FileMaker Subsummary Reports Sans The Body Part

From Dwayne Wright PMP
Certified FileMaker Developer

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A sub summary is used to display or print a total for a set of records that are sorted by a break field. For example, you might have a report that totals all the sales for a each year and that is further broken down by the month of each year.

In most traditional reports with subsummaries, you will have a body part. This is to list information for each record that is within the set of record organized by the break field. However, a body part in a subsummary report is not a requirement. In fact, many of the best reports have no body part at all. You can just imagine how the inclusion of a line for each record within a report that summaries hundreds of records would be a challenge to take in. The phrase “you cannot see the forest because of the trees” comes to mind.

Here you can see a quick summary for sales for the from November 2007 to March 2008. This example summaries 15 different records but you never see the specifics of those records. You simply see the subsummary totals for each year and then another subsummary within the year subsummary breaking the totals down further by month.

Here you can see one view of the above report and you can see the fields and the organization of the layout parts.

Here you can see the same layout but I’ve allowed you to see more information about the subsummary layout parts.

BTW: The term breakfield is normally attached to a reporting operation on FileMaker data. In the printed report arena, the break field can be the dependent “sort by” field used in the subsummary layout part for a report that summaries data by a grouping. In the calculation arena, the GetSummary function will give you the information in a summary field for a found set of records when sorted by a break field. The syntax of the GetSummary function is ...  GetSummary ( summaryField ; breakField ).Unlike printed reports that have a subsummary part, the GetSummary function is not dependent on a layout part and can be used within other calculations. The function has the two parameters of summaryfield and breakfield. The summary field parameter obviously refers to the summary field you want to capture the data from. The breakfield is the field that must be sorted to obtain the sub summary total in a grouped value report for the summary field.

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