Announcing the New SAP Web Service Design Tool for Crystal Reports Server
Many existing customers and partners utilize the Flynet utility that comes free with Crystal Reports Server so that they can easily develop web services against relational data sources. With the release of Crystal Reports Server 2008 SP2, we have also released a new utility that will replace the current Flynet solution, but will allow our customers and partners to achieve the same objective. The SAP Web Service Design Tool is now available and can be downloaded from here.
The new SAP Web Service Design is very straight forward; however, I have provided a few screenshots below to give you an idea of what the tool looks like.
If you are interested in or have the requirement to quickly deploy web services on top of your relational data, please take a moment to download the tool and give it a try. We are very interested in hearing your feedback. So, let us know what you think.
Upon launching the tool, you will be presented with the following screen:
In order to start creating your first web service, you will click on the “New Connection” button. This will bring up a wizard that will walk you through connecting to the myriad of supported data sources. In my example, I’m connecting to the standard eFashion database.
On the next screen, I choose my DSN and click on “Test Connection” to ensure that the connection works okay.
The next screen simply provides a summary of my connection details. I click on Finish and am taken to the main screen of the application. From here, you can see that my connection, called eFashion, has been defined and is listed under the Connections portion of the application window.
My next step towards creating a web service is to define the query that will provide the data for my web service. To do this, click on the “New SQL Query” button. This will bring up a wizard which will walk you through the process of creating your query against your defined connection.
On the first screen of the wizard, you define the name of your query, what type of query you want to define (i.e., Select, Insert, Update, etc…) and the connection that you want to utilize.
On the next screen, you can select the table that you want to use to define your query.
After clicking on “Next”, you will be able to choose your fields that you want to include in your query.
The screen after this one allows you to define any filters that you want for the query and the final screen provides options for further editing the query in either Visual Mode or Expert Mode. Visual Mode allows you to insert a new table for the query and continue refining your query in others ways by using GUI buttons and commands. Expert Mode allows you to build the SQL Command by typing out SQL syntax. Once you are done, you can save the query and then execute it to ensure that it returns the proper results.
You’ll notice that even though I have saved my query, it is not displayed under the Queries portion of the application. You can only see queries that have been created against specific connections. So, I will only be able to see this new query I have created after selecting my “eFashion” connection first.
Now that I have my query created, I can proceed with creating my web service. To get started, click on “New Web Service”. Again, this will bring up a wizard to walk you through the process of creating your web service.
After defining my web service name, the query I want to use for creating the web service, and the path where I want to deploy the web service, I click on “Next”. The final screen shows a summary of my selections and allows me to deploy the web service now or choose to do so later.
At this point your web service has been deployed and you can begin consuming it through whatever application you like – whether it’s Xcelsius or some other tool.