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Publish Crystal Reports on SQL Analysis Services Data

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

The CData ADO.NET Provider for SQL Analysis Services 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 SQL Analysis Services. This article shows how to complete the three steps necessary to add SQL Analysis Services 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 SQL Analysis Services

Creating an ADO.NET data source for SQL Analysis Services 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 SQL Analysis Services data in Server Explorer in the "Getting Started" chapter of the help documentation.

To connect, provide authentication and set the Url property to a valid SQL Server Analysis Services endpoint. You can connect to SQL Server Analysis Services instances hosted over HTTP with XMLA access. See the Microsoft documentation to configure HTTP access to SQL Server Analysis Services.

To secure connections and authenticate, set the corresponding connection properties, below. The data provider supports the major authentication schemes, including HTTP and Windows, as well as SSL/TLS.

  • HTTP Authentication

    Set AuthScheme to "Basic" or "Digest" and set User and Password. Specify other authentication values in CustomHeaders.

  • Windows (NTLM)

    Set the Windows User and Password and set AuthScheme to "NTLM".

  • Kerberos and Kerberos Delegation

    To authenticate with Kerberos, set AuthScheme to NEGOTIATE. To use Kerberos delegation, set AuthScheme to KERBEROSDELEGATION. If needed, provide the User, Password, and KerberosSPN. By default, the data provider attempts to communicate with the SPN at the specified Url.

  • SSL/TLS:

    By default, the data provider attempts to negotiate SSL/TLS by checking the server's certificate against the system's trusted certificate store. To specify another certificate, see the SSLServerCert property for the available formats.

You can then access any cube as a relational table: When you connect the data provider retrieves SSAS metadata and dynamically updates the table schemas. Instead of retrieving metadata every connection, you can set the CacheLocation property to automatically cache to a simple file-based store.

See the Getting Started section of the CData documentation, under Retrieving Analysis Services Data, to execute SQL-92 queries to the cubes.

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 SQL Analysis Services 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 Adventure_Works table.

Add SQL Analysis Services 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 SSASDataAdapter 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.SSAS;
    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 (SSASConnection connection = new SSASConnection(connectionString)) {
        SSASDataAdapter dataAdapter = new SSASDataAdapter(
        "SELECT Fiscal_Year, Sales_Amount FROM Adventure_Works", 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 SQL Analysis Services 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 Fiscal_Year 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 Sales_Amount 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 SQL Analysis Services API. This will also be true for the report creation wizards.

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