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Making Crystal Reports, ASP and Coldfusion Play Nice

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Demonstrate how to use CFMX, ASP, MSSQL and Crystal Reports to display a crystal ... Basic flow of the code (code demos) User is presented with report options ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Making Crystal Reports, ASP and Coldfusion Play Nice


1
Making Crystal Reports, ASP and Coldfusion Play
Nice
Presented by
Debbie Stoeffler
distoer1_at_bellsouth.net
2
Overview
  • Demonstrate how to use CFMX, ASP, MSSQL and
    Crystal Reports to display a crystal report in
    the viewer based on dynamic data.

3
Agenda
  • 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

4
What is Crystal Reports?
  • An indescribable evil foisted on programmers
    under the guise of "easy reporting".
  • http//c2.com/cgi/wiki?CrystalReports

5
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

6
Brief History of 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

7
What can you do with Crystal Reports
  • Demo DBAM reports

8
Licensing for Web Development with ASP
  • 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.

9
Why should you use a Crystal Report
  • 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.

10
Why I used Crystal Reports
  • 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.

11
Recipe (hardware/software configuration)
  • 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)

12
Basic flow of the code (code demos)
  • 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.

13
ASP Files needed
  • 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
  • Ive 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

14
Code Demo
  • Stored procedures for reports
  • Simple Crystal Report
  • Report with SubReport

15
Tips for Crystal Reports
  • Make sure to fill out the report summary Title
    attribute or the report wont 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.

16
Reporting in the Future
  • Blackstone feature sneak peaks
  • http//www.macromedia.com/software/coldfusion/blac
    kstone/features/reporting/
  • Integration of a report builder to make a CFR
    (coldfusion report) similar to that in .NET using
    crystal reports. Usesltcfreportgt.
  • http//www.macromedia.com/devnet/mx/coldfusion/art
    icles/blackstone.html
  • Uses a new tag called ltcfdocumentgt to create PDF
    or flashpaper reports.

17
Resources
  • http//www.businessobjects.com/products/dev_zone
  • Crystal Reports 10 The Complete Reference ,
    Peck, George, McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2004
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