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Posted 21 Nov 2006


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Generate a Crystal Reports report without a database

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4.68/5 (14 votes)
21 Nov 20062 min read
How to create a Crystal Reports report and fill it without a database.


Sometimes we want to do tricks with the Crystal Reports engine, like profiting from the Exporting functions to create Word, Excel, or PDF files. What if we don't read the data from a database? This article shows the details on creating a Crystal Reports sub report, and how to fill it from code, without a database.

Using the code

Create the Project:

  1. File -> New -> New project

    Create a New Crystal Reports Visual Basic Windows Application.

Create the DataSet schema:

  1. Right click the Crystal Reports project -> Add -> New Folder

    Name it DataSets.

  2. Right click the DataSets folder -> Add -> New Item

    Create a new CRDataSet DataSet.

  3. Right click the CRDataSet Designer Page -> Add -> New Element

    Name it MainTable.

  4. Add new Field1, Field2, Field3 rows.

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4, add a new DetailTable element.

You will have the following DataSet tables schema:

DataSet tables schema

Create the Crystal Reports report:

  1. Right click the Crystal Reports project -> Add -> New Folder

    Name it Reports.

  2. Right click the Reports folder -> Add -> New Item

    Open a new MainReport Crystal Reports report.

  3. Click the Register Later button to close the annoying register window, if it appears.

  4. Select Subreport and click OK. In the Contain Subeport Expert window Data tab, expand Project Data -> ADO.NET DataSet -> CrystalReport.CRDataSet.

  5. Select MainTable. Click the Insert Table button.

  6. Click Next.

  7. Click the Add All button. Click Next. Click Next. Click Next.

  8. Next to the Create a Subreport choice of the Subreport window tab, type DetailReport in the Report Name edit box.

  9. Click the Report Expert button. Insert DetailTable. Click Next to open the Subreport Generator.

    1. Add All fields. Click Next. Click Next. Click Next. Click Next.

    2. Type "No DB Subreport Crystal Report Sample" as the Subreport Title.

    3. Click Finish.

  10. Click Next. Type "No DB Crystal Report Sample." as the Main Report title. Click Finish.

Add the a CrystalReportViewer1 to the form.

  1. Open the Form1 form. Click View -> Toolbox in the menu.

  2. Drag (from the bottom of the Windows Forms tab in the Toolbox) a CrystalReportViewer into the form.

  3. Right click the CrystalReportViewer1 CrystalReportViewer in the form -> Properties.

  4. Set the Dock property to Fill.

Add the code to fill and show the Crystal Reports report.

Right click the Form -> View Code. Add the following Form1_Activated method:

Private Sub Form1_Activated(ByVal sender As Object, _
        ByVal e As System.EventArgs) _
        Handles MyBase.Activated
    Dim dsObj As CRDataSet = New CRDataSet

    Dim cr As MainReport = New MainReport

    ' Set the report DataSet   

    CrystalReportViewer1.ReportSource = cr

End Sub

Add the following FillDataSet method:

Public Sub FillDataSet(ByRef dataSet As CRDataSet)

    ' Turn off constraint checking before the dataset is filled.
    ' This allows the adapters to fill the dataset without concern
    ' for dependencies between the tables.
    dataSet.EnforceConstraints = False
        ' Attempt to fill the dataset MainTable
        dataSet.MainTable.AddMainTableRow("Hello!", _
                         "This is", "my sample data")

        ' Attempt to fill the dataset DetailTable
        dataSet.DetailTable.AddDetailTableRow("This is", _
                           "the detail", "information")
        dataSet.DetailTable.AddDetailTableRow("added", _
                           "without the", "need of")
        dataSet.DetailTable.AddDetailTableRow("actually", _
                           "access a", "database.")
    Catch ex As Exception
        ' Add your error handling code here.
        Throw ex
        ' Turn constraint checking back on.
        dataSet.EnforceConstraints = True
    End Try

End Sub

Build and run the application.

That's it!


  • 21 Nov 2006 - Posted.


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About the Author

Software Developer CIMEX S.A.
Cuba Cuba
Rodolfo Ortega is a Cuban Computer Scientist. He works as IT Auditor for the CIMEX S.A. subsidiary in Holguin, Cuba. He lives and works in Holguin, in the eastern part of the island of Cuba.

You can contact him at rodolfom[] for any personal message: Ideas on new articles, bibliography about new APIs, questions, are wellcome.

Submit questions related with current article to the article forum.

Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
raj ch29-Mar-13 1:06
Memberraj ch29-Mar-13 1:06 
GeneralCrystal Reports with VB.Net - 2 tables of a dataset Pin
JosephNjugunah7-Oct-11 23:27
MemberJosephNjugunah7-Oct-11 23:27 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
awarahoo16-Feb-11 20:47
Memberawarahoo16-Feb-11 20:47 
GeneralGenerate a Crystal Reports report without a database in Framework 3.5 Pin
Happy Jedgar8-Mar-10 9:54
MemberHappy Jedgar8-Mar-10 9:54 
GeneralIf anyone receives the "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" error. Pin
damir_john13-Mar-09 4:39
Memberdamir_john13-Mar-09 4:39 
GeneralWonderful code. Pin
Xiayi5922-Oct-08 5:38
MemberXiayi5922-Oct-08 5:38 
GeneralSeparate Cross-tab crystal report group into pages Pin
Louie Aschi13-Feb-08 3:37
MemberLouie Aschi13-Feb-08 3:37 
QuestionWith subreports... Pin
elierha26-Oct-07 7:01
Memberelierha26-Oct-07 7:01 
QuestionDesigning Query for Crystal Report Pin
Muhammad.Hanif28-Nov-06 18:41
MemberMuhammad.Hanif28-Nov-06 18:41 
GeneralChanging database type at run time Pin
AlexEvans28-Nov-06 16:12
MemberAlexEvans28-Nov-06 16:12 

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