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Making Crystal Reports, ASP and Coldfusion Play Nice. Presented by. Debbie Stoeffler. distoer1@bellsouth.net. Demonstrate how to use CFMX, ASP, MSSQL and Crystal Reports to display a crystal report in the viewer based on dynamic data. Overview. What is a Crystal Report

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Making Crystal Reports, ASP and Coldfusion Play Nice

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Making Crystal Reports, ASP and Coldfusion Play Nice

Presented by

Debbie Stoeffler

distoer1@bellsouth.net


Demonstrate how to use CFMX, ASP, MSSQL and Crystal Reports to display a crystal report in the viewer based on dynamic data.

Overview


What is a Crystal Report

Brief History of Crystal Reports

What can you do with Crystal Reports

Licensing for Web Development with ASP

Why should you use a Crystal Report

Why I used Crystal Reports

Recipe (hardware/software configuration)

Basic flow of the code

Code demos

Tips for Crystal Reports

Reporting in the future

Resources

Agenda


An indescribable evil foisted on programmers under the guise of "easy reporting".

http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?CrystalReports

What is Crystal Reports?


A report design tool that allows you to create reports capable of retrieving and formatting a result set from a database or other data source.

Contains its own formula language for creating calculations

Contains features for turning raw data into presentation quality reports, with graphs, charts, running totals, and so on.

Professional Crystal Reports for Visual Studio .NET, 2nd Edition, by David McAmis

What is Crystal Reports?


1992 Crystal Reports arrived as the world's first Microsoft Windows report writer

1993 Microsoft bundled Crystal Reports in Microsoft Visual Basic

1996 Crystal Enterprise was launched as the industry's first web-based enterprise reporting platform

2002 Microsoft bundled Crystal Reports with Visual Studio .NET

2003 Business Objects acquired Crystal Decisions (f.k.a. Seagate Software) in December 2003

http://www.businessobjects.com/company/innovation.asp

Brief History of Crystal Reports


Demo D&BAM reports

What can you do with Crystal Reports


Depends on the version you are using

Version 8.0 Developer had the WCS (web component server) included in the developer edition

The WCS in version 8 did not technically enforce the 5 concurrent user license restrictions.

In Version 8.5 the WCS is replaced by Crystal Enterprise (CE) Standard edition.

CE in Version 8.5 DOES monitor the five free concurrent user licenses.

As of Feb 2003, this version no longer offers the five free user licenses

Version 9.0 – Professional, Developer, and Advanced editions come with CE RAS (Crystal Enterprise Report Application Server) which contains five concurrent user development and test licenses.

Version 10.0 – Professional comes with Crystal Enterprise Express which contains the five concurrent user development and test licenses.

Version 10.0 – Developer comes with CE Professional which contains the five concurrent user development and test licenses.

Version 10.0 – Advanced comes with CE Professional and the five concurrent user licenses.

Licensing for Web Development with ASP


Utilize features like formula fields, running totals, graphs, and so on to make your report as complex as you require.

Not limited to reports, but can make labels, utilize bar codes, pictures, graphics, etc.

Reports are portable between code bases (i.e., take reports for Coldfusion and use in .NET without modification to the actual report.

Why should you use a Crystal Report


User requirements lent themselves to this format:

Search report

Drill down

Export reports to excel, word, pdf

Reports need to look a specific way for submission to Commissioner

Reliable printing

Tons of parameters users wanted ability to change.

I was familiar with Crystal Reports from using Visual Basic. It was faster for me than building an HTML solution

I wanted more control over the report

Company already had the Crystal Reports software

I wanted to learn more about Crystal Reports

I used the ASP method of rendering the report because the URL method was restrictive.

CFID and CFTOKEN kept dropping off if I passed to many parameters.

Why I used Crystal Reports


I use the following in production:

Windows 2000 Adv server

IIS

Crystal Reports Developer 8.5

If using CR 10 Developer, need to install CE Prof

Coldfusion MX 6.1 (started with CF 5.0)

SQL Server 2000 sp3

I have approx 200 users on this app.

Dell PE 8450 (6 processors 4GB RAM)

Recipe (hardware/software configuration)


User is presented with report options

User chooses then submits report options

Option choices are sent thru CF to ASP

ASP sends the user parameters to the Crystal Report by calling the Crystal Report ActiveX viewer

CRViewer activates and displays the report.

Basic flow of the code (code demos)


You will need these files to render the Crystal Reports:

AlwaysRequiredSteps.asp

Creates the application object

Creates the report object

Opens the report

MoreRequiredSteps.asp

Retrieve the records

Create the page engine

SmartViewActiveX.asp

Displays the report using the “smart” viewer

I’ve edited these files (which you can get from www.businessobjects.com) to make them work with Coldfusion code and to demo subreport parameters.

These edited files will be available from www.acfug.org

ASP Files needed


Stored procedures for reports

Simple Crystal Report

Report with SubReport

Code Demo


Make sure to fill out the report summary “Title” attribute or the report won’t export correctly to excel.

Do not “save data with report”

Use a stored procedure to provide data to the report. Ensure all data needed is provided by SP.

Tips for Crystal Reports


Blackstone feature sneak peaks

http://www.macromedia.com/software/coldfusion/blackstone/features/reporting/

Integration of a report builder to make a CFR (coldfusion report) similar to that in .NET using crystal reports. Uses<cfreport>.

http://www.macromedia.com/devnet/mx/coldfusion/articles/blackstone.html

Uses a new tag called <cfdocument> to create PDF or flashpaper reports.

Reporting in the Future


http://www.businessobjects.com/products/dev_zone

Crystal Reports 10: The Complete Reference , Peck, George, McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2004

Resources


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