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Crystal Reports for Microsoft Great Plains overview for developers

 by: Andrew Karasev

Looks like Microsoft Great Plains becomes more and more popular, partly because of Microsoft muscles behind it. Now it is targeted to the whole spectrum of horizontal and vertical market clientele. Small companies use Small Business Manager (which is based on the same technology Great Plains Dexterity dictionary and runtime), Great Plains Standard on MSDE is for small to midsize clients, and then Great Plains serves the rest of the market up to big corporations. Crystal Reports on the other hand is the leader in the reporting software industry.

If you are developer who is asked: how do we extend Great Plains ReportWriter with somewhat more sophisticated read this and you will have the clues on where to look further.

1. Great Plains Tables Structure first of all you need to know the tables to link. Launch Great Plains and go to Tools->Resource Description->Tables. Find the table in the proper series. If you are looking for the customers it should be RM00101 customer master file. If you need historical Sales Order Processing documents they are in SOP30200 Sales History Header file, etc.

2. Create ODBC connection to GP Company database. Use the same technique as when you create standard ODBC connection for GP workstation but change default database to targeted company database.

3. Consider SQL Views if you don't want complex links in Crystal Report itself or if you need unionization from several companies SQL view is the answer.

4. Consider SQL Stored Procedures. Sometimes you can not pull the data in one view you need temporary tables to be created and the final query should be based on these temp tables this is when you need stored procedure.

5. Call Crystal Report from GP Screens via VBA/Modifier if the user wants to call Crystal report for example - printing Invoices in GP and do it from SOP Entry window you can use Modifier and VBA to call Crystal Reports engine.

6. Create SQL Query to probe the data we always recommend tuning your query and see that you are getting adequate results in any case Crystal Report is just a nice tool to show the results of your query.

Happy customizing, querying and designing! If you would like us to do the job: 1-866-628-0577, help@albaspectrum.com

About The Author

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies USA nationwide Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Great Plains customization company, based in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, and Miami and having locations in multiple states and internationally (www.albaspectrum.com), he is Dexterity, SQL, VB/C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer.


akarasev@albaspectrum.com


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