file. This method works for any system, because the file generated by the Generate Report Schema utility is a text file.