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Publish Reports with BigCommerce Data in Crystal Reports

Use the Report Wizard to design a report based on up-to-date BigCommerce data.

Crystal Reports has many options for offloading data processing to remote data; this enables real-time reporting. With the support for JDBC in Crystal Reports, the CData JDBC Driver for BigCommerce brings this capability to Crystal Reports. This article shows how to create a report on BigCommerce data that refreshes when you run the report.

Deploy the JDBC Driver

Install the CData JDBC Driver for BigCommerce by including the driver JAR in the Crystal Reports classpath: Add the full file path, including the .jar, to the paths in the ClassPath element, under the DataDriverCommonElement.

The CRConfig.xml is usually located at C:\Program Files (x86)\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\java — the path might be slightly different based on your installation. The driver JAR is located in the lib subfolder of the installation directory.

After you have added the JAR to the ClassPath, restart Crystal Reports.

Connect to BigCommerce Data

After deploying the JDBC Driver for BigCommerce, you can then use the Report Wizard to add BigCommerce data to a new report.

  1. Click File -> New -> Standard Report.
  2. Expand the JDBC node under Create New Connection and double-click Make a New Connection.
  3. In the wizard, enter the JDBC connection URL:

    jdbc:bigcommerce:OAuthClientId=YourClientId; OAuthClientSecret=YourClientSecret; StoreId='YourStoreID'; CallbackURL='http://localhost:33333'InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH

    BigCommerce authentication is based on the standard OAuth flow. To authenticate, you must initially create an app via the Big Commerce developer platform where you can obtain an OAuthClientId, OAuthClientSecret, and CallbackURL. These three parameters will be set as connection properties to your driver.

    Additionally, in order to connect to your BigCommerce Store, you will need your StoreId. To find your Store Id please follow these steps:

    1. Log in to your BigCommerce account.
    2. From the Home Page, select Advanced Settings > API Accounts.
    3. Click Create API Account.
    4. A text box named API Path will appear on your screen.
    5. Inside you can see a URL of the following structure: https://api.bigcommerce.com/stores/{Store Id}/v3.
    6. As demonstrated above, your Store Id will be between the 'stores/' and '/v3' path paramters.
    7. Once you have retrieved your Store Id you can either click Cancel or proceed in creating an API Account in case you do not have one already.

    Built-in Connection String Designer

    For assistance in constructing the JDBC URL, use the connection string designer built into the BigCommerce JDBC Driver. Either double-click the JAR file or execute the jar file from the command-line.

    java -jar cdata.jdbc.bigcommerce.jar

    Fill in the connection properties and copy the connection string to the clipboard.

    When you configure the JDBC URL, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

  4. Set the driver class name:

    cdata.jdbc.bigcommerce.BigCommerceDriver
  5. Select the tables and fields needed in the report. This example uses the FirstName and LastName columns from the Customers table.

You can then configure grouping, sorting, and summaries. For example, this article groups on FirstName and summarizes on LastName. See the following section to use the aggregate and summary to create a chart.

Create a Chart

After selecting a column to group by, the Standard Report Creation Wizard presents the option to create a chart. Follow the steps below to create a chart that aggregates the values in the FirstName column.

  1. In the Standard Report Creation Wizard, select the Bar Chart option and select the column you grouped by, FirstName in this example, in the On Change Of menu.
  2. In the Show Summary menu, select the summary you created.
  3. Select filters and a template, as needed, to finish the wizard.

Preview the finished report to view the chart, populated with your data. If you want to filter out null values, use a SelectionFormula.

Working with Remote Data

To ensure that you see updates to volatile data, click File and clear the "Save Data with Report" option. As you interact with the report, for example, drilling down to hidden details, Crystal Reports executes SQL queries to retrieve the data needed to display the report. To reload data you have already retrieved, refresh or rerun the report.

You can offload processing onto the driver by hiding details elements and enabling server-side grouping. To do this, you will need to have selected a column to group on in the report creation wizard.

  1. Click File -> Report Options and select the Perform Grouping On Server option.
  2. Click Report -> Section Expert and select the Details section of your report. Select the Hide (Drill-Down OK) option.

When you preview your report with the hidden details, Crystal Reports executes a GROUP BY query. When you double-click a column in the chart to drill down to details, Crystal Reports executes a SELECT WHERE query that decreases load times by retrieving only the data needed, instead of the entire table.