Crystal Reports XI is a great reporting tool for any database but for home and recreational users chances are you will be connecting to Access. This is a good start and is probably more than adequate to get you started for your needs. However, before you just jump right in, let me give you a few steps to get you connected.
It really isn’t that hard to do so if you follow along with the steps I am about to give you, you should be connected in less than a minute.
This first thing you need to do is launch Crystal Reports XI. Once you have the opening page on the screen click the link that reads “blank database”. For my example we are going to start fresh and new.
After clicking “blank database”, Crystal Reports XI will open and then immediately prompt you asking you to connect to a database. I will assume you have never connected to any database before so we need to make a new connection. To do this, double click the folder “Create New Connection”.
You should now see a complete list of different connection types. This is where we are going to select which database to connect to. We are using Access in our example so double click the “Access/Excel (DAO)” folder.
A window will appear asking you exactly which database you want to connect to. I my example I am going to use the Northwind database which is the sample database that comes with Access. You can choose whichever database that you would like the process is the same.
We locate the database we want to connect to then click the finish button. If you selected a database that requires a username and/or password to gain access you would click the secure log on checkbox and then enter that information in the appropriate fields prior to clicking the finish button.
That is it. Your new blank report is now connected to the database you have chosen. From this point on you can add tables to your report as well as views and of course stored procedures. However I will save those steps for a future article. Today I just wanted to concentrate on getting you connected.