Microsoft Navision and Crystal Reports – An Overview

Microsoft Business Solutions – Navision is an integrated solution for small and medium-sized businesses that want to expand their business operations without major disruption to their existing processes. Microsoft Navision allows companies to change as much or as little to their existing system, integrating add-ons and vertical segments of their development. It integrates every aspect of your business, from customers to suppliers, from accounting to the supply chain, increasing your productivity and competitive advantage. Microsoft Navision features an open environment architecture that makes it fully customizable and easy to use and maintain. It’s also quick to implement with minimal disruption to business operations.

Microsoft Navision was originally written by Denmark-based Navision Software in their own proprietary language, C/SIDE (Client/Server Integrated Development Environment). Both the European and North American markets have benefited from its use. Its launch in the global market will help companies accelerate their development and add value to their business.

One of the most important reporting tools used today is Crystal Reports. With the ability to retrieve information from SQL commands, using Crystal Reports adds rich functionality to your reporting process. The following is an overview of Crystal Reports related to Microsoft Navision:


C/SIDE is Microsoft Navision’s graphical integrated development environment that provides customization tools for developing custom solutions applied to a business process.

In Crystal Reports, use C/ODBC to connect to the database required for reporting. Links are created within Crystal Reports. However, this connection technique tends to be inflexible if you want to change your database mapping or links within the report. You may want to repeat this report’s database mapping or use a Crystal Report query.

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Microsoft SQL Server

Using Microsoft SQL Server in Microsoft Navision is very helpful because SQL can integrate Navision with third-party products. SQL Server has a virtual table that you can access to minimize the complexity of viewing links in Crystal Reports themselves. By referencing the view name in a Transact-SQL statement, a user can access this virtual table and retrieve the data for later selection to be applied in Crystal Reports. You can also create stored procedures to run a series of Transact-SQL statements in a single command. In addition, SQL Query Analyzer can copy existing database objects and locate, display, or work with those objects in the database.

Reports on heterogeneous databases

When Microsoft Navision resides in a SQL Server, you have the option to link from your database server to another 3rd party database (Oracle, DB2, Unidata, Ingress, Sybase, Pervasive, Ctree, MS Access) for reporting in Crystal Reports to create . For example, if you are in a C/SIDE database, create a linked server to it using C/ODBC. You then create additional linked servers to your legacy database. These links serve as a pool for creating a Crystal Report with multiple databases. Knowledge of the OPENROWSET keyword in SQL Server is useful for this type of execution.

Microsoft Navision is a powerful analysis tool for your business performance. Adding Crystal Reports to its functionalities provides a more systematic way to measure your organization’s proficiency.

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For customization work and advice, please contact Andrew Karasev, Alba Spectrum’s Chief Technology Officer. His work includes developing applications using Dexterity, SQL, C# .NET, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK.

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