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Crystal Reports® 2008 For Dummies® by Allen G. Taylor

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Chapter 12. Combining Report Elements with OLE

In This Chapter

  • Understanding OLE

  • Embedding and linking files as OLE objects

  • Embedding and linking OLE objects taken from files

  • Editing OLE objects in a report

The primary purpose for a report is to present database data to users in a form that's easy to understand. Crystal Reports gives you all the tools you need to do that. Sometimes, however, you want a report that does more than just present database data. For example, you might want to include text from a word processing file, or data that resides in a spreadsheet, or a graphical image stored as a bitmapped image file. To allow the sharing of various kinds of information in different kinds of files, Microsoft developed the OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) architecture.

Overview of OLE

Reports that you create with Crystal Reports can serve as OLE container applications. That is, they can contain OLE objects that were created by other applications, called OLE server applications. Such contained objects are container documents. The corresponding objects in the server applications are server documents. Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel are examples of OLE server applications, and Microsoft Word document files and Excel spreadsheets are examples of server documents. You can take text from a Microsoft Word file or take an Excel spreadsheet as an OLE object and place it in a Crystal report.

Tip

Crystal Reports can also function as an OLE server application. You can define a report as an OLE ...

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