The Standard Report Creation Wizard is the most frequently used design assistant in Crystal Reports. It provides multiple dialogs common to creating reports that are based on conventional corporate data sources. The Standard Report Creation Wizard guides you through selecting a data source, linking data source tables, adding data source fields to the report, specifying field groupings, identifying summary (total) fields, and setting the desired sort criteria for your report.
Additionally, the Standard Report Creation Wizard walks you through creating chart objects, applying record selection criteria (data filters), and applying predefined templates (layouts) to your report.
The term filter is commonly used to describe data selection criteria that narrow the scope of the data being extracted by the report from the underlying data source. For example, by using a filter such as Country = USA, you can easily limit your report to include only the information you are interested in extracting.
The Standard Report Creation Wizard consists of nine dialog screens that enable you to specify the criteria mentioned previously to create a professional-looking report quickly. The sequence of the wizard's dialog screens is dynamic and directly associated with the items selected in each of the progressive screens. For example, if you do not choose to identify any summary items for your report, you will not be presented with a Chart dialog screen. In general, charts apply best to summarized data, so if you have not identified any summary fields, the wizard assumes that you do not want to include a chart object in your report.
Charts can also be created from base-level data, although to do this you must appropriately specify the On Change Of option and use the Advanced settings with the Chart Expert. Generally, it makes more sense to base chart objects on summary-level data, such as regional sales by quarterwhere you are charting the total sales for each quarter rather than each sales transaction in each quarter.
The following exercise steps through the wizard and builds a sales report to display last year's sales by country. By making use of the Standard Report Creation Wizard, you include the country, city, customer name, and last year sales database fields, graphically display a summary of last year sales by country, and apply professionally styled formatting to the report. To create the sales report, follow these steps:
Figure 1.13. The Standard Report Creation Wizard begins by requesting a data source for your report.
Figure 1.14. The ODBC Data Source Selection dialog enables you to select a valid connection to access your ODBC data sources.
Figure 1.15. The Xtreme Sample Database is listed under the Available Data Sources area of the Data dialog.
Figure 1.16. Upon expanding the Xtreme Sample Database 10 item, you will notice multiple database items listed.
There are multiple ways to include tables in your report from within the Data dialog screen. From the list of available tables on the left side of the dialog, you can perform any one of the following actions to populate the Selected Tables list on the right side of the dialog area:
Figure 1.17. The Customer and Orders tables are linked together via the Customer ID field.
Figure 1.18. The Customer Name, City, Country, Order Amount, and Order Date fields should appear under the Fields to Display area.
If you're not sure of the data contained in any of the respective field items on the left, you can highlight a field name and click the Browse Data button to view a list of values from this field, as shown in Figure 1.19. This can be particularly useful if you are unfamiliar with the database and need to locate a field based on the values it contains, such as account numbers, policy codes, or employee names.
Figure 1.19. The Browse Data button enables you to view a list of values from any of the available database field items.
Figure 1.20. The Grouping dialog enables you to create structured groupings of information within your report.
Figure 1.21. The Summaries dialog screen enables you to create summarized values that are frequently used in coordination with the grouping structure within reports.
As you might notice, Crystal Reports automatically chooses a summary for you if you choose to group your report data. It examines the detail information you've specified for the report and builds a summary on the first available numeric field. However, this default summary criteria is easily modified in the wizard.
By default, the Order Amount field that appears under the Summarized Fields area on the right is aggregated as a Sum of the actual field value. As shown in Figure 1.21, the drop-down list located in the lower-right area of the Summaries dialog screen enables you to select from a variety of summaries, including Sum, Average, Maximum, Minimum, Count, Correlation, Covariance, and Standard Deviation.
Figure 1.22. The Group Sorting dialog enables you to sort your report based solely on the Group values that you want to include in the report results.
Figure 1.23. The Chart dialog enables you to select a chart object for a report based on the previously identified group and summary criteria.
Figure 1.24. The Record Selection dialog permits you to narrow your resultset based on the selection criteria identified here.
Figure 1.25. The Template dialog permits you to select predefined styles to be applied to your report.
This now concludes the Standard Report Creation Wizard example. After you click Finish, you will execute the report that you have just created and will be presented with the preview of the corresponding resultset. At this point, you can click Finish if you are satisfied with the report design criteria. When you are presented with the preview of your report, save your new report by selecting Save As from the File menu. Name this report Chap1Wizard.rpt or anything you would like.
After you select Finish at the end of the Standard Report Creation Wizard process, you will be presented with the executed resultset and a preview of your newly created report. As Figure 1.26 shows, creating a useful and professional looking report is extremely simple when using the Standard Report Creation Wizard. In the preceding exercises, you have connected to a database, identified the tables and fields you wanted to include in your report, linked the tables together, grouped and summarized the data, sorted the data, applied filtering criteria, included a chart object for enhanced visualization of the report results, and applied a report template for quick and easy formattingall in just a few clicks of your mouse! This process speaks both to the ease of use and power of the Crystal Reports design application.
Figure 1.26. The executed resultset and preview of the report you have just created using the Standard Report Creation Wizard.