[AccessD] Access and Crystal Reports

Shamil Salakhetdinov shamil at smsconsulting.spb.ru
Sat Mar 8 11:53:00 CST 2003

> One question.  Does CR have a 'program' language that you can run in the
> background of a report?  (Not just macro like, but VBA like, where you can
> interface with the OS if you want type stuff....)

Yes, CR has a program language used to create formulas - see P.S.
What is important to note is that CR report generation customization IS NOT
event driven!
This shocks at first an MS Access developer (that's from my experience)...
Then when you get comfortable with that "new ideology" you see that it's
very flexible...
I'd say that the usual customization technique in CR is data-driven...
I expect you to "fall in love" with CR because the tricks it allows to do
aren't possible in MS Access - the key to the tricks IMO are sections (these
are subsections of Report Header/Footer, Page Header/Footer,...) and
formulas, which can be specified on different levels of reports to control
properties' values of report objects on runtime...
And of course you'll love drill-down (live reports) - this is where one CR
report may substitute several MS Access forms and reports with subreports...
And of course you'll love easy migration of all that stuff(reports) to the
Web from where they can be interactively using very good and effective data
cashing technique...

>  instead of
> using the solutions that were used.
There are good Wizards for CR too but CR profis seldom use them (I'm not the
one of such profis because I've had just a casual project with CR) .
CR can be used by powerusers I think for the cases like you describe but
it's much more for programmers because only programmers are able to show the
real power of CR through reports they create with it using formulas...


<<<<+ Quoting CR Help +>>>
A formula is a symbolic statement of the modifications you want performed on
certain data before it is printed on your report.

For example, if your report is to contain a {file.SALES} field and a
{file.COST} field, you may want to create a GrossProfit field and designate
its text strings as {file.SALES} - {file.COST}. This is a simple formula
that tells the program to subtract the value of the {file.COST} field from
the value of the {file.SALES} field and then to print the result.

You can use formulas to calculate numeric values, compare one value to
another and select alternative actions based on the comparison, join
multiple value into a single string, and to perform a multitude of other
operations. Creating a formula in Crystal Reports is much like creating a
formula in your favorite spreadsheet.

Note:    The term "formula" in Crystal Reports is equivalent to the term
"expression" in Microsoft Access.

Crystal and Basic Syntax
When creating formulas, you have the option of using either Crystal or Basic
syntax. Almost any formula written with one syntax can be written with the
other. Reports can contain formulas that use Basic syntax as well as
formulas that use Crystal syntax.

Crystal syntax is the formula language included in all prior versions of
Crystal Reports. Basic Syntax is new to Crystal Reports 8.

If you are familiar with Microsoft Visual Basic or other versions of Basic,
then Basic syntax may be more familiar to you. In general, Basic syntax is
modeled on Visual Basic except that it has specific extensions to handle

If you are already comfortable with Crystal syntax, you can continue to use
it, and benefit from the new functions, operators and control structures
inspired by Visual Basic.

Note:    Report processing is not slowed down by using Basic syntax. Reports
using Basic syntax formulas can run on any machine that Crystal Reports runs
on. Also, using Basic syntax formulas does not require distributing any
additional files with your reports.

<<<<- Quoting CR Help ->>>

----- Original Message -----
From: "Drew Wutka" <DWUTKA at marlow.com>
To: <accessd at databaseadvisors.com>
Sent: Saturday, March 08, 2003 10:27 AM
Subject: RE: [AccessD] Access and Crystal Reports

> Very good point.  I've watched this thread from the outside, for two
> reasons.  I personally have never made a CR report, and at best I consider
> myself an 'amatuer' at report generation in Access.  When it comes to
> reports in Access, I can do some pretty nifty stuff with code, making
> stupendous 'special' reports.  However, there are people where I work that
> do nothing but generate reports using the wizards, and then tweaking all
> sorts of things.  I have had to go into these reports from time to time,
> I must admit that they get them to do exactly what they want with
> little fuss.  That is why I consider myself an amatuer at the report
> because half the time I would have jumped to VBA....(go figure), instead
> using the solutions that were used.
> One question.  Does CR have a 'program' language that you can run in the
> background of a report?  (Not just macro like, but VBA like, where you can
> interface with the OS if you want type stuff....)
> Drew
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Wortz, Charles [mailto:CWortz at tea.state.tx.us]
> Sent: Friday, March 07, 2003 7:13 AM
> To: accessd at databaseadvisors.com
> Subject: RE: [AccessD] Access and Crystal Reports
> Shamil,
> True, CR allows independent sections in reports, and true this can be a
> useful feature.  But in my experience there never has been a report that
> I had to create that needed this feature.
> My last word on this thread is this:  Since everybody's previous
> experiences and personal preferences are different, there is no one best
> tool for everybody.  Of the tools that are available to you and you are
> comfortable using, try to pick the one that is most suitable for the
> problem at hand.
> Have a nice day Shamil.
> Charles Wortz
> Software Development Division
> Texas Education Agency
> 1701 N. Congress Ave
> Austin, TX 78701-1494
> 512-463-9493
> CWortz at tea.state.tx.us
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Shamil Salakhetdinov [mailto:shamil at smsconsulting.spb.ru]
> Sent: Thursday 2003 Mar 06 15:59
> To: accessd at databaseadvisors.com
> Subject: Re: [AccessD] Access and Crystal Reports
> > Access 2002 and CR 9.0 are
> > almost identical in their feature sets.
> Charles,
> I thought the same but then I made approx. 50 real-life CR reports for
> HRM/Payroll system and my customer was a real guru in both HRM/Payroll
> programming/reporting and CR itself (I worked as his subcontractor) -
> and I soon realized that despite the fact that the feature set of MS
> Access and CR seems to be very similar, the real power of CR is in its
> unique and looking at first not very significant feature of allowing to
> have and manipulate on runtime of several (as many as you wish)
> independent sections/areas of Report Header/Footer, Page Header/Footer,
> Group Header/Footer and Details...
> The only area where I've found MS Access "beats" CR 8.x, which I used,
> is when you need in CR to copy and paste (or cut and paste) a group of
> controls within one report or between reports - here CR sometimes goes
> "crazy" and you need to realigh controls manualy after paste
> operation...
> Charles, I'd not like to have this thread to become"religious" debate
> "CR vs. MS Access report generator" - let's stop it? - after your
> contr-arguments if you wish! :)
> Shamil
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