The reporting needs for an organization often can change, requiring updates to existing reports as well as the addition of new reports. Having to update and re-deploy software each time reports are updated or added can quickly become time consuming. Rather than writing custom code for each type of report within the application, the report-specific information can be shifted outside of the core application. This allows an application to adapt to changing and new reports while minimizing the need for code updates. Instead, updates can be made to the database.
The article gives an overview of a how an application can retrieve report-related information from a database to generate reports. Crystal Reports is used for the reports since it is integrated with Visual Studio.
The article continues at http://www.developer.com/db/article.php/3753016