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Demystifying Summary Functions

Last updated: before December, 1998

(This article was submitted to the Approach Users Mailing list by Jerry Sikes, Unisource Converting)

Here is a guideline on proper Summary Functions use. All page references are to Lotus Approach Release 3.0 users Guide, copyright 1994 Approach Software Corporation.

   1. p7-15 - "You can add a calculated field to a form to show a total, average, count, or other summary on data in a repeating panel." The key is placement of the summary calculated field "on form", not in panel.

   2. p7-16 - "A summary on data in a repeating panel is calculated in Browse and Preview, and in Design if you're showing data rather". This means that a summary calculated field can be visible in all Approach modes.

   3. p7-16 - In reference to the field definition of a summary calculated field, "In the Define Summary panel, select "Summary of all records in database," where database is the name of the main database for the (repeating)panel;". p7-21 - "Because of the join the function counts(summarizes) only the records that appear in the (repeating)panel." Most important aspect for correct calculation is not using the "Where-placed" default Summary Definition. In Field definition, you must define the summary for the repeating panels main database.

   4. p8-19 - "For more flexibility, however, you can use a calculated field that has been defined as where-placed, which you can reuse as often as you wish. A where-placed calculated field looks at the summary panel it's place in and automatically summarizes" This applies only to report summary panel usage. You can use the same summary calculated field in leading, trailing, and grand total summary panels. When you place a summary calculated field on a form, its where-placed is not a summary panel, therefore Approach cannot figure which group of records to summarize in browse.

   5. p8-19 - "A calculated field in a summary panel is calculated when you preview the report÷" This reference applies only to calculated fields in summary panels. Summary calculated fields are visible on forms provided they are defined properly.

   6. A summary calculated field can be bound by Mathematical functions. Such as; Round(SSum( Database."Item Extension"),2).

   7. A summary calculated field cannot be bound by an If function. The If function must be bound by the summary calculated field. For example; Round(SSum( If (Database."Ship Status"="Shipped", Database." Amount",0),2). This would selectively summarize only those items in the repeating panel whose status is shipped.

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