1. Developing your own crystal reports

ShipWeight is delivered with a set of sample reports to be used with the Report Viewer. In many cases, the easiest way of creating your own report will be to modify one of the sample reports. This is especially useful if you just want to do minor changes such as inserting your company logo or change the formatting of a report.

In this session, we will create a new report from scratch using the ‘ Report Creation Wizard’.


2. Introduction to reports in ShipWeight

There are two ways of reporting from ShipWeight: by using the standard reports and Crystal Reports.

The standard reports includes a Weight Item report, a Code report, a Weight Distribution report and a Weight tracking report to mention some. They are easily accessible from ShipWeight.

The standard reports are built into – or “hardcoded” into ShipWeight. This means that they are included in the Shipweight-executable file. Therefore, a ShipWeight user cannot do any changes to these reports. The layout and the information to be included are locked.

Naturally, many ShipWeight users need custom made reports. To meet this need, ShipWeight includes a powerful reporting engine based on Crystal Reports.

Crystal Reports by Business Objects is the industry leading report-software.

ShipWeight includes a Crystal Reports viewer.

Basically, the ShipWeight Reports dialog does three things:

1. reads a predefined report formatting file

2. extracts data from the current database

3. displays the report on screen

Once your report is displayed on screen, you can send the report to a printer or export the report to various file formats. This includes formats such as Microsoft Word DOC and RTF and Adobe PDF.

ShipWeight only comes with the viewer part of Crystal Reports. To be able to create your own reports, you must purchase the full version of Crystal Reports.

The full version of Crystal Reports is a powerful, yet easy-to-use, tool for designing reports. Using Crystal Reports, you set up a report template specifying:

1. what data the report should contain

2. the order the data should appear

3. the format of the report

You can easily insert graphics, such as your company logo, into the report. Also a variety of charts are available for use in your report.

When you created a report template, you save it as a .RPT file. Make sure to set up Crystal Reports so that data are not saved with the report. This means that the .RPT file will not contain any data – only the formatting of the report.

Now you can easily share your .RPT file with any ShipWeight user in your organization. Any user authorized to access the ShipWeight Report Viewer can run, view and print the report.


3. Upgrading existing reports to include ProjectID

From ShipWeight version 7.5 and onwards, any number of projects can be stored on the same project database. To identify which project the data belongs to, every table in the project databases now have a ProjectID-field.

Crystal Reports created for ShipWeight versions prior to version 7.5 does not take the ProjectID into account. Therefore data from all projects on the same project database are reported.

To correct this, the data listed in the report must be filtered to include data from the current project only. In order to accomplish this for an existing report, there are three steps to follow:

· Refreshing the Datasource

· Creating a Record Selection formula

· Change Subreport links


4. Weight tracking report

A customizable Weight tracking report is available using the Weight Report input dialog. To open this dialog, select ‘Weight Report…’ on the View-menu.

The Weight Report dialog window is divided into three tab-sheets: Input, Settings and Graphs.