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SAP Crystal Reports, version for Visual Studio - Features and functions


SAP Crystal Reports, version for Visual Studio

Features and Functionality

Report Design

  • Design-time preview View a read-only version of the report with its default data. Data will preview regardless of a database log-in failure or whether the report uses application data (for example, DataSets or object collections).
  • Export and print within the preview Save time by exporting and printing directly from the preview pane. No more waiting to generate a preview for reports that will ultimately be delivered in Excel or printed by end users.

Windows and Web application features

SAP Crystal Reports, version for Visual Studio .NET Windows and Web application features include:

  • SAP Crystal Reports project templates Use templates to create a default SAP Crystal Reports project, and start the new report creation wizard to help new users create reports. SAP Crystal Reports project templates are available for Visual Basic, C#, and J# Windows applications and Web sites.
  • Smart tags - Create, open, or edit a report from a Web or Windows form. You can also customize the CrystalReportViewer control to do error reporting for database log-ins and parameter values. Smart tags are available in Visual Studio 2005 and 2008.
    • In a Web site, selections made in the smart tag panel produce auto-generated XML in the ASPX page.
    • In a Windows project, selections made in the smart tag panel produce auto-generated code in a hidden class file, called a "partial" class. Partial classes are a new feature of the .NET 2.0 framework.
  • Code snippets - Use code snippets to add commonly used code. Code snippets save on coding time for these common uses:
    • A report that requires database log-in
    • A report that requires parameters
    • A report that needs to point to a new database location before it is viewed
  • ToolTip disable option - Activate when you don't want a ToolTip to provide contextual information to the end users of a report. In SAP Crystal Reports, version for Visual Studio .NET 2005 and 2008, the default ToolTips are switched off.

ASP.NET Features

SAP Crystal Reports, version for Visual Studio .NET ASP.NET features include:

  • ReportSource and DataSource controls - Make use of controls that are part of the simplified tag-based application development model provided with ASP.NET version 2.0. The ReportSource control contains a report that encapsulates the data, and a DataSource control (such as SqlDataSource) contains the data itself.
    • In the DataSource control framework, .NET visual controls connect to DataSource controls, which do not manage display information. This DataSource framework encapsulates the data connectivity information, written as lines of code in .NET controls on the Web form.
    • In the design window, SAP Crystal Reports, version for Visual Studio .NET shows you the names of the controls that are connected to one another. The controls are also accessible as declarative XML in the ASPX code view.
  • Automatic data binding - Eliminate the need to call the DataBind() method in the code-beside class when binding to a file directory path through the Properties window. The automatic data binding feature can be removed by setting AutoDataBind = false.
  • Exception event handling – Decide which error messages to display and which to suppress – rather than save them to the ASP.NET page.
  • CrystalReportParts viewer Deliver strategic pieces of information such as a summary, grid, or chart without having to display an entire report. The CrystalReportParts viewer control displays report summary information in a small, portal-like window, with the ability to drill down on the report through a series of linked parts.
  • High-quality thin-client printing control Enable a non-obtrusive printing experience from the Web-based SAP Crystal Report viewer with a light-weight Active X print control. The print control will fetch EPFs from the Web server and print them to the client's local printer.
  • Themes support Provide a common look and feel to all visual controls on a page, or across your Web site. When you set the theme property of a visual control to the name of a theme, that theme is applied to all visual controls on the page. The CrystalReportViewer control is compatible with ASP.NET 2.0 themes. Any changes you make to a theme are extended to the CrystalReportViewer control and all other visual controls on the page.
  • Cascading style sheets for customizing the CrystalReportViewer control – Use a cascading style sheet (CSS) named "default.css" to customize the appearance of the CrystalReportViewer control. The style sheet is stored in a subdirectory of the viewer's virtual directory that is named "css." You can access the style sheet from the CssFileName property of the CrystalReportViewer control. Style sheets are available in SAP Crystal Reports, version for Visual Studio .NET 2005/2008.
  • ASP.NET Crystal Reports viewer group tree customization Change the font style and colors of the ASP.NET group tree levels on a viewer-by-viewer basis in the embedded designer. It is also possible to change this on a page-by-page basis using CSS style classes defined in a custom .css file.
  • ASP.NET CrystalReportViewer custom toolbars – Create a custom toolbar that offers all the functionality of the default CrystalReportViewer toolbar.
  • Multilingual client support Provide multilingual support for both Windows applications and Web applications. Multilingual client support is available in SAP Crystal Reports, version for Visual Studio .NET 2005/2008.

Data Access Features

SAP Crystal Reports, version for Visual Studio .NET data access features include:

  • SQL Server 2005 Leverage SAP Crystal Reports support for hierarchical fields, such as User Defined Types (UDT) and XML fields, in SQL Server 2005. A hierarchical field can be consumed and grouped to create a dynamic hierarchical grouping structure within the report.
  • Object collections Report object collections, allow for support of data from Web services, ObjectSpaces, and Microsoft Business Framework. You can now easily create an array of classes and pass them to the report as a data structure. Combined with SAP Crystal Reports' ability to consume multiple data sources, you can join the customized data array and the runtime data source to dynamically manipulate the report output without having to interpret the runtime data source.
  • Integrated authentication (single sign-on) – Pass end-user credentials from the client's browser machine through to the ASP.NET application and "through to" SAP Crystal Reports to the SQL Server 2005 database. Specific row or column level security can show or hide data that the end user is allowed to access. This feature is also provided for WinForm applications

Platform Features

SAP Crystal Reports, version for Visual Studio .NET platform features include:

  • SAP Crystal Reports update service – Use the optional SAP Crystal Reports update service to check for updates, HotFixes, and patches for SAP Crystal Reports. The update service is installed with Visual Studio 2005 and 2008.
  • Updated SAP Crystal Reports engine – Leverage updates to the SAP Crystal Reports engine – including the latest bug fixes, general enhancements to exporting, the ability to create funnel charts, and data base access performance improvements.
  • 64-bit support – Leverage support for new 64 bit architectures. SAP Crystal Reports, version for Visual Studio .NET 2005 and 2008 provide native IA-64 and AMD64 .NET runtime support, and support for AMD 64 at design time.
  • Deployment of a 64-bit application – Deploy 64-bit applications as you do 32-bit applications.
    • SAP Crystal Reports, version for Visual Studio .NET 2008 ships with deployment projects that enable you to deploy your application to target machines. Each setup project contains an application and its necessary components. SAP Crystal Reports can build code in a 32-bit or an AMD 64-bit environment that can be deployed and executed correctly on a 64-bit machine.
  • Single merge modules Simplify the installation process by using only a single merge module for deployment. The entire merge module can be included to ensure all the SAP Crystal Reports dependencies are included. Alternatively, advanced users can specify options to reduce the size of the deployment on the client machine.
  • Installer (MSI) Deploy SAP Crystal Reports runtime components with Microsoft Installer file (MSI) instead of using merge modules. The Windows installer allows for smaller deployment projects and reduced installation time.
  • ClickOnce deployment Easily install and update Windows applications that are published to a Web site.
  • Editable preview SAP Crystal Reports, version for Eclipse is the only Eclipse report designer with editable preview. Report designers no longer have to switch back and forth between a layout and a preview window. Edit your report directly in the preview window, with data, to save time.
  • Designed to work with SAP Crystal Reports 2008-2011 – Design reports using either the embedded Eclipse designer, or in the more powerful SAP Crystal Reports 2008 and 2011 designers. Reports generated with either designer are compatible with the runtime engine.
  • Extensible editor Developers can extend and enhance the default editor by adding your own report wizard, custom tabs, and handlers for drag-and-drop events. You can gain support for more extension points, including listeners for opening and saving the report, navigating between designer pages, and browsing data.
  • Freeform placement Don't be restricted to a tabular format, bound to nesting HTML tables in your report. Drag and drop your report objects exactly where you want them to appear in your report.
  • No SQL knowledge required The SQL query is auto-generated based on the database fields added to the report – so you don't need SQL knowledge to design a report.
  • Cross-tab reports Design cross-tab reports to easily visualize data in a tabular form. You'll get full support for the SAP Crystal Reports 2008 /2011 feature for calculated members in the runtime engine.
  • Java user function library (UFL) support – Access external Java logic from within your SAP Crystal Reports formulas. It's even easier to add Java UFL libraries to your project with improved support for adding libraries to a project.
  • Multiple data source support Use the visual database pane to easily create links among multiple data sources.

Compare Crystal Reports for Visual Studio with other releases

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