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 From: Paul Gibson
  Where is Paul Gibson?
 United Kingdom
 Paul Gibson
  Where is DEREK DODOO?
 United Kingdom
Subject: RE: Crystal Report Writer - Introduction
Thread ID: 395753 Message ID: 395852 # Views: 55 # Ratings: 2
Version: Not Applicable Category: Databases, Tables and SQL Server
Date: Monday, January 20, 2014 2:19:08 PM         

> Dear Experts;
> New to Crystal Report Writer.
> Please provide an Introduction Reference Site which in addition explains
> * report grouping
> * graphing
> * export to excel, word etc

Unlike some of the others I could see reasons for using CR instead of VFP, even with FP.... but only if you need to make some quite complex report layouts, even then maybe Report Sculptor is worth considering.

A bit of history that explains why I said that: I never liked the report designer in VFP6 so when I joined a company that used CR for it's reporting I was very relieved. The difference between the reporting in VFP6 and CR was unbelievable, CR was just streets ahead in almost every department and it's no surprise really. The report designer in VFP has always felt bolted-on and fudged, things are a bit better in VFP9 but given that CR is a application specifically for reporting it is no surprise that the one thing they focus on is done very well indeed. Things that took complex formula writing and smoke and mirrors in VFP could be achieved simply by ticking a box in CR. All the sections of a CR report had multiple locations for specifying yes/no/formula, it was like designing a form, not a report and VFP was very poor in comparison. The comparison was made using VFP6/7 and CR7/8.5. By the time VFP9 had been released and we'd migrated to it VFP had made great strides forwards in the report designer but it was still far easier to design reports in CR than in VFP, there was no motivation for switching to VFP as CR did everything we need. I am now with a company that uses VFP for it's reporting and I long for CR. Having had a number of years to appreciate how much better VFP9 is at reports than VFP6 there is still not the flexibility that CR8.5 had (and bear in mind that CR8.5 was already very old by the time I stopped using it). I still find things that I cannot do without complex code and sometimes things that I cannot do at all in VFP9 whereas I could just tick a box in CR. I have also posted a few questions to Foxite about odd things happening on reports and I would say for my last 2 or 3 questions on reports I've not had solutions to the weird behaviour in VFP.

Don't let people put you off using CR if you want to, if you can tolerate the price and the fact that your deployment will be a little more complicated you may well see plenty of benefits of using something that has been specifically written to be a very good report writer.

Now sadly I haven't used CR for a few years, I think the architecture changed quite a bit after v8.5 so I don't know how much help I could give you because it probably depends greatly on what version you are using.

This is very much the same as grouping within VFP although often with significantly greater options on the sections. When you output your data to CR you may have it grouped (e.g.

Client    | Name       | Date        | Amount
ABC         Paul         29/02/2004    £50
ABC         Paul         01/03/2004    £60
ABC         Paul         01/03/2004    £20
DEF         Derek        28/02/2004    £70
DEF         Derek        28/02/2004    £50
DEF         Derek        29/02/2004    £90

When you put that data on the report you might make a group out of the field "Client" and within the group header put the field called "Name", then in the details section put the fields "Date", "Amount" that way you can come up with good ways of displaying the data, not having redundant repeated details etc. You could put a sub-total field in the group footer based on "Amount" to show the total for each client and then a totals field in the report footer based on "Amount" to have a total for the whole report.

Sorry my memory isn't good enough to remember anything about CR graphing. You could always get FoxCharts to make your graphs and output the graph to a picture file but I think CR does have some graphing capabilities within it - I think it worked a little like specifying a graph in Excel.

Certainly in CR7 and 8.5 this was handled automatically (as long as you distributed the correct DLLs). The standard interface that the reports displayed in had an Export button that would give the user an interface to select how they wanted the report to output and as long as the required DLL was available you could export to numerous different formats. We certainly didn't have to do any coding for the export. It is worth mentioning that along with other ways of running reports and exporting the data it is very much dependent on how you lay the data out on the report, some exports just don't work well because the report doesn't lend itself to being a Word Document or an Excel file but that'll vary from report to report.

I hope that helps. If you have any questions please advise what version of CR you are trying to use.


Crystal Report Writer - Introduction Posted by DEREK DODOO @ 1/18/2014 12:25:49 PM
RE: Crystal Report Writer - Introduction Posted by Vivek Deodhar @ 1/18/2014 2:50:50 PM
RE: Crystal Report Writer - Introduction Posted by Koen Piller @ 1/18/2014 3:25:25 PM
RE: Crystal Report Writer - Introduction Posted by Pete Sass @ 1/18/2014 4:12:21 PM
RE: Crystal Report Writer - Introduction Posted by Paul Gibson @ 1/20/2014 2:19:08 PM