Crystal Reports for Microsoft Great Plains ? Overview for Developer

Microsoft Great Plains is main accounting / ERP application from Microsoft Business Solutions, targeted to the US market. It serves the whole of vertical and horizontal market: most of the industries and company sizes. Crystal Reports on the other hand is the leader in the reporting software industry and Microsoft is willing to use Crystal as main reporting tool for Great Plains, Solomon, Microsoft CRM, .Net platform, etc.

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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 want us to do the job - give us a call 1-866-528-0577! [email protected]

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

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