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Changing databases without touching the RPT

Posted on 2002-04-23
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
I have developed several Reports (RPTs) that connect to a development SQL Server 2000 database using OLE DB.

Now that they have been completed they are going to be submitted to a source code control system (probably Visual Source Safe) and migrated into testing and then one day into Production.

Each time they are migrated they will be using a different database however technically I shouldn't be touching the insides of an RPT file as it moves through these stages.  Any modifications should occur in the development stage and cause new versions of the file to be generated and then controlled.

So, I would like to be able to change the database an RPT is linked to without changing the RPT file.

One idea I had was to link the RPT to a local UDL file.  Then all I would have to do is change the UDL file when I change databases.  It seems though that the Report Designer only uses UDL files to extract connection info and then stored the info in the RPT file afterall.

I took a look at Crystal Queries but they only use ODBC.

I do not want to use ODBC DSNs as the solution I want to stick with OLE DB because then nothing has to be configured on the PC.

Any ideas?

I also hope to install these reports in Crystal Enterprise.  Can I specify the database they are to use when they are installed into Crystal Enterprise?  This may solve my problem too.
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Question by:gawilson2000
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by:gawilson2000
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Aha, a visit from the honorable Mlmcc, complete with references to KB articles.  Honestly, thanks for your attention.

As I mentioned I hope to install these into Crystal Enterprise and I hope to not use VB.  I know how to change databases with VB.

I haven't yet been able to gain access to a Crystal Enterprise server to have a proper play but from what I could see with some brief contact, CE uses the login info found within the RPT file.  This is not to say that CE cannot override these settings.

Your KB article on the Automation Server may be of some assistance since I think this is a component of CE but I'm hoping that I don't have to add any code to the server side components.

Any other ideas?
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I have no experience with CE so I don't know.  I CR allows you to change the database but that means you would be changing the report.

What we did to avoid this problem was to setup the Production environment first and then duplicate it (so to speak) on a small development network.  The databases have the same names, the servers are named the same, the MS SQL servers are named the same.  All tables, queries, stored procedures are duplicated.  We did this to avoid your problem not only with CR but also with our VB application which would have had to change at least the connection strings.  Our reports run with no changes.

Fortunately our development network (5 machines and a server) isn't connected to the production network so we could do that.

We use a CDR/W to transfer files betweem the networks.  This may be a thought for you in the future but it may not work in your current configuration.

I'll look further for more help.

good luck
mlmcc
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Thanks for that.

Unfortunately, where I am, all of the databases (although duplicated in structure) have different names and reside on the one SQL Server.  Which works fine except for this issue.

I hope to have CE server up and running within a day, hopefully I will have a solution then.
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I'll keep thinking and looking

mlmcc
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Have you found an answer?
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I've had trouble installing CE - but it should be up and running soon.

It has a database section but I don't know how easy it is to change databases one the report is installed.

So, no, no answer yet.
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Again, I think I'll close this one too.

The answer maybe that update8x.exe that Crystal provide.
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No problem

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