Argos uses the concept of a DataBlock. The DataBlock is like a front end for reports that are similar in nature and they are made up of two main parts. These two parts are forms and reports. A form is a window that holds parameters, multicolumn data display areas and other data elements as needed. A form can be used just to hold the parameters for the report(s) but it can also be a place to display data that you do not really need to print. The parameters are used to filter what data is displayed in the multicolumn list on the form and in the reports.The other part is the Report Query, which is used to drive all the reports. Although you can have multiple forms you can only have one report query for each DataBlock.
The DataBlocks need to be created by someone who knows the structure and relationships of the database. Once the forms and report query is created and tested, other users can create the reports. Here is where the actual design of the data critical. I like to create the forms to be a "quick reference" or a place for users to go to get a snapshot of the data. I create a number of parameters on the form and use them to filter the multicolumn display, which I call the Data Preview area. I then create the Report Query, returning more data elements and using fewer parameters so that the reports can be more flexible. I will explain more about this on the Reports page.
Let's look at an example. Say we are developing a class schedule DataBlock. On the form I will have parameters for term, campus, college and maybe down to part-of-term. The Data Preview area might be limited to the crn, subj_code, crse_number, days/times and instructor. When I create the Report Query, I will return the same data as in the Data Preview area along with the building and room, credits, fees and section comments but I only filter it with the term parameter from the form. This way I have the flexibility to create many report from the same DataBlock. More information on reports is available on the Reports page.