QB vs QBD - Which one to choose?

It's interesting how simple choices sometimes can get really complicated. Even if the choice is really logical and simple, people often get stuck in an attempt to make the right decision. The problem is usually connected to the level of understanding of the whole subject. In case of dbBee, every now and then someone asks us "what should I use, the query-browse (QB) or the query-browse-detail (QBD) report/wizard, to preview data from my Excel (or Access) database? "

Making the right choice is actually quite simple (and, in many cases, obvious) but only if you understand the concept of QB and QBD.

Query-browse report (QB) is a single page (although the "single script” would be a more appropriate term) report that browses data in the form of a table and has a search field at the top of the table for making queries. Please note that "single page” does not mean that the report produces only one page containing all the records, but rather that everything related to single record is displayed on a single web page.

Query-browse-detail (QBD) is a two page (two steps, two scripts) report that, in addition to the functionality of the QB report (search and browse), has another step (another page) that displays additional information related to a particular record (a table row selected/clicked by the visitor).

Let’s graphically present the difference between QB and QBD.

The image below shows the QB report. It has a search field at the top, followed by the table containing the data.

QB report

Although at first glance QBD report looks quite the same, it has one large difference – when a visitor clicks on the record (any row in a table) dbBee returns additional report containing detailed information on a selected record presented in a different form, so-called "columnar” report, which is more convenient for presenting a large amount of information.

QBD report

Now, the key in understanding the difference between QB and QBD lies in the amount of data we want to show for each record. These images show it - with QB you can efficiently preview many database records with a small number of fields. We say efficiently because there are no technical limitations in the number of columns in a report that can be used, but in that case the report would have a horizontal scroll bar and the whole user experience would be compromised.

Horizontal scroll bar

On the other hand, detailed view shows a lot of fields, but it is limited to a single record.

So, the answer to our original question is that the decision what to choose between QB and QBD should be based on the amount of data that we want to present for a single record. If we want to list just a couple of fields, there is no need to use the detail section because there are no extra fields we want to display. Therefore, we should use QB.

However, if we want to show tens of fields in our report, then we have to use the detailed view, and that means we need a QBD to ensure that our visitors will be able to get the information they need.