About ReportServer/CR

A report server for SAP Crystal Reports.

ReportServer/CR is a report server that hosts reports created with SAP Crystal Reports. It works with any version of SAP Crystal Reports and allows you to schedule reports to run at any frequency. You can pass parameters to reports, including dynamic and cascading parameters and easily integrate it with your network security infrastructure. Store reports in any format supported by SAP Crystal Reports, including the format that uses Crystal Reports’ interactive web viewer.

VersaReports ReportServer/CR has the flexibility to integrate into your existing infrastructure and provides an easy-to-use, AJAX-based web interface so that your users can see and do what they need to do without a lot of hand-holding.

The current release takes ReportServer's flexibility and ease-of-use several steps further with:

  • Store reports in Oracle and MySQL database servers in addition to SQL Server
  • Schedule reports using dynamic and cascading parameters
  • Significantly simplified installation and configuration
  • Improved distribution list features
  • Distribute reports to printers and to Sharepoint document libraries, in addition to distributing reports to users, e-mail addresses, and remote file servers
  • Support for using ActiveDirectory or Windows groups for distributing reports

Features In-Depth

Define Once, Schedule Lots of Times - With VersaReports ReportServer/CR for SAP Crystal Reports, each report is defined once and can be scheduled multiple times or run on-demand with the new "Quick Run" feature. The report definition includes where the report is located (uploaded into the database or stored on the web server's disk), the basic parameter information that the report accepts, and which users can schedule the report to run. Users who are selected to be able to schedule this report can then define when the report will be run and the specific parameter values to supply for each scheduled run. So if you want a production report to be scheduled at different times for different production lines, you would define the production report once, but schedule it multiple times with a parameter value specifying the production line for the report.

Schedule a Report to Run When You Want - Run your report immediately, at some time in the future, once a day, once an hour, even once a minute. Whatever makes sense for your report, VersaReports ReportServer/CR for SAP Crystal Reports can handle it. When you define a report's schedule, you can specify:

  • When the report should first run
  • How often you want the report to repeat (by months, days, hours, or minutes)
  • Which days of the week or month you want the report to run, and which hours of the day you want the report to run

In other words, if you want to run a report once a month on the first of the month or every hour during the first shift of every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, ReportServer/CR can do it.

Pass Parameters to the Report - Many reporting packages support the idea that you can pass parameters directly into the report before you run it. With ReportServer/CR, you can specify parameters as part of any scheduled report. Parameter types include:

  • Integer and/or floating point numbers, limited by high and low values specified by the person defining the report that can be scheduled
  • Any string of characters
  • A date/time value, which can either be a specific date/time OR a relative date/time, like beginning of the hour, beginning of the day, beginning of the week, beginning of the month, beginning of the quarter, and beginning of the year.
  • A string based on a set of choices (e.g., A, B, C, D) that are specified when the report is defined to ReportServer/CR.
  • Dynamic and cascading parameters that are based on the results of database queries.

Report administrators can also lock parameters for certain schedulers as well as let the report administrators adjust the order of parameters to be shown to schedulers using an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface.

Distribute Reports Where You Want - VersaReports ReportServer/CR for SAP Crystal Reports lets you send reports to other users on the ReportServer web site, e-mail users inside and outside of your organization, to remote servers via FTP, Secure FTP, and FTP over SSL, and to Microsoft SharePoint document libraries and remote printers. Report administrators can create global distribution lists - which include web users and e-mail users - which can be used by any report scheduler to distribute a report. Additionally, any user can also create their own personalized distribution list for distributing reports. Web site users can forward a report to other users, to e-mail addresses, to all users on a distribution list, or to remote servers and printers. This feature applies not only to the users who schedule reports, but also to any report recipient.

Store Reports In The Format You Want/Maintain It As Long As You Want - VersaReports ReportServer/CR for SAP Crystal Reports allows you to schedule a report to produce output in any format supported by the report designer package you select. For the native report formats, the site administrator can set up a special viewing page (examples for many common report designers are included in the base package); for other formats, the user is required to have the appropriate viewer — e.g., Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, etc. — already loaded on their workstation.

When a report is scheduled, it is provided with a default retention policy, specifying the number of days before an old report expires or the number of successful runs that are retained for the user's viewing. Additionally, every user that is permitted to view a scheduled report can also customize the default retention policy to create a personal retention policy for that scheduled report. In other words, if the report's scheduler defines the default retention policy to be 5 days and a user wants it to be only the last 10 copies of the report, you can make that adjustment and it only affects how the number of copies of this report that user will see. Other users can adjust their retention policy to best meet their business needs.

Integrate With Your Security - Authentication and authorization for VersaReports ReportServer/CR for SAP Crystal Reports can come from any authentication/authorization scheme defined for your network. VersaReports ReportServer/CR for SAP Crystal Reports includes  authentication/authorization for the primary Windows security schemes: Windows, Active Directory, and Forms Authentication. If the included Forms Authentication implementation doesn’t work well for you, you can create and integrate your own with minimal programming effort.

VersaReports ReportServer/CR for SAP Crystal Reports has many other features including

  • Store reports in MySQL, Oracle, or SQL Server
  • An easy-to-use configuration tool to make post-installation configuration a snap
  • Users can integrate a view of their archived reports into any portal - like SharePoint, My Yahoo, iGoogle, and MyMSN - using ReportServer's RSS feed feature
  • Report event notifications can be sent to e-mail or Twitter when a report completes or fails
  • Multi-threaded report runner, so that more than one report can be scheduled to run at any moment (within the limits of your server's abilities)
  • Time zone "normalization", so that the timestamps are displayed using the time zone in the user's location
  • A professional AJAX-driven web interface for all features
  • Easy integration of the ReportServer/CR pages into an existing corporate portal via Master Pages (a default Master Page is provided and you can change that page and the "skin" on the controls within the main page to better integrate the look of VersaReports ReportServer/CR to match your corporate portal look)
  • Store completed reports in the database for security or on disk for faster access and easier backup
  • Excellent customer service and technical support

IMPORTANT NOTE: Crystal Reports run-time licenses and run-time libraries are required but not included.  Libraries can be obtained from SAP Crystal Reports web site for free.  Contact SAP for details on obtaining SAP Crystal Reports run-time licenses.  The software is shipped to work with Crystal Reports Runtime Libraries for Visual Studio 2010 SP1 (v13.0.2), but if you want to use a different version,  you’ll need to use Visual Studio 2008 or Visual Studio 2010 (Express version is fine) to compile a small piece of code that talks to the specific version of Crystal Reports you want to use.  Detailed instructions are included in the documentation.