8. Introduction to Crystal Reports

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8. Introduction to Crystal Reports

There are two ways of reporting from ShipWeight: by using the standard reports and Crystal Reports.

The standard reports includes a Weight Item report, a Code report, a Weight Distribution report and a Weight tracking report to mention some. They are easily accessible from ShipWeight.

The standard reports are built into – or “hardcoded” into ShipWeight. This means that they are included in the ShipWeight-executable file. Therefore, a ShipWeight user cannot do any changes to these reports. The layout and the information to be included are locked.

Naturally, many ShipWeight users need custom made reports. To meet this need, ShipWeight includes a powerful reporting engine based on Crystal Reports.

Crystal Reports by Business Objects is the industry leading report-software created.

ShipWeight includes a Crystal Reports viewer.

Basically, the ShipWeight Reports window does three things:

1.        reads a predefined report formatting file

2.        extracts data from the current database

3.        displays the report on screen

Once your report is displayed on screen, you can send the report to a printer or export the report to various file formats. This includes formats such as Microsoft Word DOC and RTF and Adobe PDF.

ShipWeight only comes with the viewer part of Crystal Reports. To be able to create your own reports, you must purchase the full version of Crystal Reports.

The full version of Crystal Reports is a powerful, yet easy-to-use, tool for designing reports. Using Crystal Reports, you set up a report template specifying:

1.        what data the report should contain

2.        the order the data should appear

3.        the format of the report

You can easily insert graphics, such as your company logo, into the report. Also a variety of charts are available for use in your report.

When you created a report template, you save it as a .RPT file. Make sure to set up Crystal Reports so that data are not saved with the report. This means that the .RPT file will not contain any data – only the formatting of the report.

Now you can easily share your .RPT file with any ShipWeight user in your organization. Any user authorized to access the ShipWeight Report Viewer can run, view and print the report.


buttonThe Main Window of Crystal Reports

buttonDeveloping Own Crystal Reports

buttonUpgrading Existing Reports to include ProjectID