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Publish Reports with IBM Cloud Object Storage Data in Crystal Reports

Use the Report Wizard to design a report based on up-to-date IBM Cloud Object Storage 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 IBM Cloud Object Storage brings this capability to Crystal Reports. This article shows how to create a report on IBM Cloud Object Storage data that refreshes when you run the report.

Deploy the JDBC Driver

Install the CData JDBC Driver for IBM Cloud Object Storage 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 IBM Cloud Object Storage Data

After deploying the JDBC Driver for IBM Cloud Object Storage, you can then use the Report Wizard to add IBM Cloud Object Storage 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:ibmcloudobjectstorage:ApiKey=myApiKey;CloudObjectStorageCRN=MyInstanceCRN;Region=myRegion;OAuthClientId=MyOAuthClientId;OAuthClientSecret=myOAuthClientSecret;

    Register a New Instance of Cloud Object Storage

    If you do not already have Cloud Object Storage in your IBM Cloud account, follow the procedure below to install an instance of SQL Query in your account:

    1. Log in to your IBM Cloud account.
    2. Navigate to the page, choose a name for your instance and click Create. You will be redirected to the instance of Cloud Object Storage you just created.

    Connecting using OAuth Authentication

    There are certain connection properties you need to set before you can connect. You can obtain these as follows:

    API Key

    To connect with IBM Cloud Object Storage, you need an API Key. You can obtain this as follows:

    1. Log in to your IBM Cloud account.
    2. Navigate to the Platform API Keys page.
    3. On the middle-right corner click "Create an IBM Cloud API Key" to create a new API Key.
    4. In the pop-up window, specify the API Key name and click "Create". Note the API Key as you can never access it again from the dashboard.

    Cloud Object Storage CRN

    If you have multiple accounts, you will need to specify the CloudObjectStorageCRN explicitly. To find the appropriate value, you can:

    • Query the Services view. This will list your IBM Cloud Object Storage instances along with the CRN for each.
    • Locate the CRN directly in IBM Cloud. To do so, navigate to your IBM Cloud Dashboard. In the Resource List, Under Storage, select your Cloud Object Storage resource to get its CRN.

    Connecting to Data

    You can now set the following to connect to data:

    • InitiateOAuth: Set this to GETANDREFRESH. You can use InitiateOAuth to avoid repeating the OAuth exchange and manually setting the OAuthAccessToken.
    • ApiKey: Set this to your API key which was noted during setup.
    • CloudObjectStorageCRN (Optional): Set this to the cloud object storage CRN you want to work with. While the connector attempts to retrieve this automatically, specifying this explicitly is recommended if you have more than Cloud Object Storage account.

    When you connect, the connector completes the OAuth process.

    1. Extracts the access token and authenticates requests.
    2. Saves OAuth values in OAuthSettingsLocation to be persisted across connections.

    Built-in Connection String Designer

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

    java -jar cdata.jdbc.ibmcloudobjectstorage.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.ibmcloudobjectstorage.IBMCloudObjectStorageDriver
  5. Select the tables and fields needed in the report. This example uses the Key and Etag columns from the Objects table.

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

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