Introduction to temporary fields
After you’ve selected one or more files to read for your report, you can create temporary fields. There are five types of temporary fields:
- A calculation field defines a mathematical computation, which is evaluated for each set of data.
- A question field contains information supplied by the person running the report in response to a question or prompt. For example, you might prompt for starting and ending dates.
- A text field contains a text constant (for example, an asterisk or the words “past due”), which can be printed when necessary.
- An environment field obtains static data from the system (for example, the current date) when the report is run.
- A subtotal access field gives you access to a field’s current total at any break point in the report.
Temporary fields are placed in a temporary file, which is available when you select fields to print, fields to sort, or selection criteria, or when you specify a field range or subscript or a value in a calculation or subtotal access field. It appears on the screen as another file in the list of available fields. As you press tab to cycle through the available report files, the temporary file is the last available file.
When you select a temporary field, we recommend that you always precede the field name with its filename (separated by a period) to avoid possible ambiguity (e.g., TEMP.fieldname).
Temporary fields are evaluated in the order in which they are defined. You may change this order; see Reordering temporary fields.