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Best Resources for Migrating Complex Crystal Reports to SSRS 2005

Posted on 2006-06-18
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Hi,

I am using SQL Server 2005, with SSRS 2005 and Visual Studio 2005.  I am more comfortable with VB, but can interpret C# just fine (takes a bit longer).  I am an expert with CR up to version 10, I am new with XI.

FYI:  I am also using SQL 2000, and Visual Studio 2002 and 2003.
FYI:  I have been using the non-embedded CR report model.  I can change the reports (.rpt files) without changing the code.

I've read just about everything I can find on SSRS 2005 (SSRS)  and migrating Crystal Reports (CR) to SSRS (web, tutorials and books).  However, most of what I have come across address tabular or cross-tab reports; and I have found nothing so far on the topics that are of most interest to me.

1.  Dynamic page handling for duplex printing / and font size - most records will fit on 2 pages at 6pt font (CR ~ 350/500 displayed records in ~ 13 subreports in addition to the main report). Sometimes I have to go to a 3rd and 4th page if a sureport section exceeds an expected limit.  In CR I use the Mod(ulo) function.  How does this work in SSRS?

2.  Statistical Analysis. Depending on the report requirements I often need to show the Mean, Median, Quartile and COD results.  It took some jumping through hoops in CR, have to use running totals - but I am at a loss as to how I can do this with SSRS?

3.  Selection Criteria.  My current applications use forms (Windows or Web) to allow the user to select one or many options to pass as RecordSelectionFormulas.  This is part of the Crystal API.  How do I do this with SSRS?

For me, these are hard questions and they each merit 500 pts.  Please let me know if I should separate them for further assistance?

My bottom-line question here, is:  Can it be done?  If so, please point me to the right direction.

Thank you,
Jan
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Question by:janmarini
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9 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Spykair
ID: 16932188
As far as I know it can't be done.

Spykair
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Author Comment

by:janmarini
ID: 16934033
Thanks Spykair,

That's been my gut feeling, but without having a lot of experience with SSRS I've been thinking I'm roadblocking myself based on this lack of experience.  So I've been searching for examples of complex reports developed in SSRS to give me a perspective on what can, or cannot be done.  So far, I'm not coming up with anything other than the basics - so I was hoping that there might be a good book or tutorial to get me jump started.

Have you attempted to migrate Crystal Reports to SSRS?  What types of problems did you face?

Thanks,
Jan



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Expert Comment

by:mlmcc
ID: 16938923
I assume you are following the discussion here

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Databases/Crystal_Reports/Q_21890209.html

mlmcc
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by:janmarini
ID: 16939000

Yes, I am following that thread ... but it's not quite what I'm looking for.  Thanks
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Author Comment

by:janmarini
ID: 16973983
I'm curious about a couple things...

1.  I've had very few responses to this thread - wondering if I didn't phrase the initial question properly, or if not a lot of folks on EE have had to tackle complex reporting in SSRS, or is there a better TA to post this question?  Other support forums have had mostly dead-end questions, at least here I got some response.

2.  Spykair, you gave an answer to my question that it can't be done and based on my experience over the last several weeks I'm almost willing to accept that.  I would really love to hear some of your experiences behind your opinion.

A couple weeks ago I sat down at Barnes and Noble and Borders and reviewed the books on SSRS 2005 but at the time was looking for a precise explanation on why I could not install the sample databases and reports (long story).  I got over it - not easy, MSDN/MSDN2 assumes way too much.  

Today I spent 4 hours again trying to find the 'right' book to help me create applications using SSRS 2005 that would have a similar flexibility, look and feel for my current CR users.   Went home empty handed - the books are too simplistic, and offer nohing that I haven't learned already.

Then I spent 5 hours on my prototype SSRS reports and can't even come close to doing what I want to do.  (it took me < 1 day in CR, VB or ASP.NET apps:  3+ weeks in VS/SQL 2005).  I am determined to get through this,  -  this is the way to go according to executives and managers, and it's uncanny that they are usually always right. So I have to persevere.

Do ya think?
Jan

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Spykair earned 500 total points
ID: 16981336
janmarini,

I've never had this problem but I know that it can't be done.

Spykair
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by:janmarini
ID: 16981410
ANSWERS TO MY OWN QUESTIONS:

1.  Dynamic page handling for duplex printing / and font size - most records will fit on 2 pages at 6pt font (CR ~ 350/500 displayed records in ~ 13 subreports in addition to the main report). Sometimes I have to go to a 3rd and 4th page if a sureport section exceeds an expected limit.  In CR I use the Mod(ulo) function.  How does this work in SSRS?

The Mod function does exist.  Will explore further.

2.  Statistical Analysis. Depending on the report requirements I often need to show the Mean, Median, Quartile and COD results.  It took some jumping through hoops in CR, have to use running totals - but I am at a loss as to how I can do this with SSRS?

No - it can not be done. (Spykair's answer).  I agree.  But if I ever find a work-around I will post it here.



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Expert Comment

by:Spykair
ID: 16981416
Thanks janmarini.

If I do find out how this is done, I'll post it here.

Spykair
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Author Comment

by:janmarini
ID: 16981465
Thanks :-) ... TBD.
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