Java IoT Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Jim Kaskade, Dana Gardner, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Java IoT, Eclipse

Java IoT: Product Review

Reporting Solutions Using Crystal Reports for Eclipse

Modeled for ease of use, with an intuitive report design and toolset

SAP (Business Objects) has recently released Crystal Reports for Eclipse version 2.0 to provide reporting solutions for Java-based applications. This is available as free to use (within an organization) and has the advantage that it is built on the most tested and reliable component (Java Reporting Component in Crystal Reports) that has been in market for quite a few years now. This article discusses the features of CR4Ev2.0, usability of its designer and API, and starting off with an overview of Crystal Reports product architecture.

Crystal Reports - Product Overview
Crystal Reports is delivered in three editions with features added upon with each edition and its core feature diagrammatically depicted in Figure 1.

Crystal Reports Developer and Server editions have SDKs for Report Integration that aid in report viewing, printing and exporting in applications, customizable report viewers and report creation APIs. In case of Developer editions, the report processing resides within application and in Server editions it can be offloaded to a Reporting Server.

There are two sets of SDKs available for each of SAP (Business Objects) supported technology platforms (Java and .NET) and for Java these are namely:

  • Java Reporting Component (JRC): This is used to perform report processing within application.
  • Report Application Server SDK (RAS SDK): This is used to work with Report Application Server where report processing is done on the server and Java application uses RAS SDK for communication with the server.

JRC shares many classes with the RAS SDK, and the JRC-specific classes are thin wrappers around RAS classes.

JRC was introduced in Crystal Reports 9 and is a reliable component in Crystal Reports product. Crystal Reports have refined this component and bundled it as a separate package known as CR4E, which contains Crystal Reports for Java (CRJ) and Crystal Reports Designer components. The designer component is available as a plug-in to Eclipse and is used for designing and previewing reports. The Crystal Reports for Java component is used for the runtime generation of reports within Java applications.

RAS SDK is the client component for the RAS server-client reporting solution, where the SDK communicates with the RAS server for report processing. With the CRJ SDK, the same classes as that of RAS SDK are used but report processing requests are sent to an in-process Java Report Engine.

A great enhancement of CRJ over JRC is the introduction of RAS-type report creation and modification capabilities. With the CRJ, it's possible to programmatically modify a report on-the-fly: create new fields, introduce new data connections and tables, modify images, add lines and boxes, etc. Anything that can be done to a report using the CR4E embedded designer can also be done programmatically using CRJ as the designer uses the same SDK.

Few points in comparison between CR4E and JRC are jotted in Table 1.

Features of CR4E
Already, few features of CR4E are exposed through its comparison with the JRC above, the following makes the list complete:

  1. Ability to integrate reporting into Java-based web or desktop applications.
  2. Provides SDK that enables report creation and modification within Java code.
  3. Helps Java developer switch on to the Report designer role easily in reporting projects.
  4. POJO can also be used as a data source for reports.
  5. Accesses all major databases from within Eclipse IDE as report template data source.
  6. Supports for all major operating systems and browsers.
  7. Comes with extension SDKs to extend and enhance the default Eclipse editor.
  8. Use of Eclipse Update Manager to check and install updates automatically.

Aspects of CR4E Designer
CR4Ev2.0 is provided as a plug-in for Eclipse IDE and works for an Eclipse version greater than 3.4.1. Figure 2 captures the commonly used aspects in the designer and same is detailed further.

Layout tab: Layout tab is the designer view and has the palette with all reporting controls. The controls from palette can be dragged & dropped onto the designer area at the required position.

Preview tab: Preview tab is used to preview the report designed in layout view and the report can also be directly edited in this view. The data source for the report is changed using the ‘Set Datasource Location' menu item under ‘Crystal Reports'.

Datasource Explorer wizard: This wizard is used to create a connection profile for the datasource used in the reports. The CR4E supports relational databases, flat file, web services, XML and POJO as datasources.  Once the connection profile is created, the required objects in datasource can be dragged & dropped onto the data view (tab).

Field Explorer wizard: This wizard displays the database objects in the data pane for use in the report. Also, parameters and formulas are created using this view and then placed on to the report layout.

Usage of CR4E APIs
After creating report templates using CR4E designer, the common reporting need is to generate reports dynamically from report templates based on the parameters passed to it. This scenario is walked through below to demonstrate the use of CR4E APIs for generating reports from a standalone Java application (see Figure 3).

The use of CR4E API programmatically in each of this task is explained below:

1)      Initiate
Report processing is done by Crystal Report Java component (and not by Report Application Server) and this component is initiated as below:

ReportClientDocument boReportClientDocument = new ReportClientDocument();
boReportClientDocument.setReportAppServer (ReportClientDocument.inprocConnectionString);

2)      Load
Next task is loading the report template for report generation as below:

boReportClientDocument.open("SampleReport.rpt", OpenReportOptions._openAsReadOnly);

3)      Read

This task is a two-step process; one is to set the connection information for datasource and next is to set the values for input parameters in the report.

a)   Set connection information: In most cases, the datasource configured in report template during report design will not be the same one used by the report generation application. So, the datasource connection information for the report template needs to be replaced thro' the following lines of code:

dbController.replaceConnection(oldConnectionInfo, newConnectionInfo, pFields, replaceParams);

dbController - DatabaseController object that is retrieved from ReportClientDocument object for managing database connections

oldConnectionInfo - ConnectionInfo object that is retrieved from  DatabaseController object and contains details of existing datasource such as database URL, Server Type, username, password etc.

newConnectionInfo - New ConnectionInfo object that is constructed to replace oldConnectionInfo object

b)   Set input parameters: Data displayed on the report is restricted based on the parameter values supplied to the report, same is programmatically done below:

ParameterFieldController parameterFieldController =

4)   Export
The final step is to export the generated report in required format as in lines of code below:

PrintOutputController printOutputController =
ByteArrayInputStream byteIS =    (ByteArrayInputStream) printOutputController.export(ReportExportFormat.PDF);

The report stream can be written to a file etc. as needed.

An important point to note during development using CR4E is that it contains both JRC and CRJ APIs and both the APIs have most classes with same name so import statement is critical in determining which APIs are used.  To use CRJ, import classes under package name:

com.crystaldecisions.sdk.occa.report.application and for JRC, package name is com.crystaldecisions.reports.sdk

The design and development of reporting solution using CR4E is done using the designer plug-in for Eclipse and Crystal Reports for Java components that are enhanced from reliable Java Reporting Component of Crystal Reports. Modeled with ease of use, intuitive report design and toolset, simple licensing and support from SAP (Business Objects) helps CR4E to be considered as a reporting solution for Java projects.


More Stories By Ravi M

M.Ravi is a Senior Technical Architect, specialized in providing architecture and design solutions on broad of spectrum of areas such as JEE, SOA, ESB, BI, CRM & SAS.

Comments (1)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@ThingsExpo Stories
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Transparent Cloud Computing (T-Cloud) Consortium will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium (T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data proces...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Niagara Networks will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), sponsor of the IoTivity open source project, and AllSeen Alliance, which provides the AllJoyn® open source IoT framework, today announced that the two organizations’ boards have approved a merger under the OCF name and bylaws. This merger will advance interoperability between connected devices from both groups, enabling the full operating potential of IoT and representing a significant step towards a connected ecosystem.