The report routine

The report routine implements the body of a report, with formatting instructions.

Syntax 1 (legacy syntax):

[PUBLIC|PRIVATE] REPORT report-name ( parameter-name [,...] )
 [ define-section ]
 [ output-section ]
 [ sort-section ]
 [ format-section ] 

Syntax 2 (full typed):

     parameter-name data-type
        [ ATTRIBUTES ( attribute [ = "value" ] [,...] ) ]
 [ define-section ]
 [ output-section ]
 [ sort-section ]
 [ format-section ] 
where define-section is:
DEFINE variable-definition [,...]
where output-section is:
 | [ FILE ] filename 
 | PIPE program [ IN FORM MODE |  IN LINE MODE ]
  [ WITH ]
  [ LEFT MARGIN m-left ] 
  [ RIGHT MARGIN m-right] 
  [ TOP MARGIN m-top ] 
  [ BOTTOM MARGIN m-bottom ] 
  [ PAGE LENGTH m-length ] 
  [ TOP OF PAGE c-top]
where sort-section is:
 ORDER [ EXTERNAL ] BY report-variable [,...]
where format-section is:
   [ report-only-fgl-statement
   | sql-statement
   | report-statement ]
where control-block can be one of:
|  BEFORE GROUP OF report-variable
|  AFTER GROUP OF report-variable
  1. variable-definition follows the DEFINE instruction syntax and declares report-variables.
  2. report-variable is the name of a variable declared in the DEFINE section.
  3. report-only-fgl-statement is a subset of all the regular language statements.
  4. sql-statement is a valid static SQL statement.


The report definition formats input records. Like the FUNCTION or MAIN statement, it is a program block that can have the scope of local variables. It is not, however, a function; it is not reentrant, and CALL cannot invoke it. The report definition receives data from its driver in sets called input records. These records can include program records, but other data types are also supported. Each input record is formatted and printed as specified by control blocks and statements within the report definition. Most statements and functions can be included in a report definition, and certain specialized statements and operators for formatting output can appear only in a report definition.

Like MAIN or FUNCTION, the report definition must appear outside any other program block. It must begin with the REPORT statement and must end with the END REPORT keywords.

Some statements are prohibited in a REPORT routine control block. For example, it is not possible to use CONSTRUCT, INPUT, DEFER, DEFINE, REPORT, RETURN instructions in a control block of a report.

By default, report routines are public; they can be called by any other module of the program. If a report routine is only used by the current module, you may want to hide that routine from other modules, to make sure that it will not be called by mistake. To keep a report routine local to the module, add the PRIVATE keyword before the report header. Private report routines are only hidden to external modules; all functions of the current module can still call local private report routines.

The define section declares the data types of local variables used within the report, and of any variables (the input records) that are passed as arguments to the report by the calling statement. Reports without arguments or local variables do not require a DEFINE section.

The output-section can set margin and page size values, and can also specify where to send the formatted output. Output from the report consists of successive pages, each containing a fixed number of lines whose margins and maximum number of characters are fixed.

The sort-section specifies how the rows have to be sorted. The specified sort order determines the order in which the runtime system processes any GROUP OF control blocks in the FORMAT section.

The format-section is required. It specifies the appearance of the report, including page headers, page trailers, and aggregate functions of the data. It can also contain control blocks that specify actions to take before or after specific groups of rows are processed. (Alternatively, it can produce a default report by only specifying FORMAT EVERY ROW).