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Installation and Configuration of Crystal Reports

When you insert the Crystal Reports 9 CD into the CD-ROM drive of the workstation, the autostart program should present the Crystal Reports splash screen, as shown in Figure 2.2. From the lower-right corner of the splash screen, select the Install Crystal Reports option. You should now see the Crystal Reports Setup Wizard and the Welcome screen, as shown in Figure 2.3.

Figure 2.2 The Crystal Reports 9 splash screen presented via the auto-start program on the CD-ROM.

Figure 2.3 The Welcome dialog screen within the Crystal Reports Setup Wizard.

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If the splash screen does not automatically appear after inserting the CD-ROM, navigate to the root of the CD-ROM to locate the setup.exe file. Double-click on this file to launch the Crystal Reports Installation Wizard.

NOTE

From the introductory splash screen, you can learn more about the Crystal Reports 9 application by selecting to view the Crystal Reports 9 release notes, technical resources, services overview (technical support, training, and consulting), Web Reporting resources, or the Crystal Decisions product overview. These informational sources are intended to provide you with additional details around the Crystal Reports technologies and related resources available to you.

New for Crystal Reports 9 is the use of an install-on-demand technology for some of the application's components. Install on demand means that certain Crystal Reports components are only installed when needed. As a result, there might be a short delay for the install-on-demand features to load upon the first use of a respective component after the installation. However, this delay will only occur once for each of the features for new installations of the software.

Typical Installation Type

Regardless of which installation type (Typical, or Custom) you want to perform, the initial default installation process leads to the Setup Installation Type Options screen (see Figure 2.4). From the Welcome screen, follow these brief steps:

  1. Select Next from the Welcome screen.

  2. Read the license agreement and select Next if you agree with the terms of this agreement.

  3. Enter an authorized product key code, located on the back of the Crystal Reports CD-ROM disc jacket, and select Next.

Figure 2.4 Two Installation Types are available: Typical and Custom.

At this point, the Select Installation Type screen appears. The Typical installation type is most appropriate for the majority of users installing Crystal Reports. The Typical installation option will install the most commonly used components of Crystal Reports, such as

  • Support for various export formats

  • A collection of sample reports

  • Data connectivity components for frequently accessed data sources, such as Microsoft Access and SQL Server

Within this screen, you can also specify the desired installation directory path for the application's program files to be installed on the local workstation. However, it is strongly recommended that you accept the default directory structure—C:\Program Files\Crystal Decisions\Crystal Reports 9\.

NOTE

Even if the default directory path is modified, the installation program will still install approximately 70MB of files into the default directory location, consisting mostly of necessary program .DLL (Dynamic Link Library) files.

If you have selected to perform the Typical installation type, you will then be presented with the Start Installation screen. Selecting Next at this screen will begin the actual installation of Crystal Reports. After the installation of Crystal Reports is complete, you will be asked to register the product. By following the wizard to register your installation, the entire installation process of Crystal Reports is complete. You have now successfully installed Crystal Reports 9.

NOTE

The Registration Wizard will create your user profile, which will ensure that you then receive access to important updates and support, including technical support topics, enrollment in Crystal Decision's online user community, online documentation, online tutorials, free samples, and product updates.

For further information on the specific application component options, refer to the later section on the Custom installation type. If you have now completed your installation and you are not interested in reviewing the Custom installation options, you can skip ahead to the section "Preparing to Access Your Data."

NOTE

Ensuring that adequate hard drive space is available on the local workstation is perhaps the most common problem that individuals installing Crystal Reports experience during the Typical and Complete installation processes.

Custom Installation Type

The Custom installation type is most suitable for individuals who want to explicitly ensure which application components will be installed on their personal workstation, such as report designers who might have specific data access requirements, or if you would like to quickly install all the available application components. For example, the Crystal Reports 9 Installation Wizard does not install the Geographic Mapping and Custom Charting components as part of the Typical installation option, and you might want to add these components to support particular reporting needs.

From the Crystal Reports Welcome screen, follow the same steps as outlined earlier for the Typical installation type:

  1. Select Next from the Welcome screen.

  2. Read the license agreement and select Next if you agree with the terms of this agreement.

  3. Enter an authorized product key code, located on the back of the Crystal Reports CD-ROM disc jacket, and select Next.

At the Select Installation Type screen (see Figure 2.4), select the Custom option from the installation type list. By choosing to perform a Custom installation, you will be identifying which specific product components you want to install on your local workstation. A list of the Crystal Reports product components is presented in the Select Features dialog screen, shown in Figure 2.5.

Figure 2.5 The Select Features screen provides a list of available product components.

You can further specify the manner in which each of the listed components will be installed on to your local PC by selecting from up to six installation alternatives. These alternatives include

  • Will be installed on local hard drive

  • Entire feature will be installed on local hard drive

  • Will be installed to run from CD

  • Entire feature will be installed to run from CD

  • Feature will be installed when required

  • Entire feature will be unavailable

As Figure 2.5 displays, by selecting the Sample Reports item from the component list you will then be presented with a fly-out list of installation alternatives for this component.

For example, if you want to make use of the entire collection of Crystal Reports sample report files but do not want to occupy additional hard drive space on your local PC, click on Sample Reports within the feature list and select the Entire Feature Will Be Installed to Run from CD option. In doing so, you will need the Crystal Reports CD-ROM available to access the entire sample report collection when it is required.

The fifth of the six preceding options, "Feature will be installed when required," is convenient when you want to avoid the unnecessary consumption of hard drive space; yet it provides for the component to be available when it is required for use by Crystal Reports, while simultaneously eliminating the need to use the CD-ROM to access the material. An icon consisting of a small yellow number 1 denotes this option.

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Even though the Select Features screen allows you to choose the desired installation directory path for the application's program files to be installed on your local workstation, it is recommended that you accept the default directory structure for your Crystal Reports installation. Even if the default directory path is modified, the installation program will still install approximately 70MB of files into the default directory location, consisting mostly of necessary program .DLL files.

NOTE

During the installation process, you can quickly evaluate the amount of local disk space required for the product components that you have selected to install by selecting the Disk Cost button in the lower-left of the Select Features screen. An example of the Disk Cost screen is shown in Figure 2.6. The Disk Cost screen will provide a warning if the hard drive containing the chosen directory path has insufficient space available.

Figure 2.6 The Disk Cost screen permits you to evaluate the amount of local disk space required for the product components that you have selected to install.

NOTE

You can reset the selection of available application components to their default settings by selecting the Reset button within the Select Features screen at any time. This resets everything to their default status at the initial screen.

After you are satisfied with the chosen application component options, select Next to proceed to the Start Installation screen. By selecting Next from the Start Installation screen, you will then begin the actual installation of the application files on to your local workstation.

Preparing to Access Your Data

Now that you have successfully installed Crystal Reports, it can be used to access data for report creation. A major challenge that many organizations face when attempting to access and retrieve data from corporate data sources is selecting the best connectivity option for each particular source among a collection of disparate data sources.

Crystal Reports provides a wide variety of data connectivity options designed to provide you with the best mechanisms that support the retrieval of data from an array of distinct data sources. You still need to determine the most efficient way to access your specific data sources for each report that you will be creating. Establishing a strategy for connecting to your data and evaluating your connectivity options for each report is of paramount importance, and both can have a significant impact on the performance of your reports.

Crystal Reports provides an array of connectivity options that support virtually any data source environment, including relational, flat-file, and multi-dimensional (that is, OLAP—Online Analytical Processing) data sources. Crystal Reports also supports the use of database-specific client software, such as Oracle's SQL Client application, that are designed to be used when accessing the respective vendors' database environment. Additional data access information is covered in Hour 3.

NOTE

If appropriate, any necessary database client software should be installed and configured prior to installing Crystal Reports. However, if you've installed Crystal Reports before installing the database vendor's client software, follow the directions located in the Crystal Reports Help files to ensure correct configuration of the Crystal Reports system Data Source Names (DSN).

When designing reports, you will be presented with data connectivity options at the start of the report design process. Selecting the connectivity option that best meets the business and technical requirements for your reports is an important consideration.

Locating the Crystal Reports Application

After Crystal Reports is installed, you can locate the installed programs by navigating to the Start, Programs, Crystal Reports 9 Tools listing. Depending on what options were selected during the installation process, this program listing might vary. Regardless of the exact selections, the Crystal Reports designer application will be accessible from this listing.

The specific applications available under the Crystal Reports 9 Tools listing will depend on what application components you choose to install during the installation process. These could include the Crystal Registration Wizard, Crystal Reports License, Crystal Dictionary, and Crystal SQL Designer applications. The Crystal Reports License application is a very simple program used solely for managing Crystal Reports licenses. The Crystal Dictionary and the Crystal SQL Designer are no longer included as part of the product installation with Crystal Reports 9. However, these components can be installed separately from the Crystal Reports 9 CD.

NOTE

Both the Crystal Dictionary and Crystal SQL Designer programs extend the Crystal Reports application to add additional value in the event that you need to employ the use of a file-based metadata layer (Crystal Dictionaries) or SQL queries to serve as report data sources rather than accessing database systems directly. Additional details on Crystal Dictionaries and the SQL Designer can be found in the Crystal Reports Help files.

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