Describing Reporting Concepts


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe reporting concepts

Reporting Overview

Let us discuss developing a new report.

SAP Crystal Reports is a powerful, dynamic reporting solution that helps you design, explore, visualize, and deliver reports via the web or embedded in enterprise applications. This course is designed to give you comprehensive skills and in-depth knowledge to plan and create reports that will help you analyze and interpret data.

As a business benefit, you will find that this course is an in-depth approach to the entire report creation cycle from planning a report prototype to distributing a report.

Basic Terminology and Definitions

The following table describes report terminology and definitions.

Basic Terminology and Definitions

DatabaseA database is a bank of data that provides the information for a report. A database is also referred to as a data source.
TableA table is a container of information that can hold many pieces of data, such as records. Tables are stored in databases.
RecordIn a database, a record is a complete unit of related information. Each record is made up of one or more fields, and each field can hold one piece of data (known as a value).
FieldA field is the basic building block of a record. A field can be empty (NULL) or contain a value.
ReportA report is an organized presentation of data. A comprehensive, customized, and attractive report can provide management with the information that it needs to run an organization effectively.
LinkA link is a field that is common to two or more tables and that serves as a connecting point between those two tables. Linking means that records are matched up from two or more tables and ensures that all the data in each row of multiple tables refers to the same customer (transaction, invoice, and so on) on a report.

SAP Crystal Reports Process From Creation to Distribution

The steps involved from Crystal Reports creation to distribution are:

Need for a report that satisfies a requirement.
Report prototype

This can be an existing report or parts of existing content. If this is a new report, then further information will have to be gathered.

Follow the guidelines in the Report Requirements Checklist to jump start the planning process:

  • Define the overall purpose of the report.

    The purpose statement helps you focus on your primary needs, and it gives the report both a starting point and a goal.

  • Define the readers of the report. Plan the report so it includes the information that each user is looking for.

  • Define the data used in the report.

    What type of data source will you need to connect to?

  • Determine the report title.

    Write out a working title for the report. You may decide to change it later, but at least you will have a title to use when creating the prototype report.

  • Define header and footer identifying information.

    Header information typically includes a company logo, a print date, and the title of the report. Page numbers usually appear in footers.

  • Define specific data that should appear in the body of the report.

    The body should contain all the data needed to fulfill the statement of purpose that you wrote for the report. It should also contain all of the data needed by the various users that you have identified.

  • Determine if the data is organized into groups.

    How? By customer? By date? By hierarchy? Or by other criteria?

  • Determine if the data is sorted based on record or group values.

    Data can be sorted based on a specific record or on a group.

  • Determine if the data exists or if it needs to be calculated.

    Some report information can be drawn directly from data fields; other information will have to be calculated based on data field values.

  • Determine if the report is to contain only specific records or groups.

    You can base a report on all records in a given database, or on a limited set of records from the database.

  • Determine if the data needs to be summarized.

    Do you want to total, average, count, or determine the maximum or minimum value included in all the values in any column on the report? Do you want to include a grand total at the bottom of a selected column?

  • Define how to identify key information through formatting options.

    What formatting options can be used to highlight key data on a report?

The Data source(s) is now identified, and then you can sign off (from client/user before any development begins).

Development of report prototype: (Crystal Reports software used for prototype)

Good sample data is a must. The production database usually contains too much data for a prototype. If a sample database is used, be sure to ask the client/user for known data issues and include these in the sample database.

One sample report is usually not enough. Develop several versions of a theme, let the client/user pick and choose from them, and then indicate what they like and don't like from those items.

Refine the report as required.


Large data sources can take from minutes to hours and even days to run. You don't want large running reports to run from your client machine. Instead, save the report to the Business Intelligence platform and schedule the report to run through the BI Launch Pad.

If the report is saved to your favorites, which only you can view schedule and view the report. If the report is saved to the public folders, each user must have an account and have a minimum of View access rights to see the content.

The report can be scheduled, viewed, and even exported from the Business Intelligence platform.

Navigate an Existing Report

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