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Introduction

The Field Explorer, which was introduced in Chapter 1, “Creating and Designing Basic Reports,” provides a quick and easy way to select and display fields on your report and then easily drag and drop them onto the Report Design area. In addition to choosing existing fields from your selected data sources, the Field Explorer enables you to create calculated (formula) fields, parameter fields, running total fields, and group summary fields, as well as choose from a predefined set of default special fields. These additional objects enable a great deal of flexibility and power in the information you can deliver through the reports you create.

In addition to selecting the fields that make up the raw content for a report, it is often beneficial to group base-level data by country, region, or product line. Grouping the data facilitates relevant business user analysis and enables meaningful summarizations in your reports. Crystal Reports provides easy-to-use grouping functionality that enables nested groups, hierarchical grouping, and drill-down analysis into the different levels of grouping selected.


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