How to create Crystal Reports from XML

In the .NET Framework, we have access to classes that facilitate reading, writing, and performing other operations on XML formatted files. This capability allows us to utilize XML as a data source for Crystal Reports, similar to a traditional database.

Crystal Reports

Crystal Reports is a powerful reporting tool that enables us to design, generate, and distribute reports based on various data sources. While databases are commonly used as data sources for Crystal Reports, XML files can also serve as a valid source of data.

XML as a data source

To use XML as a data source for Crystal Reports, we need to follow a few steps. First, we must ensure that our XML file conforms to the required structure and contains the data we want to include in our report.

Next, we need to design our Crystal Report template, defining the report's layout, grouping, and summarization options. Within the Crystal Reports Designer, we can specify the XML file as the data source and map the XML elements to the report's fields.

To establish the connection between Crystal Reports and the XML file, we can use the XML file's path or create a connection string. This connection allows Crystal Reports to retrieve data from the XML file during report generation.

Once the connection is established, Crystal Reports can extract the data from the XML file and populate the report's fields accordingly. We can apply various formatting, grouping, and calculation options to customize the report based on our requirements.

Imports CrystalDecisions.CrystalReports.Engine Public Class Form1 Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, _ ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click Dim cryRpt As New ReportDocument cryRpt.Load("PUT CRYSTAL REPORT PATH HERE\CrystalReport1.rpt") CrystalReportViewer1.ReportSource = cryRpt CrystalReportViewer1.Refresh() End Sub End Class

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Using XML as a data source for Crystal Reports offers flexibility and versatility in reporting scenarios. It allows us to use XML's self-descriptive nature and its ability to hold structured data. By integrating XML with Crystal Reports, we can create dynamic reports that incorporate XML data seamlessly.


The .NET Framework provides support for working with XML formatted files, including using XML as a data source for Crystal Reports. By using the XML classes and Crystal Reports' capabilities, we can design and generate reports based on XML data, offering a flexible and powerful reporting solution.