Creating your First Crystal Report for Use in a .NET Application
page 2 of 6
by Jeff McWherter
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Crystal Report Files

Let us first begin by discussing report files. Each reporting package handles the report files slightly differently, but underlying concepts are the same. With Crystal Reports, the report files are .RPT files. The .RPT files are created using the Crystal Reports Designer, which is available as a stand-alone program, or an add-in to Visual Studio. Many versions of Visual Studio ship with a version of the Crystal Reports designer add-in, meaning you can create Crystal Reports within Visual Studio without having to buy additional software or licenses. The Crystal Reports Designer add-In for Visual Studio is a good tool, but the stand-alone Crystal Reports designer has additional features that make report creation much easier. Examples in this article will use the stand-alone Crystal Reports designer, but all of the features discussed are available in the Visual Studio add-in as well. 

A basic Crystal Report file is divided into five sections.

Report Header

The Report Header is only rendered once per report, on the top of the report. It is common for developers to place information such as company logos and filter criteria specific to the report in this section.

Page Header

The Page Header is rendered on the top of each page of the report. On the very first page of the report, the Page Header is rendered under the Report Header. It is common for developers to place field names of the columns that are rendered on the report in this section.


The details section of a report is where the magic happens. An instance of the details section is rendered for each record in the data set that was passed to the Crystal Report file. Developers place the columns of data that needs to be presented on the report in this section.

Report Footer

The Report Footer displays only once on the last page of the report.

Page Footer

The Page Footer is rendered at the bottom of each page of the report. In this section it is common to see developers place page numbers and the date/time that the report was printed.

Figure 1:  Report Sections

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User Comments

Title: Many thanks   
Name: binam
Date: 2010-10-19 3:29:41 AM
Many Many thanks for this article .
Title: A Look at Crystal Reports   
Name: Tahir Yaqoob
Date: 2010-10-11 6:35:28 AM
A very nice article for any beginner to crystal reports.... thank's baby!!!!!!
Title: Article   
Name: Shawpnendu
Date: 2010-05-10 8:51:42 AM
Very nice for novice developers.
Title: General Help with Crystal   
Name: Elizabeth
Date: 2010-04-27 3:18:06 PM
Very helpful. A get started article allowing me to use Crystal without a lot of time spent learning.
Title: Article   
Name: Junaid
Date: 2010-03-22 9:42:00 AM
It is such a useful to us. as i am a beginner so i got a very clear idea about Crystal Report.
Title: article   
Name: dave himanshu
Date: 2010-03-22 6:55:26 AM
such a good job!!!
Title: deploy crystal report   
Name: john
Date: 2010-03-16 8:06:24 PM
Great article. Thanks.

Once I have created a crystal report using visual studio 2008, what do I have to deploy to my server for the report to work on a shared hosting server?

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