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Crystal Reports Interview Questions and Answers

Crystal Reports Interview Questions

1. What is Crystal Report?

Crystal report is a report generation tool. Generally have interface with VB6. Crystal report basically generates dynamic data. You can format the data in whichever way you feel like.

2. Can we use Crystal report as a stand-alone application?

Generally we use Crystal Reports with VB6. However we can make crystal report stand-alone application also. But for that limitation is for viewing the report user should have crystal reports installed on his/her PC.

3. How do we connect to the database?

There are two ways of creating the report: –
1. Use crystal report built in query.
2. Use the tool ‘ Crystal SQL Designer’ provided by crystal report.
When you create report using crystal report built in query then it asks for the data source name that you have created. When you run the report, then for the first time it will ask for the user id and password. After that it will store the same.
When you create ‘.qry’ using ‘Crystal SQL’ Designer then at that time it will ask for the user id and password. When you run the report for the first time instead of asking for the user id and password it will ask for the ‘.qry’ file location. You can change the query location also. For that open the report, select ‘Set Location’ option in Database menu item, and set the location.

4. How do we format field?

For formatting any field just right click on it and you will get many options like ‘Format Field.’ ‘Browse field data’ etc. Click on ‘Format Field.’ You can align data, suppress, make it multi-line, change the font size, style, and type, make it hyperlink etc.
If it is an amount field then you can display currency symbol also. Right click on the field select ‘Format Field’.

5. Can we give parameters to the report?

We can very well give parameters to the report. For creating parameters select ‘Parameter Field’ in Insert menu item. ‘Create Parameter Field’ dialog box will popped up, it will ask for the name of parameter, prompting text and datatype. Now when you run the report it will prompt for these parameters.

6.Can we create our own formulas in reports?

We can create our own formulas in reports. Select ‘Formula Field’ in Insert menu item. Write the formula in ‘Formula Editor’. Here you will get ‘Field Tree’, ‘Function Tree’, and ‘Operator Tree’, which will display the report fields, functions that are supported by crystal reports (like CDATE () etc.), operators (arithmetic, strings etc.) respectively.

7. Can we create report using more than one database?

We can create report using more than one database like Oracle, Access. Create data source name for both the databases. Select tables from them and create the report. Only restriction is if you use two databases then you cannot see the SQL generated by crystal reports.

8. Can we export data of reports into other format like in world doc etc?

Generated data can be exported to word doc, or in rich text format. Just click on ‘Export’ icon in the menu. Export dialog box will be popped up. It will ask for the ‘Format’ like comma-separated value (csv) etc and the ‘Destination’ like disk, application etc. After that it will ask for the file name and save the data.
Only restriction is formatting of data will be lost, but crystal report will try to maintain as much formatting as it can.

9. Can we use our own SQL for creating a report?

We can also make our own query using ‘Crystal SQL Designer’ tool provided by SQL. Here you can insert your SQL statement as such. It will save this file as ‘.qry’ and when you create a report instead of using ‘Database’ button use ‘Crystal SQL Statement’ button.

10. Can we edit SQL made by Crystal reports?

We cannot edit the SQL made by crystal reports. However we can view the SQL. For that select ‘Show SQL Query’ in Database menu item. Limitation is if you are using only one database. If you use two databases then you can’t even view the SQL prepared by crystal report.

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11. Are there any limitations in crystal reports?

There are certain limitations in crystal reports. They are: –
1. If database is having field whose length is more than 255 characters, then you cannot make formula using that field.
2. While exporting data formatting is lost.
3. When you browse data just by right clicking on the field then it displays that is there in the database not the data selected by the query.

12. Can we suppress printing in crystal reports if 0 records are fetched?

Yes, we can suppress printing if no records are fetched. Select ‘Report Options’ in File menu item. ‘Report Options’ dialog box will pop up. In that there is one option ‘ Suppress printing if no records’ Check this option. If no records are found then nothing will be printed on the report.

13. What are the sections that we have in Crystal reports?

Report has got standard sections like ‘Page Header’, ‘Page Footer’, ‘Report Header’, ‘Report Footer’, and ‘Details’. However you can add other sections also. Select ‘Sections’ in the Insert menu item. You can insert group sections also. If you don’t want to show any section just right click on that section and suppress that.

14. Can we add any database field once we have chosen ‘Close’ button?

Yes, we can add any database field afterwards also. Select ‘Database Field’ in Insert menu item. If you are using crystal report built in query then it will display the tables that you have selected. And you can select whichever field you want to display on the report. But if you are using ‘.qry’ file then it will display Query and you can select only those field, which are there in the query.

15. Does Crystal Report support all the functions that we have in Oracle?

No, Crystal report does not support all the functions. Like Decode function is there in SQL but not there is crystal report. You need to convert that in crystal report format (in if and else etc.).
However if you use ‘.qry’ files then it take the SQL as such. There is no need of changing any syntax.

16. Can we use stored procedure for creating the report?

Yes, we can use stored procedure.

17. Is there any feature like summing total in crystal report?

Crystal reports provide features like grand total, sub-total, running total etc. You can select any of these features in Insert menu item. You can sum up records on the basis of each record or on change of group using ‘Running Total ‘ option in Insert menu item.

18. I am using two tables one is of access database and other is of oracle database, I am getting an error saying that ‘SQL odbc error’ what should I do?

If you are getting such an error then click the icon for ‘Report Expert’. It will give a warning saying that formatting will be lost. Ignore this you will get ‘Standard Report Expert’ dialog box. Reverse the links of access database table and it will work.

19. How do we access crystal reports in .NET?

Crystal reports comes with Visual studio setup itself. Right click the solution explorer a add new item and you can see a crystal report template as shown in figure ‘Crystal report template’. You can add an ‘.rpt’ file using this template.

20. What are the various components in crystal reports?

There are four major components in crystal reports Report designer, Reports engine, Report viewer and object models.
-Report designer gives a graphical interface to create and modify reports.
-Reports engine does the formatting and conversion part of crystal reports. It helps convert the contents of reports in word, excel, PDF, HTML and other formats.

-Report viewers are controls which you can see on the visual studio tool box; you can drag and drop those controls on an ASPX page or windows application to view reports made using crystal.

-Object models help us manage crystal reports objects during design time and run time.

21. What basic steps are needed to display a simple report in crystal?

To understand this sample let display a simple report using crystal.
Step 1:- Create a web application project.
Step 2:- Add new item and select crystal report from the template. This adds a new RPT file in your solution explorer.
Step 3 :- Double click on the RPT file click on Crystal reports
Step 4:- a Right click on ‘Database fields’ on the field explorer a then click on database expert a Expand create new connection a Expand OLE DB ADO a Select Microsoft OLEDB provider for SQL Server ( this depends on what kind of data you want to connect ) a Give the server credentials a Click finish and done.
Step 5:- a Right click on ‘Database fields’ on the field explorer a then click on database expert a Expand the server , database and select table which you want to add to the report
Step 6:- a Expand database fields a table ( in this case it is ‘FactCurrencyRate’ table). Now you can drag and drop the fields on the report.
Step 7:- a We now need to display the report on the ASPX page. For that we need the ‘CrystalReportViewer’ control. So expand the crystal reports section of the toolbar and drag the component on the ASPX page
Step 8:- Now we need to go to code behind and specify the report source. That’s it now
compile and run the project you can see your report live in action.

22. Can crystal reports be published as a web service?

Right click on the ‘RPT’ file and click ‘Publish as web service’

23. How do we invoke the crystal report web service?

We can consume the web service as a normal web service in .NET. The easiest way is by using the ‘ReportViewerControl’ and specifying the ASMX URL in the report source property.

24. How do we add formulas using crystal reports?

To add any formula in crystal report is a three step procedure. Below figure ‘Add formulain crystal report’ shows the three steps in a pictorial format. Step 1 a Go to field explorer and right click and click new formula. Step 2 a Give and name to the formulae and click on ‘Use Editor’. Step 3 a You will be presented with UI which has all the formulas and function.

25. How do we pass parameters to crystal reports?

Some times we want to accept input parameter and the report works according to the parameter. To add a input parameter go to field explorer , go to parameter fields , right click , create parameter and you should be popped with a dialog box as shown in the figure ‘Parameter field’. Give a name to the parameter , type and that’s it you are in action

26. How do we export from crystal reports?

There are two way of using the export option one is when we display a report using crystal report viewer you can see a export icon as shown in figure ‘Export’ below. You can the select in which format you want to export.
Second option is through coding. Below is a simple code snippet which shows how we can export a report. Create a object of the crystal report and call the ‘ExportToDisk’ method specifying in which format you want to export.
Dim Report as New CrystalReport1

27. How do we print to printer using crystal?

In print we have two ways by which we can print one is when you display the report using crystal report viewer you have a print option and second is by code. Below is a simple code snippet which shows how we have created a object called as report from the rpt file , specified the printer name, paper size and then called the ‘PrintToPrinter’ method.
Report.PrintOptions.PrinterName = “MyPrinter”
Report.PrintOptions.PaperSize = CrystalDecisions.Shared.PaperSize.PaperA4
Report.PrintOptions.PaperOrientation =
Report.PrintToPrinter(1, True, 1, 3)

28. How do we generate cross tab reports?

When we go for creating a new report you can see the cross –tab option.

29. How can we do grouping in crystal?

For grouping in crystal you need to use the group expert wizard.

30. Can you explain three-pass reporting which crystal report uses?

Crystal report uses the three pass method for parsing reports. Before we understand what does it means lets define what is a pass ?. Pass is a process used by crystal reports to read and manipulate data as per the report format. Below figure ‘Three pass method’ shows how the parsing happens. Let’s understand the same step by step. In Pre-Pass1 crystal report engine evaluates constants like x=1 and pie=3.14 for a report. Pass 1 does two important things get data from the database and sort records with given conditions. Once this is done it’s saved in memory and given to pre-pass2 for further parsing and manipulation. Pre-pass2 is all about grouping and sorting the records according to conditions specified in the crystal report. Pass 2 formats a report, applies condition and groups them. Pass 3 is the final tunnel it just counts the pages and generates reports.

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