you can use the odbc approach to connect with your server. for this you have to make a security login or user for your own sql server database. you can create the user using sql server enterprise manager. here are the steps :-
1. launch sql server enterprise manager
2. login to the server. this login does not require you to input any passwords just make sure that ur service manager is running.
3. then expand the security folder->right click logins->new login
4. give a name for the user, select sql server authentication option, mention a pwd, select ur database,confirm ur passwd and click ok to create the user
5. u can also set server roles and access to the default database from this section.
now its time to create the odbc string. here are the steps :-
1.goto control panel->select administrative tools and the data sources(odbc)
2. select add from user dsn tab
3. select sql server as ur source driver and click finish
4. mention a name for ur dsn, give a description(optional), mention server name(this should be "(local)" with brackets but without the quotes)
5. select 2nd option from the next page
6. give the login id and passwd exactly same as u mentioned while creating the user
7. change the default database to ur db name and select ur default language
8. click finish to build the DSN
now the configuration for communicating with the server is complete. now u need to write code in ur vb forms to connect ur apps with sql server.
and for ur crystal reports:--------------
u need to create views to display data on report from ur vb6 apps