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access key

Represents a true key in a data file and is used to specify relationships between files.

arrayed field

A field definition from the repository that represents a group of fields, each of the same size and data type. Arrayed fields can have between one and four dimensions.

blank strip

To remove all trailing blanks from a field, bringing the next field closer. ReportWriter enables you to specify a strip character to be displayed between the blankstripped field and the field that follows it.

break field

A sort field on which a report break and possibly a page break is set in ReportWriter.

break summary line

A line in your report that contains the break description, the number of records printed in the break set, and, if one or more fields are being totaled, the word “total” and the subtotal amounts.


The smallest area of memory addressable by ReportWriter. One byte contains one character.

calculation field

A temporary field that describes a mathematical expression whose result will be stored in that field.


Defines the fields and conditions that ReportWriter will use and compare in determining whether to print a field for a particular report record, which of two calculations to perform for a given calculation field, or whether or not to print a pre or postbreak line or field.

crossreference file

A file that contains name link associations, which ReportWriter uses to provide access to related files and data structures.

detail line

One line of a report record. A report record can have a maximum of 10 detail lines.

enumerated field

A field that designates a numeric value that is stored in a file and that represents an alpha string. It is specified in conjunction with a selection list or an allow list in Repository.

environment field

A temporary field used to obtain static data from the environment. It can be used to retrieve shell or operating system values, global control record information, or any other data that remains static for the duration of the report.

external key

Enables a key to be composed of a segment from the defining structure and one or more fields from another structure or structures.


A named area of memory used to store a specific type of data.

field header

The text that appears at the top of the column for a field (if you choose to print page headers) on each page of a report. The default field header is the header that was specified during the field definition phase of the Repository application.


An area of the disk where groups of similar data (called records) are stored.

fixed font

A font in which every character has the same width.

foreign key

A field in a file that is a key on another file. It can be thought of as “pointing” straight to a particular record on that other file.


The way a field will be displayed in your report. Global formats are defined in the repository and are available for use by any field in ReportWriter. Predefined formats for date and time fields are built into every repository.

global format

See format.

information line

A single line at the bottom of the screen body that ReportWriter uses to display messages and general information.

inherited question field

A question field whose characteristics were copied from an existing field.

input window

A window that can contain text, input fields, and buttons, in which the user enters information.

intrinsic function

An internally defined function that can be used in a calculation expression.


The portion of a data record that identifies and is used to access the record. A key can be composed of discontiguous data segments from within the record


A specific value that represents itself (as opposed to a variable). Both numbers and text can be literal values.


A program that you write and that ReportWriter calls when necessary.

modifiable list

A list of entries that you can edit. You can also add, delete, and possibly move entries in the list.

multiple projections

A method of processing secondary files to create detail records. It enables you to create records first from one file and then from the second file, instead of combining data from both files.

name link

A way of associating fields with access keys in other structures. These associations can then be used by ReportWriter to access related files.

nonmodifiable list

A list of entries that you can select but not change, add, or delete.

numeric type

A term that encompasses the decimal, implieddecimal, and integer types.

page footer

The text that appears at the bottom of each page of your report. The maximum size of a page footer is 10 lines.

page header

The text that appears at the top of each page of your report. The maximum size of a page header is 10 lines, which default to the header lines from your report record.

postbreak line

A line that is printed at the end of a report break, after the break summary line.

prebreak line

A line that is printed at the beginning of a report break.


The number of places after the decimal point in an implieddecimal field.

primary file

The first report file selected for your report. It determines what other files will be available for selection, based on the relations that were established in the repository.

proportional font

A font in which different characters have different widths (like the font used to write this sentence).

question field

A temporary field used to hold answers obtained from the user when a report is run.


Enables you to designate a portion of a field for ReportWriter to use (for sorting, selecting, or printing), instead of the entire field. If your field is longer than 99 characters, ranging is invoked automatically.


A unit of data (consisting of one or more fields) into which files are subdivided. Each record in the file contains different data but has the same field layout.

report break

A sort field setting that causes the report to generate a new page when the value of that field changes. A subtotal will be computed for any field that will be totaled at the end of the report. (You can also set report breaks that don’t generate a new page.)

report definition

A report.

report definition file

A file that contains one or more report definitions.

report file

A file definition/structure combination that has been selected for use in your report.

report footer

The text that appears at the end of your report. The maximum size of the report footer is 10 lines, and it can either be on the same page as the end of the report or on a separate page.

report format

The report header, date and page number line, page header, report record layout, pre and postbreak lines, page footer, and report footer. You can view these items at any time while designing a report.

report header

The text that appears at the beginning of your report. The maximum size of a report header is 10 lines, and it can either be on the same page as the start of the report or on a separate page.

report record

The collection of fields from your selected report files that you’ve chosen to print in your report.


The Synergy/DE application that orders and defines data structures, files, and attributes.


The centralized location where your data definitions are stored. If you’re a ReportWriter user, your repository should already be set up for you.

RPS_xxx_METHOD subroutines

Subroutines that you write in order to overload certain functionality built into ReportWriter. These subroutines enable you to provide or modify the processing of userdefined file types, file definition open filenames, and userdefined data types.

selection criteria

The fields and conditions that ReportWriter will use and compare in selecting the records for your report. You can specify up to 25 conditions (connected by AND and OR).

selection window

A window containing a choice of one or more entries that can be selected (usually by highlighting them and pressing enter).

sister file

One of a pair of files in a tree of relationships in which both files are selected to read and both are on the same level in the tree.

sort fields

The fields on which your report will be sorted. You can select up to 10 sort fields for a report.

strip character

The character that will follow a blankstripped field. For example, you would probably select “,” as the strip character for a blankstripped city field. The default strip character is a blank space.


A record definition or compilation of field and key characteristics for a particular file or files.

subscripted field

The specification of a particular element of an arrayed field. Whenever an arrayed field is selected in ReportWriter (for printing, selection criteria, or a calculation expression), you are prompted to specify which element of the array to use. This subscript value may be a literal or another field name.

subtotal access field

A temporary field that gives you access to a field’s running total or complete total at any break level.

temporary field

A general term used to describe calculation, text, question, environment, and subtotal access fields. All temporary fields are created when the report is defined and reside in the temporary file.

temporary file

A report file that ReportWriter creates when you’ve created one or more temporary fields. It is available to the user as another report file from which fields can be selected for printing, sorting, subscripting, ranging, selecting, and use in expressions.

text field

A temporary field that defines a static text string to be printed on report records.

useroverloadable routine

A routine that you write and register so that ReportWriter calls it automatically at the appropriate time.

XCALL interface

Refers to ReportWriter’s external subroutine interface, which is used to access ReportWriter from your application.