Crystal Reports XI Essentials for New Users

Alan Mayer, Integra Solutions

Crystal Reports XI …
The Marriage of Reporter and Designer!

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Our Figureheads

BusinessObjects Reporter
(now Desktop Intelligence in XI R2)

BusinessObjects Designer

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Topics
Getting started Retrieving data The Crystal Reports model Formatting Grouping and sorting Formulas Parameters Multi-pass reporting Q&A

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Getting Started
Crystal starts without logging in
Login usually required to access data Enterprise-based content is secured No way to restrict most Crystal Reports functionality

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Getting Started
Users can choose blank or wizard-driven reports
Wizards help with a particular type of report Blank reports are built from scratch

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Topics
Getting started Retrieving data The Crystal Reports model Formatting Grouping and sorting Formulas Parameters Multi-pass reporting Q&A

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Retrieving Data
The source of data is chosen first
Crystal has more potential sources to choose from Native drivers are available for Oracle, DB2, …

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Retrieving Data
Choose a data source then establish the connection
Similar to establishing a connection to a universe Not as many options for controlling the connection

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Retrieving Data
Once the connection is set, data objects can be retrieved
Works like the BusinessObjects Designer table browser Options can alter the objects displayed (right-click on list)

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Retrieving Data
Select tables and views to report on

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Retrieving Data
Crystal automatically links the tables by default

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This feature can be turned off Links are created based on field name or index, data type, and data format Links can be manually created (traced) Similar to BusinessObjects Designer join strategies

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Retrieving Data
Use Link Options for fine-tuning

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Change inner joins to outer joins Change relationships (other than equal) Enforcing Joins similar to implicating joins in Designer (Table button) Cardinalities not necessary – no loops

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Retrieving Data
End of the road for a blank report
No fields (or data) is displayed The Field Explorer can be used to select report fields

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The Database Expert returns you to any previously selected options

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Retrieving Data
Report fields can be added Breaks (groups) can be defined Totals can be added Predefined templates may also be selected

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The Standard Report Wizard asks additional questions

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Retrieving Data
The Report Wizard’s final result:
A report with data!

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HEY!

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Retrieving Data

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A report without conditions? Traditional BusinessObjects users add conditions within the Query Panel Crystal users add conditions through the Select Expert

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Retrieving Data
The Select Expert

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The Select Expert adds one or more conditions to the query It acts like the condition panel within a traditional BusinessObjects query

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Retrieving Data
The Select Expert The Select Expert initially has no conditions Select the New tab or button to start a condition

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Retrieving Data
The Select Expert, cont’d Choose a field from the tables previously selected

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The field you select does not have to be displayed in the report Don’t find the field you need? Add more tables using the Database Expert

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Retrieving Data
The Select Expert, cont’d Choose a comparison operator and operand

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List of values is automatic!

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Retrieving Data
The Select Expert, cont’d The final condition:

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More complicated record-selection conditions can be created in the Formula Editor

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Topics
Getting started Retrieving data The Crystal Reports model Formatting Grouping and sorting Formulas Parameters Multi-pass reporting Q&A

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The Crystal Reports Model

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BusinessObjects Reporter characteristics
Multiple blocks per report Blocks located anywhere Multiple reports per document Frame-based

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The Crystal Reports Model
Crystal Reports characteristics
One main report Section-based (band-based) Multiple tables per band Sub-sections allowed

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The Crystal Reports Model
Report header and report footer
Printed once per report Used for report title Also used for summary charts, tables

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Page header and page footer
Printed top and bottom of every page Column headings are commonly found in header Page numbers found in footer

Details
Prints detailed information once per record Field values found here

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Topics
Getting started Retrieving data The Crystal Reports model Formatting Grouping and sorting Formulas Parameters Multi-pass reporting Q&A

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Formatting

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Placing fields Drag fields from the Field Explorer to the Design window
One or more fields can be selected at a time Drag one field at a time for precise placement

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Formatting
Placing fields, cont’d Position fields using guidelines
Fields are attached to nearest guideline Moving the guideline moves the field No similar technique in BO Reporter

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Guideline

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Formatting
Placing fields, cont’d Other alignment options are available
Like Reporter, Crystal offers Snap to Grid Crystal does it with more precision Individual fields/objects can be aligned

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File \ Tools \ Layout View \ Grid \ Design

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Formatting
Formatting fields The Field Formatter controls the format

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Formats can be conditionally applied

Super Alerter!

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Formatting
Formatting sections Format sections using the Section Expert

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Formatting
Formatting sections, cont;d Some (but not all) of these features are available from the Reporter’s Map tab

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Formatting
Using refreshed vs. saved data

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Previewing your report the first time retrieves new data from the data source Crystal will only retrieve new data when necessary
New fields added to report or a formula on report More records needed Different conditions applied using Select Expert

Crystal may prompt you to choose between saved (existing) and refreshed data You can always force a refresh

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Formatting
Previewing the report Use the Print Preview button to view your report You can make changes in the Preview window
Resizing columns, formatting fields, …

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Most developers make changes in the Design tab

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Topics
Getting started Retrieving data The Crystal Reports model Formatting Grouping and sorting Formulas Parameters Multi-pass reporting Q&A

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Grouping and Sorting
Sorting Use the Record Sort Expert to sort detail records
Adds an ORDER BY clause to the SQL query Can sort on fields not included in the report

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Query Sort

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Grouping and Sorting
Previewing sorted results The Preview tab shows the sorted records

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Ascending

Ascending

Ascending (for ID)

Descending

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Grouping and Sorting
Previewing sorted results, cont’d

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The Preview tab may be several pages long Use the navigation controls (upper right hand corner) to move between pages

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Grouping and Sorting
Grouping

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Use the Insert Group button to group similar records
No limit to the number of groups added Can order groups

Breaks

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Grouping and Sorting
Grouping, cont’d Options can be specified for a group
Fewer options than BusinessObjects Reporter Most options available in different areas

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Grouping and Sorting
Grouping, cont’d Header and footer added after group is inserted
Group name added to header, nothing to footer

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Grouping and Sorting
Grouping, cont’d Group trees allow quick navigation
Like the navigation control of Report Manager

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Grouping and Sorting
Adding totals Use the Insert Summary button to add totals

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Slice and Dice

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Grouping and Sorting
Adding totals, cont’d More calculations available!

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Grouping and Sorting
Adding totals, cont’d Location specified within window
BusinessObjects Reporter used calculation contexts

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Create groups before summaries!

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Topics
Getting started Retrieving data The Crystal Reports model Formatting Grouping and sorting Formulas Parameters Multi-pass reporting Q&A

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Formulas
Use the Field Explorer or Formula Workshop to add formulas
Formulas are another Crystal Reports “sweet spot” More power … more features … more control!

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Select Formula Fields then New button .. Or .. Formula Workshop button

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Formulas
Supply a name for the new formula
Named formulas are variables in BusinessObjects Reporter

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I like variables!

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Formulas
The Formula Editor should satisfy all audiences
Simple enough for the beginning user Powerful enough for a programmer

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Formulas
More functions are available!

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Formulas
More operators to choose from!

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Formulas
Formulas can be simple …

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{Orders.Order Amount} * .175

No equal sign!

Use braces to reference fields rather than < >

No leading zeros needed!

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Formulas
To conditional … if {Customer.Region} = "AL" then {Orders.Order Amount} * .05 else if {Customer.Region} = "AR" then {Orders.Order Amount} * .075 else

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Formulas
To procedural …
//Reverse a string version 1 Comments! Local StringVar str := ""; Local NumberVar strLen := Length ({Customer.Customer Name}); Local NumberVar i; For i := 1 To strLen Do ( Local NumberVar charPos := strLen - i + 1; str := str + {Customer.Customer Name}[charPos] Arrays! ); str

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Topics
Getting started Retrieving data The Crystal Reports model Formatting Grouping and sorting Formulas Parameters Multi-pass reporting Q&A

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Parameters

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Parameters act like prompts in BusinessObjects Reporter
Use the Field Explorer Select Parameter Fields then New button

@Prompt

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Parameters
Static prompts The New Parameter window will open

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Parameters
Static prompts, cont’d Add the parameter name and data type Tell Crystal Reports where to retrieve the values
Specify a table field or Add values manually or Import values

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Parameters
Static prompts, cont’d We’ll add all possible database values
Once added, these values are static

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Parameters
Static prompts, cont’d Parameter options can now be filled in
Our current options: one value (mono)

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Parameters
Static prompts, cont’d The parameter can now be used in a SQL condition
Use the Select Expert Modify the existing condition on Country The new parameter should appear in the list

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Parameters
Static prompts, cont’d

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Crystal Reports will prompt for Country when this report is refreshed

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Parameters
Dynamic prompts This approach creates independent prompts Each prompt is not constrained by any other A BusinessObjects report writer’s dream would be cascading prompts Each prompt would reflect previous prompt choices This was possible (but not elegant) in Reporter This feature has been added to Crystal Reports XI Wanna see how?

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Parameters
Dynamic prompts, cont’d Create another parameter based on Region
Make its list of values dynamic

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Parameters
Dynamic prompts, cont’d Add a value based on Country
Select the Insert button Choose Customer.Country

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Parameters
Dynamic prompts, cont’d Add a value based on Region

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Select the Insert button again Choose Customer.Region Crystal Reports indents values in the direction they will cascade

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Parameters
Dynamic prompts, cont’d

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Two parameters are created to support the cascade
The Field Explorer show two new parameters

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Parameters
Dynamic prompts, cont’d Use the Select Expert to adjust the query
Replace the Country prompt with Region - Country

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Parameters
Dynamic prompts, cont’d Use the Select Expert to adjust the query
Create a new condition for Region based on Region - Region

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Parameters
Dynamic prompts, cont’d Refresh the query
Choose any country The second prompt will reflect only regions of that country

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Parameters
Dynamic prompts, cont’d Try it again

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Topics
Getting started Retrieving data The Crystal Reports model Formatting Grouping and sorting Formulas Parameters Multi-pass reporting Q&A

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Multi-Pass Reporting

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BusinessObjects Reporter is a single-pass report writer Crystal Reports XI uses a three-pass approach Multiple processing passes has many benefits
More control over calculations New features that are not available using single-pass solutions

Each pass requires Crystal to read or manipulate data Crystal processing top down, from left to right
Formulas in header processed before footer

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Multi-Pass Reporting
Pre-Pass 1
Constant formulas are evaluated Process known as BeforeReadingRecords No database fields allowed Example: 1000 * 25

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Constant formulas

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Multi-Pass Reporting
Pass 1

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Record retrieval (selection and sorting passed to database if possible) Evaluate formulas with database fields (recurring formulas)
• Known as WhileReadingRecords • NO references to subtotals or summaries

Record selection formulas
• Record selection too complex for database to handle

Records sorted, grouped, then totaled per group Cross-tabs, charts, and maps
• Database fields and recurring formulas • No running totals, PrintTime formulas

Processed data is saved, used for all other processing
Record retrieval Recurring formulas Record selection formulas Sorting, grouping, totaling Save results

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Multi-Pass Reporting
Pre-Pass 2
Order groups
• Only for Top N, Bottom N, or Hierarchical Grouping reports

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No data read Uses saved data (group instances) from Pass 1

Sort groups Top N

Hierarchical grouping

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Multi-Pass Reporting
Pass 2
Process group selection formulas Running totals Formulas that reference subtotals or summaries
• Known as PrintTime formulas • Called WhilePrintingRecords process

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Cross-tabs, charts, and maps
• Include running totals, PrintTime formulas

OLAP grids Sub-reports Page on demand generation
Group selection Running totals PrintTime formulas Subreports, charts, maps OLAP grids, cross-tabs Page On Demand

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Multi-Pass Reporting
Pass 3
Total page count Used for total page count, Page N of M formulas

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Total page count

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Multi-Pass Reporting
Pass Summary
-1
Constant formulas

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1

Record retrieval

Recurring formulas

Record selection formulas

Sorting, grouping, totaling

Save results

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Sort groups Top N

Hierarchical grouping

2

Group selection

Running totals

PrintTime formulas

Subreports, charts, maps

OLAP grids, cross-tabs

Page On Demand

3
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Total page count

The Storybook Ending

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Q&A
Questions Contact information
Alan Mayer Phone: 214-637-6622 Email: amayer@integrasolutions.net

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