Parameter fields allow you—and subsequent report users—to be prompted for selection criteria. You can create a parameter field, and then use it in the Select Expert. “Using Parameters” covers creating and using parameter fields.) Basically, when you refresh a report with a parameter field in use, a prompting dialog box appears. The prompt asks the user for selection criteria values. The value the user picks or enters becomes the value the report uses in selection criteria.
For example, a basic human resources report might need to be run for each department in a company. The exact same report is desired, only one for Marketing, one for Human Resources, one for Training, and so on. Instead of creating multiple copies of the same report with slightly different selection criteria and maybe a different title, you can use a parameter field.
A parameter field in the selection criteria prompts users of the report to select the department to run the report for. Users would type the name of the department or select it from a list. The Select Expert uses the value entered by the user to determine which records to print on the report. This parameter field can also be used in the title of the report to print the name of the selected department.
Parameter fields can be used in many places in your report, starting with the selection criteria. Parameter fields used with formulas provide flexibility and the power to precisely format and control your data and how it prints on your report, will cover this functionality.
Dates are one of the most highly used parameter field types. By using parameter fields you can be prompted for the date range to run 9 report for—without actually opening the Select Expert and manually changing the criteria every time.