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Using XML data source for primary and multiple subreports - impact of.

Posted on 2007-11-27
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
This is a follow up to Q_22981434.  I would like to pursue using XML as a datasource for some of our reports to compensate for 1. Reports that hit the database upon refresh/prompt for date range, and 2. If possible, to create a navigable hierarchy.

I'm wanting to be sure I understand the concepts and objectives.  The accepted response and use cases that would solve the bulk of the problems associated with large (in data) hierarchical and grouped reports.

'... create the report while physically connected to the Database, ... then create a XML Schema of the Data ... need and ... use that one Data source for the main report and all sub reports.  The linking should automatically stay intact as long as the column names remain the same and keys are respected in the schema... '  


What I think I want to find out is the following:

What is the intended content assuming no problems creating the report with an xml data source.?
Assume no problems creating a schema that matches the original data set.

The XML Source file, as example Sales.xml, is used as the data source for both
the primary (main) report and all subreports.  What then does the resulting report do or not do that would justify using an xml source.  Assume that the primary objective achieved would be a dataset that does not tickle the database.

-- is the primary benefit the utilization of hierarchical data?
-- is the primary benefit a report that doesn't need / require a refresh until the next scheduled run?
-- assume that all linking stays intact, and that all of the column names remain the same, and that all keys are respected in the xsd schema.
-- assume that there are two processes of development, the designing of the report while connected to the database and the alteration of all primary and subreports for an xml dataset.

Am I correct to assume here that the report becomes a navigavable hierarchy for purposes of viewing large amounts of data from a database in a Crystal report.

Note that although this scenario is one for Crystal.net, that I am using Enterprise Crystal report instances on Infoview, having scheduled the reports each morning.

Any suggestions and comments welcome.  I will gladly sent files and code upon request.

Thanks in advance,

Bill

Remove the word Not from the 2nd comparison in the code snippet - my bad.
Cross reference to
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Database/Reporting_/Crystal_Reports/Q_22981434.html
'' Takes too long!! Too many records !!  Too much Grouping !!  Crystal wants to refresh !!
DIM RESULT1 AS BOOLEAN
DIM RESULT2 AS BOOLEAN
DIM RESULTDev AS BOOLEAN
DIM blnIsAdmin AS BOOLEAN
DIM strFilter As String
DIM X AS DATE RANGE
 
blnIsAdmin = True
 
strFilter   = totext(CurrentCEUserName)
 
If strFilter <> "Administrator" Then
 
   RESULT1 = not ( strFilter in   {Command.Matching} )
 
End If
 
 
X = funDateRange(MAXIMUM({Command.DIM_CALENDAR_DT},{Command.STORE_ID}),"Daily")
 
RESULT2 = {Command.DIM_CALENDAR_DT} IN X
 
formula = NOT(RESULT1 AND RESULT2)

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Question by:billinb
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mlmcc earned 500 total points
ID: 20370682
You will have to convert the reports to change from the database to the XML file.  That may or may not be a seamless task.  To check, I would build a small report against the database then convert it to use the XML file.
The reason it may be trouble is the two methods require different database drivers.

I am not saying it won't work but just that it may not be as easy as simply changing the database.

I have found in using XML files that they are inherently slow especially when you start linking them together.

Are the users really needing to hit the database (remember an XML file doesn't change until you reload it with new data so if they will be running reports against it, it may be just as easy to run the reports and export them to PDF for viewing purposes.

mlmcc
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Author Closing Comment

by:billinb
ID: 31411365
The users are not needing to hit the database.  In fact, I'll go one step further and say that it takes some crafty design in order for the end user to know that they have, indeed by design hit the database when changing a prompt or hitting refresh.

I wonder if there's anything to your implied suggestion of using an xml report to navigate a serieas of pdf files.  Maybe the way to work around the slow return / link with an xml source is to keep it small.

Thanks for your reply.
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