Crystal Reports Sample Files Explained
I was recently given the Crystal Reports 2011 pre-release software for review (a 90 day keycode) and the first thing I did was go to the SAP download area. I wanted to download and save the sample reports onto my temporary VMWare instance that I’ll use for testing Crystal Reports 2011. I realized that the sample reports have no explanation of what they are, and it isn’t totally clear by looking at their file names. So I thought I would write a quick blog post to help clarify what each download is and what you get with it.
For example, when I search on “Crystal Reports 2008 – Samples”, here are the downloads available for the English language.
- CR XI Xtreme Reports Samples and Database
- CR 2008 Sample Reports – Demonstration
- CR 2008 Sample Reports – Features
- XML data sources for the CR 2008 sample reports
- CR 2008 sample reports – Financial
My first thought is, why are the CR XI sample reports and its database appearing in the CR 2008 search results? Secondly, what is the difference between the file names “Demonstration”, “Features” and “Financial”? Are they all separate downloads, is it possible to download a single file that has everything? I can’t tell any of this just by looking at the search results, and I’m not sure what I need to download.
Oh yeah – here is the download link:
NOTE: The SAP blog software won’t let this link redirect off the page properly (it will give you a 404 error). Highlight the link, then copy it into memory and pasted on your browser’s URL to go to the correct page.
Of course, I downloaded everything. Here is a summary of the downloads:
CR XI Xtreme Reports and Database
This includes the Xtreme.mdb database (an Access database) that has been used for almost every version of Crystal Reports through XI. The sample reports use the Xtreme.mdb database as their datasource. I assume that this is included in the CR 2008 query results b/c many people, like myself, are more comfortable with these original files and would rather work with them rather than the XML files that are used with the CR 2008 sample reports. I personally like these reports b/c as I write books and articles about Crystal Reports, I like to take existing reports and ‘tweak’ their data and layout so that I can quickly demonstrate a point. It’s much easier for me to modify the data in an Access database than it is to work with XML data files.
CR 2008 Demonstration:
Comparative Income Statement.rpt
Order Processing Efficiency Dashboard.rpt
World Sales Report.rpt
CR 2008 Features:
Calculated Member Cross-tab Chart.rpt
Grouping and Sorting.rpt
Interactive Parameters Chart.rpt
Interactive Parameters Dynamic Group.rpt
Interactive Sort Details.rpt
Interactive Sort Group & Chart.rpt
Optional Paramater – DCP.rpt
Xcelsius 4.5 Charts and Dials.rpt
Folder: Xcelsius 4.5 Sample Flash Objects: a multitude of flash objects for Xcelsius
CR 2008 Financial:
Consolidated Income Statement.rpt
Monthly Variance Cross Tab.rpt
Rolling Quarter Income Statement.rpt
Sorted Variance Analysis Report.rpt
Variance Analysis Report.rpt
YTD Variance Cross Tab.rpt
XML Data Sources
These are the XML files that are used by all the Crystal Reports 2008 sample reports. As of Crystal Reports 2008, the sample reports no longer use the Xtreme.mdb database that has been in existence forever. Interestingly enough, you only need the sample data if you want to build new reports from it. The sample reports that you download have a link to the same XML files that are stored on the www.businessobjects.com servers. Thus, you don’t need a local copy of the XML data to run the sample reports. If you’re interested in the XML data source URL, you can open one of the sample reports and select the menu options Database > Set Datasource Location and look in the “Current Data Source” area.
I hope that this clears up a little of the mystery around the sample reports