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.
Introduction 1 About This Book 1 Conventions Used in This Book 1 What You’re Not to Read 2 Foolish Assumptions 2 How This Book Is Organized 3 Part I: Reporting Basics 3 Part II: Moving Up to Professional-Quality Reports 3 Part III: Advanced Report Types and Features 3 Part IV: Crystal Reports in the Enterprise 3 Part V: Publishing Your Reports 4 Part VI: The Part of Tens 4 Icons Used in This Book 4 Where to Go from Here 5 Part I: Reporting Basics 7 Chapter 1: Transforming Raw Data into Meaningful Information 9 Major Features of Crystal Reports 2008 9 Formatting a report 10 Generating barcodes 11 Enhancing a report with formulas and custom functions 11 Getting visual with charts and maps 11 Xcelsius integration 12 Adobe Flash integration 12 Displaying a report 12 Distributing a report 12 Supplying Crystal Reports with data 13 The Lone Edition of Crystal Reports 2008 13 Viewing a Report 13 Reading a printed report 13 Viewing a report with Crystal Reports 14 Viewing a report on a LAN or on the Web 16 Chapter 2: Create a Simple Report Right Now! 17 First Things First: Finding the Sample Database 18 Starting Crystal Reports 2008 18 Creating a Report with the Blank Report Option 20 Allocating more space to the layout 24 Introducing your report 25 Choosing the fields that appear in your report 27 Improving the readability of page headers 29 Previewing the report 30 Page footers carry useful information 32 Wrapping things up with a report footer 34 Recording helpful information about your report 34 Printing a Report 36 Where to Go from Here 36 Chapter 3: Report Design Guidelines 37 Defining an Effective Report Design 37 Defining Your Audience 37 Defining the Report’s Purpose 38 Choosing Content for Your Report 39 Choosing the Report Appearance 39 Making a good first impression 40 Deciding how best to present the information 40 Choosing graphic elements for your report 41 Style communicates meaning, too 41 Making sure your report conveys your message 42 Chapter 4: Starting Your Report 43 Using the Report Creation Wizard 43 Creating a report with the Standard Report Creation Wizard 44 Using other report-creation wizards 49 Starting with a Blank Report 49 Connecting Your Report to Its Data Source 50 Accessing database files directly 51 Connecting to ODBC data sources 51 Retrieving data with SQL 52 Reporting on data in OLE DB data sources 53 Which interface should you use? 53 Part II: Moving Up to Professional-Quality Reports 55 Chapter 5: Pulling Specific Data from a Database 57 Get Data Quickly with Select Expert 57 Using Formulas to Retrieve Data 64 Using Parameter Fields to Retrieve Data at Runtime 66 Step 1: Creating a report that shows everything 67 Step 2: Giving the user the power to decide what to show 70 Speed retrievals with indexes 72 Changing parameter values to change the report 72 Troubleshooting Tips When Retrieving Data 73 Chapter 6: Sorting, Grouping, and Totaling Report Data 75 Sorting Report Data 75 Sorting based on multiple fields 77 Sorting and performance 81 Adding Sort Controls to a Report 82 Grouping Related Items 85 Calculating Percentages 89 Drilling Down for Detail 90 Keeping Track of Things with Running Totals 94 Troubleshooting Sorting, Grouping, and Totaling Problems 97 Sorting problems and how to solve them 98 Unusual grouping options 98 Getting the right totals 99 Chapter 7: Mastering Report Sections 101 Changing the Size of a Section 101 Formatting with the Section Formatting Menu 103 Using Section Expert for Easy Section Formatting 104 Common tab, Section Expert 105 Paging tab, Section Expert 106 Color tab, Section Expert 107 Placing Groups Where You Want Them 110 Starting each group at the top of its own page 110 Printing totals at the bottom of a page 112 Restarting page numbering at the beginning of each group 113 Hiding Details with Summary and Drill-Down Reports 113 Generating Barcodes 114 Creating Mailing Labels 117 Saving Money on Postage with a ZIP Sort 120 Chapter 8: Enhancing Your Report’s Appearance 123 Absolute Formatting 124 Setting the fonts and their formatting for emphasis 124 Adding graphical elements for emphasis 128 Conditional Formatting Using the Format Editor 130 Creating Emphasis with Highlighting Expert 132 Adding Pictures to Your Report 134 Aligning Preprinted Forms 136 Adding Text from a File 136 Formatting Options 137 Special Fields Contain Report Metadata 139 Raising a Red Flag with Report Alerts 139 Using Report Templates to Save Time and Effort 142 Applying a template to a report 143 Applying a template to an existing report 143 Applying a template to a report you’re creating 145 Part III: Advanced Report Types and Features 147 Chapter 9: Displaying Your Top Ten (Or Top N) with Group Sort 149 Sorting Groups Based on Performance 149 Starting a Top N Report 150 Displaying a group total 154 Hiding the details 155 Removing page breaks 157 Going with the Percentages 160 What if you want the top 17 instead of the top 5? 161 A Choice of Group Sorts 164 Troubleshooting Group Sort Problems 165 Chapter 10: Adding Formulas to Reports 167 Formula Overview and Syntax 167 Lessening the Workload with Functions 168 Creating a Custom Function in Formula Workshop 169 Formula Editor 173 Formula Expert 175 SQL Expression Editor 177 Selection formulas 177 Formatting formulas 181 Changing and Deleting Formulas 182 Data Types 182 Simple data types 182 Range data types 184 Array data types 184 Variables in Formulas 185 Declaring a variable 185 Assigning a value to a variable 186 Control Structures 186 If-Then-Else 186 Select Case 187 For loop 187 While Do loop 188 Do While loop 189 Chapter 11: Creating Reports within a Report 191 Combining Unrelated Reports 191 Underlay formatting for side-by-side location of subreport 195 Drilling down in a subreport 196 Linking a Subreport to a Primary Report 197 On-Demand Subreports Boost Efficiency 203 Passing Data between Reports 204 Troubleshooting Subreport Problems 205 Chapter 12: Combining Report Elements with OLE 207 Overview of OLE 207 Static OLE Objects 208 Inserting a static OLE object into a report 208 Making a static OLE object editable 210 Embedded OLE Objects 212 Embedding an OLE object into a report 212 Linked OLE Objects 214 Embedding or Linking an Object Taken from a File 217 Integrating Shockwave Flash Objects into Your Reports 217 Chapter 13: Creating and Updating OLAP Reports 219 What’s OLAP, and Why Might You Need It? 219 Who uses OLAP? 220 Creating multidimensional views 220 Connecting to an OLAP data source 221 OLAP Reporting with Crystal Reports 221 Operating on OLAP grid objects 222 Creating a three-dimensional report 222 Updating an OLAP Report 232 Formatting Data in an OLAP Report 233 Changing a dimension’s background color 234 Creating an alias for a dimension 235 Formatting grid lines 236 Labeling dimensions 237 Changing Data Appearance in an OLAP Report 238 Showing and hiding dimensions 239 Adding totals to an OLAP grid 240 Pivoting an OLAP grid 240 Reordering fields 241 Sorting data 242 Filtering data 243 Making calculations 243 Chapter 14: Using Cross-Tab Reports to Mine Your Data 245 Creating a Cross-Tab Object to Summarize All Report Data 245 Summarizing the Contents of a Group with a Cross-Tab 249 Making Calculations within a Cross-Tab Row or Column 255 Enhancing the Appearance and Readability of a Cross-Tab Object 256 Changing the width and height of cross-tab cells 256 Formatting entire rows and columns 257 Formatting individual fields 257 Suppressing selected cross-tab data 258 Printing cross-tabs that span multiple pages 258 Chapter 15: Enhancing Reports with Charts 259 Using Chart Expert 259 Type tab 260 Data tab 260 Axes tab 261 Options tab 262 Color Highlight tab 263 Text tab 263 Creating a Chart 263 Drilling down from a chart 266 Changing a chart 267 Choosing the Best Chart Type for Your Data 267 Side-by-side bar chart 267 Percent bar chart 268 Line chart 268 Area chart 269 Pie chart 270 Doughnut chart 270 3-D riser chart 271 3-D surface chart 272 XY scatter chart 272 Radar chart 273 Bubble chart 273 Stock chart 274 Numeric axis chart 275 Gauge chart 276 Gantt chart 276 Funnel chart 277 Histogram 278 Different Chart Layouts for Different Data Types 278 Seeing How Chart Placement Affects the Data It Represents 280 Troubleshooting Chart Problems 281 Selecting data to make a chart readable and meaningful 281 The placement of chart elements matters 282 Chapter 16: Adding Geographic Detail with Maps 283 Choosing the Right Crystal Reports Map 283 Map layouts 284 Map types 284 Map placement 286 Creating a Map Step by Step 286 Creating an advanced layout map 286 Creating a Group layout map 288 Creating a Cross-Tab layout map 289 Creating an OLAP layout map 290 Including maps in subreports 291 Changing maps 291 Troubleshooting Map Problems 291 Chapter 17: Interactivity Features 293 Crystal Xcelsius Overview 293 Adding Xcelsius Capability to a Report 294 Creating an SWF file with Crystal Xcelsius 295 Embedding your Crystal Xcelsius model in a Crystal report 298 Enhancing a Report with the Tasteful Use of Flash 300 Viewing Flash visualizations 300 Dynamic interaction with a report using a Parameter panel 300 Part IV: Crystal Reports in the Enterprise 303 Chapter 18: Crystal Reports Server 305 Connecting to Data Sources 306 Connecting directly or indirectly 306 Using Business Views to simplify connectivity 306 Formatting Reports with Crystal Reports Developer 307 Providing Platform Services 307 Publishing and distributing reports 307 Providing security 308 Managing the system 308 Useful Management Tools 309 Application Services 309 Web Services 309 Viewing and Interacting with Reports 310 Chapter 19: BusinessObjects Enterprise Repository 311 Adding Folders to Your Repository 312 Storing Your Valuables in BusinessObjects Enterprise Repository 312 Adding text and bitmapped objects to the Repository 313 Adding custom functions to the Repository 313 Adding SQL commands to the Repository 314 Using Repository Objects in a Report 314 Adding text objects and images 314 Adding custom functions 315 Adding SQL commands 315 Modifying a Repository Object 315 Deciding Whether to Update Reports Automatically 317 Deleting Objects from the Repository 318 Chapter 20: Navigating with Report Parts 319 Understanding Report Parts Navigation 319 Using Report Parts to Navigate a Report 320 Using the Report Parts Drill-down method 321 Using the Another Report Object method 325 Part V: Publishing Your Reports 327 Chapter 21: Sending Your Reports Out into the World 329 Printing Your Report 329 Faxing a Report 330 Exporting a Report 331 Export format types 331 Export destinations 334 Troubleshooting Output Problems 342 Chapter 22: Displaying Reports Online 343 Exporting to a Static HTML Page 344 Adding a Hyperlink to a Report 346 Distributing Reports via crystalreportscom 349 Integrating with salesforcecom 350 Publishing to crystalreportscom with Crystal Reports Desktop Publisher 351 Interactive Report Viewing with Crystal Reports Viewer 354 Opening a report in Crystal Reports Viewer 355 Navigating a report 355 Printing a report 359 E-mailing reports to your friends and co-workers 360 Sharing reports in a variety of formats 360 Searching a haystack for that elusive needle 361 Accessing reports on crystalreportscom 361 Chapter 23: SQL Expression Fields 363 Creating an SQL Statement 363 Modifying an SQL Statement 366 Part VI: The Part of Tens 369 Chapter 24: Ten Things to Do Before You Create a Report 371 Chapter 25: Ten Ways to Give Your Reports More Pizzazz 375 Index 379
Allen G. Taylor teaches database development as well as electrical engineering, and also operates a Web development company. He is a national database management speaker and consultant.
Put data on display in the most logical way Just what you need to know to produce the most useful reports Crystal Reports is the most popular report-writing package, and this handy guide makes it easy for you to start using it quickly and effectively. Find out what a report should look like, how to focus it for readability, ways to illustrate data with charts and maps, and how to publish your reports for others. Discover how to: Choose data and format your reports View reports on your LAN Write formulas to retrieve specific information Enhance your report with a chart Create and update OLAP reports
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