1: Introducing Crystal Reports

What is Crystal Reports? Who should use it? Why should you use it? When should Crystal Reports be used? How do you use it? These are some of the questions that will be answered in this book.

2: Touring Crystal Reports

Crystal Reports has many features to help you easily create powerful and full-featured reports. This chapter takes you on a tour of the Crystal Reports design environment.

3: Creating your First Report

Creating reports that include drill-down and graphing in Crystal Reports is easier than you might think. This chapter will help you understand the basics of report design with Crystal Reports.

4: Accessing Data

The entire purpose of reporting is to make sense of data. Therefore, it is important to know how to access data locked away in the database. In this chapter, you will learn how to pull data from multiple sources.

5: Intermediate Reporting

This chapter shows you how to do some very common reporting needs. These including grouping, totaling, drill-down, graphs, and cross tabs. Also, Crystal Reports 9 adds a new feature called the Repository. You will see how Crystal Reports makes easy work out of something that seems complicated.

6: Advanced Reporting

Crystal Reports offers a number of advanced features reports such as parameters, alerts, embedded files, and hierarchical reporting. You won’t use these features all the time, but they offer a lot of power and ease-of-use when you need them.

7: Subreports

Some reporting needs are very complex. In fact, they can be so complex a single report doesn’t provide all the information. You can solve this with multiple reports or you can use subreports to make the report seem like one report.

8: Using Formulas

Crystal Reports provides extensive formula capabilities to enhance the calculations, conditions, and functions you use in a report. In this chapter, you will learn how to utilize these formulas.

9: The RDC: Introduction, Printing, and Databases

Now that you have seen many of Crystal Reports features, you may want to give end users these capabilities. This chapter begins exploring the runtime features of the Report Designer Component and shows you how to provide powerful reporting tools for your end users.

10: The RDC: Manipulating Data

The last chapter teaches the basics of Crystal Reports integration, as well as printing and accessing data. This chapter shows you how to manipulate the data using different types of fields. You will also learn how to work with report alerts.

11: The RDC: Formatting the Report

Chapter 9, “The RDC: Introduction, Printing, and Databases,” and Chapter 10, “The RDC: Manipulating Data,” teaches you how to work with the data objects in the report. This chapter moves to the other part of reporting, formatting the report. This includes placement and formatting of the data fields, manipulating sections, and more.

12: Previewing the Report at Runtime

Previewing a report is probably what users do most and Crystal Reports provides excellent preview capabilities for your application.

13: The Report Designer Control

Crystal Reports has a component you can embed in your application giving complete design capabilities to your users. One caveat—to distribute this component, you need to obtain additional licensing from Crystal Decisions.

14: Exporting Reports

One of the most powerful features of Crystal Reports is its export capability. You can export reports to several different formats or even directly into a database. Exporting is supported in the designer, Viewer Control, and programmatically.

15: Integrating COM Components

By adding custom COM components to your application, you can implement additional functionality of Crystal Reports such as hooking into events and providing custom formula functions.

16: Web Reporting

With the Internet growing more prolific everyday, more and more companies are turning to the web-based reporting solutions. Whether you are generating reports on the Internet, Intranet, or Extranet, Crystal Reports offers several web reporting solutions.

17: Crystal Reports .NET

Microsoft’s Visual Studio .NET is a great step forward in application development. For its reporting tool, Microsoft included a special version of Crystal Reports. This version was entirely rewritten in C# Managed Code providing you with a robust reporting tool for your .NET applications. This chapter explores the .NET version of Crystal Reports.

18: Licensing and Distribution

Few things confuse developers more than distribution and licensing issues associated with Crystal Reports. However, if you look at Crystal Reports licensing in isolation as a new user, it becomes simpler. This chapter helps you understand the files you need to ship and what additional licensing you may require.

19: Crystal Reports Tools

Good developers not only learn their tools well, but also know the utilities, additional documentation, Help files, and so on available to assist them when problems arise. In this chapter you will learn about many of the tools available and where to find them.