Archive for the 'News' Category



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.




Are you ready for Crystal Reports 2020?

Thursday 18 June 2020 @ 4:13 pm

And now for some breaking news. It appears that SAP is starting to release Crystal Reports 2020 and Crystal Reports Server 2020.  Based on things I have heard the scheduled release of CR 2020 as packaged product is Early August.  I haven’t seen the software, but I read an article about Crystal Reports 2020 written by Pursuit Technology with some actual details. The big news is that it is the first 64 bit version of Crystal Reports.

One other significant change is that come January, Crystal Reports will no longer be available from resellers. The only place to purchase Crystal next year will be the SAP web site. This is part of a reconfiguration of the SAP partner program and will probably result in the elimination of many smaller resellers.

If anyone has more info to share on this topic, please let me know.




The humble beginning

Monday 10 February 2020 @ 5:56 pm

I now have a copy of the very first version of Crystal Reports – still in the box with shrinkwrap. I had never even seen this version before. This original version of Crystal Reports was released in 1991.  I didn’t even hear about Crystal till 1994.  I did collect all the versions from 3 on but never ran across v1 or v2.  So it was a nice surprise when Dan Smith of Crystal Certified Solutions in Buffalo sent me a copy.  Thanks, Dan.




Downloading the Xtreme sample data

Sunday 13 January 2019 @ 11:19 pm

Starting with CR 2008, the Crystal Reports sample data was changed from an MDB to several XML files. Fortunately, the Xtreme MDB was still available for download, along with the associated sample reports. I linked to this download from my blog and website so that students with newer version of CR could still do the lessons in my course materials. That link worked for about 10 years.

Today I learned that this link has finally died. I will try to find another link to download the file. Until I find one the link will point to a copy on my own site.




Service Pack 3 for Crystal Reports 2016

Friday 7 September 2018 @ 11:39 am

I don’t usually rush to apply service packs (i.e. ‘if it ain’t broke…’). Usually the fixed items don’t apply to what I do. So when SAP notified me about SP3 for CR 2016 I was ready to ignore it for a while. But I read through the list of fixes anyway, just in case, and the second to last item was something useful. It corrects a scrolling bug in the formula editor so we can now use the mouse wheel to scroll up and down in long formulas. I decided to do the update right away since I write lots of long formulas.

But the update was a hassle. It starts with 5 minutes of extracting files and then immediately pops up a “Fatal” error:

“Fatal Error: At least one port in the range 4520-4539 must be opened for the installation to proceed. …”

So why would a service pack for a locally installed app require access to ports? After a few searches I found that this is a red herring error message. It also occurs on some full Crystal Reports installs. The keys to getting past this error on a full install are to:

1) Run the setup from the Root folder
2) Use “Run as an administrator”.

But the service pack is a self extracting compressed exe. Placing the exe in C:\ and running it as administrator didn’t solve the problem for me. What worked for me in both Win 10 and Win 8.1 was to:

1) Use an Unzip utility (e.g. 7zip) to extract the compressed files/folders into a new folder.
2) Put this new folder in C:\.
3) Run the Setup.exe in this folder as an administrator.

Even then there was another snag.  The install couldn’t finish because of a “suppressed reboot”:

“A reboot request was suppressed on the local machine.
Reboot the machine in order to proceed with the installation”

But it wasn’t clear how to do this. My only options were “retry” and “cancel”.  So I canceled, did a manual reboot and then ran the setup.exe a second time.  That allowed the SP to install and now I can scroll through my formulas.  It was just much more work than I expected.

Update 10/2/2018:

One of my readers just pointed out their own blog post about installing CR 2016 and having the same exact issues.   Had I seen that post when writing this one my post would have been a link to his.




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