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Can somebody please tell us about Crystal Reports? Thanks!

Here's the web link: http://www.crystaldecisions.com/products/crystalreports/

Crystal Reports provides amazing reporting capabilities. You can have multiple detail lines, embed reports within reports (subreports), easily add graphs, and much more. You can also export the report to several formats including Word, Excel, RTF, HTML, and PDF. You can provide report design capabilities at runtime so the user doesn't need Crystal Reports to create their own or modify what you provide. (NOTE: Distribution of the designer component requires additional licensing.) CR supports native access to FOX2X tables or to VFP data via ODBC. It also supports ADO. Runtime capabilities are provided via Automation Servers. -- Craig Berntson

PDF exporting is only supported in Crystal 8, and only with an unsupported beta of a PDF exporting DLL.
http://support.seagatesoftware.com/library/kbase/articles/c2006248.asp -- Trey Walpole

Or, you can simply print the report, using any PDF print driver. Doing that requires no special PDF support within CR. -- Mike Lewis
My Crystal News of Aug. 2000 from Seagate indicates that 'Microsoft to Standardize on Crystal Reports for Visual Studio .Net'. Here is the URL: http://www.seagatesoftware.com/crystalnews/newsflash/0800/ Michael Chean
CR8 has very limited support for MEMO fields, especially when exporting to text files. There are also problems when you run reports on NT/2000 that were originally developed on Win9x - one example is exporting to text files. The result is improperly indented and word-wrapped output. This was confirmed by Seagate and they said that there are problems running some reports that were originally developed on Win9x and then subsequently ran on NT/2000.

I have not used the CR8 Report Designer Component, but the ActiveX control was very slow when using ODBC to connect to VFP data - we ended up having to COPY TO Fox Plus format and use the native database drivers to get a reasonable report generation time time.

This is due mostly to ODBC layers, not Crystal Reports. One advantage of sending the report data to a FOX2X table is that Fox can use Rushmore to create the table. -- Craig Berntson

All-in-all, while CR is superior to the VFP report designer, it has many shortcomings that will irritate you to death. We have a very hate-love relationship with the product. I liken CR to the earlier versions of Auto CAD (8,9,10) that were the de facto industry standard, but had a lousy user interface - you were always wishing that the product could get its act together, but since everyone was using Auto CAD - AutoDesk had no reason to clean it up.
Does anyone know if there is a conversion product which can import existing Visual FoxPro reports into Crystal Reports? Or do we have to rewrite each one? -- BarbaraBartlow

Crystal Reports comes with a converter that will do this. You need to run the VFP report to an ASCII file, then read the ASCII file into the converter. Results are mixed. IMO, this is more trouble than it's worth. -- Craig Berntson

This sounds like a solution to get the report DATA converted to Crystal at run time, but not the report format itself. We are wondering if there is a way to convert the report 'design', not the final output. -- BarbaraBartlow

Nope. This is a design time tool. It analyzes the output of your report to determine where headers, footers, groups, and details go. -- Craig Berntson

I just found out from Seagate that this feature was discontinued with Version 8. No wonder I haven't been able to find it! -- BarbaraBartlow
CR 4.6 comes included in VS6. I ask: does this have distribution license toward the endusers? -- Randy Reyes

Yes and no. You can distribute canned reports, but not the designer. However, you may not like the results. There is no guarantee the report will work under Win2K/XP. Also, CR 4.6 is extremely limited compared to the current version (9). IMO, you're better off paying for the current version and integrating that into your application. -- Craig Berntson
There are several Crystal Reports white papers on my web site, http://www.craigberntson.com -- Craig Berntson
For detailed information on using Crystal Reports, get the book Crys Dev: A Developer's Guide to Integrating Crystal Reports by Craig Berntson from Hentzenwerke Publishing.
Crystal Reports 9 using Fox2x tables which are related with numeric fields, when indexed do not work. Take the index off, or change it to character fixes the problem. CR 8, 8.5 didn't have this problem. Anybody want to help put some pressure on Crystal to get this oversight corrected?
Crystal VFP Class, Crystal VFP Class is a complete wrapper to get access to the Crystal Reports RDC, it also calls the Crystal ActiveX and makes the use of Crystal Reports a Snap in Visual FoxPro.
Category Tools
( Topic last updated: 2007.01.31 02:56:04 PM )