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Combining multiple reports into one

Posted on 2008-11-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
I am trying to find a solution for the following probem :

I have multiple crystal reports that are run individually, each report having the same two paramaters passed into them.  
I want to be able to give users the ability to create a "report set (or pack)", selecting 1 or more of these individual reports, to print them as one report, instead of printing individual reports that are required for each job for example.  
Currently I have a report launch c# application that passes the param into the indivdual reports, so I would like a solution that would allow me to combine the reports, defined in the report pack, and if possible allow for page numbering to run true within the report set.

Any help/advce wout be greatly appricieated

TIA
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Question by:manney_mcvicker
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11 Comments
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:MIKE
ID: 22868088
Would combining them into ONE main report..having them be SUBREPORTS work for you?

This would depend on what the reports look like.

Also,...can you schedule the report to print at a scheduled time each day then just have them ready to DISPLAYwhenever a user wants to see them..??
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Author Comment

by:manney_mcvicker
ID: 22868137
Scheduling reports in this instance would not work.
I have thought about sub-reports, but I presume I would somehow need to dynamically add sub-reports with the contents of the individual reports, do you know if this is achievable through the report launcher application?
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:MIKE
ID: 22868178
Ok...so you are NOT using an "Enterprise Version" of Crystal Reports, like Crystal Server, or Business Objects XI...right?

I think your best course would be SUBREPORTS...but again...the final format of each report would determine IF this would work. For instance, IF one of these subs is actually a long listing of detail...then it may not look good. I guess you could place the LONGER reports at the end of the SECTIONS that you are using. Seems like it should work.  THen just pass the parameters down to each SUB.

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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Ido Millet
ID: 22869481
You can conditionally suppress subreports (or main report sections that contain the subreports) based on a multi-value parameter that allows the user to select which reports (subreports really) to include.
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LVL 100

Expert Comment

by:mlmcc
ID: 22869606
That is a a good idea.

WIll the users always want them in a standard order?
If so the idea of a main report with all the others as subreports will work with suppression.
You will then be able to specify R1, R2, R5, R6
Report 1
Report 2
Report 5
Report 6

If you need to do them in varying order then you can modify your application to print multiple reports and retrieve the number of pages and pass it in to the next report to set the start page number.

mlmcc
0
 

Author Comment

by:manney_mcvicker
ID: 22874682
The idea of having 1 report with a different section with a sub report in it is the way  to go with this, but our application currently has approx 220 reports.
I think it would be unadvisable to create 1 report with 200+ sections that are suppressed as required. If only from a maintainablilty stand point!

I would like to be able to have a basic report template, then programaticly add sections to the base report, that would contain a sub report that would contain a rpt file from the report set definedby the user, then add another section ..... and so on.

Is this achievable progmatically through .net?  Can you create sections & subreports progmatically? I have not come across any examples myself.
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LVL 22

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Ido Millet earned 100 total points
ID: 22875886
This may be doable in .NET but I haven't done or seen anything like it.  Look at the RAS API.

If you are willing to deliver the end result to the user as a pdf, there is a simpler alternative.  One of the 3rd-party Report Managers listed at http://www.kenhamady.com/bookmarks.html has an api that allows you to request report exports to pdf, merging of the pdf's, adding bookmarks (so the user can navigate between the embedded reports), adding a Table of Contents, adding page numbers, etc.
You would simply call the api once for each report and then call the merge and other directives in the last command line.  

One advantage of that approach is that it support cases where some of your reports already contain subreports...
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LVL 100

Expert Comment

by:mlmcc
ID: 22890552
I agree with that many reports it is not really doable that way.  Also 220 may be too many for Crystal to handle.

I think IdoMillet's idea is really the only usable solution.

mlmcc
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:MIKE
ID: 22890599
Agree,..I've never attempted to load multiple reports into a SINGLE report like this...myself..
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Author Comment

by:manney_mcvicker
ID: 23002680
Cheers peeps for all your input.

IdoMillet's propsal of exporting the indivual reports as pdf's then using third party pdf tools to merge them into a combined pdf, seems a far more logical approach to the problem.  There seem to be quite a few tool sets out there, plenty of free open source ones too, so i'm off to do some more research, and will keep you posted, with whatever solution I end up running with :-)

Thanks again
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Ido Millet
ID: 23003769
The thirdt party tool I was hinting about is not just a pdf tool.  It is a Crystal Report Manager that also has pdf processing functionality.  The advantage for you is that it can automate the whole process (exporting the reports, post-export pdf processing, emailing the merged pdf file, etc.) rather than just the pdf part.
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