Saturday, August 28, 2010

Crystal Reports Material

Advantages of Crystal Reports
Some of the major advantages of using Crystal Reports are:

1. Rapid report development since the designer interface would ease the coding work for the programmer.

2. Can extend it to complicated reports with interactive charts and enhance the understanding of the business model

3. Exposes a report object model, can interact with other controls on the ASP.NET Web form

4. Can programmatically export the reports into widely used formats like .pdf, .doc, .xls, .html and .rtf

Implementation Models
Crystal Reports need database drivers to connect to the data source for accessing data. Crystal Reports in .net support two methods to access data from a data source:

The Pull Method
When this model is used to access data from the data source, the database driver directly retrieves the data from the data source. This model does not require the developer to write code for creating a connection and retrieving data from the data source. It is the Crystal report that manages the SQL commands for connecting by using the specified driver.

The Push Method
When this model is used to access data from data source, the developer writes the code to connect to the data source and retrieve data. The data from the data source is cached in dataset and multiple crystal reports accesses data from the dataset. The performance can be optimized in this manner by using connection sharing and manually limiting the number of records that are passed on to the report.

Crystal Reports Types
Crystal Report Designer can load reports that are included into the project as well as those that are independent of the project.

Strongly-typed Report
When you add a report file into the project, it becomes a "strongly-typed" report. In this case, you will have the advantage of directly creating an instance of the report object, which could reduce a few lines of code, and cache it to improve performance. The related .vb file, which is hidden, can be viewed using the editor's "show all files" icon in the Solution Explorer.

Un-Typed Report
Those reports that are not included into the project are "un-typed" reports. In this case, you will have to create an instance of the Crystal Report Engine's "ReportDocument" object and manually load the report into it.

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