Relational Databases: Printing Results in a Range of Formats

Relational Databases: Printing Results in a Range of Formats

Understanding Print Formats in Relational Databases

  • When working with relational databases, outputs can be presented in various formats. These formats include tables, reports, forms, and charts.
  • The format selected depends on the specific requirements and the nature and volume of data to be displayed.


  • Tables are the simplest way to display data from a relational database.
  • Tables display data in rows and columns, directly reflecting the structure of the database.


  • Reports are comprehensive documents that provide a detailed view of the data.
  • Reports support grouping of data, calculations, and can include additional elements like headers, footers, and summary fields.
  • Reports are typically used when a more sophisticated display of data is required, such as for analysis or presentation purposes.


  • Forms are used to display and manage data one record at a time.
  • They are typically used for data entry and they also enable data viewing, editing, or deletion.
  • Forms enhance user interaction by providing an intuitive, structured environment for data manipulation.


  • Charts are used to present data graphically and are especially useful in highlighting trends or comparisons.
  • Common types of charts include bar, line, pie, and scatter plots.
  • Creating a chart involves choosing the correct chart type, selecting the data source, and tailoring the chart properties to suit the required display.

Formatting Outputs

  • Most database software allows extensive formatting of outputs. These include changing fonts, colours, alignment, and adding border styles.
  • Formatting helps to improve understanding and make the output more visually appealing.

Exporting Data

  • Databases usually offer functionality to export data in various formats like CSV, Excel, or PDF.
  • Exporting data helps in sharing, further analysis, or to backup the data. It also facilitates the use of data in other software applications.

Print Preview and Printing

  • The print preview function is used to check the output before it is printed or exported.
  • Once the print preview is satisfactory, data can be printed using the print function, following the steps outlined by the database software.

Considerations for Printing in Different Formats

  • It’s important to consider the volume of data while selecting a print format. Large volumes might be better suited to PDFs or Excel, while small volumes can be directly printed.
  • Also, if the data format is to be shared or used in different software, consider the compatibility of the output format.
  • Finally, ensure that all sensitive data is protected when being printed or shared. Security settings can be defined when exporting or printing data.