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Basics of Crystal Reports

Basics of Crystal Reports:


SAP Crystal Reports features on SAP BW/ECC

  • Creating a simple report with a SAP BW query
  • Using BW variables in Crystal Reports
  • Using hierarchies in Crystal Reports
  • Crystal Reports and SAP R/3

           –  Using InfoSets in Crystal Reports 

        –  Using tables and ABAP functions in Crystal Reports

  • Types of Reports
  • Summarizing Data – Use Formula Field instead of Running totals if summary data is required on Report Header.
  • Sub Reports – Insert ->sub report -> view detailed data
  • New In Crystal Reports 2008



  • To  Access BW and ECC system from Crystal Reports, SAP-BOBJ integration has to be done on Client side as well.

         Programs -> Crystal Reports 2008

Features of Crystal Reports:

  • Page Header:     e.g. Logos
  • Report Header:   e.g.   Group Name Section
  • Detail Section:    e.g.  Columns of Data
  • Report Footer     e.g.  Subtotal
  • Page Footer        e.g.  Page no, User Id etc
  • Report Explorer


Field Explorer:

  • Special Fields  –  Cannot be modified.  e.g: Print Time, Page Number
  • Formula Fields – Functions and Commands that are common among all the objects.
  • Fields with Check Mark. (Fields that are used in the report)
  • Running Totals


Crystal Reports is offers the following connectivity for SAP BW:

–  Access to SAP BW queries and SAP BW cubes
–  Direct access to SAP ODS objects. Crystal Reports offers the following connectivity for SAP R/3.
–  An InfoSet connection providing access to classic InfoSets and SAP queries
–  Table, cluster and ABAP function connectivity

Crystal Reports Field Explorer and BW Query Elements Mapping:

  • Characteristics are being returned as separate fields with a key and description in the field explorer (for example: Material (SAP Demo) Key and medium name)

  • Free characteristics are being treated in the same way as any other characteristic in Crystal Reports and can be used for reporting

  • Key figures from the BW query are being returned with up to three fields representing the numeric value, the unit, and the formatted value based on the user preferences (transaction SU01).

  • Display attributes are treated as separate fields in Crystal Reports but can be used independent of the characteristic itself (for example: Material Group (Key and Name) and Gross Weight)
  • Variables from the underlying query are resulting in parameters in Crystal Reports (more in my next blog entry).


BEx Variables and Crystal ReportsBEx Variables and Crystal Reports:

  • If In addition the Bex query contains a Keydate variable for the Product Hierarchy that allows the user to select a specific date for the time-dependent product hierarchy
  • To leverage this parent-child relationship in Crystal Reports I am creating in the first step a new group in my report (Menu Insert > Group) and select the Product Node ID as the grouping field.


Report – Hierarchical Grouping :

  • To configure the group to become a hierarchical group.
  • select the menu Report > Hierarchical Grouping Options and
  • Select the Product Parent Node ID as the parent for the just created group.
  • Configure the Group Indent e.g:  0.2 inches and preview the report
  • Based on the Keydate Variable in the underlying BW query, a Crystal Reports parameter is comes up

  • Select a date for my report. I enter the current date and continue to preview my report


SAP ECC systems and Crystal Reports:

  • Crystal Reports is able to connect to:

        – InfoSets

        – InfoSet Queries

        – ABAP Functions

        – Tables (via Open SQL)

Database Expert Option – SAP Table Cluster or Function

  • First option is to leverage a ABAP data cluster in Crystal Reports
  • The  Second Option, Data Dictionary allows Crystal Reports to retrieve all tables from the R/3 system.
  • The Third option is to retrieve a list of ABAP Functions


BEx Variables and Multi-Structures in Crystal Reports:

  • Variables

        -Both optional and mandatory prompts are supported.

        -Variables appear as Parameter Fields in Explorer.

        -if users want personalization in prompt selection (favourites) (to leverage BEx variable personalization). As a result the data is generated based on their saved personalized values

  • Multi-Structure in Bex on Crystal:

          – Characteristics Structure appears as single characteristic field in Field Explorer of Crystal Reports. 

        – Key Figure Structure shows individual Key Figures in Field Explorer.

  • Multi-Structure in Bex on Crystal:

Limitation in Crystal:

  • Cannot select individual characteristics elements in Structure for WebI
  • Currently not supported in both Crystal Reports and WebI. Support for this functionality on BOBJ will be included in next release.


  • Use custom calculations in OLAP universe or perform alternate calculations in BEx side itself.

Common Errors:

Error 1:

  Occurs while execution – F5

SAP- BOBJ Integration is not properly done – ABAP Transports need to be imported to your system.

Workaround: Use SAP BW Query in Database Expert

   Limitations of this Work Around: Does not support multi structure queries and does not support display attributes

Error 2:

Check if underlying BW Query is executing correctly

  Ensure that “Allow External Access to this query” is checked


  • The only Business Objects tool that offers SAP-ERP reporting functionality is Crystal Reports.
  • Typical uses for Crystal are for “pixel perfect” formatted enterprise reporting.
  • Static Reports (Report format is fairly fixed)
  • Create Reports can handle both small and large datasets with more than 60, 000 rows (e.g financial data )
  • Detailed Reports
  • Highly formatted reports (like sub reports, conditional formatting, creating formulas a.s.o)
  • Pixel Perfect Presentation
  • Mass Printing and Distribution


Save & Export Options:

  • SAVE  to Enterprise
  • Save to SAP BW
  • Extension File :    *.rpt


Types of reports:

File -> New -> on start page

  • Standard Report
  • Blank Report
  • Cross-Tab Report
  • Mailing Label Report
  • OLAP Cube Report


New in Crystal Reports 2008 :

  • Advanced information visualization with Flash, Flex and Xcelsius

    The SWF  files can be embedded in the report or linked via a website.

    Enhance the reports with what-if analysis models that enable users to make important  decisions dynamically, without leaving the report file

  • Powerful cross-tabs

      Custom calculation like summary into a cross-tab row or column. 

  • Flexible pagination

     Like, customize page size, combine portrait- and landscape-oriented pages.

  • Parameter Panel 

       Set parameters without refreshing data. 

  • Hyperlinking

     Automatically create the Crystal Reports formula to call a BusinessObjects Enterprise Open Document hyperlink.

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