SOAP API Connector for SAP Crystal Reports

In this article you will learn how to integrate SOAP API data in SAP Crystal Reports without coding in just a few clicks (live / bi-directional connection to SOAP API). SOAP Connector can be used to consume data from XML SOAP Service without any programming. It supports advanced filtering along with flexible approach to configure request parameters for web service..

Using SOAP API Connector you will be able to connect, read, and write data from within SAP Crystal Reports. Follow the steps below to see how we would accomplish that.

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What is SOAP Web Service?

If you are new to SOAP Web Service sometimes referred as XML Web Service then please read some concept about SOAP Web service standard from this link

There are two important aspects in SOAP Web service.

  1. Getting WSDL file or URL
  2. Knowing exact Web Service URL

What is WSDL

In very simple term WSDL (often pronounced as whiz-dull) is nothing but a document which describes Service metadata (e.g. Functions you can call, Request parameters, response structure etc). Some service simply give you WSDL as xml file you can download on local machine and then analyze or sometimes you may get direct URL (e.g. http://api.mycompany.com/hr-soap-service/?wsdl )

What is Service URL

Service URL is actual API URL you can call to get data. When you make a request to SOAP service url make sure following things.

  1. Use correct service URL (Its not same as WSDL url). If you are not sure about service URL contact API vendor or refer API documentation.
  2. Each service call you have to supply function you want to call. This can be done in 3 different ways.
    1. Pass via SOAPAction HTTP Header
    2. Pass via Url parameter or Url Path (http://myserver/service/function1  — http://myserver/service/?method=function1 )
    3. Pass via Request BODY
  3. Find out how to pass credentials. It can be done via Basic Authorization or WSS Security Header in the Request body. Check this link to learn more

Using SoapUI to test SOAP API call / Create Request Body XML

If you do not have WSDL file or URL handy then contact your API provider (sometimes you just have to add ?wsdl at the end of your Service URL to get WSDL so try that. Example: http://mycompany/myservice?wsdl ). If you don't know what is WSDL then in short, WSDL is Web service Description Language (i.e. XML file which describes your SOAP Service). WSDL helps to craft SOAP API request Body for ZappySys XML Driver. So Let's get started.

  1. Download and Install SoapUI (It’s a Free tool to test SOAP / REST Services)
  2. Open SoapUI and click SOAP button to create new SOAP Project
  3. Enter WSDL URL or File Path of WSDLFor example WSDL for our sample service can be accessed via this URL
    http://www.holidaywebservice.com/HolidayService_v2/HolidayService2.asmx?wsdl
    Create new SOAP API Project in SoapUI tool for SOAP API Testing
    Create new SOAP API Project in SoapUI tool for SOAP API Testing
  4. Once WSDL is loaded you will see possible operations you can call for your SOAP Web Service.
  5. If your web service requires credentials then you have to configure it. There are two common credential types for public services (SOAP WSS or BASIC )
    1. To use SOAP WSS Credentials select request node and enter UserId, Password, and WSS-PasswordType (PasswordText or PasswordHash)
      Configure SOAP WSS Credentials for SoapUI (SOAP API Testing Tool)
      Configure SOAP WSS Credentials for SoapUI (SOAP API Testing Tool)
    2. To use BASIC Auth Credentials select request node and double-click it. At the bottom click on Auth (Basic) and From Authorization dropdown click Add New and Select Basic. Configure Basic Authorization for SoapUI (SOAP API Testing Tool)
      Configure Basic Authorization for SoapUI (SOAP API Testing Tool)
  6. Now you can test your request first Double-click on the request node to open request editor.
  7. Change necessary parameters, remove optional or unwanted parameters. If you want to regenerate request you can click on Recreate default request toolbar icon. Create SOAP Request XML (With Optional Parameters)
    Create SOAP Request XML (With Optional Parameters)
  8. Once your SOAP Request XML is ready, Click the Play button in the toolbar to execute SOAP API Request and Response will appear in Right side panel. Test SOAP API using SoapUI Tool (Change Default XML Body / Parameters, Execute and See Response)
    Test SOAP API using SoapUI Tool (Change Default XML Body / Parameters, Execute and See Response)

Once you have tested your SOAP API in SoapUI tool, we are ready to use ZappySys SSIS Tasks/Components or ODBC Drivers to call SOAP API in SSIS or your preferred BI tool or Programming language.

Create ODBC Data Source (DSN) based on ZappySys XML Driver

To get data from Soapapi using SAP Crystal Reports we first need to create a DSN (Data Source) which will access data from Soapapi. We will later be able to read data using SAP Crystal Reports. Perform these steps:

  1. Install ZappySys ODBC PowerPack.

  2. Open ODBC Data Sources (x64):
    Open ODBC Data Source

  3. Create a User Data Source (User DSN) based on ZappySys XML Driver

    ZappySys XML Driver
    Create new System DSN for ZappySys XML Driver
    You should create a System DSN (instead of a User DSN) if the client application is launched under a Windows System Account, e.g. as a Windows Service. If the client application is 32-bit (x86) running with a System DSN, use ODBC Data Sources (32-bit) instead of the 64-bit version.
  4. Configure API URL, Request Method and Request Body as below screen. Select Url or File and paste the following Url for this example OR you can load existing connection string as per this article.

    NOTE: Here i am using demo SOAP API URL, but you need to refer your own API documentation and based on that you need to use your own API URL and need to configure connection based on API Authentication type.
    http://www.holidaywebservice.com/HolidayService_v2/HolidayService2.asmx?wsdl

    ZappySys XML Driver - Calling SOAP API - Configure URL, Method, Body
    ZappySys XML Driver - Calling SOAP API - Configure URL, Method, Body

  5. (This step is Optional) If your SOAP API requires credentials then Select Connection Type to HTTP and configure as below.

    ZappySys XML Driver - Configure SOAP WSS Credentials or Basic Authorization (Userid, Password)
    ZappySys XML Driver - Configure SOAP WSS Credentials or Basic Authorization (Userid, Password)

  6. Configure-Request Headers as below (You can get it from Request > Raw tab from SoapUI after you test the request by clicking the Play button)

    Configure SOAP API Request Headers - ZappySys XML Driver
    Configure SOAP API Request Headers - ZappySys XML Driver

  7. Once credentials entered you can select Filter to extract data from the desired node. Make sure to select array node (see special icon) or select the node which contains all necessary columns if you don't have array node.

    Select Filter - Extract data from nested XML / SOAP API Response (Denormalize Hierarchy)
    Select Filter - Extract data from nested XML / SOAP API Response (Denormalize Hierarchy)

  8. If prompted select yes to treat selected node as Array (This is helpful when you expect one or more record for selected node)

    Treat selected node as XML Array Option for SOAP API Response XML
    Treat selected node as XML Array Option for SOAP API Response XML

  9. Once the data source has been configured, Go to Preview tab and click on preview data to view the data.
    You can create the default query, generated based on settings you entered in previous sections also, by using Query Builder. Attributes listed in WITH clause are optional. If you omit attribute in WITH clause it will use it from Properties tab.

    Preview SOAP API Response in ZappySys XML Driver
    Preview SOAP API Response in ZappySys XML Driver

  10. Click OK to finish creating the data source.

  11. That's it; we are done. In a few clicks we configured the call to SOAP API using ZappySys SOAP Connector.

Read data in SAP Crystal Reports from the ODBC data source

  1. First of all, open SAP Crystal Reports and create the new Crystal Report.
    Create New Crystal Report

  2. And it will open the new data source selection window. Under ODBC(RDO) double click on the Make New Connection and Select the desired ODBC DSN, in our case we need to select SoapapiDSN which we created in upper section. And Click on Next.

    SoapapiDSN
    SAP Crystal Report - Select ODBC SoapapiDSN DSN

  3. Expand the Connection and under the data select the desired table(s) or view(s) and click Add > button and click on Next.

    SoapapiDSN
    SoapapiDSN
    SAP Crystal Report - Add ODBC SoapapiDSN DSN Tables

  4. Add the desired Fields to Display in the Reports. Here we are adding all fields and click on Finish.
    SAP Crystal Report - Add Display Fields

  5. That's it and you will be able to load the data in the Report.
    SAP Crystal Report - SoapapiDSN Data Output

Using ZappySys Driver Custom Views and Store Procedure in SAP Crystal Report

You can create parameterized Stored Procedure and Virtual Tables on the same Data Source (ODBC DSN or Data Gateway Data Source). Please refer to this article for the same. You can create procedures to encapsulate custom logic and then only pass handful parameters rather than long SQL to execute your API call.

Using Custom Views in the SAP Crystal Report

After establishing the connection with SoapapiDSN Data Source you can use the custom view in SQL Crystal Report.
SoapapiDSN
SoapapiDSN
SAP Crystal Report - Custom Views

Using Custom Store Procedure in the SAP Crystal Report

  1. First of all, create the custom store procedure in the ZappySys Driver. Please refer to this article to create the custom store procedure.
    ZappySys Driver Custom Store Procedure
  2. After establishing the connection with SoapapiDSN Data Source you can use the custom Store Procedure in SQL Crystal Report. Same way you can write custom queries also in the query box.
    SoapapiDSN
    SAP Crystal Report - Custom Views

Configuring pagination in the XML Driver

ZappySys XML Driver equips users with powerful tools for seamless data extraction and management from REST APIs, leveraging advanced pagination methods for enhanced efficiency. These options are designed to handle various types of pagination structures commonly used in APIs. Below are the detailed descriptions of these options:

  1. Page-based Pagination: This method works by retrieving data in fixed-size pages from the Rest API. It allows you to specify the page size and navigate through the results by requesting different page numbers, ensuring that you can access all the data in a structured manner.

  2. Offset-based Pagination: With this approach, you can extract data by specifying the starting point or offset from which to begin retrieving data. It allows you to define the number of records to skip and fetch subsequent data accordingly, providing precise control over the data extraction process.

  3. Cursor-based Pagination: This technique involves using a cursor or a marker that points to a specific position in the dataset. It enables you to retrieve data starting from the position indicated by the cursor and proceed to subsequent segments, ensuring that you capture all the relevant information without missing any records.

  4. Token-based Pagination: In this method, a token serves as a unique identifier for a specific data segment. It allows you to access the next set of data by using the token provided in the response from the previous request. This ensures that you can systematically retrieve all the data segments without duplication or omission.

Utilizing these comprehensive pagination features in the ZappySys XML Driver facilitates efficient data management and extraction from REST APIs, optimizing the integration and analysis of extensive datasets.

For more detailed steps, please refer to this link: How to do REST API Pagination in SSIS / ODBC Drivers

ZappySys Authentication

ZappySys offers various authentication methods to securely access data from various sources. These authentication methods include OAuth, Basic Authentication, Token-based Authentication, and more, allowing users to connect to a wide range of data sources securely.

ZappySys Authentication is a robust system that facilitates secure access to data from a diverse range of sources. It includes a variety of authentication methods tailored to meet the specific requirements of different data platforms and services. These authentication methods may involve:

  1. OAuth: ZappySys supports OAuth for authentication, which allows users to grant limited access to their data without revealing their credentials. It's commonly used for applications that require access to user account information.

  2. Basic Authentication: This method involves sending a username and password with every request. ZappySys allows users to securely access data using this traditional authentication approach.

  3. Token-based Authentication: ZappySys enables users to utilize tokens for authentication. This method involves exchanging a unique token with each request to authenticate the user's identity without revealing sensitive information.

By implementing these authentication methods, ZappySys ensures the secure and reliable retrieval of data from various sources, providing users with the necessary tools to access and integrate data securely and efficiently. For more comprehensive details on the authentication process, please refer to the official ZappySys documentation or reach out to their support team for further assistance.

For more details, please refer to this link: ZappySys Connections

Create Custom Store Procedure in ZappySys Driver

You can create procedures to encapsulate custom logic and then only pass handful parameters rather than long SQL to execute your API call.

Steps to create Custom Store Procedure in ZappySys Driver. You can insert Placeholders anywhere inside Procedure Body. Read more about placeholders here

  1. Go to Custom Objects Tab and Click on Add button and Select Add Procedure:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Store Procedure

  2. Enter the desired Procedure name and click on OK:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Store Procedure Name

  3. Select the created Store Procedure and write the your desired store procedure and Save it and it will create the custom store procedure in the ZappySys Driver:
    Here is an example stored procedure for ZappySys Driver. You can insert Placeholders anywhere inside Procedure Body. Read more about placeholders here

    CREATE PROCEDURE [usp_get_orders]
        @fromdate = '<<yyyy-MM-dd,FUN_TODAY>>'
     AS
        SELECT * FROM Orders where OrderDate >= '<@fromdate>';
    

    ZappySys Driver - Create Custom Store Procedure

  4. That's it now go to Preview Tab and Execute your Store Procedure using Exec Command. In this example it will extract the orders from the date 1996-01-01:

    Exec usp_get_orders '1996-01-01';

    ZappySys Driver - Execute Custom Store Procedure

  5. Let's generate the SQL Server Query Code to make the API call using store procedure. Go to Code Generator Tab, select language as SQL Server and click on Generate button the generate the code.
    As we already created the linked server for this Data Source, in that you just need to copy the Select Query and need to use the linked server name which we have apply on the place of [MY_API_SERVICE] placeholder.

    SELECT * FROM OPENQUERY([MY_API_SERVICE], 'EXEC usp_get_orders @fromdate=''1996-07-30''')

    ZappySys Driver - Generate SQL Server Query

  6. Now go to SQL served and execute that query and it will make the API call using store procedure and provide you the response.
    ZappySys Driver - Generate SQL Server Query

Create Custom Virtual Table in ZappySys Driver

ZappySys API Drivers support flexible Query language so you can override Default Properties you configured on Data Source such as URL, Body. This way you don't have to create multiple Data Sources if you like to read data from multiple EndPoints. However not every application support supplying custom SQL to driver so you can only select Table from list returned from driver.

If you're dealing with Microsoft Access and need to import data from an SQL query, it's important to note that Access doesn't allow direct import of SQL queries. Instead, you can create custom objects (Virtual Tables) to handle the import process.

Many applications like MS Access, Informatica Designer wont give you option to specify custom SQL when you import Objects. In such case Virtual Table is very useful. You can create many Virtual Tables on the same Data Source (e.g. If you have 50 URLs with slight variations you can create virtual tables with just URL as Parameter setting.

  1. Go to Custom Objects Tab and Click on Add button and Select Add Table:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Table

  2. Enter the desired Table name and click on OK:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Table Name

  3. And it will open the New Query Window Click on Cancel to close that window and go to Custom Objects Tab.

  4. Select the created table, Select Text Type AS SQL and write the your desired SQL Query and Save it and it will create the custom table in the ZappySys Driver:
    Here is an example SQL query for ZappySys Driver. You can insert Placeholders also. Read more about placeholders here

    SELECT
      "ShipCountry",
      "OrderID",
      "CustomerID",
      "EmployeeID",
      "OrderDate",
      "RequiredDate",
      "ShippedDate",
      "ShipVia",
      "Freight",
      "ShipName",
      "ShipAddress",
      "ShipCity",
      "ShipRegion",
      "ShipPostalCode"
    FROM "Orders"
    Where "ShipCountry"='USA'

    ZappySys Driver - Create Custom Table

  5. That's it now go to Preview Tab and Execute your custom virtual table query. In this example it will extract the orders for the USA Shipping Country only:

    SELECT * FROM "vt__usa_orders_only"

    ZappySys Driver - Execute Custom Virtual Table Query

  6. Let's generate the SQL Server Query Code to make the API call using store procedure. Go to Code Generator Tab, select language as SQL Server and click on Generate button the generate the code.
    As we already created the linked server for this Data Source, in that you just need to copy the Select Query and need to use the linked server name which we have apply on the place of [MY_API_SERVICE] placeholder.

    SELECT * FROM OPENQUERY([MY_API_SERVICE], 'EXEC [usp_get_orders] ''1996-01-01''')

    ZappySys Driver - Generate SQL Server Query

  7. Now go to SQL served and execute that query and it will make the API call using store procedure and provide you the response.
    ZappySys Driver - Generate SQL Server Query

Conclusion

In this article we discussed how to connect to SOAP API in SAP Crystal Reports and integrate data without any coding. Click here to Download SOAP API Connector for SAP Crystal Reports and try yourself see how easy it is. If you still have any question(s) then ask here or simply click on live chat icon below and ask our expert (see bottom-right corner of this page).

Download SOAP API Connector for SAP Crystal Reports Documentation 


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Download SOAP API Connector for SAP Crystal Reports Documentation 

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  • Consume realtime SOAP API API data in SAP Crystal Reports

  • SOAP API ODBC Driver | ODBC Driver for SOAP API | ODBC SOAP API Driver | SSIS SOAP API Source | SSIS SOAP API Destination

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  • Load SOAP API in SAP Crystal Reports

  • Load SOAP API data in SAP Crystal Reports

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