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Crystal Reports 2008 Official Guide

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Crystal Reports 2008 Official Guide

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  • Copyright 2009
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-7686-8569-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7686-8569-5



Whether you’re a DBA, data warehousing or business intelligence professional,
reporting specialist, or developer, this book has the answers you need. Through
hands-on examples, you’ll systematically master Crystal Reports and Xcelsius
2008’s most powerful features for creating, distributing, and delivering content.
One step at a time, long-time Crystal Reports insiders take you from the basics
through advanced content creation and delivery using Xcelsius, Crystal Reports
Server, crystalreports.com, and the offline Crystal Reports Viewer.

Every significant enhancement introduced in Crystal Reports 2008 is covered, including its new visualization options and more robust Web services capabilities. The book concludes by showing how to use Crystal Reports’ powerful .NET and Java SDKs to customize and extend enterprise reporting in virtually unlimited ways.

• Learn hands-on, through step-by-step examples and exercises–and discover tips and tricks proven in real-world enterprise environments

  •   Master new Crystal Reports 2008 features, including interactive report viewing, Xcelsius dashboarding, Flex, and Flash integration, Report Designer improvements, report bursting, and more

  •   Publish professional-quality reports against virtually any data source, including relational and OLAP databases, Universes, SAP, PeopleSoft, JavaBeans, .NET/COM objects, XML, and more

  •   Discover advanced visualization techniques using Xcelsius, charts, and maps

  •   Learn methods for distributing reports and integrating content into other applications

            •           Learn about the latest reporting addition to the Business Objects family–Xcelsius and begin creating dynamic and interactive dashboards

NEIL FITZGERALD has spent several years working at Business Objects and with one of Business Objects’ largest providers of custom BI and enterprise reporting solutions.

BOB COATES currently works as a Sales Consultant for Business Objects, an SAP company, where he has been employed for more than eleven years.

RYAN GOODMAN is the founder of Centigon Solutions, Inc., and remains one of the top Xcelsius experts and evangelists in the world.

MICHAEL VOLOSHKO is a senior presales consultant for the financial services team at Business Objects.


Find all this and more at informit.com/sams:

     •    Java and .NET sample reports and code samples for all examples in the book

     •    Bonus chapters, tips, tricks, and links to great reporting resources

CATEGORY: Database

COVERS: Crystal Reports 2008, Crystal Reports Server 2008,

Crystal Reports Viewer, crystalreports.com, Xcelsius 2008

USER LEVEL: Beginning–Intermediate


Sample Content

Table of Contents


Introduction to Information Delivery

Spectrum of Business Objects Product Usage

Custom Information Delivery Applications

Enterprise BI Initiatives

Spectrum of BI Tool Users

Content Creators (Information Designers)

Information Analysts

Information Consumers

The Product Family from Business Objects

What Is in This Book

Part I: Crystal Reports Design

Part II: Formatting Crystal Reports

Part III: Advanced Crystal Reports Design

Part IV: Report Distribution and Advanced Report Design with Crystal Xcelsius

Equipment Used for This Book

Web Resources

Intended Audience

Requirements for This Book

Conventions Used in This Book

I Crystal Report Design

1 Creating and Designing Basic Reports

Introducing the Crystal Reports Designer

Crystal Report Sections

Using Toolbars and Menus

Report Design Explorers

Locating and Using the Report Design Explorers

The Workbench and Dependency Checker

Understanding Data and Data Sources

Understanding Direct Access Drivers

Understanding Indirect Access Drivers

Introducing the Database Expert

Creating a New Connection

Using My Connections

Adding Database Objects to Your Report

Reporting on Tables

Reporting on Views

Reporting on Stored Procedures

Reporting on SQL Commands

Joining Database Objects

Understanding the Different Join Types

Using the Report Creation Wizards

Getting Started with the Report Wizards

Using the Standard Report Creation Wizard

Creating a Report Without Wizards


Crystal Reports in the Real World–HTML Preview

Crystal Reports in the Real World–SQL Commands

2 Selecting and Grouping Data


Understanding Field Objects

Accessing Database Fields

Accessing Formula Fields

Accessing SQL Expression Fields

Accessing Parameter Fields

Implementing Running Total Fields

Using Group Name Fields

Special Fields

Working with Groups

Inserting Groups

Reordering Groups

Using the Group Expert

Grouping on Date/Time Fields

Hierarchical Grouping

Understanding Drill-Down Reports

Creating a Drill-Down Report

Hiding Details on a Drill-Down Report


Crystal Reports in the Real World–Group on a Formula

3 Filtering, Sorting, and Summarizing Data


Filtering the Data in Your Report

Working with the Select Expert

The Record Selection Formula

Working with the Formula Editor

Learning to Sort Records

Working with the Sort Expert

Creating Effective Summaries

Creating Grand Totals

Creating Group Summaries

Using Group Selection and Sorting

Creating Running Totals


Crystal Reports in the Real World–Nesting Formulas

4 Understanding and Implementing Formulas


Using the Formula Workshop

Navigating the Formula Workshop with the Workshop Tree

Using the Workshop Formula Editor

Arithmetic Formulas

Date and Time Formulas

String Formulas

Using Type Conversion in Formulas

Control Structures–Conditional and Looping Structures


Creating Formulas with the Formula Expert

Using the Formula Extractor to Create Custom Functions

The Multipass Reporting Process of the Crystal Reports Engine

Crystal Reports Processing Engine–Pre-Pass #1

Crystal Reports Processing Engine–Pass #1

Crystal Reports Processing Engine–Pre-Pass #2

Crystal Reports Processing Engine–Pass #2

Crystal Reports Processing Engine–Pass #3


Crystal Reports in the Real World–Custom Functions

5 Implementing Parameters for Dynamic Reporting


Understanding the Value of Parameters

Creating and Implementing Parameters Fields

Reviewing Parameter Field Properties

Creating Parameter Fields

Setting Default Values for Parameter Fields

Implementing Parameter Fields

Using Parameters with Record Selections

Using Parameters with Top/Bottom N Group Selections

Creating and Implementing Dynamic and Cascading Parameters

Using the Parameter Panel in the Preview Tab


Crystal Reports in the Real World–Custom Filtering

II Formatting Crystal Reports

6 Fundamentals of Report Formatting


Positioning and Sizing Report Objects

Modifying Object Properties for Formatting Purposes

Exploring the Format Editor Dialog Common Options

The Common Tab of the Format Editor

The Border Tab of the Format Editor

The Font Tab of the Format Editor

The Hyperlink Tab of the Format Editor

Other Format Editor Tabs

Combining and Layering Report Objects

Configuring Report Page and Margin Properties


Crystal Reports in the Real World–Exporting Options

Crystal Reports in the Real World–Referencing External Resources

7 Working with Report Sections


Formatting Report Sections

Modifying Report Section Properties

The Section Expert Settings and Functionality

Using Multiple Report Sections

Resizing Report Sections

Inserting New Report Sections

Deleting Report Sections

Merging Report Sections


Crystal Reports in the Real World–Advanced Formatting

Crystal Reports in the Real World–Advanced Formatting on Drill-Down Reports

8 Visualizing Your Data with Charts and Maps


Using the Chart Expert

Using the Chart Expert Type Tab

Using the Chart Expert Data Tab

Using the Chart Expert Axes Tab

Using the Chart Expert Options Tab

Using the Chart Expert Color Highlight Tab

Using the Chart Expert Text Tab

Using the Map Expert

Using the Map Expert Data Tab

Using the Map Expert Type Tab

Using the Map Expert Text Tab

Modifying Chart and Map Properties

Modifying Chart Properties

Format Chart Options

Using and Creating Chart Templates

Specifying Chart Size and Position

Modifying Chart Options

Specifying Series Options

Specifying X-Axis and Y-Axis Options

Specifying Selected Item Formatting Options

Specifying 3D Viewing Angle Options

Modifying Map Properties


Crystal Reports in the Real World–Complex Charts

9 Custom Formatting Techniques


Making Presentation-Quality Reports

Common Formatting Features

Working with ToolTips

Lines and Boxes

Creating a Vertical Text Watermark

Conditional Formatting–Using Data to Drive the Look of a Report

Applying Formatting from Another Field

Report-to-Report Linking and the Hyperlink Wizard

Report-to-Report Linking

Hyperlink Wizard

Find in Field Explorer

Barcode Support

Convert to Barcode

Convert from Barcode

Crystal Reports in the Real World–Advanced Charting

III Advanced Crystal Report Design

10 Using Cross-Tabs for Summarized Reporting

Introduction to Cross-Tabs

Benefits of Cross-Tabs

Leveraging Experience with the Spreadsheet Format

Horizontal Expansion

Custom Formatting

Using the Cross-Tab Wizard

Using Top N with Cross-Tabs Reports

Using Advanced Cross-Tab Features

Setting Relative Position

Inserting a “Percentage of” Summary

Horizontal and Vertical Placement

Inserting Summary Labels

Adding a Display String

What’s New in Cross-Tabs

New Cross-Tab Functions Defined

Crystal Reports in the Real World–Advanced Cross-Tabs

11 Using Record Selections, Sort Controls, and Alerts for Interactive Reporting


Creating Advanced Record Selection Formulas

Record Selection Review

Displaying Record Selections

Dealing with Dates

Working with Strings

Pushing Record Selections to the Database

An Introduction to SQL Expressions

Adding Alerting to Your Reports

Creating, Editing, and Using Alerts

Using Alerts in BusinessObjects Enterprise

Performance Monitoring and Tuning

Group By On Server

SQL Expressions in Record Selections

Use Indexes on Server for Speed

On-Demand or Reduced Number of Subreports

Performance Monitor

Dynamic Cascading Prompts

Sort Controls

Crystal Reports in the Real World–Web Report Alert Viewing


12 Using Subreports for Advanced Reports

Introduction to Subreports

Common Subreport Usage

Adding Subreports to Your Reports

Understanding Linked Versus Unlinked Subreports

Considering Subreport Execution Time and Performance

Using Variables to Pass Data Between Reports

Emulating Nested Subreports


Crystal Reports in the Real World–Multiple Subreports

13 Using Formulas and Custom Functions


Choosing a Formula Language: Crystal Versus Basic Syntax

Understanding Syntax Differences

Why Basic Syntax Was Added

Selecting the Best Syntax for You

Using Brackets in Formulas

Using Characters in Formulas

Recent Improvements to Formulas
Manipulating Memo Fields in Formulas

Working with the Additional Financial Functions

Creating Custom Functions in Your Reports

Sharing Custom Functions with Others

Understanding Runtime Errors

Crystal Reports in the Real World–Custom Functions

14 Designing Effective Report Templates

Understanding the Importance of Reuse in Reporting

Understanding Report Templates

Using Report Templates

Using Existing Crystal Reports as Templates

Understanding How Templates Work

Creating Useful Report Templates

Using Custom Functions as Replacements for Data-Dependent Business Logic

Using the CurrentFieldValue Function

Using Template Field Objects

Using Report Templates to Reduce Report Creation Effort

Applying Multiple Templates

Exporting Capabilities in Crystal Reports

Crystal Reports in the Real World–Standardized Templates


15 Additional Data Sources in Crystal Reports

Understanding the Additional Crystal Reports Data Sources

Connecting to COM or .NET Data Sources

Leveraging Legacy Mainframe Data

Handling Complex Queries

Runtime Manipulation of Data

Review an .ADO.NET Data Provider

Connecting to an ADO.NET XML Recordset

Connecting to Java-Based Data Sources



Connecting to XML Data Sources

Connect to a Local XML Data Source

Connect to an HTTP(S) Data Source

Connect to a Web Service Data Source

Introduction to the Integration Kits

Honor the Security

Access to All the Data

Sample Reports

Leverage the Metadata of the ERP Application

Provide Real-Time Access to Data

SAP Integration Kit

Reporting Off R3 Data

Reporting Off BW Data

Viewing the Reports

PeopleSoft Integration Kit

Reporting Off PeopleSoft Data

Viewing the Reports

Siebel Integration Kit


Crystal Reports in the Real World–Leveraging XML as a Data Source

16 Formatting Multidimensional Reporting Against OLAP Data

Introduction to OLAP

OLAP Concepts and OLAP Reporting

Recently Added or Changed OLAP Features in Crystal Reports

Using the OLAP Report Creation Wizard and OLAP Expert

Specifying an OLAP Data Source

Specifying OLAP Rows and Columns

Specifying OLAP Dimension Slices (Filters) and Pages

Adding Report Styles in the OLAP Report Creation Wizard

Adding Charts via the OLAP Report Creation Wizard

Customizing Styles in the OLAP Expert

Customizing Labels in the OLAP Expert

Advanced OLAP Reporting

Interacting with the OLAP Grid

Pivoting the OLAP Grid

Using the Cube View Functionality

Using Charts and Maps Based on OLAP Grids


Crystal Reports in the Real World–OLAP Summary Report with Drill-Down

IV Report Distribution and Advanced Report Design with Crystal Xcelcius

17 Introduction to Crystal Reports Server, Crystalreports.com, and the Crystal Reports Viewer

What Is Crystal Reports Server?

Crystal Reports Server Architecture

Client Tier

Application Tier

Intelligence Tier

Processing Tier

Data Tier

Crystal Reports Server Applications

Central Configuration Manager

Use the Central Management Console (CMC)

Launch InfoView

What Is Crystalreports.com?

Getting Started with Crystalreports.com

Adding Reports to Crystalreports.com

Sharing Reports on Crystalreports.com

Offline Viewing with the Crystal Reports Viewer


18 Crystal Reports Java Components

Overview of the Crystal Reports Java Reporting Component

Components Run on the Web Application Server

Components Are Generally Less Scalable

Components Are 100% Pure Java

Understanding the Java Reporting Components Architecture

Differences with the Java Reporting Engine

Supported File Formats

Support for User Function Libraries in Version XI of the Java Reporting Components

The Java Reporting Engine Uses JDBC

Configuring the Application Server

Delivering Reports in Web Applications

The setReportSource Method

The processHttpRequest Method

Customizing the Toolbar

Customizing the Group Tree

Using the Crystal Tag Libraries

Exporting Reports to Other File Formats

Exporting via the Toolbar Button

Exporting via Code

Printing Reports from the Browser

Common Programming Tasks

Passing Parameters

Setting Data Source Information

Developing with a Visual Development Environment

19 Crystal Reports Microsoft .NET Components

Understanding Microsoft’s .NET Platform

Understanding the Different Crystal .NET Components

An Overview of the Crystal Reports 2008 .NET Components

The Report Designer

Understanding the Report Designer’s User Interface Conventions

The Property Browser

The Report Engine Object Model

Opening Reports

Exporting Reports

Printing Reports

Delivering Reports with the Windows Forms Viewer

The ReportSource Property

Customizing the Windows Forms Viewer

Delivering Reports with the Web Forms Viewer

Customizing the Web Forms Viewer

Database Credentials

Setting Parameters

Understanding the Report Application Server Bridge

Creating a Crystal Reports Web Service


20 Basic Xcelsius Development

Introduction to Dashboards with Xcelsius

Xcelsius Development Paradigm

Xcelsius Integrated Development Environment



Object Browser

Data Manager

Basic Component Categories

Single Value Components





Dashboard Design Enhancements

Color Schemes



Label Text

Image Component

Publishing and Deployment

Adobe SWF

Adobe PDF Document

Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft Word

Business Objects Enterprise


Crystal Reports


21 Advanced Xcelsius Visualization and Connectivity

Advanced Global Features and Techniques

Dynamic Visibility

Chart Drill Down

Insert Filtered Rows

Map Components

Multilayer Dashboards

Advanced Functionality with Excel Logic

Conditional Formulas

Lookup Functions

Concatenating Values

Working with Dates

Advanced Connectivity and Integration

Data Manager Usage Tab

BusinessObjects Enterprise Integration

Live Office Connectivity

Universe Query with Query as a Web Service

Web Service Connection

Excel XML Maps

Using Flash Variables



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