I just had a call from a customer who wanted to run lists of reports grouped by the report ‘owner’. They wanted to know the simplest way to enter this into each report and also have it available to create lists of reports for each owner. Their original plan had been to add a text object to each report to display the owner info, but they couldn’t think of a way to generate lists based on that data.
As it happens, Jeff-Net had just let me test drive their new tool for doing report management and documentation, called Report Runner Documentor. It is simple to use and is available for free. My favorite part is how easily it loads the report’s information (tables, fields, links, formulas, summary info, etc) into a SQL Server database. This allows you to create reports about your reports.
So I suggested that my customer put their ‘owner’ information into one of the five “Summary Info” fields like “Author” or “Keywords”. These are found in each report under “File > Summary Info”. These fields can be displayed on the report, and they also get stored in the Documentor database. They can then tap into this database to create their own lists in Crystal Reports, using that field for grouping or filtering. Uncomplicated and inexpensive.
This past July I reviewed report management tools like this one and posted a feature comparison matrix. Since then I have written about two new tools so those have just been added. So, for the complete list of the tools available in this group you can read my updated annual comparison.