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Crystal Reports Tools: Improve Performance While Saving Time and Money

Crystal Basics: Charts and Graphs

This is based on the book, Crystal Reports: A Beginnerís Guide.

Everyone wants you to draw them a picture, it seems. People want a graph or a chart, so they can clearly see trends and relationships at a glance. Crystal Reports has a powerful graphing and charting engine, and provides you with 36 different types of charting templates. Plus, you can create your own charting templates.

While the Chart Expert makes graphing and charting easy, there are some things you should know.

The four general categories (layouts) of graphs are:

  1. Advanced. You plot X and Y values. You can specify summary fields, perform TopN/Sort analysis, and control information grouping in the display. You used advanced graphs with formulas, but you do not need to insert a group or summary field into your report to use one.
     
  2. Group. This is likely the most commonly used form of graph. You use this where there is a group inserted into your report and you have a summary field (e.g., sum, average) based on that group. Such a graph can appear once, or it can appear on the group level with a separate graph for each group.

    You can use it to create a drill-down effect, where you start with a graph of the highest data level (e.g., gross sales) and then keep showing subsequently deeper levels of data (e.g., sales by region, sales by account, sales by product). A group graph, unlike an advanced graph, requires a group or summary field.
     
  3. Cross-tab graphs. This is similar to a group graph, but you use a cross-tab for the data source, instead.
     
  4. OLAP grid graphs. This is similar to a group graph, but you use OLAP grids for the data source, instead.

You can create graphs in the various formats (most of them in both 2D and 3D): bar, line, area, pie, doughnut, riser and surface, XY scatter, radar, bubble, and stock. As with Excel, you may need to change the sort order or XY fields for the graph to clearly convey the information.

Charts and graphs add functionality and visual impact to Crystal Reports. For even more functionality and impact, you can use third-party programs, such as the ones available here.

See also: Crystal Reports: Make Your Charts Highly Readable and Effective

This video may help you, too:

 

This article is copyrighted by Crystalkeen, Mindconnection, and Chelsea Technologies Ltd. It may be freely copied and distributed as long as the original copyright is displayed and no modifications are made to this material. Extracts are permitted. The names Crystal Reports and Seagate Info are trademarks owned by Business Objects.

Authorship

Except where an author's name is given at the start of the article, all of these articles were written by Mo Naughton or Bruce Ferguson and edited by Mark Lamendola. Mo is a Crystal Reports consultant, trainer, and developer for Chelsea Technologies, Inc. Bruce Ferguson is a Crystal Reports consultant, trainer, and developer for CrystalKiwi, Inc. Mark Lamendola is a writer and editor with over 15 years experience in professional and trade publications.

 

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