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Crystal Reports 2008 Official Guide


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This is a comprehensive guide to the most recent edition of the top-selling business intelligence software package, Crystal Reports. It is authorized by Crystal Reports' parent company, BusinessObjects, as part of the BusinessObjects Press. As Crystal Reports insiders, the authors bring unique and valuable real-world perspectives to guide readers through how to apply CR's features in their own organizations. In addition to a basic grounding in CR, the authors cover all the new features and changes in the latest edition of CR, including the improved user and developer experience, new visualization options, improved Java integration, and more robust Web services capabilities. The book concludes with advanced content on report distribution, and integration into BusinessObjects Enterprise's secure managed reporting infrastructure.

Table of Contents

IntroductionIntroduction to Information DeliverySpectrum of Business Objects Product UsageCustom Information Delivery ApplicationsEnterprise BI InitiativesSpectrum of BI Tool UsersContent Creators (Information Designers)Information AnalystsInformation ConsumersThe Product Family from Business ObjectsWhat Is in This BookPart I: Crystal Reports DesignPart II: Formatting Crystal ReportsPart III: Advanced Crystal Reports DesignPart IV: Report Distribution and Advanced Report Design with Crystal XcelsiusEquipment Used for This BookWeb ResourcesIntended AudienceRequirements for This BookConventions Used in This BookI Crystal Report Design1 Creating and Designing Basic ReportsIntroducing the Crystal Reports Designer
Crystal Report SectionsUsing Toolbars and MenusReport Design ExplorersLocating and Using the Report Design ExplorersThe Workbench and Dependency CheckerUnderstanding Data and Data SourcesUnderstanding Direct Access DriversUnderstanding Indirect Access DriversIntroducing the Database ExpertCreating a New ConnectionUsing My ConnectionsAdding Database Objects to Your ReportReporting on TablesReporting on ViewsReporting on Stored ProceduresReporting on SQL CommandsJoining Database ObjectsUnderstanding the Different Join TypesUsing the Report Creation WizardsGetting Started with the Report WizardsUsing the Standard Report Creation WizardCreating a Report Without WizardsTroubleshootingCrystal Reports in the Real World-HTML PreviewCrystal Reports in the Real World-SQL Commands2 Selecting and Grouping DataIntroductionUnderstanding Field ObjectsAccessing Database FieldsAccessing Formula FieldsAccessing SQL Expression FieldsAccessing Parameter FieldsImplementing Running Total FieldsUsing Group Name FieldsSpecial FieldsWorking with GroupsInserting GroupsReordering GroupsUsing the Group ExpertGrouping on Date/Time FieldsHierarchical GroupingUnderstanding Drill-Down ReportsCreating a Drill-Down ReportHiding Details on a Drill-Down ReportTroubleshootingCrystal Reports in the Real World-Group on a Formula3 Filtering, Sorting, and Summarizing DataIntroductionFiltering the Data in Your ReportWorking with the Select ExpertThe Record Selection FormulaWorking with the Formula EditorLearning to Sort RecordsWorking with the Sort ExpertCreating Effective SummariesCreating Grand TotalsCreating Group SummariesUsing Group Selection and SortingCreating Running TotalsTroubleshootingCrystal Reports in the Real World-Nesting Formulas4 Understanding and Implementing FormulasIntroductionUsing the Formula WorkshopNavigating the Formula Workshop with the Workshop TreeUsing the Workshop Formula EditorArithmetic FormulasDate and Time FormulasString Formulas
Using Type Conversion in FormulasControl Structures-Conditional and Looping StructuresVariablesCreating Formulas with the Formula ExpertUsing the Formula Extractor to Create Custom FunctionsThe Multipass Reporting Process of the Crystal Reports EngineCrystal Reports Processing Engine-Pre-Pass #1Crystal Reports Processing Engine-Pass #1Crystal Reports Processing Engine-Pre-Pass #2Crystal Reports Processing Engine-Pass #2Crystal Reports Processing Engine-Pass #3TroubleshootingCrystal Reports in the Real World-Custom Functions5 Implementing Parameters for Dynamic ReportingIntroductionUnderstanding the Value of ParametersCreating and Implementing Parameters Fields
Reviewing Parameter Field Properties
Creating Parameter FieldsSetting Default Values for Parameter FieldsImplementing Parameter FieldsUsing Parameters with Record SelectionsUsing Parameters with Top/Bottom N Group SelectionsCreating and Implementing Dynamic and Cascading ParametersUsing the Parameter Panel in the Preview TabTroubleshootingCrystal Reports in the Real World-Custom Filtering
II Formatting Crystal Reports6 Fundamentals of Report FormattingIntroductionPositioning and Sizing Report ObjectsModifying Object Properties for Formatting PurposesExploring the Format Editor Dialog Common OptionsThe Common Tab of the Format EditorThe Border Tab of the Format EditorThe Font Tab of the Format EditorThe Hyperlink Tab of the Format EditorOther Format Editor TabsCombining and Layering Report ObjectsConfiguring Report Page and Margin PropertiesTroubleshootingCrystal Reports in the Real World-Exporting OptionsCrystal Reports in the Real World-Referencing External Resources7 Working with Report SectionsIntroductionFormatting Report SectionsModifying Report Section PropertiesThe Section Expert Settings and FunctionalityUsing Multiple Report SectionsResizing Report SectionsInserting New Report SectionsDeleting Report SectionsMerging Report SectionsTroubleshootingCrystal Reports in the Real World-Advanced FormattingCrystal Reports in the Real World-Advanced Formatting on Drill-Down Reports8 Visualizing Your Data with Charts and MapsIntroductionUsing the Chart Expert
Using the Chart Expert Type TabUsing the Chart Expert Data TabUsing the Chart Expert Axes TabUsing the Chart Expert Options Tab
Using the Chart Expert Color Highlight TabUsing the Chart Expert Text TabUsing the Map ExpertUsing the Map Expert Data TabUsing the Map Expert Type TabUsing the Map Expert Text TabModifying Chart and Map PropertiesModifying Chart PropertiesFormat Chart OptionsUsing and Creating Chart TemplatesSpecifying Chart Size and PositionModifying Chart OptionsSpecifying Series OptionsSpecifying X-Axis and Y-Axis OptionsSpecifying Selected Item Formatting OptionsSpecifying 3D Viewing Angle OptionsModifying Map PropertiesTroubleshootingCrystal Reports in the Real World-Complex Charts9 Custom Formatting TechniquesIntroductionMaking Presentation-Quality ReportsCommon Formatting FeaturesWorking with ToolTipsLines and BoxesCreating a Vertical Text WatermarkConditional Formatting-Using Data to Drive the Look of a ReportApplying Formatting from Another FieldReport-to-Report Linking and the Hyperlink WizardReport-to-Report LinkingHyperlink WizardFind in Field ExplorerBarcode SupportConvert to BarcodeConvert from BarcodeCrystal Reports in the Real World-Advanced ChartingIII Advanced Crystal Report Design10 Using Cross-Tabs for Summarized ReportingIntroduction to Cross-TabsBenefits of Cross-TabsLeveraging Experience with the Spreadsheet FormatHorizontal ExpansionCustom FormattingUsing the Cross-Tab WizardUsing Top N with Cross-Tabs ReportsUsing Advanced Cross-Tab FeaturesSetting Relative PositionInserting a "Percentage of" SummaryHorizontal and Vertical PlacementInserting Summary Labels
Adding a Display StringWhat's New in Cross-TabsNew Cross-Tab Functions DefinedCrystal Reports in the Real World-Advanced Cross-Tabs11 Using Record Selections, Sort Controls, and Alerts for Interactive ReportingIntroductionCreating Advanced Record Selection FormulasRecord Selection ReviewDisplaying Record SelectionsDealing with DatesWorking with StringsPushing Record Selections to the DatabaseAn Introduction to SQL ExpressionsAdding Alerting to Your ReportsCreating, Editing, and Using AlertsUsing Alerts in BusinessObjects EnterprisePerformance Monitoring and TuningGroup By On ServerSQL Expressions in Record SelectionsUse Indexes on Server for SpeedOn-Demand or Reduced Number of SubreportsPerformance MonitorDynamic Cascading PromptsSort ControlsCrystal Reports in the Real World-Web Report Alert ViewingTroubleshooting12 Using Subreports for Advanced ReportsIntroduction to SubreportsCommon Subreport UsageAdding Subreports to Your ReportsUnderstanding Linked Versus Unlinked SubreportsConsidering Subreport Execution Time and PerformanceUsing Variables to Pass Data Between ReportsEmulating Nested SubreportsTroubleshootingCrystal Reports in the Real World-Multiple Subreports13 Using Formulas and Custom FunctionsIntroductionChoosing a Formula Language: Crystal Versus Basic SyntaxUnderstanding Syntax DifferencesWhy Basic Syntax Was AddedSelecting the Best Syntax for YouUsing Brackets in FormulasUsing Characters in FormulasRecent Improvements to Formulas
Manipulating Memo Fields in FormulasWorking with the Additional Financial FunctionsCreating Custom Functions in Your ReportsSharing Custom Functions with OthersUnderstanding Runtime ErrorsCrystal Reports in the Real World-Custom Functions14 Designing Effective Report TemplatesUnderstanding the Importance of Reuse in ReportingUnderstanding Report TemplatesUsing Report TemplatesUsing Existing Crystal Reports as TemplatesUnderstanding How Templates WorkCreating Useful Report TemplatesUsing Custom Functions as Replacements for Data-Dependent Business LogicUsing the CurrentFieldValue FunctionUsing Template Field ObjectsUsing Report Templates to Reduce Report Creation EffortApplying Multiple TemplatesExporting Capabilities in Crystal ReportsCrystal Reports in the Real World-Standardized Templates
Troubleshooting15 Additional Data Sources in Crystal ReportsUnderstanding the Additional Crystal Reports Data SourcesConnecting to COM or .NET Data SourcesLeveraging Legacy Mainframe DataHandling Complex QueriesRuntime Manipulation of DataReview an .ADO.NET Data ProviderConnecting to an ADO.NET XML RecordsetConnecting to Java-Based Data SourcesJavaDirJavaBeansClassPathConnecting to XML Data SourcesConnect to a Local XML Data SourceConnect to an HTTP(S) Data SourceConnect to a Web Service Data Source
Introduction to the Integration KitsHonor the Security
Access to All the Data
Sample ReportsLeverage the Metadata of the ERP ApplicationProvide Real-Time Access to DataSAP Integration KitReporting Off R3 DataReporting Off BW Data
Viewing the ReportsPeopleSoft Integration KitReporting Off PeopleSoft DataViewing the ReportsSiebel Integration KitTroubleshooting
Crystal Reports in the Real World-Leveraging XML as a Data Source
16 Formatting Multidimensional Reporting Against OLAP DataIntroduction to OLAPOLAP Concepts and OLAP ReportingRecently Added or Changed OLAP Features in Crystal Reports
Using the OLAP Report Creation Wizard and OLAP ExpertSpecifying an OLAP Data SourceSpecifying OLAP Rows and ColumnsSpecifying OLAP Dimension Slices (Filters) and PagesAdding Report Styles in the OLAP Report Creation WizardAdding Charts via the OLAP Report Creation WizardCustomizing Styles in the OLAP ExpertCustomizing Labels in the OLAP ExpertAdvanced OLAP ReportingInteracting with the OLAP GridPivoting the OLAP GridUsing the Cube View FunctionalityUsing Charts and Maps Based on OLAP GridsTroubleshootingCrystal Reports in the Real World-OLAP Summary Report with Drill-DownIV Report Distribution and Advanced Report Design with Crystal Xcelcius17 Introduction to Crystal Reports Server,, and the Crystal Reports ViewerWhat Is Crystal Reports Server?Crystal Reports Server ArchitectureClient TierApplication TierIntelligence TierProcessing TierData TierCrystal Reports Server ApplicationsCentral Configuration ManagerUse the Central Management Console (CMC)Launch InfoViewWhat Is Started with
Adding Reports to Crystalreports.comSharing Reports on Crystalreports.comOffline Viewing with the Crystal Reports ViewerTroubleshooting
18 Crystal Reports Java ComponentsOverview of the Crystal Reports Java Reporting ComponentComponents Run on the Web Application ServerComponents Are Generally Less ScalableComponents Are 100% Pure JavaUnderstanding the Java Reporting Components ArchitectureDifferences with the Java Reporting EngineSupported File FormatsSupport for User Function Libraries in Version XI of the Java Reporting ComponentsThe Java Reporting Engine Uses JDBCConfiguring the Application ServerDelivering Reports in Web ApplicationsThe setReportSource MethodThe processHttpRequest Method
Customizing the ToolbarCustomizing the Group TreeUsing the Crystal Tag LibrariesExporting Reports to Other File FormatsExporting via the Toolbar ButtonExporting via CodePrinting Reports from the BrowserCommon Programming TasksPassing ParametersSetting Data Source InformationDeveloping with a Visual Development Environment19 Crystal Reports Microsoft .NET ComponentsUnderstanding Microsoft's .NET PlatformUnderstanding the Different Crystal .NET ComponentsAn Overview of the Crystal Reports 2008 .NET ComponentsThe Report DesignerUnderstanding the Report Designer's User Interface ConventionsThe Property BrowserThe Report Engine Object ModelOpening ReportsExporting ReportsPrinting ReportsDelivering Reports with the Windows Forms ViewerThe ReportSource PropertyCustomizing the Windows Forms Viewer
Delivering Reports with the Web Forms ViewerCustomizing the Web Forms ViewerDatabase CredentialsSetting ParametersUnderstanding the Report Application Server BridgeCreating a Crystal Reports Web ServiceTroubleshooting20 Basic Xcelsius DevelopmentIntroduction to Dashboards with XcelsiusXcelsius Development Paradigm
Xcelsius Integrated Development EnvironmentComponentsProperties
Object Browser
Data ManagerBasic Component CategoriesSingle Value ComponentsChartsSelectorsContainersAlertsDashboard Design EnhancementsColor SchemesThemesBackgroundsLabel TextImage ComponentPublishing and DeploymentAdobe SWFAdobe PDF DocumentMicrosoft PowerPointMicrosoft WordBusiness Objects Enterprise
HTMLCrystal Reports
Troubleshooting21 Advanced Xcelsius Visualization and ConnectivityAdvanced Global Features and Techniques
Dynamic VisibilityChart Drill DownInsert Filtered RowsMap ComponentsMultilayer DashboardsAdvanced Functionality with Excel LogicConditional FormulasLookup FunctionsConcatenating ValuesWorking with DatesAdvanced Connectivity and IntegrationData Manager Usage TabBusinessObjects Enterprise IntegrationLive Office ConnectivityUniverse Query with Query as a Web ServiceWeb Service ConnectionExcel XML MapsUsing Flash VariablesIndex

About the Author

About the Lead Author Neil FitzGerald is an entrepreneur who has successfully started or contributed to multiple consulting companies in the IT consulting domain. Neil combined his bachelor's degree in computer science from Queen's University in Kingston, Canada and his MBA from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario with his more than 8 years of experience at Business Objects in a variety of senior roles to help provide information solutions to Fortune 500 companies across North America. He has spent more than 13 years in the information delivery domain and is available for onsite or remote consulting to companies large and small. Neil can be contacted at About the Contributing Authors Bob Coates has worked for Business Objects, an SAP company (through the Crystal Decisions and Business Objects acquisitions), for more than 11 years. While there he worked in technical support, global services, and sales consulting. Presently Bob is a principal sales consultant working on the SAP Synergy Team--a branch of the Strategic Technology Group focused on the top 100 SAP customers. Bob would like to thank his wife Amanda for her infinite patience and support. Ryan Goodman is the founder of Centigon Solutions Inc. As a previous technical evangelist and sales consultant at Infommersion and then Business Objects, Ryan has implemented hundreds of Xcelsius projects spanning more than 4 years. His interactive data visualization and design background coupled with his business insight and technical aptitude have made him one of the top Xcelsius experts in the world. Ryan continues to push the envelope and evangelize Xcelsius on his blog: Michael Voloshko is a principal solutions architect for the financial services vertical at Business Objects, an SAP company.

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