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Microsoft Navision and Crystal Reports – An Overview
Microsoft Business Solutions – Navision is an integrated solution for small and midsize companies looking to expand their business operations without much interruption to its existing processes. Microsoft Navision enables businesses to alter as much or as little of its existing system, integrate add-ons and vertical segments of its development. It integrates every aspect of your organization, from customers to suppliers, from accounting to supply chain, increasing your productivity and competitive edge. Microsoft Navision has an open environment architecture making it fully customizable and easy to use and maintain. It can also be implemented rapidly so that there is only a minimal disruption to business operations.
Microsoft Navision was originally written by Denmark-based Navision Software in its own proprietary language C/SIDE (Client/Server Integrated Development Environment). Both European and North American markets have benefited from its use. Its launch in the global market will help organizations scale up their development and add value to their business.
One of the primary reporting tools used today is Crystal Reports. With its ability to call up information from SQL commands, using Crystal Reports adds extensive functionality in your reporting procedure. The following is an overview of Crystal Reports as it relates to Microsoft Navision:
C/SIDE is Microsoft Navision’s graphical integrated development environment that provides customization tools for developing customer specific solutions to be applied to a business process.
Inside Crystal Reports, use C/ODBC to create a connection to the database needed for report generation. Links are done inside Crystal Reports. However, this connection technique tends to be inflexible if you want to modify your database mapping or links inside the report. You may want to redo the database mapping of that report or use a Crystal Report query.
Microsoft SQL Server
Using Microsoft SQL Server in Microsoft Navision will help a great deal since SQL has the ability to integrate Navision to third-party products. SQL Server has a virtual table that you can access to minimize the complexity of looking at links in Crystal Reports itself. By referencing the view name in a Transact-SQL statement, a user can access this virtual table and retrieve the data for future selection to be applied into Crystal Reports. You also have the option of creating Stored Procedures to execute a number of Transact-SQL statements into a single command. Furthermore, SQL Query Analyzer can copy existing database objects and locate, view or work with these objects within the database.
Reports on Heterogeneous Database
If Microsoft Navision sits in an SQL Server, you have the ability to create a link from your database server to another third party database (Oracle, DB2, Unidata, Ingress, Sybase, Pervasive, Ctree, MS Access) for report creation in Crystal Reports. For example, if you are on a C/SIDE Database, create a link server to it with C/ODBC. You then create additional linked servers to your legacy database. These links will serve as your pool for creating one Crystal Report using a number of databases. Knowledge about OPENROWSET keyword in SQL Server is useful for this kind of execution.
Microsoft Navision is a powerful analytical tool for your business performance. Adding Crystal Reports to its functionalities will provide a more systematic way of measuring your organization’s competence.
Need more information?
For customization work and advice, please contact Andrew Karasev, Alba Spectrum Chief Technology Officer. His works include development of applications with the use of Dexterity, SQL, C# .NET, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK.
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