Archive for the 'News' Category



Crystal Reports 2020 and xBase data

Sunday 27 February 2022 @ 7:15 pm

In the past few weeks I have been contacted by two different users with xBase data (dBASE, FoxPro, etc). Both were trying to read the data using CR 2020 and not finding a way to connect. One had to upgrade to 64-bit because some of the xBase.dbf files had gone past 2GB.  As I now know, a 32-bit process can only use a maximum of 2 GB of memory. I didn’t know this was a general limit, but I did know that when one of my MS Access databases gets to 2GB I have to purge and pack it before my reports will run.  The other user upgraded without knowing that his connectivity would be affected. They might be able to revert back to CR 2016.

I have still not upgraded to CR 2020 because I use DAO connections and have little motivation to change them. However, if I get a slow week, I plan to setup a test environment to experiment with CR 2020. Then I can see if there are any workarounds for the xBase issues.

If I can’t find a driver that can connect directly to xBase there is one other thing I may try. I have read that MS Access 2016 can connect to dBASE files. It may be possible that MS Access 2016 can be used as a bridge between Crystal and dBASE files.  If so that might work for other xBase flavors like FoxPro.  I will post what I find.

If anyone else has any ideas, I would love to hear from you.




The Log4j vulnerability and Crystal Reports

Sunday 12 December 2021 @ 9:38 pm

Everyone has been talking about the new Java security vulnerability called Log4j. I have been talking to colleagues to determine if this affects Crystal Reports, Crystal Enterprise or anything else in the Crystal ecosystem. SAP put out a note that states that this vulnerability does not affect SAP Business Intelligence 4.2 or 4.3. It doesn’t mention earlier BI versions but these are no longer supported.

There was a support note about this topic, but nothing in the support note mentions Crystal Reports or the Crystal runtime engine used by third party applications. One of my colleagues said that since this is a Java vulnerability, it should not affect stand alone Crystal Reports, and I tend to agree. I also believe that if Crystal Reports were affected it would be mentioned in that support note. The same goes for the Crystal runtime files, but it would be nice if SAP responded specifically to these questions in the discussion above.

Last, thanks to Andrew Baines of Pursuit Technology and Danny Shahrabani of rePORTAL Software for helping me track down and make sense of the SAP support note.  If anyone else has info to share on this topic, please let me know.




Blackbaud no longer supports Crystal Reports within Raiser’s Edge

Wednesday 17 November 2021 @ 8:23 pm

I create reports for several customers who use Raiser’s Edge donor management software. One of my customers shared this note from BlackBaud that went out today:

“On December 15, 2021, we will no longer support the ability to create or edit custom reports using Crystal Reports directly within any Blackbaud solution. Users will still be able to view historical reports and export file formats that work with Crystal Reports.”

Before the 15th it wasn’t clear if reports would still run in RE, but now it appears that they still do. The only noticeable change is that users don’t have a built-in copy of the Crystal Reports designer. To modify reports they will need to purchase their own license.

If you decide to buy a copy of Crystal Reports to work with your RE export (mdb) files, I recommend that you buy Crystal Reports 2016 instead of Crystal Reports 2020. That will give you something that works very much like what you have now. Crystal Reports 2020 can be made to work but it is 64-bit so it will use different drivers. You could modify reports but you won’t be able to run that same report both outside and within RE.

See this article for a link to the Crystal Reports product page and for clarity on what you do and don’t need to buy.




Some SAP links now require credentials

Sunday 14 November 2021 @ 11:35 pm

For the past few weeks several customers have need help with registry changes. So I have spent lots of time referring to a document that SAP has posted on their web site. It shows all the registry keys for Crystal Reports. I wrote about it in my blog. When I need the link I search my blog to find the article that has the link.

Today I went to check that same document and I found that it was just a ‘preview’ of the article. The full article was part of the SAP (password protected) support portal. This change must have happened in the past few days. Fortunately I have an old (free) User ID and password. I logged in and I could read (and download) the full registry key document.  It was a minor hassle.

Then I tried to pull up a related article on editing the registry.  Again I was shown just a ‘preview’ of the article. This time my credentials didn’t get me to the full article. I was given a second login screen and my credentials were rejected.  SAP may be starting to restrict access to certain support materials.

I tried a variation of the second URL and got this message:

You are signed in with a P-user ID.
Visitors with an S-user ID will benefit from more tools and enhanced functionality.

According to this SAP Article, S-user IDs are provided to those who have an active support contract.  P-User IDs are for the public and for partners.

If you anyone notices any other content that moves from free access to paid-only access, please let me know.




Releasing my Calendar reports

Monday 18 October 2021 @ 8:28 pm

After releasing my course materials and my “Expert” series I realized that I had forgotten one item: My set of calendars. This three report set, with instructions, allows you to generate 3 different styles of calendar from your data (continuous, monthly and daily). The first two allow you to show multi-day events as boxes that stretch from the beginning to the end of the event.

The reports are designed so that you can swap in your fields instead of the sample data fields. You can read more about them in my original blog post, or download the set and try them out.




Crystal Reports 2020 and DAO connections

Tuesday 12 October 2021 @ 8:21 pm

Several of my customers read Excel spreadsheets, Microsoft Access MDB files and even text files using DAO connections. This are simple connections made by pointing directly to the data file. Unfortunately, these direct connections are no longer supported in Crystal Reports 2020. I was hoping that might be a temporary situation, but this link on the SAP website provides confirmation:

Crystal Reports 2020 is a 64bit application, and therefore it is no longer possible to connect to Excel or Access using DAO, since there is no 64bit version of this Microsoft Technology. This is why the option “Access/Excel (DAO)” is not available in Crystal Reports 2020.

You can still connect to these data sources using ODBC or OLEDB, but you will need the new 64-bit Microsoft driver. OLEDB actually works in a similar way to DAO, but you will need to do a “Set Datasource Location” in each report to convert it from DAO to OLEDB. I posted instructions in February for using OLEDB to connect to the Xtreme Sample Database (mdb) and the steps would be similar for other types of DAO connections.

If you run both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of CR you might want to switch to ODBC connections (DSNs). With ODBC you can create a 64-bit DSN on one PC and a 32-bit DSN on another PC using the same DSN name. That way you can maintain one rpt file and it can run in both the 32-bit and 64-bit Crystal environments.




My Crystal Reports Expert Series released as free downloads

Tuesday 24 August 2021 @ 10:05 pm

Last month I released my Intro and Advanced course books as free downloads. Tonight I released the entire Expert’s Series of guides as free downloads. All of these are all on the “Library” page of my site. You are free to use them and share them for free as long as they are not modified or sold.




Download my advanced course materials

Saturday 10 July 2021 @ 7:50 pm

In April I made my Intro course materials available for free.  I mentioned this in my blog and newsletter and so far several hundred users have downloaded the material. This month I am going to make my Advanced course materials available in the same way.

Just like the Intro material, you are welcome to download the materials and use them. Share them with your friends. Please do not modify them or try to sell them.

Note that as a consultant, people often pay me to help them use or learn Crystal. You can, too. So if you have questions about Crystal Reports I am happy to schedule a short consult for you. This is explained further on these links:

https://kenhamady.com/faq.shtml
https://kenhamady.com/support/default.html




Crystal Reports course materials – free download

Sunday 11 April 2021 @ 5:06 pm

I have decided to make my Intro course materials available to download, for free. There are several reasons behind this decision:

1) Crystal use is slowly declining. This might encourage use of the product in a small way.
2) Classroom training was becoming rare, and stopped completely by the pandemic.
3) My work is now mostly consulting, so there is less call for course materials.
4) I hope for some good karma.

So you are welcome to download the materials and use them. Share them with your friends. Please do not modify them or try to sell them.

Note that as a consultant, people often pay me to help them use or learn Crystal. You can, too. So if you have questions about Crystal Reports I am happy to schedule a short consult for you. This is explained further on these links:

https://kenhamady.com/faq.shtml
https://kenhamady.com/support/default.html




Connecting to the Xtreme sample data from CR 2020

Saturday 6 February 2021 @ 3:55 pm

I wrote about CR 2020 last summer, and linked to a blog post about things that were different. One of the things mentioned in that article was that CR 2020 no longer supports DAO connections. DAO allows Crystal to connect directly to classic MS Access (.mdb) and classic Excel (.xls) files. The DAO driver came as part of Crystal Reports.

In CR 2020 you have to use OLEDB or ODBC to connect to these files. This requires that you have the 64-bit version of the Microsoft Access Database Engine 2016 Redistributable, which is a separate download.

I just got an Email from Gordon Portanier of ReCrystalize who reminded me that this will affect anyone using the Xtreme sample database which is in .MDB format. This database was originally provided as part of Crystal Reports, but starting with CR 2008 it was no longer included. I use it in my course materials so I still provide it as a download for my students and others.

So if you are using CR 2020, here are the revised instructions for connecting to the Xtreme.MDB from CR 2020. For this to work you have to have already downloaded and installed the redistributable mentioned above.

1) In the Database Expert, open the node called “Create New Connection”
2) Under that open the node called “OLE DB (ADO)”
2) Select the provider “Microsoft Office 12.0 Access Database Engine” and click “next”
3) Choose “Access” from the database type drop-down.
4) Click the ellipse button and locate the folder where you have Xtreme.mdb
5) Double click Xtreme.mdb and click “Finish”

Gordon also mentioned that SAP has published their own document on connecting to MS Access from CR 2020.  However, this document says that you can still use the DAO method in addition to ODBC and OLEDB.  Neither Gordon nor I could get that approach to work in CR 2020 and both had to use OLE DB in the end.




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