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Scheduling Reports

There are many reasons why you would want to use the Crystal Enterprise scheduler. The most obvious case is when you want to run a report at a reoccurring time and make it available for a large number of users. However, the value of the scheduler is more than just time-based report processing. Often, the scheduler can be used for efficiency reasons. Being able to schedule a report once while incurring a single hit to the database, but allowing a large number of users to view the report instance, is a powerful thing. It decreases the number of queries to the database, which could affect the number of database licenses required. At the same time, because a cached copy of the data is stored with the report instance, the performance of viewing the report instance is much better than viewing the report in an on-demand mode. When you understand this basic scheduling principle and the Crystal Enterprise scheduling API, you can create a highly efficient and effective reporting system. This section provides that scheduling API knowledge.

Because the Crystal Enterprise SDK is a unified object model, it's not surprising to learn that the scheduling API is built into the core object model. Scheduling a report is pretty straightforward; you simply call the schedule method of the IInfoStore interface, passing in a collection of reports to be scheduled. You'll remember from the previous chapter that reports are stored as objects inside Crystal Enterprise. They are accessed via the IInfoObject interface. Multiple objects are stored in the IInfoObjects collection. Therefore the schedule method takes an IInfoObjects collection as a single argument. For most cases, this collection only contains a single object; however, it's possible to schedule a batch of reports at the same time.


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