Crystal Reports allows users to graphically design data connections and report layout. In the Database Expert, users can select and link tables from a wide variety of data sources, including Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, Oracle databases, Business Objects Enterprise business views, and local file system information. Fields from these tables can be placed on the report design surface, and can also be used in custom formulas, using either BASIC or Crystal’s own syntax, which are then placed on the design surface. Formulas can be evaluated at several phases during report generation as specified by the developer.
Both fields and formulas have a wide array of formatting options available, which can be applied absolutely or conditionally. The data can be grouped into bands, each of which can be split further and conditionally suppressed as needed. Crystal Reports also supports subreports, graphing.