Crystal Reports for Microsoft RMS Overview for Developer/report Designer
Microsoft Retail Management System (MS RMS), former QuickSell 2000 is very popular retail system, which is capable to automate the whole spectrum of retail businesses – from single store with inventory count needs up to the chain of supermarkets.
The strong points of Microsoft RMS are inventory control, sales campaigns/promotions. Microsoft Business Solutions is working on enhancing its Microsoft RMS integration to Microsoft Great Plains – currently it integrates on GL and Purchasing module level. The increase of MS RMS popularity maybe also explained with Microsoft marketing channel power.
If you are software developer or database administrator – we would like to give you the clues on Crystal Report creation for Microsoft RMS
1. Database: Microsoft SQL Server or MSDE – this means that you can deploy native SQL driver for connection or use ODBC for flexibility.
2. Tables Structure – it is extremely self-explanatory: Customer, Transaction (invoices, returns, layaways and others), TransactionAmount, Cashier, Tender to give you examples
3. Links – Usually master table has ID column and Transaction-related table links by [Entity]ID column: Transaction.CustomerID=Customer.ID to give the idea. This query will give you customer info of sales transaction: select b.FirstName, b.LastName, a.* from [Transaction] a join Customer b on a.CustomerID=b.ID. Please pay attention to the brackets around Transaction – transaction is reserved word in MS Transact SQL – the Microsoft blend of SQL92
4. Hints on dataflow/synchronization – Microsoft RMS uses worksheets technology and all the data goes from stores to headquarters database through worksheets. Headquarters database doesn’t create its own transactions – so be careful and do not try this type of data integration.
5. SQL Views and Stored Procedures – yes – feel free to create them directly in RMS Headquarters database and deploy in your Crystal Report.
6. Advanced Techniques – in MS SQL Enterprise Manager you can create Linked Server to all ODBC/OLEDB compliant databases: Ctree, PervasiveSQL/Btrieve, MS Access, ORACLE, DB2, Unidata, Navision (C/ODBC) and using OPENROWSET construction you can create geterogeneus view and stored proc – then you can have the data from multiple systems in your Crystal Report.
Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies USA nationwide Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Great Plains customization company, based in Chicago, California, Texas, New York, Georgia and Florida and having locations in multiple states and internationally (www.albaspectrum.com), he is Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer.