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Publish Crystal Reports on FTP Data

Use the Report Wizard and standard ADO.NET to design a report based on up-to-date FTP data.

The CData ADO.NET Provider for FTP is fully integrated into the Crystal Reports for Visual Studio development environment. You can use the standard ADO.NET components to create reports just like you would work with SQL Server, but with real-time connectivity to FTP. This article shows how to complete the three steps necessary to add FTP data to a report that refreshes when opened.

Note: You will need to install Crystal Reports, developer version for Visual Studio to follow this tutorial.

Create a Crystal Reports Application

To follow this article, you will also need a Visual Studio Crystal Reports project. This article will add a report to a WPF application. You can create one by clicking File -> New Project and then selecting the Crystal Reports WPF Application template. In the resulting wizard, select the option to create a blank report.

Connect to FTP

Creating an ADO.NET data source for FTP from Server Explorer makes it easy to create a DataSet that can be used in Crystal Reports wizards and the Crystal Reports Designer. You can find a guide to working with FTP data in Server Explorer in the "Getting Started" chapter of the help documentation.

To connect to FTP or SFTP servers, specify at least RemoteHost and FileProtocol. Specify the port with RemotePort.

Set User and Password to perform Basic authentication. Set SSHAuthMode to use SSH authentication. See the Getting Started section of the data provider help documentation for more information on authenticating via SSH.

Set SSLMode and SSLServerCert to secure connections with SSL.

The data provider lists the tables based on the available folders in your FTP server. Set the following connection properties to control the relational view of the file system:

  • RemotePath: Set this to the current working directory.
  • TableDepth: Set this to control the depth of folders to list as views.
  • FileRetrievalDepth: Set this to retrieve and list files recursively from the root table.

Stored Procedures are available to download files, upload files, and send protocol commands. See the Data Model chapter of the FTP data provider documentation for more information.

When you configure the connection, 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.

Create a DataSet

Follow the steps below to use the Visual Studio ADO.NET DataSet Designer to create an ADO.NET DataSet object. Crystal Reports will bind to the DataSet object, which contains FTP table metadata. Note that this approach also adds a connection string to App.config; you will use this connection string later to load data into the report.

  1. In the Solution Explorer, right-click your project and then click Add -> New Item.
  2. Select DataSet. The DataSet Designer is then displayed.
  3. Drag and drop tables from Server Explorer onto the DataSet Designer. This article uses the Notes table.

Add FTP Fields to the Report

Follow the steps below to add columns from the DataSet to the report:

  1. Double-click the .rpt file in the Solution Explorer to open the Crystal Reports Designer.
  2. Right-click the designer and click Database -> Database Expert.
  3. Expand the Project Folder and ADO.NET DataSets nodes and drag the DataSet you created into the Selected Tables box. The fields are now accessible from the Field Explorer.
  4. Drag and drop fields from the Field Explorer to the Details section or another section of your report.

Load Data into the Report

Having created the DataSet, which will only contain the metadata, you will now need to create the DataTable containing the actual data. You can use the FTPDataAdapter to fill a DataTable with the results of an SQL query.

  1. Add a reference to System.Configuration.dll to your project to be able to use the connection string from App.config.
  2. In App.config, add the following code to the configuration node for compatibility with Crystal Reports when working with .NET 4.0:
    
      <startup useLegacyV2RuntimeActivationPolicy="true">
        <supportedRuntime version="v4.0" sku=".NETFramework,Version=v4.0"/>
      </startup>
    
  3. Add the following references in your Window.xaml.cs file:

    using System.Configuration;
    using CrystalDecisions.CrystalReports.Engine;
    using CrystalDecisions.Shared;
    using System.Data.CData.FTP;
    using System.Data;
    
  4. Add the following Window_Loaded method in your Window.xaml.cs to execute the SQL query that will return the DataTable. Note that your query needs to select at least the same columns used in your report.

    private void Window_Loaded(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e) {
      ReportDocument report = new ReportDocument();
      report.Load("../../CrystalReport1.rpt"); 
     var connectionString = ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings["MyAppConfigConnectionStringName"].ConnectionString;
      using (FTPConnection connection = new FTPConnection(connectionString)) {
        FTPDataAdapter dataAdapter = new FTPDataAdapter(
        "SELECT Filesize, Filename FROM Notes", connection);
         DataSet set = new DataSet("_set");
         DataTable table = set.Tables.Add("_table");
         dataAdapter.Fill(table);
         report.SetDataSource(table);
      }
      reportViewer.ViewerCore.ReportSource = report;
    }
    
  5. In the Window.xaml file, add the Loaded event so that your Window tag resembles the following:

    
    <Window x:Class="CrystalReportWpfApplication4.Window1"
            xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
            xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
            xmlns:cr="clr-namespace:SAPBusinessObjects.WPF.Viewer;assembly=SAPBusinessObjects.WPF.Viewer"
            Title="WPF Crystal Report Viewer" Height="600" Width="800" Loaded="Window_Loaded">
            ...
    </Window>
    
  6. Run the report. When the report is loaded, the provider executes the query to retrieve the current data.

Chart FTP Data

You can also use the DataSet with experts like the Chart Expert:

  1. Right-click in the Crystal Reports Designer and click Insert -> Chart.
  2. Select the Report Header or Report Footer section. The Chart Expert is then displayed.
  3. On the Type tab, select the chart type. This article uses a side-by-side bar chart.
  4. On the Data tab, select the column and conditions for the x-axis. For example, drag the Filesize column in the DataSet node onto the box under the On Change Of menu.
  5. Select the x-axis column and click the TopN and Order buttons to configure sorting and limiting.
  6. Select the columns and summary operations for the y-axis. For example, drag the Filename column in the DataSet node into the Show Values box.
  7. Run the report.

Note that Crystal Reports performs the aggregation on the data already loaded into DataTable, instead of, for example, executing a GROUP BY to the FTP API. This will also be true for the report creation wizards.

You could gain more control over the queries executed to FTP by creating another DataSet and populating it with a different query. See the help documentation for more information on the driver's SQL engine.