When RAS is installed and licensed as part of Crystal Enterprise Professional or Premium editions, it presents a DHTML wizard application through Crystal Enterprise that enables end users to create new or modify existing reports that are published in Crystal Enterprise. This integrated Crystal Enterprise action provides the end user with a series of dialogs that step through common report creation/modification tasks like adding fields, groups, filters, sorts, charts, and the application of report templates to existing reports stored in the Crystal Enterprise system.
Take a closer look at the wizard user interface. When you select the modify action on a given report, a dialog is displayed (see Figure 31.8) that enables you to select fields to be included in the newly modified report.
After you have selected the fields you want, click the Next button to open a Grouping dialog (see Figure 31.9) that enables the end user to specify groupings to be included in the report.
If at least one group has been selected for the newly modified report, a Summaries dialog is presented next (see Figure 31.10). This enables the addition of summaries to the new report. To accomplish this, an end user defines the type of summary field (such as Sum, Average, Count, Max, or Min), the field to perform the summary on, and the group to calculate the involved summary on. Clearly, multiple summaries can be added to the newly created report in this dialog. Note that different types of summaries are presented based on the type of field selected (for example, Sum does not appear if a string field is selected).
After you click the Next button, you are presented with a choice to override the default group sorting that is added when grouping the data in the report. Group sorting can be based on the actual Group names or the Summary fields that are calculated for that group.
When performing the sort on the latter, you can specify Top and Bottom N sorts or an All Records sort through the drop-down boxes in the dialog. Also in this dialog, you can specify the sort order for the detail level fields included in the detail section of the report (see Figure 31.11).
The next step is the option to apply record filters. Filters are used to limit the data that the report displays. This dialog enables you to see any filters that are already defined and append new filters through the provided text box or the provided drop-down boxes.
It is important to note that although the default wizard uses the AND operator to join multiple filters, a small customization to this wizard would enable the end user to specify the operator on multiple joins. As you move through the following two chapters, it should become more clear how this type of customization would take place.
The RAS-based DHTML wizard also enables the end user to place a chart in the report header or footer section. The Chart Type is selected in the dialog presented in Figure 31.12 and the end user can customize the chart by adding a title to the chart and specifying the summary data that is actually charted (see Figure 31.13).
One last screen that is presented for optional use is the report template specification screen. In this dialog, you can apply an existing report template to the newly created report. Report templates were covered in Chapter 14, "Designing Effective Report Templates."
After the report is defined to fit your needs, you can preview it immediately using the Preview Report link on any of the DHTML wizard screens. If the newly modified report is of sufficient value to keep as a new report, you can save the report in any Crystal Enterprise folder that you have been granted access to within the Crystal Enterprise Professional/Premium security model.