You are previewing Crystal Reports® 2008 For Dummies®.
O'Reilly logo
Crystal Reports® 2008 For Dummies®

Book Description

A report is only useful if those who receive it understand what it means. Knowing how to use Crystal Reports gives you the edge in producing reports from your database that really are crystal clear.

Crystal Reports 2008 For Dummies is a quick and easy guide to get you going with the latest version of this bestselling report-writing software. In fact, it’s so popular that previous editions have made it a bestseller too. Crystal Reports 2008 For Dummies gives you just what you should know to produce the reports you’ll need most often, including how to:

  • Pull specific information from your database, sort and group it, and find the details you need

  • Use dynamic or cascading prompts

  • Troubleshoot and print reports and save time with templates

  • View reports on your LAN

  • Write formulas to retrieve specific information

  • Create and update OLAP reports

  • Format reports, control page breaks, and even add graphics or Flash files

  • Enhance your reports with charts and maps

  • Use Crystal Reports in the enterprise

There’s also a companion Web site with sample reports from the book and links to sites with more related information. With Crystal Reports 2008 For Dummies by your side, you’ll soon be able to create reports from simple to spectacular, whenever the need arises.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Author
  3. Author's Acknowledgments
  4. Introduction
    1. About This Book
    2. Conventions Used in This Book
    3. What You're Not to Read
    4. Foolish Assumptions
    5. How This Book Is Organized
      1. Part I: Reporting Basics
      2. Part II: Moving Up to Professional-Quality Reports
      3. Part III: Advanced Report Types and Features
      4. Part IV: Crystal Reports in the Enterprise
      5. Part V: Publishing Your Reports
      6. Part VI: The Part of Tens
    6. Icons Used in This Book
    7. Where to Go from Here
  5. I. Reporting Basics
    1. 1. Transforming Raw Data into Meaningful Information
      1. 1.1. Major Features of Crystal Reports 2008
        1. 1.1.1. Formatting a report
        2. 1.1.2. Generating barcodes
        3. 1.1.3. Enhancing a report with formulas and custom functions
        4. 1.1.4. Getting visual with charts and maps
        5. 1.1.5. Xcelsius integration
        6. 1.1.6. Adobe Flash integration
        7. 1.1.7. Displaying a report
        8. 1.1.8. Distributing a report
        9. 1.1.9. Supplying Crystal Reports with data
      2. 1.2. The Lone Edition of Crystal Reports 2008
      3. 1.3. Viewing a Report
        1. 1.3.1. Reading a printed report
        2. 1.3.2. Viewing a report with Crystal Reports
        3. 1.3.3. Viewing a report on a LAN or on the Web
    2. 2. Create a Simple Report Right Now!
      1. 2.1. First Things First: Finding the Sample Database
      2. 2.2. Starting Crystal Reports 2008
      3. 2.3. Creating a Report with the Blank Report Option
        1. 2.3.1. Allocating more space to the layout
        2. 2.3.2. Introducing your report
          1. 2.3.2.1. Adding a company logo to a report header
          2. 2.3.2.2. Adding a report title to your report header
        3. 2.3.3. Choosing the fields that appear in your report
        4. 2.3.4. Improving the readability of page headers
        5. 2.3.5. Previewing the report
        6. 2.3.6. Page footers carry useful information
        7. 2.3.7. Wrapping things up with a report footer
      4. 2.4. Recording helpful information about your report
      5. 2.5. Printing a Report
      6. 2.6. Where to Go from Here
    3. 3. Report Design Guidelines
      1. 3.1. Defining an Effective Report Design
      2. 3.2. Defining Your Audience
      3. 3.3. Defining the Report's Purpose
      4. 3.4. Choosing Content for Your Report
      5. 3.5. Choosing the Report Appearance
        1. 3.5.1. Making a good first impression
        2. 3.5.2. Deciding how best to present the information
        3. 3.5.3. Choosing graphic elements for your report
        4. 3.5.4. Style communicates meaning, too
          1. 3.5.4.1. Choose readable, appropriate fonts
          2. 3.5.4.2. Pay attention to layout
        5. 3.5.5. Making sure your report conveys your message
    4. 4. Starting Your Report
      1. 4.1. Using the Report Creation Wizard
      2. 4.2. Creating a report with the Standard Report Creation Wizard
        1. 4.2.1. Using other report-creation wizards
      3. 4.3. Starting with a Blank Report
      4. 4.4. Connecting Your Report to Its Data Source
        1. 4.4.1. Accessing database files directly
        2. 4.4.2. Retrieving data with SQL
        3. 4.4.3. Reporting on data in OLE DB data sources
        4. 4.4.4. Which interface should you use?
  6. II. Moving Up to Professional-Quality Reports
    1. 5. Pulling Specific Data from a Database
      1. 5.1. Get Data Quickly with Select Expert
      2. 5.2. Using Formulas to Retrieve Data
      3. 5.3. Using Parameter Fields to Retrieve Data at Runtime
        1. 5.3.1. Step 1: Creating a report that shows everything
        2. 5.3.2. Step 2: Giving the user the power to decide what to show
        3. 5.3.3. Speed retrievals with indexes
        4. 5.3.4. Changing parameter values to change the report
      4. 5.4. Troubleshooting Tips When Retrieving Data
    2. 6. Sorting, Grouping, and Totaling Report Data
      1. 6.1. Sorting Report Data
        1. 6.1.1. Sorting based on multiple fields
        2. 6.1.2. Sorting and performance
      2. 6.2. Adding Sort Controls to a Report
      3. 6.3. Grouping Related Items
      4. 6.4. Calculating Percentages
      5. 6.5. Drilling Down for Detail
      6. 6.6. Keeping Track of Things with Running Totals
      7. 6.7. Troubleshooting Sorting, Grouping, and Totaling Problems
        1. 6.7.1. Sorting problems and how to solve them
        2. 6.7.2. Unusual grouping options
        3. 6.7.3. Getting the right totals
    3. 7. Mastering Report Sections
      1. 7.1. Changing the Size of a Section
      2. 7.2. Formatting with the Section Formatting Menu
      3. 7.3. Using Section Expert for Easy Section Formatting
        1. 7.3.1. Common tab, Section Expert
        2. 7.3.2. Paging tab, Section Expert
        3. 7.3.3. Color tab, Section Expert
        4. 7.3.4. Using different colors for different sections
          1. 7.3.4.1. Giving reports a classic banded look
      4. 7.4. Placing Groups Where You Want Them
        1. 7.4.1. Starting each group at the top of its own page
        2. 7.4.2. Printing totals at the bottom of a page
        3. 7.4.3. Restarting page numbering at the beginning of each group
      5. 7.5. Hiding Details with Summary and Drill-Down Reports
      6. 7.6. Generating Barcodes
      7. 7.7. Creating Mailing Labels
      8. 7.8. Saving Money on Postage with a ZIP Sort
    4. 8. Enhancing Your Report's Appearance
      1. 8.1. Absolute Formatting
        1. 8.1.1. Setting the fonts and their formatting for emphasis
        2. 8.1.2. Adding graphical elements for emphasis
      2. 8.2. Conditional Formatting Using the Format Editor
      3. 8.3. Creating Emphasis with Highlighting Expert
      4. 8.4. Adding Pictures to Your Report
      5. 8.5. Aligning Preprinted Forms
      6. 8.6. Adding Text from a File
      7. 8.7. Formatting Options
      8. 8.8. Special Fields Contain Report Metadata
      9. 8.9. Raising a Red Flag with Report Alerts
      10. 8.10. Using Report Templates to Save Time and Effort
        1. 8.10.1. Applying a template to a report
        2. 8.10.2. Applying a template to an existing report
        3. 8.10.3. Applying a template to a report you're creating
  7. III. Advanced Report Types and Features
    1. 9. Displaying Your Top Ten (Or Top N) with Group Sort
      1. 9.1. Sorting Groups Based on Performance
        1. 9.1.1. Starting a Top N Report
        2. 9.1.2. Displaying a group total
        3. 9.1.3. Hiding the details
        4. 9.1.4. Removing page breaks
      2. 9.2. Going with the Percentages
        1. 9.2.1. What if you want the top 17 instead of the top 5?
      3. 9.3. A Choice of Group Sorts
      4. 9.4. Troubleshooting Group Sort Problems
    2. 10. Adding Formulas to Reports
      1. 10.1. Formula Overview and Syntax
      2. 10.2. Lessening the Workload with Functions
      3. 10.3. Creating a Custom Function in Formula Workshop
        1. 10.3.1. Formula Editor
        2. 10.3.2. Formula Expert
        3. 10.3.3. SQL Expression Editor
        4. 10.3.4. Selection formulas
          1. 10.3.4.1. Group selection
          2. 10.3.4.2. Record selection
        5. 10.3.5. Formatting formulas
      4. 10.4. Changing and Deleting Formulas
      5. 10.5. Data Types
        1. 10.5.1. Simple data types
          1. 10.5.1.1. Number
          2. 10.5.1.2. Currency
          3. 10.5.1.3. String
          4. 10.5.1.4. Date, time, and datetime
          5. 10.5.1.5. Boolean
        2. 10.5.2. Range data types
        3. 10.5.3. Array data types
      6. 10.6. Variables in Formulas
        1. 10.6.1. Declaring a variable
        2. 10.6.2. Assigning a value to a variable
      7. 10.7. Control Structures
        1. 10.7.1. If-Then-Else
        2. 10.7.2. Select Case
        3. 10.7.3. For loop
        4. 10.7.4. Do While loop
    3. 11. Creating Reports within a Report
      1. 11.1. Combining Unrelated Reports
        1. 11.1.1. Underlay formatting for side-by-side location of subreport
        2. 11.1.2. Drilling down in a subreport
          1. 11.1.2.1. Subreport drill-down versus report drill-down
          2. 11.1.2.2. Handling tab overflow
      2. 11.2. Linking a Subreport to a Primary Report
      3. 11.3. On-Demand Subreports Boost Efficiency
      4. 11.4. Passing Data between Reports
      5. 11.5. Troubleshooting Subreport Problems
    4. 12. Combining Report Elements with OLE
      1. 12.1. Overview of OLE
      2. 12.2. Static OLE Objects
        1. 12.2.1. Inserting a static OLE object into a report
        2. 12.2.2. Making a static OLE object editable
      3. 12.3. Embedded OLE Objects
        1. 12.3.1. Embedding an OLE object into a report
      4. 12.4. Linked OLE Objects
      5. 12.5. Embedding or Linking an Object Taken from a File
      6. 12.6. Integrating Shockwave Flash Objects into Your Reports
    5. 13. Creating and Updating OLAP Reports
      1. 13.1. What's OLAP, and Why Might You Need It?
        1. 13.1.1. Who uses OLAP?
        2. 13.1.2. Creating multidimensional views
        3. 13.1.3. Connecting to an OLAP data source
      2. 13.2. OLAP Reporting with Crystal Reports
        1. 13.2.1. Operating on OLAP grid objects
        2. 13.2.2. Creating a three-dimensional report
          1. 13.2.2.1. Specifying a data source
          2. 13.2.2.2. Defining a grid structure
          3. 13.2.2.3. Setting sliced dimensions and adding pages
          4. 13.2.2.4. Applying a predefined style
          5. 13.2.2.5. Generating a chart
          6. 13.2.2.6. Finishing your report
          7. 13.2.2.7. Adjusting column widths
          8. 13.2.2.8. Digging deep for details
      3. 13.3. Updating an OLAP Report
      4. 13.4. Formatting Data in an OLAP Report
        1. 13.4.1. Changing a dimension's background color
        2. 13.4.2. Creating an alias for a dimension
        3. 13.4.3. Formatting grid lines
        4. 13.4.4. Labeling dimensions
      5. 13.5. Changing Data Appearance in an OLAP Report
        1. 13.5.1. Showing and hiding dimensions
        2. 13.5.2. Adding totals to an OLAP grid
        3. 13.5.3. Pivoting an OLAP grid
        4. 13.5.4. Reordering fields
        5. 13.5.5. Sorting data
        6. 13.5.6. Filtering data
        7. 13.5.7. Making calculations
    6. 14. Using Cross-Tab Reports to Mine Your Data
      1. 14.1. Creating a Cross-Tab Object to Summarize All Report Data
      2. 14.2. Summarizing the Contents of a Group with a Cross-Tab
        1. 14.2.1. Making Calculations within a Cross-Tab Row or Column
      3. 14.3. Enhancing the Appearance and Readability of a Cross-Tab Object
        1. 14.3.1. Changing the width and height of cross-tab cells
        2. 14.3.2. Formatting entire rows and columns
        3. 14.3.3. Formatting individual fields
        4. 14.3.4. Suppressing selected cross-tab data
        5. 14.3.5. Printing cross-tabs that span multiple pages
    7. 15. Enhancing Reports with Charts
      1. 15.1. Using Chart Expert
        1. 15.1.1. Type tab
        2. 15.1.2. Data tab
        3. 15.1.3. Axes tab
        4. 15.1.4. Options tab
        5. 15.1.5. Color Highlight tab
        6. 15.1.6. Text tab
      2. 15.2. Creating a Chart
        1. 15.2.1. Drilling down from a chart
        2. 15.2.2. Changing a chart
      3. 15.3. Choosing the Best Chart Type for Your Data
        1. 15.3.1. Side-by-side bar chart
        2. 15.3.2. Percent bar chart
        3. 15.3.3. Line chart
        4. 15.3.4. Area chart
        5. 15.3.5. Pie chart
        6. 15.3.6. Doughnut chart
        7. 15.3.7. 3-D riser chart
        8. 15.3.8. 3-D surface chart
        9. 15.3.9. XY scatter chart
        10. 15.3.10. Radar chart
        11. 15.3.11. Bubble chart
        12. 15.3.12. Stock chart
        13. 15.3.13. Numeric axis chart
        14. 15.3.14. Gauge chart
        15. 15.3.15. Gantt chart
        16. 15.3.16. Funnel chart
        17. 15.3.17. Histogram
      4. 15.4. Different Chart Layouts for Different Data Types
      5. 15.5. Seeing How Chart Placement Affects the Data It Represents
      6. 15.6. Troubleshooting Chart Problems
        1. 15.6.1. Selecting data to make a chart readable and meaningful
        2. 15.6.2. The placement of chart elements matters
    8. 16. Adding Geographic Detail with Maps
      1. 16.1. Choosing the Right Crystal Reports Map
        1. 16.1.1. Map layouts
        2. 16.1.2. Map types
          1. 16.1.2.1. Dot density type
          2. 16.1.2.2. Graduated type
          3. 16.1.2.3. Pie chart type
          4. 16.1.2.4. Bar chart type
        3. 16.1.3. Map placement
      2. 16.2. Creating a Map Step by Step
        1. 16.2.1. Creating an advanced layout map
        2. 16.2.2. Creating a Group layout map
        3. 16.2.3. Creating a Cross-Tab layout map
        4. 16.2.4. Creating an OLAP layout map
        5. 16.2.5. Including maps in subreports
        6. 16.2.6. Changing maps
      3. 16.3. Troubleshooting Map Problems
    9. 17. Interactivity Features
      1. 17.1. Crystal Xcelsius Overview
      2. 17.2. Adding Xcelsius Capability to a Report
        1. 17.2.1. Creating an SWF file with Crystal Xcelsius
        2. 17.2.2. Embedding your Crystal Xcelsius model in a Crystal report
      3. 17.3. Enhancing a Report with the Tasteful Use of Flash
        1. 17.3.1. Viewing Flash visualizations
        2. 17.3.2. Dynamic interaction with a report using a Parameter panel
  8. IV. Crystal Reports in the Enterprise
    1. 18. Crystal Reports Server
      1. 18.1. Connecting to Data Sources
        1. 18.1.1. Connecting directly or indirectly
        2. 18.1.2. Using Business Views to simplify connectivity
      2. 18.2. Formatting Reports with Crystal Reports Developer
      3. 18.3. Providing Platform Services
        1. 18.3.1. Publishing and distributing reports
        2. 18.3.2. Providing security
        3. 18.3.3. Managing the system
      4. 18.4. Useful Management Tools
      5. 18.5. Application Services
      6. 18.6. Web Services
      7. 18.7. Viewing and Interacting with Reports
    2. 19. BusinessObjects Enterprise Repository
      1. 19.1. Adding Folders to Your Repository
      2. 19.2. Storing Your Valuables in BusinessObjects Enterprise Repository
        1. 19.2.1. Adding text and bitmapped objects to the Repository
        2. 19.2.2. Adding custom functions to the Repository
        3. 19.2.3. Adding SQL commands to the Repository
      3. 19.3. Using Repository Objects in a Report
        1. 19.3.1. Adding text objects and images
        2. 19.3.2. Adding custom functions
        3. 19.3.3. Adding SQL commands
      4. 19.4. Modifying a Repository Object
      5. 19.5. Deciding Whether to Update Reports Automatically
      6. 19.6. Deleting Objects from the Repository
    3. 20. Navigating with Report Parts
      1. 20.1. Understanding Report Parts Navigation
      2. 20.2. Using Report Parts to Navigate a Report
        1. 20.2.1. Using the Report Parts Drill-down method
          1. 20.2.1.1. Defining Initial Report Part settings
          2. 20.2.1.2. Creating a Report Part Drill-down hyperlink
          3. 20.2.1.3. Publishing a Report Parts Drill-down report
        2. 20.2.2. Using the Another Report Object method
  9. V. Publishing Your Reports
    1. 21. Sending Your Reports Out into the World
      1. 21.1. Printing Your Report
      2. 21.2. Faxing a Report
      3. 21.3. Exporting a Report
        1. 21.3.1. Export format types
          1. 21.3.1.1. Adobe Acrobat (PDF)
          2. 21.3.1.2. Crystal Reports (RPT)
          3. 21.3.1.3. HTML 3.2 and HTML 4.0
          4. 21.3.1.4. Microsoft Excel (97-2003)
          5. 21.3.1.5. Microsoft Excel (97-2003) Data-only
          6. 21.3.1.6. Microsoft Word (97-2003)
          7. 21.3.1.7. Microsoft Word (97-2003) Editable
          8. 21.3.1.8. ODBC
          9. 21.3.1.9. Record Style – Columns with Spaces
          10. 21.3.1.10. Record Style – Columns without Spaces
          11. 21.3.1.11. Rich Text Format (RTF)
          12. 21.3.1.12. Separated Values (CSV)
          13. 21.3.1.13. Tab Separated Text (TTX)
          14. 21.3.1.14. Text
          15. 21.3.1.15. XML
        2. 21.3.2. Export destinations
          1. 21.3.2.1. Exporting to an application
          2. 21.3.2.2. Exporting to a disk file
          3. 21.3.2.3. Exporting to a Microsoft Exchange folder
          4. 21.3.2.4. Exporting to Lotus Domino
          5. 21.3.2.5. Exporting to Lotus Domino Mail
          6. 21.3.2.6. Exporting to MAPI (Microsoft Mail)
          7. 21.3.2.7. Exporting to HTML
          8. 21.3.2.8. Exporting to an ODBC data source
          9. 21.3.2.9. Exporting to an XML file
      4. 21.4. Troubleshooting Output Problems
    2. 22. Displaying Reports Online
      1. 22.1. Exporting to a Static HTML Page
      2. 22.2. Adding a Hyperlink to a Report
      3. 22.3. Distributing Reports via crystalreports.com
      4. 22.4. Integrating with salesforce.com
      5. 22.5. Publishing to crystalreports.com with Crystal Reports Desktop Publisher
      6. 22.6. Interactive Report Viewing with Crystal Reports Viewer
        1. 22.6.1. Opening a report in Crystal Reports Viewer
        2. 22.6.2. Navigating a report
          1. 22.6.2.1. Paging through a report
          2. 22.6.2.2. Moving directly to a specific section
          3. 22.6.2.3. Moving to a hidden section
          4. 22.6.2.4. Isolating report extracts
          5. 22.6.2.5. Resizing the report to fit the Viewer
        3. 22.6.3. Printing a report
        4. 22.6.4. E-mailing reports to your friends and co-workers
        5. 22.6.5. Sharing reports in a variety of formats
        6. 22.6.6. Searching a haystack for that elusive needle
        7. 22.6.7. Accessing reports on crystalreports.com
    3. 23. SQL Expression Fields
      1. 23.1. Creating an SQL Statement
      2. 23.2. Modifying an SQL Statement
  10. VI. The Part of Tens
    1. 24. Ten Things to Do Before You Create a Report
      1. 24.1. Identify the Users
      2. 24.2. Interview the Users
      3. 24.3. Get Agreement on the Report's Appearance
      4. 24.4. Arbitrate Conflicting Demands
      5. 24.5. Nail Down the Project Scope
      6. 24.6. Nail Down the Project Schedule
      7. 24.7. Verify That the Necessary Data Is in the Database
      8. 24.8. Determine How the Report Will Be Viewed
      9. 24.9. Determine the Best Report Type for the Users' Needs
      10. 24.10. Decide Whether to Include Charts or Maps
    2. 25. Ten Ways to Give Your Reports More Pizzazz
      1. 25.1. Use the Correct Fonts
      2. 25.2. Use Color Tastefully
      3. 25.3. Enclose Text in Boxes
      4. 25.4. Emphasize Boxes with Drop Shadows
      5. 25.5. Produce a Consistent Appearance with Templates
      6. 25.6. Add an Image
      7. 25.7. Add a Chart
      8. 25.8. Add a Map
      9. 25.9. Combine Two Objects with an Underlay
      10. 25.10. Separate the Summary from the Details with Drill Down