Crystal Reports, webElements, and the iPad
During the SAP 5O5 World Championships (sailboat racing) in Aarhus, we created a Crystal Report to run specifically on the iPad. We wanted to give the sailors a tool to analyze how they performed against their competitors in a particular race. We also wanted to see what kind of effort it would be to run an interactive Crystal Report on this device.
If you have an iPad, and you are interested in viewing the above mentioned report, please
- go to the SAP Experience site at experience.sap.com in your iPad’s Safari browser
- press the picture of the sailboat to go to the 5O5 page
- press the See It In Action button
The end user can change the sailboat that they want to focus on. The report then shows the 5 boats that finished before the chosen focus boat, and the 5 boats that finished after the focus boat, if applicable. The top 3 finishers were always displayed and the report would always show 14 racers to keep the sizing of the report consistent. Crystal’s interactive sorting feature was also implemented to allow the end user to sort the report by various measures which are summarized in the graphs. A cross-tab at the bottom highlights the positions gained or positions lost at each leg of the race.
More info on how we did it:
Without any additional effort (versus publishing any report to an Enterprise environment) we were able to deploy the first report to be consumed by iPad users at the event. We used an OpenDocument url (opened from a web based email account) to open up the report, logged into InfoView and then viewed the report. However, there were a couple of issues.
The first issue was that the prompt / parameter panel in the Crystal Reports viewer was not that easy to use in the iPad. We were able to get around that issue using the Crystal Reports webElements custom functions to embed the html controls onto the report. We also hid the Crystal Reports viewer toolbar as it did not make much sense to have this visible on the iPad. You can hide the viewer toolbar using webElements or with the OpenDocument parameters found Hiding the Toolbar in Crystal Reports and 2 Other Great OpenDocument Features.
The second issue was that the report was truncated at the bottom so regular scrolling on the iPad did not work that great. The end user had to use a two finger scroll method to view the very bottom of the report. This seems to be an issue with frames and the iPad. OpenDocument opens up a report in a frame and thus it did not want to scroll with one finger on the iPad. Hopefully the iPad’s next OS will have this addressed. Or hopefully we can find a workaround for this in the meantime.
Single sign on (SSO) was later deployed on the Enterprise system which allowed the end user to open up the report without having to log into InfoView. This makes for a better end user experience when you are using a generic user.
Overall the project was deemed a success and we were able to deploy Crystal Reports to an iPad without that much additional effort. We did not test the report on the iPod due to the screen size required for the report. Should you wish to see any more samples created with Crystal Reports for the iPad or the iPod (or not specifically for these devices) please go to the Value Added Samples and Demos site here.