How to Change Data Sources in Crystal Reports 2011

  • by Adam Getz, Manager – Business Intelligence, CGI Federal
  • July 15, 2013
Adam Getz shows how to change the data source for a Crystal Report — such as migrating data from a test environment to a production environment — using either the Crystal Reports Designer interface or the Central Management Console without changing any other aspects of the report.
Key Concept

A data source is any organized collection of data stored electronically that act as the basis from which reports generate information. A data source can be a schema or database contained within a database management system, a spreadsheet file, or a structured text file that contains data.

SAP Crystal Reports 2011 is a popular report generation application included within the SAP BusinessObjects suite of products that allows a report designer to create reports from a variety of data sources with a minimum amount of written code. It can access data from most widely-used databases, including Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, Oracle databases, Microsoft SQL Server databases, IBM DB2 databases, and Microsoft Access databases. Crystal Reports can also integrate data from multiple databases within one report using Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) built into the Windows operating system.

Designers of Crystal Reports can select and link tables from a wide variety of data sources. It is often necessary to set the data source location of a Crystal Report so that the report connects to a different data source than the original data source that was used to design the report. When developing a Crystal Report, it is common to develop a report with a development data source, perform quality assurance for the report with a test data source, and finally execute the report in a production environment with a production data source. 

Because Crystal Reports allows for data sources for the reports to be easily changed, migration of the reports from environment to environment is straightforward.  Once the report is migrated to a new environment, you can update the data source configuration to reflect the correct data source for the environment.

I explain how to change the data source, first using the Crystal Reports Designer interface and then using the Central Management Console (CMC).

Adam Getz

Adam Getz currently serves as a Manager, Business Intelligence for CGI Federal. In this position, he is leading a large business intelligence and data warehousing implementation for a federal client.  He is a thought leader in the field of information technology and an expert in the deployment of leading business intelligence, database management, and data integration products. He has presented at a variety of local, national, and international events, including the 2006 BusinessObjects International Conference, 2007 Oracle BIWA Summit, 2008 Oracle Open World, and 2010 and 2011 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conferences. In addition, Adam is the creator and main author of, a website, portfolio, and blog that provides rich technical and functional content to business intelligence and data warehousing professionals. He has also published numerous technology white papers that have focused on various topics within business intelligence and data warehousing. Adam currently serves as the chairperson of the Washington DC Business Objects User Group.

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