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Crystal Reports


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Crystal Reports is a Business Intelligence application used to design and generate reports from a wide range of data sources. Several other applications, such as Microsoft Visual Studio, bundle an OEM version of Crystal Reports as a general purpose reporting tool.



The Band Model

Crystal Reports is based on the common "band" model of report writers where different bands represent different totalling levels. For example, the inside band may represent the detail, the second band represents sub-totals (such as per region), and the outside band may represent the final total. Here is a rough illustration:

 Total band (upper, start)
  -------------------------
  Sub-Total Band (upper)
  -------------------------
  Detail Band
  -------------------------
  Sub-Total Band (lower)
  -------------------------
  Total band (lower, end)

Place-holders are added to the horizontal spots where actual data goes. The computer then inserts actual values during a production run and applies the appropriate grouping and totalling based on various band settings.Although Crystal Reports did not originate the banding approach, it is the most popular report-specific software that uses it.

Origins

The product was originally created by Crystal Services Inc., which produced versions 1.0 through 3.0. The company was subsequently acquired by Seagate Software, which later renamed itself to Crystal Decisions, and produced versions 4.0 through 9.0. Crystal Decisions was acquired in December 2003 by Business Objects, which has so far produced versions 10 and the current 11 (or XI).

Supported data sources

Accessible data sources include: databases such as IBM DB2, Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel text files XML files groupware applications such as Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange and Novell Groupwise any other data source accessible through ODBC or OLAP Our Crystal Reports Design courses cover Report Designs 1& 2 & 3:



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