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Seagate Crystal Reports 6.0: Prep 4 Whats New?

I. INTRODUCTION.......................................................................................................................................2 II. INSTALLATION.....................................................................................................................................2 II.1 CRYSTAL WEB REPORT SERVER.................................................................................................................2 II.2 SAMPLE FILES..........................................................................................................................................3 II.3 SERVER CONFIGURATION............................................................................................................................3 III. VIEWING CRYSTAL REPORT SAMPLES FROM A BROWSER................................................3 III.1 SMART VIEWERS......................................................................................................................................3 III.2 THE JAVA/ACTIVEX SMART VIEWER.........................................................................................................4 A. Page Buttons.......................................................................................................................................5 B. Smart Navigation TM...........................................................................................................................5 C. Search Tool.........................................................................................................................................6 IV. QUICKLY SETTING UP YOUR OWN CRYSTAL REPORTS FOR WEB VIEWING.................7 V. NEW FEATURES: CRYSTAL REPORT DESIGNER.......................................................................8 V.1 SMART NAVIGATIONTM IN THE CRYSTAL REPORT DESIGNER............................................................................8 A. The Group Tree.................................................................................................................................8 B. Page Navigation Buttons....................................................................................................................9 C. Supplementary Toolbar (32-bit version only)....................................................................................9 D. Cross-Tab Enhancements................................................................................................................11 VI. ADVANCED DEVELOPER FEATURES...........................................................................................13 VI.1. SMART RUNTIME PREVIEW WINDOW.......................................................................................................13 A. Customizable runtime Preview Window.......................................................................................13 B. Drill Down In Runtime Preview Window.....................................................................................14

I. Introduction
Seagate Crystal Reports harmonizes advanced Web based innovations with its proven reporting capabilities in the upcoming 6.0 release: the new, dynamic Web reporting technology makes it possible for users to host reports on either intranets or extranets and provides users with the means of integrating reports into web-deployed applications. This document briefly details the new functionality pertaining to the viewing of Crystal Reports from a Web Browser and also discusses some of the other new features available in this Prep 4 release. Support for this Prep release is available only through e-mail at: aristotle@img.seagatesoftware.com

II. Installation
The Prep 4 install includes the new Crystal Web Report Server component which makes it possible for users to publish their reports to a Web site. Also included are a number of sample files which are automatically configured on the users Web server so that they can quickly try out the new Web features.

II.1 Crystal Web Report Server


The Crystal Web Report Servers thin-wire architecture ensures superior response times and reduces Web traffic by making it possible for users to pull information from report files one page at a time.

As an ISAPI/NSAPI compliant component, the Crystal Web Report Server is compatible with all popular NT web servers including Microsoft Internet Information Server and Netscape Enterprise Server.

II.2 Sample Files


The Prep 4 installation also includes a number of samples located in both the \CRW\reports and the \CRW\sample directories. The reports directory includes the finance, essbase, craze, Xtreme, and 101 directories which hold collections of Crystal Report samples. The \CRW\sample\Xtreme\htmweb directory consists of a sample which demonstrates the type of application which can be built using Crystal Reports new Web based technology.

II.3 Server Configuration


The Prep 4 installation automatically configures the directory properties information on your web server: it aliases the \CRW\reports directory to /crweb it aliases the \CRW\sample\Xtreme\htmweb directory to /xtremehtm

The following illustrates the additions to the Microsoft Internet Service Manager for users running IIS:

These additions make it possible for users to quickly access the sample files included in this Prep release from a browser (see follow section).

III. Viewing Crystal Report Samples from a Browser


Seagate Crystal Reports 6.0 provides a set of Smart Viewers a collection of thin-client plug-ins which enable the delivery of platform-independent reporting functionality. With these, users can view reports without the necessity of having to set up an application on the client desktop. The following tutorial sections serve to illustrate the new Web based capabilities using a collection of prepared samples which ship with the Prep 4 release.

III.1 Smart Viewers

To view the sample reports provided in the Prep 4 install, simply invoke your browser and enter the name of your Web server machine followed by /crweb. This will bring up the Crystal Reports Smart Viewer page in your browsers window:

The ActiveX and Java viewers make it possible for users to analyze reports in the native Crystal Reports format (from browsers which support Java or ActiveX). The viewers for HTML Frames or plain HTML give users the ability to view a Crystal Report from any browser. This page is for demonstration purposes and is not required when users view their own reports Crystal Reports can automatically determine the optimal viewer to use when a users own report files are called from a browser for viewing (see Section IV for details).

III.2 The Java/ActiveX Smart Viewer


To view a sample in the native Crystal Reports format, click on the Java or ActiveX button in the Crystal Web Report Server box and choose one from the ensuing list the following is taken from Sales by Model Type:

The screen shot above illustrates the Crystal Smart Viewer/Java window with several key features and functions labeled. The viewer itself is divided into two frames, and as indicated, there are several means by which a user can navigate through a report:

A. Page Buttons
The Page Buttons near the top of the Smart Viewer window allow the user to move sequentially through a report one page at a time. The + symbol, appending the page reference field (1 of 1+) indicates that there are more pages still to follow in the report. If the user navigates forward and then back again, the page reference changes and displays the page number and the total number of pages: e.g. (3 of 10)

B. Smart Navigation TM
The left frame of the Smart Viewer window consists of a group tree which is automatically generated to provide an index to reports. Users can jump to the section of the report they need to analyze by clicking on the corresponding field in the group tree:

As illustrated, drill down for more detail on graphs, group totals, and embedded hyperlinks is available. Also, to enlarge the report viewing area, the Smart NavigationTM frame can be turned off by clicking the Toggle Group Tree button:

C. Search Tool
The search tool included in the Smart Viewer window makes it possible for users to perform a convenient search on any open report document. Both text and numerical values can be entered as search variables:

The viewer will automatically navigate to any successfully retrieved value and highlight it with a redline border.

IV. Quickly Setting Up Your Own Crystal Reports for Web Viewing
Any of your own, previously created Crystal Reports can be easily set up for viewing from a browser. 1) To use the existing \CRW\reports directory to hold your own reports: Save your report file(s) to the \CRW\reports directory. Invoke your browser and enter the name of your Web server machine followed by /crweb and the name of the report file to be viewed:

2)

To set up your own directory to hold Crystal Reports for Web viewing: Save the Crystal Report files designated for web viewing to a folder (any valid directory name will do). Host this folder on your Web server machine and copy the \CRW\reports directory properties to it. Remove the \CRW\reports directory from your Web servers hosted list Ensure that directory browsing is enabled on your web server Restart your Web server. As before, invoke your browser and enter the name of your Web server machine followed by /crweb

Your browser should now display the contents of your designated report folder with the report files highlighted as hyperlinks:

Click on your desired report for viewing.

V. New Features: Crystal Report Designer


In addition to the new Web based capabilities in this Prep 4 release, a number of new features have also been added to the Crystal Report Designer.

V.1 Smart NavigationTM in the Crystal Report Designer


The Smart NavigationTM, implemented in the Web version of Prep 4, is also available on the Crystal Report Designer. However, there are a number of functional differences between the two which are detailed in this section.

A. The Group Tree


The group tree is automatically enabled when the Preview tab for a report is first opened:

Like the Web version, the group tree frame can be size-adjusted by dragging on the left border. Note however, that unlike the Web version, the right frame on the Designer window is automatically re-formatted to preserve full-page width viewing:

The Designers group tree allows users to quickly navigate to different sections of reports by clicking on the appropriate field. In addition, right-click functionality is available:

The pop-up menu makes possible the drill-down of any listed categories and also lets the user hide the group tree.

B. Page Navigation Buttons


The Designers page navigation buttons function as previously detailed for the Smart Viewer window they make it possible for users to navigate sequentially through a report:

The Close button - will allow the user to close all tabs (including Preview) on the Crystal Report Designer, but it will not close the Design window.

C. Supplementary Toolbar (32-bit version only)


Two new buttons have been added to the right end of the Formatting toolbar. The first is the Toggle Group Tree button, which we have already seen from the Smart Viewer/Java window on the Web, and the second is the Supplementary Toolbar button:

The little wrench icon hides/shows the new supplementary toolbar which appears at the bottom left corner of the Crystal Report Designer:

This Supplementary toolbar makes many of the previously menu driven tools more accessible to the report designer. The following illustration lists the available functionality:

For example, the Object Properties button makes it possible for a user to highlight any object in a report, and edit its properties by clicking on the button. In Prep 4, all of the toolbars Standard, Formatting, and Supplementary can be size adjusted through the Toolbars window: Click on what would normally be a toolbar area on the Designer, right-click, and choose Toolbars..

To enlarge the toolbar buttons on the Designer, simply check the Large Buttons box and click OK. The Crystal Report Designer window will be redrawn to show bigger tool buttons:

D. Cross-Tab Enhancements
In Prep 4, it is now possible for the user to either hide or show the grids on reports with cross-tabs and format the margins for values in the individual cells:

Right click a cross-tab border and choose Format Cross-Tab. The Cross-Tab window appears, and two new check boxes appear near the bottom right of the window:

Un-checking the Show Grid box would remove the grid lines from the report, and un-checking the Cell Margins box would result in Crystal Reports removing the spaced margins for each field:

VI. Advanced Developer Features


Seagate Crystal Reports 6.0 incorporates a significant number of new features which greatly improve the developers ability to quickly and easily integrate customized reports into an application. The following sections detail the enhanced runtime Preview Window.

VI.1. Smart Runtime Preview Window


The smart runtime Preview Window that ships with Crystal Reports 6.0 incorporates the Smart NavigationTM and customization options which will make it possible for users to enjoy unprecedented interactivity.

A. Customizable runtime Preview Window


The new runtime Preview Window provides the developer with customization control over all the available new features any or all of these features can be enabled, or the existing Preview Window can be used. The following sample application illustrates this improved functionality:

In the above, choosing Window Options invokes a screen which serves to demonstrate the customizable features:

In our samples Window Options screen, all available options have been activated (0 for off, 1 for on), and the following Preview Window screen-shot reflects the changes:

The search and navigation controls, retain the functionality that was detailed (Section V.1) for the Crystal Report Designer. zoom control (available for 32-bit version only) replaces the limited three button - in the previous version of Crystal Reports.

The variable level zoom

The printer setup button now makes it possible for users to adjust the printer settings before printing a report.

B. Drill Down In Runtime Preview Window


The Smart NavigationTM functionality which is detailed in the previous sections is also available in the developers preview window in addition to drill down in the runtime Preview Window, users can analyze reports using the group trees as indexes: