How can I generate multiple iterations of one report in Crystal Reports server

Hello,

I have a table of XXX customers and another table with all of the billable hours for all of my customers. So imagine table A will have customer ID and customer name and table B will have customer ID, date and hours spent. I want to create a generic invoice that has all the makings of a standard invoice. However, I add a lot of clients each month and I don't want to have the maintenance of this all, so ideally I would like to create one report in Crystal Reports and once a month at the time of invoicing, I would like to go through the web browser of Crystal Reports Server and click one button, enter the date range or something and then have it dynamically loop through and query the SQL database for all records in table B for the date range and generate a PDF for EACH of the customers that it found records for. The PDFs would then be named with the customer's name so that without me triggering each one separately or scheduling 23 individual jobs, the system would just loop through and create 23 individual PDF files, one for each client. Then next month, let's say there are 27 clients, it would generate 27 individual PDF files, without me having to click off 27 times for each report or setup 27 aliases or whatever they would be called.

Any ideas if this is possible and if so how?

FYI, I'm talking about the Crystal Report Server from SAP that is about $2,500 for 5 named users, so perhaps a product in this price range can't do something like this.

Thanks!
eviglottiAsked:
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vastoCommented:
You are describing Data driven reports. I believe they are available in Crystal Server with CAL but as far as I remember there is a limitation of 100 recipient per 5 CAL. There is another option "bursting" . You can check if this one will work for you. The difference between data driven and bursting is that data driven is using a query to get the list of customers and will run the report for each record returned by the query while bursting will require you to develop the report as 1 report , which will present all invoices and you need to create a group by customer which will be used by the bursting procedure to cut the report in pieces and each group will be exported to a separate file. I don't know if there is a limitation for the bursting.

You can find articles how to create bursting since this seem to be the more popular option. For example this one:
http://myxcelsius.com/2010/11/11/report-bursting-with-sap-crystal-reports-server-2008/

The price of $2500 is not low, there are tools in the range of $300, which are able to handle data driven reports. You can find a list of 3rd party schedulers here :
http://kenhamady.com/cru/comparisons/desktop-scheduling-engines
This is a feature matrix:
http://kenhamady.com/desktopschedulers.pdf

I am not clear how data driven reports are described in the feature matrix. I know for sure that R-Tag supports both bursting and data driven reports. As far as I know VisualCt supports bursting, Report Runner Batch supports data driven ( I am not sure in this better contact their customer service)


Here is a video showing very early version of data driven reports with R-Tag. http://www.r-tag.com/Pages/Preview_CreateBatchJob.aspx
The video is 3-4 years old. The procedure is updated now , but I don't know if a newer video is available.
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mlmccCommented:
What version of Crystal or do you have?

With BOE 3.1 r2 there is a feature called publications that will do exactly what you want.  The only maintenance you will have is when new customers are added to update a table with the Customer ID, Name and Email

mlmcc
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mlmccCommented:
I don't know if CR server can do publications.

It also would not be too difficult to write an application in VB6 or .Net to do what you want.

mlmcc
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