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Publish Reports with Dynamics GP Data in Crystal Reports

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

Crystal Reports has many options for offloading data processing to remote data; this enables real-time reporting. The CData ODBC Driver for Dynamics GP brings this capability to Crystal Reports. This article shows how to create a report on Dynamics GP data that refreshes when you run the report.

Connect to Dynamics GP Data

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

To authenticate set the User and Password connection properties.

To connect set the URL to the Web services endpoint; for example, http://{servername}:{port}/Dynamics/GPService. Additionally, set CompanyId; you can obtain this value in the company setup window: Click Tools -> Setup -> Company.

By default, data summaries are not returned to save performance. Set LookupIds to true to return details such as line items; however, note that entities must be retrieved one at a time.

When you configure the DSN, 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.

You can then follow the procedure below to use the Report Wizard to create the Dynamics GP connection.

  1. In a new report, click Create New Connection -> ODBC.

  2. In the resulting wizard, click Select Data Source and select the DSN in the Data Source Name menu.

Design a Report

After adding a ODBC connection to Dynamics GP, you can then use the Report Wizard to add Dynamics GP data to your report.

  1. Click File -> New -> Standard Report.
  2. Expand the ODBC node under Create New Connection and double-click Make a New Connection.
  3. Configure the data source by selecting the tables and fields needed in the report. This example uses the CustomerName and TotalAmount columns from the SalesInvoice table.

You can then configure grouping, sorting, and summaries. For example, this article groups on CustomerName and summarizes on TotalAmount. 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 CustomerName column.

  1. In the Standard Report Creation Wizard, select the Bar Chart option and select the column you grouped by, CustomerName 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.