USING IRONBARCODE

How to Add a Barcode in Crystal Reports using C#

Updated April 4, 2024
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Crystal Reports is a powerful reporting tool that allows developers to create feature-rich reports for their applications. When it comes to including barcodes in Crystal Reports using C#, it adds a new dimension to data representation, making it easier to manage and track information. In this article, we'll explore the steps to integrate barcodes into Crystal Reports using C#.

How to Add a Barcode in Crystal Reports using C#

  1. Install the Barcode Library.
  2. Generate a Barcode image and save it as an image in a database table.
  3. Design the layout for the Crystal Report.
  4. Establish a connection to the database and select the necessary table.
  5. Include a Barcode Image field in the Crystal Report layout.
  6. Build and run the project.

Choose a Barcode Library

Before diving into the implementation, it's essential to select a barcode library that supports Crystal Reports and C#. One popular choice is the IronBarcode for .NET.

What is IronBarcode

IronBarcode is a versatile .NET library that simplifies barcode generation and reading. With IronBarcode, you can effortlessly create various barcodes, including Code 128 and QR codes, by specifying the value to encode. It also supports resizing and customization. On the reading side, IronBarcode can extract barcode data from images or PDFs, making it ideal for inventory management and document tracking. Its user-friendly API ensures quick integration into your projects, and cross-platform support allows seamless development across different .NET versions. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or a beginner, IronBarcode empowers you to work with barcodes efficiently.

Create a new Project

Open Visual Studio for creating an ASP.NET Crystal Reports Web Site. I am using Visual Studio 2022. You may use any, but make sure Crystal reports for Visual Studio for that particular version is installed.

How to Add a Barcode in Crystal Reports using C#: Figure 1 - Open Visual Studio. Create a new "ASP.NET Crystal Reports Web Site' project.

Select Project Name, Location & Target Framework. Click on the Create Button. A new Project will be created as shown below.

How to Add a Barcode in Crystal Reports using C#: Figure 2 - A new project will be created with a default CrystalReport1.rpt page.

Before we begin, we need to have a Database. Let's create a new database and a sample table.

Create a new Database

The following script will create a new database.

CREATE DATABASE ProductDB;
USE [ProductDB]
GO
/****** Object:  Table [dbo].[Products]    Script Date: 3/10/2024 2:57:18 PM**/
SET ANSI_NULLS ON
GO
SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON
GO
CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Products](
    [Product_ID] [int] NULL,
    [Product_Name] [varchar](100) NULL,
    [Product_Price] [decimal](18, 0) NULL,
    [Product_Barcode] [image] NULL
) ON [PRIMARY] TEXTIMAGE_ON [PRIMARY]
GO

Let's Insert Data into this table. We need to create a barcode and Save it in the Product table. Therefore, we need to insert data using C# Code. We need to install IronBarcode Library in our Project to use its features to create barcodes.

Install IronBarcode Library

To install the IronBarcode library using the NuGet Package Manager Console, follow these steps:

Open the NuGet Package Manager Console. You can find it by going to View -> Other Windows -> Package Manager Console.

How to Add a Barcode in Crystal Reports using C#: Figure 3 - Open NuGet Package Manager Console. Navigate to the View menu - Other Windows - Package Manager Console

In the Package Manager Console, use the following command to install the IronBarcode library:

Install-Package Barcode

Press Enter to execute the command.

Alternatively, you can install IronBarcode library using the Manage NuGet Packages for Solution:

How to Add a Barcode in Crystal Reports using C#: Figure 4 - Install IronBarcode using the Manage NuGet Package for Solution by searching "IronBarcode" in the search bar of NuGet Package Manager, then select the project and click on the Install button.

Wait for the NuGet Package Manager to download and install the IronBarcode library and its dependencies. Once the installation is complete, you'll see a confirmation message in the Package Manager Console.

Now, the IronBarcode library is installed in your project, and you can start using its features for barcode generation and reading.

Generate barcode images and store them in the Database

I will generate barcode images, and store them in the database using ADO.NET. The following code will demonstrate the example of generating a barcode in C#.

static void Main(string[] args)
 {
    var myBarcode = BarcodeWriter.CreateBarcode("77446252", BarcodeWriterEncoding.Code128);
    myBarcode.AddBarcodeValueTextBelowBarcode();
    myBarcode.ResizeTo(600, 300);
    SqlConnection cn = new SqlConnection("Data Source=localhost\\SQLEXPRESS;initial catalog=ProductDB ; User ID=sa;Password=123456;Integrated Security=SSPI;");
    SqlCommand cmd = new SqlCommand($"INSERT INTO dbo.Products values (77446252, 'Pine Apple Small','100', '{myBarcode.BinaryStream}' )", cn);
     cn.Open();
     cmd.ExecuteNonQuery();
     cn.Close();
 }
static void Main(string[] args)
 {
    var myBarcode = BarcodeWriter.CreateBarcode("77446252", BarcodeWriterEncoding.Code128);
    myBarcode.AddBarcodeValueTextBelowBarcode();
    myBarcode.ResizeTo(600, 300);
    SqlConnection cn = new SqlConnection("Data Source=localhost\\SQLEXPRESS;initial catalog=ProductDB ; User ID=sa;Password=123456;Integrated Security=SSPI;");
    SqlCommand cmd = new SqlCommand($"INSERT INTO dbo.Products values (77446252, 'Pine Apple Small','100', '{myBarcode.BinaryStream}' )", cn);
     cn.Open();
     cmd.ExecuteNonQuery();
     cn.Close();
 }
Shared Sub Main(ByVal args() As String)
	Dim myBarcode = BarcodeWriter.CreateBarcode("77446252", BarcodeWriterEncoding.Code128)
	myBarcode.AddBarcodeValueTextBelowBarcode()
	myBarcode.ResizeTo(600, 300)
	Dim cn As New SqlConnection("Data Source=localhost\SQLEXPRESS;initial catalog=ProductDB ; User ID=sa;Password=123456;Integrated Security=SSPI;")
	Dim cmd As New SqlCommand($"INSERT INTO dbo.Products values (77446252, 'Pine Apple Small','100', '{myBarcode.BinaryStream}' )", cn)
	 cn.Open()
	 cmd.ExecuteNonQuery()
	 cn.Close()
End Sub
VB   C#

The above source code generates a barcode, connects to a SQL Server database, inserts data (including the barcode) into the Products table, and then closes the database connection.

Code Explanation

1. Barcode Generation

  1. var myBarcode = BarcodeWriter.CreateBarcode("77446252", BarcodeWriterEncoding.Code128);

    This line creates a barcode using the BarcodeWriter class's CreateBarcode() method. The barcode is generated from the binary data represented by the string "77446252" using the Code 128 encoding format1. The myBarcode variable now holds the generated barcode.

  2. AddBarcodeValueTextBelowBarcode() function will add a text value below the barcode.
  3. ResizeTo(600, 300) will change the height and width of the barcode image with the provided dimensions.
  4. We can use the SaveAs() method to save barcode images in the file system.

The following barcode will be generated from the above code.

How to Add a Barcode in Crystal Reports using C#: Figure 5 - Output: Generated barcode

2. Database Connection Setup

  1. SqlConnection cn = new SqlConnection("Data Source=localhost\SQLEXPRESS;initial catalog=ProductDB ; User ID=sa;Password=123456;");
  2. Here, a connection to a SQL Server database is established. The connection string specifies the server (localhost\SQLEXPRESS), the initial catalog (database name: ProductDB), and the authentication credentials (user ID sa and password 123456).

3. SQL Command Creation

  1. SqlCommand cmd = new SqlCommand($"INSERT INTO dbo.Products values (77446252, 'Pine Apple Small','100', '{myBarcode.BinaryStream}' )", cn);
  2. A new SqlCommand object is created. This command represents an SQL query to insert data into the Products table.

  3. The query inserts values into the table columns: 77446252, 'Pine Apple Small', '100', and the binary stream of the generated barcode (myBarcode.BinaryStream).

4. Database Interaction

  1. cn.Open() : The connection to the database is opened.
  2. cmd.ExecuteNonQuery(): The SQL query is executed, inserting the specified values into the Products table.
  3. cn.Close(): The database connection is closed to release resources.

Design Your Crystal Reports Barcode generator

Now, Design the report layout, add database connections, and arrange the necessary fields. If you're new to this, follow the following steps.

  1. Open Field Explorer => Database Field => Database Expert.

    How to Add a Barcode in Crystal Reports using C#: Figure 6 - Add database connection to the report layout: Open Field Explorer - Database Field - Database Expert.

  2. Expand Create a new Connection => OLE DB(ADO) => Make New Connection

    How to Add a Barcode in Crystal Reports using C#: Figure 7 - Expand Create a new Connection - OLE DB(ADO) - Make New Connection.

  3. Select Microsoft OLE DB Data Source for SQL Server. Click Next.

    How to Add a Barcode in Crystal Reports using C#: Figure 8 - Select Microsoft OLE DB Data Source for SQL Server and click Next.

  4. Provide the Server Name, Login Credential, and Database Name as shown below.

    How to Add a Barcode in Crystal Reports using C#: Figure 9 - Specify the SQL Server Name, Login Credential, and Database Name. Then click on Next - then Finish.

  5. Press on the Next Button, a new window will appear, and then Click Finish.
  6. Select the Table you want to add. In this case, select the products table.

    How to Add a Barcode in Crystal Reports using C#: Figure 10 - Add table: Select the Products table from the ProductDB database. Then click on the OK button.

  7. Click on the OK Button.

We have set up a Database Connection. Now, let's set up the Report layout.

Now, I have added a Text Box with the text "Barcode in Crystal report C#". Added text Box, Drag & Drop Product ID, Product Name, and Product Price Field, Product Barcode from database Fields and placed them inside the Box as shown below.

How to Add a Barcode in Crystal Reports using C#: Figure 11 - Create a Crystal Report in C#. Drag and drop the Product ID, Product Name, and Product Price, Product Barcode fields from database fields.

See the Crystal Report Preview in Crystal Report Viewer.

How to Add a Barcode in Crystal Reports using C#: Figure 12 - Check the Crystal Report Preview in Crystal Report Viewer.

Build and run the project. The Output is as:

How to Add a Barcode in Crystal Reports using C#: Figure 13 - Ouptput: Crystal Report with barcode

I have not downloaded sample dataset package, ensuring I had the correct data file, and proceeded to create a Crystal Report in C# for comprehensive data visualization.

In this way, we can create Bar code in the Crystal Reports Application without downloading the Barcode Font. Similarly, we can also add a QR Code as per your requirement.

Conclusion

In conclusion, integrating barcodes into Crystal Reports using C# is a powerful way to enhance data representation and management. Choosing a reliable barcode library like IronBarcode streamlines the process, offering versatility and ease of use. IronBarcode, with its support for various barcode types, resizing, and customization features, proves to be a valuable asset in barcode generation and reading tasks. The step-by-step guide provided here ensures a seamless implementation process, from selecting the library to designing the Crystal Report layout.

Moreover, IronBarcode, unlocking additional functionalities and support to further enhance their barcode integration experience. This flexibility makes IronBarcode a compelling choice for developers, whether they are working on small-scale projects or enterprise-level applications.

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