Agency Business Systems, Inc

Query/Report Grouping Tutorial.

The following tutorial is intended for current ABS users.
Starting with version, queries have been enhanced to allow much more usable, and understandable, grouping of your data. Grouping is done by dragging and dropping a column header into the yellow, grouping band. Beginning with build 370, the behavior is different than before, so keep reading and follow the steps.

If you are a current user, please have ABS Agency Builder open so you can perform the steps described below. They will guide you through a short demonstration which will show you how to take advantage of the new power available in query grouping.

1.  Open predefined queries by clicking Marketing > Predefined Queries. 2 . Expand Auto Marketing. 3.  Double click Policy List. Now you should be looking at a grid showing all of your auto policies.


Before we begin grouping, let’s filter the data so it is more manageable. Let’s say you only want a list of policies for a few specific carriers. Let’s filter so our list only contains three or four carriers. 

1.  Hover your mouse over the Carriers column. That will expose a Down-Arrow button on the right side of the column header. That is the Filter button.

2.  Click the Filter button and select three or four of your most popular carriers. Do that so a good sampling of rows is available for this tutorial.


Now that our list contains policies for the selected carriers, the policies may not be in any particular order. Certainly we can sort them by carrier, but instead we will group.

To group by carrier, drag the Carrier column header up and drop it anywhere in theyellow Grouping Band.

The Carrier header will be moved to the left of the yellow band and a light blue row will show the name of the first carrier in your filtered list. Below that blue row are the rest of the policies for that Carrier only. For example, let’s say the name of the first carrier is Allstate. All of the Allstate policies will be grouped together below that header. Scroll down to the next light blue row. You’ll see the next carrier’s name. Let’s say it is Consumer County Mutual. All of those policies are grouped there, and so on for each carrier you selected. Naturally, your grouping will depend on the carriers you picked while filtering.


Now drag the City column header and drop it in the yellow grouping band anywhere to the right of the Carrier header. 

The City header will be moved to the left, a little to the right of the Carrier header. A line will be drawn to show the relationship between the two. In other words, if you followed the prior steps, it will indicate the policies have been grouped by Carrier, and within Carrier, they have been grouped by City. Looking at the query results on your screen, all of the carriers have been grouped by City. Notice the sub-groups, city in this case, also appear in their own blue header, with the policy details listed below.

You can continue adding groups in the same way, if it makes sense to do so. But, keep everything as it is for now. We’ll use this for the rest of this exercise. 

By the way, if you grouped by the wrong column, simply drag that header back to the grid and drop it in between whichever columns you want.


Let’s say you don’t want policies grouped by City within Carrier. Instead, you want everything grouped by Carrier within City. Just drag the City header to the left of the Carrier header. Little arrows will appear to show you when you can drop, so do it. Now you can see the grouping relationship has been changed. The little line connecting the headers show the relationship, and the grid changes accordingly. Do this now to see how easy this is.


Look for the button in the tool bar at the top of the window that lets you compress or expand grouping. If the groups are expanded (the default), clicking that button will compress all groups and sub-groups so that you see only the top-level group. Go ahead and compress the groups now.

With the groups compressed, you have two options.

1.  Click the Compress or Expand button to re-expand all groups and sub-groups.

2.  When compressed, each top-level group has a plus sign (+) at the far left of the row. Click there to expand only that group. That level of grouping will expand and the plus will be replaced with a minus (-). You guessed it, the minus will compress that group.

Feel free to try different groupings. You can’t hurt anything. You are not limited to just two group levels, and you can perform grouping on almost any query or report that displays information in a grid like this. Note that it is possible to group columns in a meaningful or meaningless way. The program doesn’t care, so the choice is yours.