Crystal Reports - Geterogeneus databases: SQL Server, Oracle, Unidata, Btrieve – tips for developer

Crystal Reports is the most flexible tool on the market and it has market recognition. Multiple software vendors offer Crystal Reports as the main reporting tool: Microsoft, Best Software, Oracle to name a few.

Sometimes developers try to use Crystal directly to pull data from multiple database platforms - we understand the need to give you additional tips to increase Crystal report flexibility. Also common case when Crystal report should pull data from multiple database platforms. Assuming that you are creating Crystal Reports on Windows platform - we recommend you to use Microsoft SQL Server as a database access tool.

1. Use Crystal when you have your query tuned – regardless how good Crystal Reports is - it is reporting tool - not querying environment. Tune your query first and be sure that you are pulling the right data.

2. Use SQL Server Linked Servers. Use professional tool, such as Microsoft SQL Server, where you can create linked servers to Oracle, Ctree, Btrieve, MS Access, Unidata, DB2 and other platforms.

3. Use Distributed Queries – in the case of SQL Server - research the possibilities with OPENQUERY, OPENROWSET clauses to connect to non-SQL Server linked servers.

4. Create Stored Procedures - when you need parameters to be transferred to the SQL statement - you need stored procedure. You need stored proc if temp tables are required to do intermediate job in your SQL query.

5. Report Flexibility – when you have report based on the SQL view or stored proc - if you need to modify the data query - you don't have to change the report - you change your SQL view/ stored procedure.

6. Create SQL Query to probe the data – again - we always recommend tuning your query and see that you are getting adequate results – in any case – Crystal Report is just a nice tool to show the results of your query.
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