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SAP Business One – Crystal Reports Design Overview for Consultants

If you have SAP B1 ERP implemented in your organization, you are probably already familiar with Internal Reports, Queries, XL Reporter and in this little post we would like to bring you the highlights of Crystal Reports. Each reporting tool has its own advantages and disadvantages, and you should try several tools, if your reporting needs are extensive: from financial reports (trial balance, balance sheet, profit and loss, cash flow statement) to operations reports (Sales by Region and Item, Sales Commission Report, Project Profitability, to name a few examples), and if you need industry forms, such as Bills of Lading, Agent Settlement Report:

1. Reporter XL. This reporting tool is very easy to use and if you are an accountant who is neither comfortable nor familiar with SQL scripts, this report should fit your needs. This report implements Microsoft Excel tools and has the VBA extension for MS Excel. However, this report design tool works with predefined SB1 objects: business partner, account, item, price list, and the like, and is limited in creating custom links. And this is understandable: if you need advanced bindings in your report, you will need SQL view or stored procedure as the basis of the report, you can achieve this in Crystal Report.

2. Crystal Reports. If you are discovering Crystal Reports design through the report creation wizard, you must listen to the SAP BO training class, either online or in person. However, if you are a report developer working in the IT department, you must go to the SQL view or stored procedure script. The stored procedure is the most powerful tool and its parameters must be translated into the Crystal Report parameter. The stored procedure allows you to create temporary tables within its limits; this should resolve the complex join and create staging tables if necessary. The stored procedure should be able to generate very complex reports – try to design something like the profitability of the sales project, based on the cost incurred in processing purchase orders, production (working hours and possible overhead).

3. SQL Server Reporting Services or SRS. This tool is web-based, which should give you certain advantages if your organization has regional offices and an international presence. SRS in its suitability is quite similar to Crystal Reports and bases its reports on SQL Views or SQL Stored Procedures.

4. Industry forms. If you are thinking about which reporting tool to implement and how, the suggestion is simple: these reports should represent only one document: Sales Invoice, Purchase Order, Vendor Invoice in the format required by your industry regulation. You can use Crystal Report (which could be integrated into your SAP B1 interface) as well as SRS (if you want to enable these reports via the web).

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