Webinar - Creating Effective Reports with Crystal Reports 2011 - 2012-05-10

Uploaded by TechSoupVideo on 14.05.2012

Hello everybody. Welcome to Creating Effective Reports with Crystal Reports 2011.
Hopefully you guys can all hear us. You should be able to hear us
through your computer's speakers using broadcast audio.
Just a little bit about using ReadyTalk for today's event, remember that you will be muted
throughout this presentation. So if you have any questions you can go ahead and type those
into the chat pane, and we will either get back to you via the chat pane.
Or if they are content related questions I will be feeding those to the presenters
throughout the webinar.
There is also like I said, you should be able to hear it through your computer's speakers.
If you do need to dial in if that is your only option, just let us know
and we can send you that number.
And just as a reminder that this webinar is being recorded and we will be sending out the recording
of this webinar as well as any additional links or resources following the webinar.
We will also be putting those on the TechSoup homepage and on our TechSoup YouTube site.
And if you wanted to go ahead and talk about this webinar or any of our webinars,
or any of our TechSoup holdings, on Twitter you can use our Twitter hash tag; #TechSoup.
Again, this is Creating Effective Reports with Crystal Reports 2011.
My name is Kyla Hunt and I will be your facilitator today. I am the webinar program manager
here at TechSoup. Along with us today will be Kenneth Li and Jaclyn Churcher both from SAP.
And they will be talking with you about the benefits of Crystal Reports 2011
and some dos and don'ts when you are creating reports.
And then assisting with chat it says Becky Wiegand, but we had a last-minute change
and actually assisting us with chat today is going to be Shab Sigman and Meg Creelman
from TechSoup. So you might see their names pop up in the chat pane.
And also you might see some ReadyTalk folks pop up as well including [indistinct].
So if you see those names answer your questions feel free to be relieved
that that is an actual legitimate answer.
So a little bit about what we are going to be doing today,
first we are going to be talking a little bit of an overview of Crystal Reports 2011
as well as some dos and don'ts of creating good and effective reports.
We will also be taken through a demo of Crystal Reports 2011 in case you have either used
the product and want to know more about it, or you are just interested in the product now.
And throughout the presentation like I said, if you have any questions go ahead and type those
into the chat pane. We might be handling some of those questions throughout the presentation
while Jaclyn and Kenneth are talking. We will also take a couple of question breaks
during the middle and the end of the presentation. If for some reason we don't get to
all of your questions, I will be forwarding any unanswered questions to the presenters.
And we will try to get back to you after the webinar probably within a week.
At the very and we will talk a little bit about who Te
Before we get started what I wanted to do is go ahead and ask you a couple of questions
just so we kind of get a gauge of who is with us. The first question is what is your skill level
with Crystal Reports? Beginner or brand-new, so that can even be if you are just really interested
in learning about it. Intermediate is if you have just started using it
and are really in the learning phases, and advanced if you really feel like
you are an expert in Crystal Reports.
So I am going to give you all a couple more seconds to respond.
Count down, five, four, three, two, one.
And so it looks like 67% of you are beginners or brand-new. That is really good to know.
About 25% of you are intermediate. And 7% of you feel that you are really advanced
in Crystal Reports. So that is really good to know for our framing of this webinar.
And so our second question that I just wanted to go ahead and ask —
oh, it looks like it actually asked twice. Kenneth, do you actually
have that other poll question for us?
I'll go ahead and look to see if I have it in my e-mail and I can just read it out loud for you all.
Kenneth: Sorry, we are kind of digging around for that question too.
Kyla: I found it. So I am going to just ask this verbally and you can go ahead
and type these answers into your chat pane. What are your reporting needs?
And for some examples, some options that we have here are extending current reports available
to you in existing applications, developing reports that could be shared with external audiences,
access and leveraging the latest release functionality,
building reports off a source for which no reports exist. Or if there are any other reporting needs
that you really have in your organization that you really want to share with us,
that would be great. And I apologize that we don't have an actual poll for this,
but if you want to go ahead and type those into the chat pane that would be great.
And we are seeing some of the things that are coming in. We see reports out of Razors Edge,
extending current reports, developing reports, building reports from databases,
building reports from a source that doesn't have an existing source.
All of the above, plus also [indistinct] Peachtree, building reports from data sources,
developing reports. I see a lot of developing and building reports from information
from your databases. And I do see a couple of other people saying
that they need more help with linking t omultiple tables
and building reports with sub reports in them.
So thank you everybody for answering that in the chat function. I really appreciate that.
So with that what I want to do is I want to go ahead and turn this over to Kenneth and Jaclyn
who will first be going over Crystal Reports 2011, some of the dos and don'ts,
and then will be taking us through a demo. So Kenneth and Jaclyn go ahead and take it away.
Jaclyn: Thanks Kyla. Hi everybody. My name is Jaclyn Churcher.
And I am just going to take a moment to share, to put Crystal Reports 2011
in a slightly larger context.
It is made available to you through TechSoup via our corporate responsibility program.
And if you are not aware of it, SAP creates products that help companies perform,
run their business and perform profitably and sustainably.
By doing so we help these organizations become leaders in their field.
And by doing that for nonprofit organizations, we are helping a different sector
and driving economic opportunity for you and all of your customers.
Through TechSoup we have delivered products to all of these countries
and we are a global organization interested in corporate social responsibility globally.
Now Crystal Reports 2011 is one of several offerings
that our corporate social responsibility organization makes available.
And that includes Crystal Reports as well as BI OnDemand.
That is the sharing information online section. This is an online platform
that allows you to publish reports and deliver them via the web to stakeholders.
The SAP Crystal Dashboard product formally known as Xcelsius
provides summarized data that is highly visual and enables a lot of interaction with the values
behind the model. And SAP Streamwork which is under the organizing volunteers section
allows you to post activities or topics along with your reports and engage stakeholders
in topics of conversation that may be organizing an event
or talking about the numbers returned in a report let's say.
So moving on to SAP Crystal Reports, I am just going to pass it over to Kenneth
to talk to you on that first.
Kenneth: Alright, thank you.
So Crystal Reports consists of — actually our products that we have been offering
through TechSoup have been starting with the Crystal Reports 2008 products
and as Jaclyn had mentioned also the old Xcelsius and SAP Crystal Dashboard product,
the hosted products being BI OnDemand and Streamwork.
And what we are here today to talk to you about is Crystal Reports 2011.
And for some of you it has been available since early March in the US,
mid-March for the rest of the world. Also upcoming is also the dashboard product
later this month.
So the question with the agenda for today, we want to talk about some basic questions
of why would someone want to use SAP Crystal Reports?
What are some of the things that are new in Crystal Reports 2011?
I had a chance to take a look at the registration information.
And I can talk a little bit about the data connectivity options that you have today
with this product with the products that you use in your organization.
And then following that we are going to go through some concepts of effective reports
on how to build the reports from scratch, and doing things that are more fancy
around formatting etc. And Jaclyn will go into a demo before we have some questions
to close out the session.
So why do we use Crystal Reports? Crystal Reports is a best of breed tool.
It has been around for many number of years. The version, CR 2011 version
that we are talking to you today has been around since the mid to late 80s.
So this is a tool that is very well known by a lot of customers in the industry
for business intelligence and reporting. We've build out our tool over the years
to be able to connect to many and any data sources.
We can connect to multiple data sources within a single report.
For distribution we have made it very accessible for users to be able to export these reports
into common formats such as the PDF or the Excel spreadsheet or the Word DOC.
As well, for our enterprise paying customers we do have a platform for distributing these reports
to consumers and all that. And BI OnDemand I think is a hosted tool that will allow nonprofits
like yourselves to be able to have similar type of functionality there.
These reports can be easily distributed through your common modes of distribution, e-mail, web.
If you are a developer, they can be embedded into applications.
What the reporting tool does is once you connect to all the data, you can actually manipulate it,
organize it, summarize it in the formatting functionality that we provide
whether it is in formulas or parameters, charts or even tables.
And what we've been doing in the last, since the Crystal Reports 2008 version of the designer,
we have been adding more native interactivity within the report designer
to allow the data that you are consuming to be sorted in place, to be parameterized
without having to refresh against the database. We have been supporting flash
as an embedable content type so you can build some very basic if not powerful dashboards
within Crystal Reports as well. And our typical functionality that customers have come to love
around grouping data by a certain field and being able to drill down that data
into a more narrow view of that data to help them make better decisions.
I've got here in this slide just some quick examples of the types of reports
that you can actually create. These screen shots will perhaps indicate to you
that they could be form-based billing statements or reports with graphics and charts
that look at your finances or look at your donations that are coming in for instance.
And what the Crystal Reports product is really powerful for is to be able to create
these highly formatted documents. And they are personalized and very rich in value
that can be delivered very quickly to your consumers.
One of the things that we really try to [indistinct] is the aesthetics of the reports
is very important in how you design the report.
In this case with a simple graphic of the gas station here, which one would you trust?
Which one would you feel more comfortable filling your gas tank, filling up your car at?
The same thing applies to reporting. If you can design compelling reports
that draw your audience in and give you direct visibility into the information you want,
it becomes a very powerful tool for your reporting.
I've got some examples here of reports here. It doesn't look very professional.
It's perhaps very straightforward, but someone, an executive for instance
looking at this report day in and day out may find the information they need eventually,
but it is definitely not visually grabbing. As opposed to what we have in the next slide here,
you can actually overdo the aesthetics. Sort of the left half of the screen,
some people may like this and some people may not. But it is an indication
that when you do apply aesthetics to your reporting it is important to get a good balance,
something that will layout your charts and your tables in a clear manner,
and show the trends that you need to visualize for your consumers.
So what is new in Crystal Reports 2011? Simply put, Crystal Reports 2011
is an incremental update to the Crystal Reports 2008 product,
so for those of you who already have the CR 2008 designer, the changes are fairly minor.
We've introduced new features and CR 2011 is the ability to export the report,
the RPT report into the read-only version of RPTR.
What this means is that the design for the report is actually locked up now
when you load this type of report in the designer. It basically makes this report read only
from the consumer in the designer.
We've also been keeping up with the latest during the time
that we were working on Crystal Reports 2011, the Office 2007 and 2010 suites had come out.
So we have just made a basic incremental update to support the xlsx, Excel format.
The benefit to that is that we can now support up to a million rows of data
for those of you who wish to design reports that will return that much data.
And also the xlsx format if you are reporting on it is smaller in terms of file size.
And also because xlsx is an export format that we can export a report to,
we can also consume it as a data source. So those of you who are working with Excel
as your data, we will be able to connect to that and pull the data out for reporting.
Kyla: And Kenneth, we had a couple of questions about exporting the data.
I just wanted to bring them up since you are talking about exporting.
Richard was asking is there a mechanism to burst reports via Crystal Reports
in any of the export formats? I know somebody else was asking about exporting to XML.
Kenneth: Currently with the designer as a stand-alone tool, no there is no bursting capability.
Our platform product does have the ability to schedule reports,
and we have a publication feature that will schedule reports to a vast number of recipients
and send them out as either e-mail or attached to their user account on the platform.
I am not clear on whether BI OnDemand product has similar capabilities.
It may have that ability to at least deliver reports to the users in your group.
But unfortunately, that is an area I am not terribly familiar with.
Kyla: Okay thanks Thomas.
Kenneth: So just a recap for those of you who are new to Crystal Reports
and considering 2011, you get all the features from 2008 of course.
And I wanted to sort of basically recap what are the main features that we have delivered
in the CR 2008 designer.
So in CR 2008 we deliver the ability to be able to have a parameter panel right next to the report
in the view in the designer. And what that allows you to do is be able to have in place parameters
that will filter out data, to save data that is in your report without having to incur a database refresh.
And what that does is it gives a lot of flexibility for consumers now to work with the data
that is already set and be able to tweak the parameters settings to filter something
a little bit more to their liking or to their needs. There is some on-report sort controls.
You can define a sort control for a particular group or field and you can actually sort your data
in place without having to incur a refresh against the database.
This is great for those who are sending a report of a snapshot of something that was refreshed
last week and you didn't want to get the latest data because it may have changed.
For crosstabs we have introduced the ability to have custom rows and columns
to give a user the ability to make calculations. Many times you may have a series of sales data
for instance, or currency, dollar data that you may want to apply some sort of variance calculation
or average calculation to. You can introduce that in a customized row or column.
Flash support, we have the ability to have some basic flash widgets created
from the Excelsius designer and then embedded and bound to the data in your report
so that you can create simple slider pie chart type controls for instance
that depending on an input value you might be able to project your data
that you want further out in the future for instance.
And there are many more. We have a PDF document on our website
that details all the features that have been delivered with this report designer.
And it would be a good reference for many of you who are considering the product
to take a look to see what would be useful for your reporting needs.
So as I said, I had a quick chance to look at the registrant data for many of you today.
And I wanted to kind of basically talk a little bit about some of what I did notice.
Many of you did talk about, had mentioned that you use applications like ADB Power Source
or MicroEdge GIFTS. I did a quick search online on many of these products.
Forgive me. I am not terribly familiar with every single one of these, but in many of my,
in much of my research I did find that a lot of these products actually embed Crystal Reports
technology into it. So the reports that you are probably getting out of these applications
for instance are already Crystal Reports. So I can totally understand where many of you
are coming from where you might want to have access to a copy of Crystal Reports
so that you can design your own set of reports against these applications,
because it is very possible that you can already connect to the database schema
for which this data is stored in.
Many of the formats that I noticed that these applications use are xBase or dBase,
file based data formats or Excel Access formats. So even SQL Server I've noticed.
So it's very simple. We should be able to support being able to connect with our designer
to these applications that you are currently using so that you can extend the reporting capabilities
or build customized content for the audiences that you need to deliver to.
So the basic tenants of the Crystal Reports designer for instance,
ODBC is a big connectivity type that we support. It's very pervasive
in terms of what we can connect to. So many database vendors or applications
that have a data component will likely have an ODBC driver.
And as long as you can configure that in the ODBC administrator in Windows,
there is no reason why we couldn't connect to that.
The screen shot on the right here is a little bit small. I apologize,
but I don't think we could actually fit everything in there. Actually no, we did.
But the list of data sources that we can connect to is very extensive.
And as you can see the flexibility of the designer to be able to connect to many sources
is a true strength of ours. And we hope it will be very possible for you to use it
for your reporting needs.
So going through some effective reports, we wanted to start from the basic.
One of the things we want to talk about is when you sit down and design a report,
really understand the audience and the purpose of that report.
Is this person going to look at a snapshot of data in a subset,
or are they going to look at all the records in a database?
Hopefully not the latter, because it gets very difficult to sift through thousands of pages
and hundreds of thousands of records just to get that piece of information that you really want.
Identify and prioritize the data, know what you need to calculate through formulas.
Other requirements that you might have such as charts, if you are joining other data sources
together make sure you know that you can join that schema together
and get a proper result set that will make sense.
Start simple. Deliver the most impactful value first. So get the data to show
in the report first. Make sure that the data validation is correct,
and then start tweaking it with more features.
Also consider how you are going to distribute the particular format. So is it safer to —
will all your consumers have the report designer installed?
So does it make sense to distribute the report as an RPT, or will it be a PDF
because that is a very common standard today?
And one thing to really stress is that report development is very iterative.
You can spend a lot of time coming up with the design of your ultimate look and feel of the report
and the behavior, but I think building and getting there is going to be iterative.
You are going to be designing in a certain way and backtracking
and making a couple new things, and trying and tweaking some other things as you go along.
Going through these screen shots, these are things that Jaclyn will likely quickly demo as well
in the demo portion of this webinar. But the flow that we generally see,
you are choosing your data, displaying it in the report. You want to be able to look at grouping.
So in this case we've got grouping by city and by state. There might be some other filters
and sorts. At some point you are going to want to add summaries for your data and other formatting
to improve the readability and understanding. So in this case
we've got sort of an alternating shading to identify the different rows.
And once you've got the basic report going, you can do a whole lot more.
The goal here is to try to change your reports from something that is just plain numbers
and data that is coming back from the database to something that you can easily understand
and view often, and not just view often but get the information you need right away.
The chart formatting, they help to illuminate patterns, bring things of interest to your view.
Parameters and sorts, grouping, being able to drill into data and charts,
building hierarchies so that you can see the nested information,
and you can navigate through it that way. Formatting aesthetics to reduce the clutter.
Those of you who may have multiple reports but you can link them through subreports
to expose related and contextual data. And the subreports can be exposed as either OnDemand
or completely live in the report. And these are all decisions that you will make
given the understanding of your audience.
Here we've got the report here with some charts and just to illustrate the trending of the data
that you see in front of you. You can build lots of different charts and break them out
into more detailed charts that will give you a more microscopic view of the summary of the data.
This is sort of a bit of a summary like with getting started you want to be able to connect
to the data, do your basic summaries, and group. Think about where you are exporting the report to,
where you are going to put the information in which sections of the report
whether it is the header, the footer, or the body of the report.
And doing more, we've got a lot of charting capabilities and subreports.
Crosstabs is very popular. We have a lot of users who use our products who bring in a lot of fields
into the body of the report but then build lines and tables to make it look as though it is a crosstab
for instance. Being able to drill into data. What data should you expose in the top level
of the report? What data should be exposed when you drill down into the report
into a certain section?
We support images, parameters, and sorts. Flash applets tend to be a good option
for those who are interested in having that dynamic flash interactivity.
We have a very powerful format formula language for formatting
and conditional formatting, and lots of mathematical functions,
the functions that will allow you to manipulate the data that is in front of you.
At this point I am going to pass control over to Jaclyn who will share her desktop
and show you live what are some of the things that we've been showing you in screen shots.
Kyla: Thanks Kenneth. And while we are getting that set up
I was just going to ask a couple of more questions that have come in.
Richard was wondering can the reports be scheduled to go to folders?
Kenneth: Again, the scheduling is a functionality of our current platform.
The business object enterprise platform. As for scheduling,
I am aware that there are possibly some third-party tools that might allow you to schedule
or deliver reports to folders. And I would encourage customers
that are looking for these smaller tools to look at those options.
Those who are more technically savvy, I think can make use of our SDKs to build applications
that will handle this behavior. And when you have access to the SDKs
and you are an application programmer you can design whatever you want.
So I think in essence, the answer is with this current designer no,
but there are a lot of tools out there whether you pay for them, or get them for free,
or build them yourself, that are available that can give you this functionality.
Kyla: Okay, great. This is the only other question I will ask right now.
I will hold all the rest until later, but this might be something that Jaclyn might be talking about.
Kim was wondering how does your customer initiate a report request?
Do they normally identify tables or fields in the report request?
So I guess Jaclyn, when you are doing your demo I guess, just keep that question in mind.
That would be helpful.
Jaclyn: I can start by speaking to that. In an ideal world absolutely, you would get that information
in the report request. But in the real world not everybody has that information.
Often a great amount of time is spent getting the data right,
figuring out which tables in a complex schema are needed, and how they are related,
and where exactly the values of interest are derived from in that database.
So if possible, yes, is the short answer, but often that is not possible.
And if you are responsible for report development, just make sure that the people that are waiting
for the report and the people you report to are aware of what is blocking you
if that is a block and you need to find the information.
I know that many of you are using Crystal Reports with custom applications,
and sometimes those schemas can be hard to understand.
But you are going to need to look at the documentation the vendor has available,
and speak to them in order to sort it out, because indeed it is a dependency
in terms of getting the data right.
I just noticed there are a few questions that have come in, and I won't try to speak to them
right now, but in terms of scheduling destinations and live data
from Business Intelligence OnDemand, BIOD, I believe that functionality is available
but Kenneth and I aren't experts on that software, so we should find you that information
after the call to make sure you get the right information.
So I what thought I would start with is showing you, we've got some screen shots
on the PowerPoint, but I just thought I would show you that report and how it evolved
speaking to how it became more interactive and more visual.
And then I will show you some getting started steps depending on how much time we have.
This has just got two groups and some summaries. It is essentially a listings report.
And then I added some conditional formatting to provide pre-attentive visual cues
for the readers of your report so they can recognize patterns
or distinguish lines of data easily. Then I added this chart. It is actually a drillable chart
based on the fact that I have the chart based on the state
and summarizing the donation amount. I can click on that and isolate data.
Then I thought, while I've got this data by quarter. If I summarize the amount of donations coming in
and the number of donors, we can gain insight into the trends. So by adding these charts
you immediately help people looking at the report see which state is the highest,
which state is the lowest, and what states are in the data set. When you are using bar charts,
sorting the values is a good way to go because it immediately identifies who is the highest
and who is the lowest in those groups of values.
This is the same report and I will just make it slightly bigger.
But I've been shown small multiple versions of the quarterly performance by each State.
So you can see which states are trending down, which states are trending up,
and because they all use the same y-axis scale you can see the relevant performance
of each in that group of reports.
So this iteration of the report went down a different path.
This is the same initial chart that was added that is drillable.
I've put in a crosstab that shows the actual donations delivered by these campaign types
and the number of donors. This chart is still drillable.
You can see by the magnifying glass that is available to me.
And then I have my trend chart and this is a stacked bar chart
which shows the proportion, the different campaigns within different spend priority levels,
high medium and low. Now I probably spend a little more time to get these colors
to be a little less garish and I could certainly argue that it is difficult to see the relative values
of the layers within these stacked bars.
But there is something else that I added to this. There are parameters that have been added
to the report. In this case parameters often would be used to filter data
so that if you choose country equals the USA then the report is going to return data
for the United States. But in this case I am prompting the user of the report
to provide whether or not they want the report to be organized by campaign type,
campaign spend priority, or geography.
And the default value is campaign type. So we've got direct-mail, billboards, search ads, and so on.
But I can drill into a bar and expose the trend in direct-mail donations.
And the second level of grouping I've associated to group level II,
when the user has chosen campaign type is a state.
So there are a couple of formulas and I will show you that.
I called it drill in grouping value which is for group level one. And this is an example of a formula
that looks at the parameter values. And if the user has chosen campaign type,
then the formula outputs the field campaign type
and the report data is grouped by that string value.
So the next version of that report, so it still has the parameter, it still has the chart,
and I added some other charts that were showing average donation relative donations.
It's just another way to see the data and allow people to see that for some reason
when you are bringing in money from banner ads, people are donating more money.
So we can still drill into the data.
And I also allowed, I made it possible to drill into individual states.
If I do that, I am just going to refresh this and run it for campaign type
so you can see the same report as it has evolved.
And now I have added this formatting so that when somebody drills into it
they can see the specific records that are related to Texas and Q1.
Here is another example of a formula. And this formula provides an output
that corresponds to the parameter value again, because depending on what you are looking at,
what you've grouped by, you are going to want to expose something different at the detail level.
So now I am going to start and create a report. So this is poorly sized on my window.
So this is the connection window. And I am going to pretend I haven't already connected
to this data source. But this is where I will find my database called fund raiser.
And I am just going to add two tables and hit finish.
Oh, I need to edit my tables here because I didn't join them.
So campaign spend priority has a one to many link with the donations table,
so I am going to link it from that ID field to the campaign type ID.
I know that is how the data relates. If I didn't know I might look at the contents of the table separately
and figure out what values were related.
I'm finding my okay button.
Now I am going to click on the design view and this shows you the structure of the canvass
before we started to do anything. By default we have a report header, a page header,
a detail section, a report footer and a page footer. The report header and the report footer
are generated once for a report at the beginning and the end.
The page header and page footer for each page, and the details
are generated for each record returned in the report.
I am going to start by adding a few fields. So from my donations table I will take state and quarter
and donation amount. I am just going to put it on to the detail section.
So there we can see that is the data I have in my report.
And now I am going to enter to group on state, so when I select it here I know that when I choose
to insert a group it has my state fields selected by default.
So I created one group. And I am just going to show you in the design view,
now we have a group header one and a group footer one section generated.
I will do the same thing for quarter. And now we have another group header one
and group header two section. You can see them being generated in the group tree to the left.
So I'd also like to see what to summarize the donation amount values
so that we can see what the totals are for the groups. So from the design view
I am going to right click on the summary, or on the field and choose insert summary.
I am going to check this add to all group levels. And you can see that the summary object
has been added to the group footer section. Now I want to show those two at the top of the report,
so I am just going to move them up and I am going to put this report level summary
into the report header because that is the right place for it.
And now we hit preview and we can see the summary is at the top.
But this is kind of redundant. Or I don't want to see it in any case,
so I am just going to suppress that section. I am going to right click and choose suppress.
And then click group footer section is messing with the flow of the data
so I'm just going to suppress that too. And while I am at it I will just make these on the left bold
so we've got a little more contrast. So you can see very quickly
we are getting to the first version of the report that I had started to build.
So now I am going to show you the export functionality.
You can find it there or from the file menu. And we will say export report.
You can see a list of formats that are available. There is quite a good list.
And I will just show you a PDF. I am choosing the destination as the application
so it is going to pop open. I will create bookmarks from the group tree.
And you can see how your users have it immediately. They've got a PDF document.
And I can navigate. Let's go to the end of the report let's say. Oh, it's a one page report,
but that would take them through the document if they needed to.
So now I will just sort of give you some insight on how you can do some formatting.
Let's see I think this section here has been formatted to be sort of a gray-blue.
I am going to do that by going to the section expert. And on the color tab I am going to choose
to apply a background color. Now this is a custom color that I've created
using red, green, blue values. So I am going to choose it here and click okay.
And immediately we can see that coming through in the report.
If I wanted to do that for group header two I am going to bring up the section expert again.
I just want to point out that I didn't have to close it and reopen it.
I can just navigate to the different sections' properties by clicking in the list here.
But in this case I've got group header two selected
because that is where my quarterly values are. I am going to go to the color tab.
I think we had alternating shades of light yellow which is this value here.
It's got an RGB value of 255, 255, and 225. So right now it is formatted unconditionally.
Every row is yellow, light yellow.
Now I am going to implement that property conditionally. So by doing that
I am going to the formula button, and this is not a formula object.
It is a conditional formatting function, so it will deliver a boolean output,
either a true, false, yes, no, or in this case yellow or white.
These are comments that are included to explain the window.
But what I am going to do here is write a little bit of logic. If the group number —
now this is a pre-defined value in the report that you just become familiar with
when you want to achieve something. Please use the help files because there is information
on all of this, and I can show you other ways to find it too.
If remainder, I need my remainder function first.
Kyla: We are just going to read this question, because I just want to make sure —
it's an interesting question and I just wanted to make sure that we got to it
because we are about 12 minutes to the hour. What kind of templates —
and you can do this after this section or not — but what kind of templates are available,
like reporting would be available through Crystal Reports?
Jaclyn: I'm not clear. A group of sample reports that have been available historically
with a sample database. Offhand I am not sure where they are available right now.
Kenneth: They may still be accessible from our support site. A good question Jaclyn.
I'm not clear where they are today. I know those of you who signed up for BI OnDemand
I think may have access to some report templates there.
I think there might also be a way — I'm not aware of whether there is a central repository
for these types of Crystal Reports.
Jaclyn: Not as far as I know of, but there definitely have been samples provided historically.
I believe some of them are installed with our enterprise platform.
And they are probably available online somewhere,
but it would just be a matter of finding them.
Kyla:. Okay, and if you do find them after the webinar just send them my way
and I can send them out to the participants.
Jaclyn: If there is a compilation of questions Kyla, feel free to remind us there.
Kyla: Definitely will do. Sorry for interrupting. That was partially my 10 minute Reminder.
Jaclyn: Okay. Well I will just wrap up after this so we can focus on questions.
But just stepping back, we are going to make this yellow background an alternating color.
And what I have done in the conditional formatting button for the custom background color
is written this logic that says, if the remainder of a group number divided by two is zero,
then output this RGB function's output which is the light yellow
which has the 255, 255, 225 RG Bvalue, otherwise output CR White.
I could have instead of CR White, I could have written RGB 255, 255, 255 which is white.
So if you were doing this on the details section, there is a corresponding value that you would use
for the details section. That is called record number, because often you would be doing this
to the details section. So I hit save and close and we've got the alternating stripes.
So there is a lot more I can show you but in the interest of giving you the information
that you are most interested in, Kyla I do want you to communicate questions to us?
Kyla: Sure. And if we get through all the questions and then you still have time
and there is something else you want to highlight at the end that would be great too.
Barbara just asked do you need to know how to code to use Crystal Reports?
Kenneth: No. Technically no. I think the technical knowledge that might be required
in order to get started creating reports is to understand your database schema,
the data source that you are connecting to. So that is of course dependent
on what application you are using, or what data source you are trying to connect to.
And we do recommend that you understand where to get that data from
before you build your report. Any other kind of technical knowledge you might want to know
or learn as you go and build the reports is probably understanding
how to use the formula language. The formula language is very powerful
in extending the capabilities of manipulating your data and massaging it
to how you would want it to be displayed or the data to be used.
So I think that is probably one other area that has a learning curve. But doing basic formulas
such as being able to add a value from one field to the value of another is very easy to do.
Kyla: Okay, great, thank you. And Ross just asked
can you quickly show me the formatting formula for alt color?
Jaclyn: Sure. I just opened up that window here Kyla. The 2 forward slashes at the front of a row
will allow you to comment out a line. And this is what the syntax would be
if you were going to be doing it in a details section. I'll just show you in the field explorer
that the group number and record number values are listed here in the list of special fields.
And if you wanted to see what its output was you can just put it on the canvass.
So you can see that Colorado is group five, but so is Q1 group 5.
And if I expose the details section and I put in the record number field, you can see how —
I'll just delete state and quarter. You can see how that is incrementing relative to the group values.
So by the time I get to Colorado, group number 5, we are at records 627.
Kyla: Perfect. Were you finished or did you have something else to add to that?
Jaclyn: I can always go on, but I don't want [indistinct].
Kenneth: Kyla, I noticed that I think someone had mentioned about showing XML connectivity.
I don't know Jaclyn, is our sample data is based on XML files, isn't it? Is that correct?
We could quickly show an XML connectivity database driver and at least show the UI
for what kind of input fields you would need to add in order to show this.
So based on the screen that Jaclyn has shown here, our XML connectivity here
allows you to input the file path to your XML file, and based on the class name
you can pull out the relevant XML data. I think that is what you're asking for.
I hope that kind of answers the question. Otherwise it is fairly simple.
Here is another screen here. If it was a web based XML URL you can connect to that
and be able to pull your data through that XML source.
Jaclyn: This is an old connection I have in a connections list I've use,
but apparently I don't have the source or can't remember the —
everyone thinks there'd be security but I can't connect to it at the moment.
Kyla: Okay, no problem. And I know Kathy just asked can Crystal Reports 2011 easily add totals
from subreports together on the main report?
Jaclyn: Sure. What you do Kathy is when you are in your subreport take the value,
the total that you want to use in the main report and assign it to a shared variable.
So we create a formula and the formula would say "shared number var x: ="
and then you'd assign the value from your subreport to that variable.
And then what I would do is in the main report, display that. If you've got multiple subreports
it is going to be coming through in a group header or group footer section presumably.
And you can right click in a section like this and choose insert section below.
So in the design view there is a section here that I just added. And if you got a subreport
in let's say group header number one, and in that subreport you defined a variable and displayed it,
you may hide it later. But just while you are building it make sure you know
what you are generating. And then display it in the main report.
And what you need to do then is add up that output that's coming through
in the group header number one b into another variable. So it is not a right click.
It is a technique that you want to use is manual running total.
And Kyla if you could possibly note Kathy's question, I can make a point
of sharing a PDF document that talks about this manual running total technique.
It is slightly more involved but it is definitely worth learning Kathy,
and will help you get what you need. It is easily done.
Kyla: Sure. I just noted it. Thank you. And I think we have time for one more question
before we wrap up. Earlier Sarah had asked, do you have customers using this tool
for Salesforce reporting?
Jaclyn: We sure do.
Kenneth: We have actually a Salesforce data driver
that allows you to connect to the Salesforce cloud.
Jaclyn: Do you remember where we get the driver from? I think it is installed by default.
Kenneth: It is installed by default.
Jaclyn: So then as soon as you enter in your user ID and password for your Salesforce account
you have access to their schema. In a different role I did build reports off of it.
I did not find schema hard to work with. So absolutely you can report off Salesforce.
Kyla: Okay, great, thank you. With that I think I will go ahead and start kind of wrapping up.
If we did not get to your questions today I will go ahead and forward those to the presenters
and we can respond within a week or so directly to you.
But I think we did get through most of the questions that came in.
First I want to go ahead and really thank both Jaclyn and Kenneth for being here with us today.
This is really really helpful information. I know that TechSoup and the TechSoup community
really appreciate it. I really want to thank you for that.
I want to thank both Meg and Shab on my end for helping out today.
Just again a little bit about who TechSoup is. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit just like so many of you
out there. And our primary mission is to provide technology
and technology resources to help you fulfill your mission.
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And don't forget to subscribe to the TechSoup newsletters By the Cup
and New Product Alert over here on the right side of the homepage.
So again, I do want to take this moment to thank SAP for their involvement in this webinar.
And I want to go ahead and thank our webinar sponsor ReadyTalk
who provides this ReadyTalk donation. We really appreciate you guys and for all of your help today.
And again, thank you everybody for joining us today. You will be receiving a follow-up message
with the recording of this webinar most likely later today. And if not, probably tomorrow.
And if you could take just a couple of seconds to fill out the follow-up survey that will pop up
on your screen after your leave, that does really help us
in creating future webinars and in improving our webinar program.
So again, thank you Kenneth and Jaclyn, and thank you everybody on my end,
and thank you everybody on the ReadyTalk end. I hope you all have a great day.