Crystal Reports Bursting

To our valued Logicity community...

We have received a lot of feedback on our recent explanation of how to use Logicity to burst Crystal Reports. While bursting was not a feature that we specifically developed in the current version of Logicity, it was possible to do in a limited way with some clever usage of the Logicity Solution file structure. Unfortunately, we have received feedback that the explanation below has been insufficient in many cases. While we posted this as a tip of another way to utilize Logicity, we don't want to mislead current and potential customers that bursting is a developed, and supported feature of Logicity Professional. We have decided to leave this page up as a reference guide in case some people still find it valuable. However, we wanted our supportive community to know that it may not work in all situations.


Using Logicity for Crystal Reports Bursting

If you have ever wanted to execute a Crystal Report and have the resulting report broken apart into multiple, smaller reports that were then emailed to different recipients or saved to a file system? If so, then you are looking for a utility to perform what is called, Crystal Reports bursting.

There are many utilities available on the market that can can be set-up to do Crystal Reports bursting and these range in cost from $300 to up over $5,000.  Because Logicity has a unique, powerful and flexible report processing methodology (RRD, or report runtime definitions) and because you can chain multiple actions together, the Logicity Crystal Reports viewer and scheduler can be set-up to burst Crystal Reports with a simple two-step process...and a license costs less than $100.

In a nutshell, the first step involves executing a Crystal Report that actually generates the RRD file with all of the instructions for bursting the report. The second step is to run this new RRD file and perform the Crystal Report burst.

Step 1 - Create and Schedule a Crystal Report to Output a Logicity RRD File

The first step involves using Logicity to run a Crystal Report that outputs a new RRD file.  To do this we must build a Crystal Report that outputs text into the standard RRD file format.  Let's run through an example together.

NOTE: It may be helpful to look at the contents of one of your other RRD files using a simple text file editor.  This will enable you to see what information and in what format the RRD needs in order to execute.

In the screen shot below, we see our new Crystal Report.

 Logicity Crystal Reports Bursting - Set-up Crystal Report

In the Crystal Report's header, we put the RRD's header information.

 Logicity Crystal Reports Bursting - Set-up Crystal Report Header

In the body, we put the RRD's line values. In this example we have the values hard-coded. However, by using formulas, you could very easily use the results from your query to fill these lines.

 Logicity Crystal Reports Bursting - Set-up Crystal Report Body

When you run this Crystal Report, the output should be a properly formatted RRD.

Note:  In this screen shot, we have the line currently set to “Can Grow” so that you can see the results, but the correct RRD format is such that it should all be on one line.

 Logicity Crystal Reports Bursting - Example Output

Now that our Crystal Report is built, we need to build a Logicity RRD file with an action to save the output as a TXT file.  Remember, that TXT file is actually the second RRD solution file that will be scheduled to run right after the first.

Simply go through the typical steps to create a new action in Logicity Solution Builder.  Give the action a name.

 Logicity Crystal Reports Bursting - Solution Builder Name Action

Select the Crystal Report file that we just created.

 Logicity Crystal Reports Bursting - Solution Builder Select Crystal Report File

When running this report, set the action to "save" and output the results as a TXT file.  Select the destination directory and the file name.

 Logicity Crystal Reports Bursting - Solution Builder Specify Output as TXT

Save the action and then execute it manually to create your second RRD file.


 Step 2 - Schedule Both RRDs To Run

 Finally, we need to create a recurring schedule for the first RRD and the newly created RRD file to fire off and run. Using Logicity solution Builder, open up both RRD files and schedule them to run in the correct order.  The first RRD will process and will regenerate and replace the second RRD before it processes.  The execution of these two steps, in order, will accomplish Crystal Reports bursting.

The flexibility of Logicity Solution Builder also means you can burst Crystal Reports in multiple ways at the same time.  Whatever capabilities you have to execute Crystal Reports within Logicity can be used to burst report.  For example, you can e-mail some reports to different recipients, save some to a file system, and then even print, all at once.  Reports can be set-up to burst and e-mail attachments as PDF (PDF bursting) or as Excel attachments, or HTML.

RECOMMENDED:  While the current Logicity Solution builder interface doesn't have this capability, you could further automate the process by combining the two RRD files into a single scheduled RRD using a text editor. This will ensure that your process always creates the RRD file first and then proceeds to execute the newly created RRD file.

NOTE:  Removing the option to Suppress if No Records will create a blank file (so that nothing is sent) if there are no values to be sent.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post out to our free support forum!