Archive for April, 2008



Prevent Crystal Reports from requesting an Internet connection at startup.

Sunday 20 April 2008 @ 10:26 pm

The start page in Crystal Reports v11 and v12 is a web page. It pulls up dynamic web content from the Business Objects web servers each time you start the program. If you are not interested in this content or have other reasons not to want Crystal requesting a internet connection, there is a simple method of preventing it. Continue Reading »
Prevent Crystal Reports from requesting an Internet connection at startup.




Article comparing the big BI vendors

Sunday 20 April 2008 @ 10:25 pm

I recently read a good article in Information Week. It discusses the recent consolidation in the BI market and compares the primary vendors, explaining the strengths and weaknesses of each. The article mentions SAP’s decision:

“to let Business Objects–the BI tools industry leader–operate autonomously”

The article considers this commitment as one of SAP’s strengths.




Moving/sizing objects with Shift-Arrow and Ctrl-Arrow (and crashing CR)

Wednesday 16 April 2008 @ 9:44 pm

There are three ways to move/size individual objects in Crystal Reports.

1) Dragging with the mouse. To move an object you drag the object by its middle. To size the object you drag the sizing handles on the sides or corners.

2) Using the “Size and Position” property available through the right-click menu. You can enter or change the coordinates for the position of the upper left corner as well as the height and width.

3) This one is lesser known. You can click on an object and move it by holding down the CTRL key and clicking one of the four arrow keys. What you are moving is the upper left corner, but since the size of the object isn’t changing you are really moving the whole object. To size the object you hold the SHIFT key instead and use the same four arrows. This moves the lower right corner of the object without moving the upper left corner, thus changing the size.

But there are two limitations to be aware of when using this technque:

1) If the object’s right side or bottom has touched a guideline and ‘attached’ itself, the SHIFT-Arrow will no longer change the object’s size. You can, however, still move the object with the CTRL-Arrow.

2) If you select more than one object, AND you are in preview mode, AND you hold down the arrow key to move the objects continuously, then Crystal Reports will almost always crash. Thanks to Gordon Portanier of Crystalize in Canada for pointing this latest behavior out.




CR Server XI for $2,495 (CR Server 2008 coming?)

Wednesday 16 April 2008 @ 9:43 pm

Business Objects is running a promotion for their entry level web portal, Crystal Reports Server XI. Crystal Reports Server doesn’t allow you to create reports but allows you to make reports available on a network server to users who log in through a browser. The promo price is $2,495 for five named users. The normal retail version is still $7,500 for 5 concurrent users which doesn’t seem like much of a promotional value to me. I seem to remember 5 named users being a free offer at one point but apparently that is no longer true.

But the real news isn’t the promotion itself. It is that promotions like this usually happen just before a significant product release. In this case it is probably CR Server 2008, but nothing will be announced until after the promotion has expired. If anyone has any insight into what is coming next, drop me a line.

Update – 5/21/08:
I heard from one of my readers who is a BO partner and they confirmed that Crystal Reports Server 2008 is to be expected in July 2008.




Actuate Migration

Monday 7 April 2008 @ 10:13 am

If any of you are considering migrating from a Crystal Reports/Business Objects based platform to the one provided by Actuate, you might find this link interesting. There are some comparative white papers there (lengthy registration required). I haven’t taken the time to request them yet so if anyone does and wants to provide some feedback that would be great.




Adding the Euro symbol to reports

Monday 7 April 2008 @ 10:08 am

If you want to use the Euro symbol in your reports then you need to do two things.

1) Know the code for the symbol
2)Use a font that includes that symbol.

The code for the Euro symbol in most standard fonts is Alt-0128. Hold your “ALT” key and type the numbers 0128 on your keyboard’s numeric keypad. The Euro symbol should appear. If another symbol appears you may have to change the font for that character to one that has the Euro symbol (like Arial or Times New Roman).

For more about using currency symbols in reports you can read this newsletter article.

For more about the Euro symbol and fonts you can read Microsoft’s kb article.




Jeff-Net

Recrystallize Pro

The Expert Series